13th District spending nears $8 million

WASHINGTON — Total spending in the three-man 13th Congressional District race is approaching $8 million, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Democrat David Gill, a Bloomington physician, reported $936,127 in total spending in this two-year election cycle, as of Oct. 17. Republican Rodney Davis of Taylorville reported spending $840,810 as of the same date. Independent John Hartman of Edwardsville has spent only $7,993, according to FEC reports.

But the biggest spending in the race continues to be by more than a dozen outside groups, some of them superPACs, that have put more than $6 million into the race, mostly for negative television ads.

Nationally, the 13th District race now ranks 10th among all House races in the amount of spending by outside groups. The greatest amount of outside spending is in Ohio's 16th District where $8.8 million has been put down in a race involving two incumbents, Rep. Betty Sue Sutton, a Democrat, and Republican Rep. Jim Renacci.

Because Gill and Davis reported having a total of nearly $400,000 still available on Oct. 17, total spending on the 13th District race likely will end up at least $8.5 million.

By contrast, retiring U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, and Gill spent less than $500,000 in their contest two years ago in the old 15th Congressional District.

That is a much more Republican district while the new 13th, which runs from Champaign-Urbana on the northeast to Edwardsville and Collinsville on the southwest, is considered marginally Democratic, at least in a presidential election year.

In the period of Oct. 1 to Oct. 17, Gill reported $189,182 in contributions, of which $145,264 were from individuals.

Among Gill's recent donors were musician Jackson Browne and film and television producer and director James L. Brooks, both of Los Angeles, and both $1,000 donors.

Gill also received nearly $44,000 in political action committee contributions, including $2,000 from former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and $5,000 from her PAC to the Future group; $5,000 from the AmeriPAC fund headed by Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, plus another $2,000 from Hoyer's campaign fund; $5,000 from AFSCME and the Amalgamated Transit Union; and $2,500 from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners and the group Democrats Win Seats, headed by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

Davis collected $128,368 during the period Oct. 1 to Oct. 17, including $73,472 in individual contributions and $54,896 in political action committee funds.

Among Davis' individual donors were Erika Harold, the Chicago lawyer and former Urbana resident who had challenged Davis to be the party's appointed candidate for Congress after Johnson dropped out of the race. Harold, a former Miss America, gave Davis $500. Davis also got $250 from Doug Oberhelman, the CEO of Peoria-based Caterpillar, plus another $250 from his wife Diane.

Davis' PAC donors include Enterprise Holdings of St. Louis (Enterprise Rent-A-Car), $5,000; the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, CNA Financial, the American College of Cardiology, and the Help America's Leaders PAC affiliated with Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., all $2,500;

Among the so-called "independent" groups involved in the 13th District race, the biggest spender continues to be the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has spent $2.3 million, mostly on ads attacking Davis. Other groups helping Gill have spent much less, including the Service Employees International Union, about $57,000; the National Nurses United 4 Patient Protection, $54,500; Planned Parenthood Illinois, $9,551; and the Sierra Club, $10.

Independent groups helping Davis, either with negative ads aimed at Gill, or with support on Davis' behalf, include the National Republican Congressional Committee, $1.45 million; the American Action Network, $1.48 million; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, $500,000; the New Prosperity Foundation, $202,187; the Lunch Pail Republicans, $28,653; the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, $25,000; the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, $9,003; the Illinois Agriculture Association, $5,537; and the National Right to Life, $1,930.

Among the candidate's own reports to the FEC, Davis has $271,669 on hand, Gill has $114,480 and independent Hartman is $872 in the red.

Gill also reported $23,500 in campaign debt, all owed to his media buyer, the Compass Media Group of Chicago.

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Local Yocal wrote on October 29, 2012 at 8:10 am
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$8 million? Disgusting. How many jobs in the 13th District could that have been? I'll bet the media outlets and sign makers/printers are plenty fat-happy.