The Congress News


Kirk campaign cash dwindling as election nears

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Newly filed campaign finance paperwork shows Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk raised less than $300,000 during the first 19 days of October, leaving him with $576,279 for his re-election effort’s final push.

That contrasts with the Democratic challenger, two-term U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates. Duckworth’s pre-election report for the same time period showed her raising $860,559, with $2.5 million left ahead of Tuesday’s election.

That comes after the two candidates released third-quarter fundraising numbers last month. Kirk reported raising nearly $1.2 million for his re-election bid from July through September, compared with $4.1 million for Duckworth during the same time period.

Kirk had more than $3.1 million in July but spent almost $3 million during the third quarter, leaving him with nearly $1.4 million to start October. Duckworth had more than three times that amount at $4.3 million.

Duckworth has outraised Kirk over five consecutive quarters, including the April-through-June period this year when she raised $2.7 million to just more than $1 million for Kirk.

Kirk is viewed as the most vulnerable Republican U.S. senator seeking re-election, notably due to Illinois’ traditional heavy Democratic voter support in presidential election years. (Rick Pearson)


What’s on tap

*Mayor Rahm Emanuel will speak at a U.S. Commercial Service conference in Chicago.

*Gov. Bruce Rauner has no public schedule.

*Chicago City Council Committee on Workforce Development and Audit has a 10 a.m. hearing on the Chicago-Cook workforce partnership.


What we’re writing

*How the money war between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Speaker Michael Madigan is playing out in suburban, Downstate districts.

*The longer web version of the cash war in those House and Senate races.

*Mayor Rahm Emanuel won’t return a $50,000 Trump campaign contribution (includes City Council meeting roundup).

*Emanuel wants to raise O’Hare, Midway parking rates.

*Chicago Teachers Union votes on new contract.

*Sentencing memos out in federal case against politically connected Chinatown chef.

*City permit reveals cost of new Apple store along Chicago River.


What we’re reading

*Much of Chicago holds its breath tonight, hoping for an end to an ignominious streak.

*Leader of the free world sings song about oddly hued precipitation to trick-or-treater dressed as recently deceased rock star.

*Weird-looking superhero movie gets good review.


Follow the money 

*Quote of the week: It’s only Wednesday, but I think it’s safe to proclaim this the quote of the week in Illinois politics. It comes from Democratic comptroller candidate Susana Mendoza in an overview story on the campaign.

"I’m running against (Gov. Rauner), and when this election is over and I beat him on Nov. 8, he’s not going to be able to hide behind some story that he got beat by the big powerful Irishman named Mike Madigan from the South Side," said Mendoza, who faces Rauner appointee Leslie Geissler Munger. "I’m going to make sure he owns the fact that he lost to a little 5-foot-3 Mexican woman called Susana Mendoza from the city of Chicago. So he’ll know my name then."

*Emanuel, Cupich and the Cubs (and cardinals): New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd related a story about Mayor Emanuel and Archbishop Blase Cupich.

Here’s a summary: At Sunday night’s game Emanuel was sitting three rows away from Cupich, who was wearing a Cubs hat. The mayor is part of the delegation headed to the Vatican this month when Cupich gets elevated to cardinal.

Emanuel to Cupich: “Your Eminence, aren’t your prayers getting answered? What’s going on here?”

Cupich replied: “I need to pray a little harder."

Emanuel warned the archbishop to hurry up and show that he had the heavenly juice or “that Cardinal thing” might not happen. As fans nearby laughed, Emanuel and the cleric high-fived.


Follow the money

*In a late move, Speaker Michael Madigan’s Democratic Majority fund poured more than $500,000 into the Lake County House race of Democratic Rep. Sam Yingling and Republican challenger Rod Drobinski, which is now the second-most expensive House race at more than $4.5 million.

*Senate Democrats are in with another $200,000 for Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant of Shorewood, who faces a challenge from Republican Michelle Smith of Plainfield. 

*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here.


Beyond Chicago

*John Podesta paid $7,000/month by major Clinton donor in latest WikiLeaks revelation.

*Donald Trump used legally dubious method to avoid paying taxes, NYT finds.

*Hillary Clinton momentum slows, confidence remains, according to NYT.

*Revived Clinton email probe gives GOP candidates something to talk about other than Trump.

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