What we know, and when we know it

People watching A-1s today would have seen the largest transfer in Illinois history, when Citizens for Frank Watson transferred $1,000,000 to the Republican State Senate Campaign Committee. And we know that because Illinois has one of the best campaign finance disclosure websites in the nation. If you count ICPR’s website, we have two of the best campaign finance websites in the nation, but the official State Board of Elections website is a terrific resource. Visitors to the SBE website can now watch A-1s come in. A-1s are reports of contributions of over $500 received in the last 30 days before an election, filed within two days of receipt.

It’s often assumed that campaigns plan for the A-1 period by pulling in big checks earlier, so as to gain that last two weeks of anonymity, but not every campaign follows this bit of thinking. Donors have given amounts larger than Watson's transfer to recipients in direct giving before, especially self-funders, and PACs have given larger cumulative amounts before as a series of smaller transfers from one PAC to another, but today’s transfer from Watson to the RSSCC is the biggest single transfer ever.

ICPR will be monitoring the A-1s and Pres as they come in. Check out our 2006 elections page for information on hot races and top donors as we get closer to Election Day.