Here is how the world works in Illinois. There are no campaign giving limits, so people give lots of money to a party. The party in turn, gives treats to the big donors in the form of sweetheart laws, grants or drivers licenses. The party uses the money to hire people to do work, send out mailers, call, organize and do marketing. When the party decides to support a candidate, they start to deploy the money and/or the time of the paid employees. I think we can all agree with this, right?
So, if a political party doesn't give any cash to a candidate, but deploys a number of personnel off their payroll to help, should that count as a campaign contribution? For most candidates this isn't a problem, they don't get statewide support for a local race, they never claim to be running a campaign of ethics that limits contributions. The accept all the help they can get and everyone is playing the game on the same playing field.
What happens when a candidate says they have a campaign giving limit, but accepts thousands of dollars of paid support from a political party? What happens if the political party gives them $25,000 of work support from paid staffers, phone bank support, plus mailings? What happens when the paid staff organizes a fund raiser using party funds, then collects funds for the "clean" candidate?
Isn't this just a laundering of the "Fat Cat" big buck gifts into a local election? Of course, this is legal in Illinois. The problem is when you make a campaign issue of only taking $50 and are still taking work as "in kind" gifts from a party.
If there was a law that limited campaign gifts to $50, this laundering of money should be illegal. I have no problem with a campaign limit, but then don't accept the large "in kind" work while claiming you are clean.
Maybe someone will claim that all work by a political party shouldn't count toward elections the party is involved in. But this election specifically excludes parties to stop this kind of nonsense.
I'm dying to hear what you have to say. Come on down.