Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Quarterly Election Financials Are In...

... and that's a dry way of saying, time to be a lookie-loo!  A reader searched for campaign donations and expenses for the 46th Ward run-off race and says:

"The most recently Quarterly information submitted to the Illinois Board of Elections indicates that Molly Phelan raised a total of $317,466 (rounded) and that James Cappleman raised $181,434 (rounded).

I'm sure someone can check my math.... or believe that some contributions should perhaps not be considered on an equal basis (In-Kind or contributions from family), but the numbers above and in the attached summary report the fundraising of both campaigns on a comparable basis."

He also checked a sampling of other runoff campaigns to see how the fundraising stacked up, as well as that of the 2007 aldermanic race between Shiller and Cappleman.  You can see his spreadsheets here, and you can check out the various campaigns yourself here.


  1. There are a variety of ways to look at this. How do you count loans, in-kind donations, smaller donation, in or outside the ward donations etc.

    One way to look at it is just look at documented expenses. From July 2010 to the present Phelan spent approximately $254,000 to Cappleman's $179,000.

    Simply put Cappleman spent 70 percent of the money Phelan spent.

    Cappleman spent about 68 grand on mailers and Phelan spent about 86 grand.

    Phelan raised most of her money outside the ward in relatively larger contributions while Cappleman raised a larger proportion of his cash inside the ward in smaller donations.

    Cappleman spent about $32 for every vote he received in April and Phelan spent about $57 for every vote she received.

    Cappleman spent $15,000 on a poll in early March. Phelan seemingly didn't poll. I would imagine it's likely that some of the larger groups that supported her may have paid for polling for a variety of aldermanic races and given her the results. Given the nature of her campaign in the last weeks they almost certainly had to know the numbers weren't looking favorable to her cause.

    According to the state website both campaigns have a surplus of funds. Phelan has about 15 grand with no outstanding loans and after loans Cappleman has $1500 dollars. Whew, that was close, Jimbo.

    Oh excuse me. Alderman Jimbo. Gotz to show the proper respect.

    In any case it was an expensive election. I hope and think Alderman to be Cappleman will be a good steward and representative for the ward.

    He's already made a good tactical decision to locate his office on the 4100 block of Broadway. That's good because there are fewer shootings right there. It's also closer to the midpoint of the ward.

    Shiller took a whole lot of justified crap because her office was located damn near the epicenter of violence in our lovely ward.

  2. ...just as a follow up to IP.. I think it worth noting there are at least 3 LARGE section 8 housing highrises within about a 2 minute walk of Capplemans new office.. and it is located across the street from the old KFC with the bullet hole still in the window...

  3. Do we know that Cappleman's campaign office will be his aldermanic office?

  4. IP did Alderman-elect Cappleman actually confirm that he will use his campaign office as the ward office? If so was this documented? Just wondering

  5. TSN,

    dat's da story goin' round.

    Be it true?

  6. One thing to point out is these disclosures only show the money raised and money spent thru March 31.

    The money spent or raised in the last five days of the campaign is not shown.

    Now Phelan took in $7,000 in the opening days of April.

    In other words we really don't know the final numbers yet. I suspect both campaigns spent a substantial amount of money in the last two days of the campaign.

    We'll just have to revisit this issue when more up to date numbers come out. It's likely Cappleman's campaign is a bit in debt and Phelan's campaign may not be as "flush" with remaining cash as it appears.

  7. So bigger question is, what happens to Phelan's campaign cash?

  8. IF there is any moola left in the campaign fund Phelan can use it to run for office again. She could also give it to charity, donate it to other pols, return some donations or even pay herself a salary if she wanted to. She'd have to pay taxes on that.

    There are many options.

    I like the option where Campaign Phelan pays me a "consultant" fee to move out of the ward and never post again.

    Like the crack whore I am at heart I could be bought very cheaply.

  9. Let's not forget that there were 9 other candidates who made the February ballot. Let's examine their campaign financials.

    Shapiro, Lam, and McIntyre spent a minimal amount running. Nuff said.

    Baskin spent 47 grand and has 8 grand in debt to himself.

    Retta spent 39 grand and has 20 grand left after debts.

    My good friend Marc Kaplan spent 15 grand and has about 5 grand in debt. Assuming the Phelan campaign threw some money his way for his FABUlous get out the vote effort his debt may now be less.

    Mike Carroll spent 43 grand and has about 50 cents left in his campaign fund. No debt there. You gotta admire the humor in that.

    Emily Stewart spent about 60 grand and has a debt of about 14 grand.

    Don Nowotny spent 183 grand. Let me repeat that $183,000 and has about 60 grand in debt all to himself.

    Looking at numbers like those makes me glad that based on my sparkling personality, criminal tendencies, and that whole "cheerleader scandal" back in the day I will never be a candidate for public office.

  10. Remind me never to run for alderman - or anything else. The amount of money required is terrifying to this fiscal Puritan.

    I feel bad for Don Nowotny ($183,000 spent and $60,000 in debt) and for Scott Baskin ($47,000 spent) for having spent so much for so little return on investment.

    I truly hope there is some Karmic or personal satisfaction for all of the candidates that made the cost of running a little less painful, but I can't imagine what that might be.

    I do not see how Phelan has any future in politics after her melt downs, her descent into negative campaigning and personal attacks on every respected player in North Side Chicago political circles. If I were a large Phelan funder, I'd have lots of questions about why my money bought nothing but negative good will among voters and elected officials.

    I hope that for Emily Stewart, Befekadu Retta and Mike Carroll, the amount spent is an investment toward future endeavors. Someday, I hope Emily considers running for a judicial position. Mike Carroll certainly has the credentials, skills and personality to move up in the administrative ranks of the CPD if he chooses - I bet that he could even prevent rogue FOP officials from making ill-advised/anti-gay push-poll calls in the future!

    Thanks to all for running and I hope each is getting past any post-election hangovers and let-down malaise.

  11. Here is an interesting piece on the lessons Barack Obama learned after Bobby Rush crushed him in the 2000 congressional primary. Compared to then State Senator Obama, Molly did positively well in her race.

    I think it's fair to say that losing that race was vital in him learning how to become a better politician. There is more to be learned through loss, than winning.

    IF and it's a big IF, Molly wants to seek office in the future she needs to do some hard self analysis. You can't run the type of campaign she ran and win in a lakefront ward.

    I said it earlier in this long post.

    IF she wants a shot at winning office later she needs to remain active in local politics and hope that an opportunity presents itself. Then run like a reformer instead of a machined up hack.

    Both Mike Quigley and Forrest Claypool came out of the machine and built reputations as reformers. Both lost elections. Molly may have an opportunity to run again if she stays active. She may not. There is a whole lotta luck involved in running for office. If then Congressman Mel Reynolds hadn't had consensual sex with a 16 year old, then the State Senate seat Obama won would not have been open for him. If Carol Mosley Braun hadn't screwed up so badly as a US Senator, then Peter Fitzgerald would not have been elected and Obama wouldn't have had that chance. I'm sure he would have run for other office, but whether he got elected to statewide office or Mayor I doubt he would now be the first White Sox fan in the White "Sox" House.

    As for the others hopefully Michael Carroll will move up in the po po department and I fully expect Emily Stewart to remain active in local politics. Based on personal story and pure raw intellect she was the most impressive of the myriad of candidates we had run for aldercritter. Based on experience.....not so much. That will come with time and age.