WASHINGTON — Federal campaign disclosure reports show that Republican congressional candidate Rodney Davis raised $440,841 between May 24 — the date his campaign fund was established — and June 30, the end of the most recent quarterly reporting period.
Davis, a Taylorville Republican who was chosen to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson on the ballot, raised $241,871 from individuals and $188,100 from political action committees.
Democratic candidate David Gill, a Bloomington emergency room physician, raised $231,849 during the quarter — $190,849 from individuals and $39,500 from PACs.
Davis and Gill are running in the new 13th Congressional District, a politically competitive district that runs from Champaign-Urbana on the northeast to the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis on the southwest. In addition to Champaign-Urbana, the district includes Springfield, Decatur and parts of Bloomington-Normal.
There have been estimates that more than $2 million could be spent on the 13th District race this year.
As of June 30, Gill reported having $197,001 on hand while Davis had more than twice as much — $429,184.
Of the nearly $190,000 in political action committee money that Davis collected during the five-week period, nearly half of it — $90,000 — came from Republican members of Congress. Among the incumbents who gave to Davis are House Speaker John Boehner ($2,000); Illinois Reps. Aaron Schock, John Shimkus and Peter Roskam ($5,000 each), and Bob Dold, Randy Hultgren and Adam Kinzinger ($2,000 each). Davis also received $5,000 from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
"Obviously members of the Republican Party understand this is a critical election for our country. It's important to show that there are members of the Republican conference who fully support Rodney's campaign to help business owners create jobs, cut spending, and reduce the national debt," said Davis spokesman Patrick Pfingsten.
Other Republicans to donate to Davis' campaign include former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar and Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross ($1,000 each), and state Reps. Jim Durkin, Rich Brauer and Jim Watson. Notable for his absence among the donors is retiring Rep. Johnson of Urbana, who said recently that he has not met with Davis.
Davis also received $5,000 from the Koch Industries PAC, the petroleum industry firm that is a big supporters of conservative causes. Other big donors to Davis include Decatur-based Archer Daniels Midland, Exxon Mobile Corp., the American Financial Services PAC, the American Optometric Association PAC, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the National Beer Wholesalers PAC, the United Parcel Service PAC, the Caterpillar Employee PAC (all $5,000 each); and Exelon Corp. and the National Association of Home Builders, (each $2,500).
Among individual contributors Davis got $12,500 from Champaign County, including $2,500 from Republican Party Chair Habeeb Habeeb, developer Peter Fox and both Leslie and James Liautaud, the chairman of Jimmy John's Inc. He also received $1,000 from Danville businessman Louis Mervis.
"Ninety-five percent of the individuals who contributed to Rodney's campaign since he became the nominee live right here in Illinois," said Pfingsten. "There are many people who believe in Rodney's message of creating an environment where business owners can create new jobs, cutting federal spending, reducing the national debt, and repealing and replacing Obamacare. I think those are beliefs many people can get behind."
The $440,841 that Davis raised in a little more than five weeks is significantly more than the $342,063 that Johnson raised in the entire 2009-10 election cycle, although that was in the old 15th District which was much more favorable to a Republican.
Meanwhile, the nearly quarter of a million dollars that Gill raised is far more than he ever raised in a quarter in his three previous election attempts against Johnson, and almost as much as the $235,909 he raised in the 2006 election.
Gill received significant support from a number of labor-related political action committees, including $10,000 from the United Association Political Education Committee of plumbers and pipefitters; $5,000 from the American Federation of Teachers, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; and $2,500 from National Nurses United, the United Food and Commercial Workers and the United Transportation Union.
"We're not taking corporate PAC money or Wall Street money, but PACs for unions or money from Democratic members of Congress or progressive organizations, the campaign is taking," said Michael Richards, Gill's campaign manager. "We want to make sure that we're clear that David is answering to his constituents. That is why he is not taking money from corporate PACs and Wall Street. But money from Democratic members, from unions supporting him and progressive organizations, he will take that."
Richards said Gill believes "that Congress is making decisions not for the constituents but for their donors. He wants to set the example of not taking that money so that people are confident that while there may be people who are giving undue influence to their donors and the lobbyists in Washington, he is not one of them."
Gill's donations did not reflect anywhere close to the party support that Davis had. He got $2,000 from Sen. Dick Durbin's Prairie PAC, but little else from party organizations.
He has received $250 from Gov. Pat Quinn, $2,000 from former state comptroller and gubernatorial candidate Dawn Clark Netsch, and a number of donations from various past and present Democratic officials in central Illinois.
"Nobody's going to mistake David Gill for being an establishment candidate. He ran as an independent Democrat against the establishment's choice in the primary so I don't think anyone will get that confused," Richards said of Matt Goetten, who was Durbin's first choice and was backed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Among the individual contributors to Gill's campaign are residents of many other states.
"Close to half of David Gill's individual contributors are from places like California and New York," said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady. "We already know David Gill's extreme views are outside the mainstream values of the 13th District, we now know nearly half of his contributors are too."
Richards said he isn't bothered by the money from outside the congressional district.
"We have strong support in the district and we are quite happy that, more and more, there are people around the country who realize that David would be a good congressman, and agree with his stance on not taking one penny from Wall Street, and who want to clean up Washington, Richards said.
He said that Davis' campaign is "much more heavily dependent on money from Washington than us.
"His report was what we expected. He has money from the Koch Brothers, a lot of money from Washington insiders and he received $1,000 from the CEO of Zebra Technologies which is an outsourcer (of jobs to China). I think the money shows a clear difference in priorities for the two candidates. David is receiving money from unions and small donors in the district and Rodney is getting money from outsourcers and the Koch Brothers."