Observations (July 18)

Hoping that the bugs in the new State Board of Elections website are behind us (they made improvements last week to make the site work better on a variety of browsers), we’ll take a closer look at some PACs that have filed:

Vallas for Illinois – still no cash on hand, still very deep in debt. Dean Vallas made $7K in interest payments, which accounted for the only money in and out in the D2.

Citizens for Ronen – Gave the governor $5K as her biggest expenditure.

SMASH – This committee, which served as the main on-the-ground medical PAC in the 2004 Supreme Court race, is not shutting down. They raised $32K in the first half of 2005 (biggest donors are ISMIE at $5K and ISMS CEO Alexander Lerner at $1K) and ended the period with $17K on hand. More than the money, though, the big news here is that the PAC has changed its name from Southern Illinois Medical Alliance to Save Healthcare to the State of Illinois Medial Alliance…, suggesting a broader geographic focus..

Ron Gidwtiz for Governor: Hasn’t filed anything with the SBE (yet), but he did take the unusual step of posting contributors on his website. Why he posted a pdf on the web rather than file electronically with the SBE we can’t fathom. If he really wanted to post all donors, he could do so with the existing SBE disclosure software (and it’d be on-line and searchable. And it would list occupation and employer. And expenditures and cash on hand. But not to carp). His website shows he raised $3M through July 14. Aside from himself ($200K) and others named Gidwitz ($502K), his biggest donors appear to be Waserdorf & Associates ($250K), Robert McCormack ($100K), and T. Russell Shields ($100K). We’ll know more when the D2 arrives.

The Running Totals: Because these numbers are changing all the time, I’ll stop using exact figures; it’s the ratios that matter.

Blagojevich: $134K
Lisa Madigan: $6K
Topinka: $24K
Gidwitz: $0 (but see above)
Oberweis: $0
Rauschenberger: $43K