Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Attorney General Lisa Madigan held a fundraiser to challenge Gov. Pat Quinn in 2014
Madigan deposited $736,015 in political donations at the end of March and has raised a total of $770,365 in contributions of $1,000 or more from Jan. 1 through March 31, State Board of Election records show. She had more than $3.6 million in her campaign fund at the start of the year.
Quinn raised $551,034 in donations of $1,000 or more over the same period, counting $490,534 he deposited at the end of March, and had more than $1 million in his campaign bank account at the start of the year, state records show.
Quinn, elected to a full term in 2010 after replacing impeached and imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2009, has said he is seeking re-election next year.
His fundraising totals illustrated the power of incumbency amid increased speculation about a potential challenge from Madigan or from William Daley, the former chief of staff to President Barack Obama and brother of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.
Among Quinn’s top donors were the Service Employees International Union, which gave $25,000, the state’s trial lawyers association with $20,000, the painters’ union with $17,600 and the Illinois Laborers' union with $15,000.
The union donations came despite contention between the governor and public employee unions over Quinn’s efforts to change workers’ retirement benefits to help salvage the state’s pension system, which has an unfunded liability of $97 billion.
Madigan also received hefty labor support, including matching $52,600 donations from an engineers' union and from the association of plumbers and pipefitters. She also got $50,000 from the laborers’ political committee and $20,000 apiece from union operating engineers and the trial lawyers.
In a statement Friday, Madigan indicated she had not yet made a decision on running for governor but added “as 2014 approaches, I'm taking steps to ensure that I have the financial and political resources necessary for another campaign.”
Critics have questioned the potential conflict if she served as governor while her father, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, the state’s Democratic chairman, remains in power.
Daley has not created a campaign finance committee and there are questions whether he would seek a primary run for governor if Lisa Madigan also entered the contest.
Meanwhile, businessman Bruce Rauner, who is exploring a potential run for the Republican nomination for governor, has sold his stake in the Chicago Sun-Times, a spokesman said. The website of Crain’s Chicago Business first reported the move.
“Bruce has great respect for the role of the press and sold his stake in the company to avoid even the appearance of any conflict of interest if he decides to run,” said Rauner spokesman Chip Englander.