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The [Monday] Papers

"Lori Lightfoot has more unique donors than any other candidate," Jacob Wu reports for The Chicago Democracy Project, an initiative of Northwestern's political science department.

Lightfoot also has, by far, the highest percentage of small contributors among her donor base, according to Reform for Illinois. (She also might have the most lawyers contributing, truth be told, but that is an unverified impression.)

Lightfoot has also just won the Sun-Times' endorsement, for whatever that is worth.

I suspect Lightfoot is getting some second and third looks right about now, as Toni Preckwinkle limps to the runoff, Gery Chico replaces Susana Mendoza as the leading Burker, Amara Enyia flounders and the specter of a Bill Daley mayoralty looms.


Bill Daley has the most support by far from donors outside of Illinois, according to the Northwestern analysis. Wu writes:

While Preckwinkle is widely viewed as the most likely to at least make the second round, Daley is the money front-runner, and he has also been doing reasonably well in the early polling.

This is perhaps surprising in a political moment in which change, reform, and populism seem to be in the air.

After all, his biography - as son and brother of Chicago's two longest-serving mayors, and Emanuel's successor as President Obama's chief of staff to boot - seems almost too perfect an embodiment of continuity with previous administrations.

Based on the data here, he has evidently leveraged his national connections built from a career spent in finance and national politics, and melded it with his brother's connections on the local scene, raising lots of cash both locally and from far-flung places.

Also: Daley's top 13 donors gave him almost half his cash, according to the Reform for Illinois report.

RFI concludes:

The numbers are clear - everyday citizens have had virtually no financial impact on the Chicago mayoral race. Instead, candidates have been relying on a handful of wealthy individuals for a huge proportion of their funding. Reform is needed.

It may be time to revisit Illinois' "self-funding" provision that lifts all contribution limits when one candidate gives himself more than $100,000, as Willie Wilson did early in the race. Lifting the caps was meant to level the playing field for non-wealthy candidates, but in the current system it opens the floodgates to big money and further incentivizes candidates to focus on megadonors.

More importantly, we need reforms that amplify the voices of everyday citizens and ensure that elected officials feel accountable to the broader public, not just to a narrow elite with deep pockets.

Reform for Illinois supports public financing programs like New York City's successful small donor matching system, which turns small donations into big ones and has been shown to increase donor and candidate participation across all walks of life. Jurisdictions around the country are adopting such programs to help make their governments more ethical, equitable, and accountable to the people they serve. Illinois should pay attention.

Instead, Bill Daley's big electoral "reform" idea is to reduce your representation on the city council and put more power into fewer hands.


Meanwhile . . .

-> Willie Wilson has funded 98 percent of his campaign.

And . . .

-> Amara Enyia's campaign is indeed people-powered - two people, that is. If you take away Chance and Kanye, Enyia has barely raised any money at all.

Finally . . .

-> Isn't this campaign a strong example of why we should have ranked choice voting?


Previously in small donor matching:
* The Secret Money Machine.

* lllinois' Top Campaign Corrupters.

* Illinois: The King Of Dark Money.

* Rahm Biggest Campaign Fund Cheater; Used Loopholes To Keep Donations Secret.

* Former Illinois Congressional Candidate Sues IRS In Quest To Bar Political Ads Funded By Dark Money Groups.

* Your Government Now Brought To You By 1% Of The 1%.

* A Few Rich People Vs. The Rest Of Us In Illinois' Governor's Race.

* 17 Mega-Donors Vs. Everyone Else.

* Rapid Rise In Super PACs Dominated By Single Donors.

* Chicago Mayoral Election Dominated By Big, Out Of Town Money.

* Big Money Dominated Chicago Mayoral Elections.

* New Study Shows Potential Impact Of A Small Donor Matching Program On 2016 Presidential Race.

* TV Ads To Illinois U.S. Senate Candidates: Knock It Off.

* Which 2016 Presidential Candidates Would Win And Lose Under A Small Donor Matching Program?

* How The Cook County State's Attorney's Race Would Be Reshaped By A Small Donor Program.

* Small Donor Matching System Bill Passes State Senate.

* Big Money Dominant In State Legislative Races.


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Posted on February 11, 2019

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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