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Illinois' Top Campaign Corrupters


Same Donors Gave Another $440,000 to Anti-Con-Con Group

With a week to go before Election Day, many candidates for General Assembly are raising campaign money at a furious pace and just 10 contributors account for nearly 20 percent of all funds raised by legislative candidates in recent months.

A dozen legislative races are approaching or have passed the $1 million mark; all told, legislative candidates have raised more than $20 million since July 1.

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) and the Sunshine Project examined campaign disclosure reports filed by incumbent legislators and candidates for the General Assembly to compile this list of top donors.

Illinois has no limits on the source or size of campaign contributions. Many of these groups have made contributions to candidates that would be illegal if made to candidates in other states or for federal office. Much of this money is reported as receipts by caucus and party leaders, who in turn transfer funds to individual candidates.


Top Donors to Legislative Incumbents and Candidates, 7/1/08-10/26/08:

1. Illinois Education Association: $877,000

2. Illinois State Medical Society: $565,000

3. Illinois Federation of Teachers and affiliates: $558,000

4. AFSCME: $410,000

5. Illinois Health Care Council: $398,000

6. Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois: $389,000

7. Illinois Hospital Association: $305,000

8. Personal PAC: $267,000

9. Fred Eychaner, founder of Newsweb: $253,000

10. Illinois Association of Realtors: $251,000

11. Illinois Chamber of Commerce: $236,000

12. Illinois Trial Lawyers Association: $229,000

13. Altria Group/Philip Morris Tobacco: $228,000

14. Service Employees International Union: $225,000

15. Ameren: $258,000

16. Associated Firefighters of Illinois: $194,000

17. Illinois Dentist Association: $194,000

18. AT&T: $180,000

19. International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150: $161,000

20. International Union of Operating Engineers Local 399: $153,000


Many of these Top 10 donors have also helped fund the opposition to a referendum to authorize a state constitutional convention. The Alliance to Protect the Illinois Constitution, a political organization formed earlier this year to oppose the "con-con", has raised at least $1.2 million since July 1, including $440,000 from these top legislative donors. By contrast, two organizations in support of the con-con, Con Con Yes and Metro Chicago United PAC, have together reported total receipts of just $5,000.


Top Donors to the Alliance to Protect the Constitution:

1. Illinois Federation of Teachers and affiliated: $300,000

2. Illinois Education Association/National Education Association: $225,000

3. Exelon: $100,000

4. Illinois Coalition for Jobs, Growth, and Prosperity: $92,500

5. (tie) American Insurance Association: $50,000

5. (tie) Health Care Services Corp: $50,000


ICPR and the Sunshine Project do not endorse candidates and have not taken a stand on the constitutional referendum. ICPR and the Sunshine Project are monitoring reports on those targeted legislative races. For a chart of contribution totals on those races, visit


Posted on October 28, 2008

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