Race for Illinois Governor raising big money

Oct 21, 2014

At least 53 million dollars has been spent so far on the race for Illinois governor making it one of the most expensive match-ups in the nation. Details on a new report shows that most of that comes from relatively few donors. 

Money's flying into the race between Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner from all over.  But the Public Research Interest Group didn't count self-financing, like the millions Rauner has put into his own campaign; nor did it count money from corporations, or from political action committees, like those helping out Quinn.

Rather, it analyzed individual contributions to the candidates for governor in the last fundraising quarter. 

Abe Scarr, whose with PIRG, says it showed small donors getting drowned out.  While half of the contributions came from people who gave $200 or less, their contributions only totaled 7 percent of all cash raised; by contrast, 85-perent of all money raised came from donors who gave $1000 or more. 

"They're going to be responsive to interests and desires of those big donors more than to their general constituency, and we think that's a big problem."

Scarr advocates for a new publicly-financed model, in which candidates would get matching funds for small donations.