Report: Dems, teachers unions had the most 2012 campaign cash

Chicago Sun-Times –

SPRINGFIELD-With the 2014 political season now underway, state election authorities have closed the book on the 2012 campaigns with a new analysis showing Democrats spent the most money and teachers unions gave the most during last year’s elections.

During the 2012 primary and general elections, Democrats funneled a combined $84.3 million into their campaigns, compared to $51.8 million by Republicans, according to the State Board of Elections.

Released this month, the agency’s “Money and Elections 2012” report is filled with other snippets of campaign-finance trivia, including a top-20 list of the wealthiest state candidate accounts and a breakdown of which rank-and-file lawmaker spent the most per vote [Hello, former state Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano (R-Elmwood Park)].

On that top 20 list, a Madigan-controlled campaign fund occupies three of the six most-flush political funds. The richest committee was the Democratic Party of Illinois, which towered above all others and is controlled by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago). It raked in $7.36 million last year.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a possible 2014 contender for governor, weighed in in third place among candidate-associated committees with $3.74 million, followed by the Illinois Republican Party at $3.51 million and the Republican State Senate Campaign Committee with $2.54 million.

The speaker’s other campaign fund, Friends of Michael J. Madigan, was sixth on the list with $2.4 million.

Also on that list was the political fund controlled by Ald. Edward Burke (14th), whose Friends of Edward M. Burke had a cool $4.81 million sitting in the bank, enough for second place on the candidate and caucus committee list. Burke also controls the purse strings of The Burnham Committee, which ranked as the 14th wealthiest PAC last year with $875,315.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was 10th with $1.72 million, and Gov. Pat Quinn occupied 13th place with $1.26 million.

Among political-action committees that spent the most in 2012, two of the top five were union-run, starting with the Illinois PAC for Education (IPACE). That committee, controlled by the Illinois Education Association, cut $1.85 million in checks to candidates in 2012.

Next on the list was the Illinois State Medical Society PAC, which represents physicians and gave $1.44 million. The Health Care Council of Illinois PAC, which represents the nursing home industry and gave $1.18 million, ranked third.

Fourth place was occupied by the Illinois Federation of Teachers COPE fund, which gave $1.14 million. Rounding out the top five was Personal PAC Inc., an abortion-rights group which contributed $1 million to pro-choice candidates.

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