August 6, 2006

Tale of the Till, State Senate primary edition

John Beydler has once again done the work required to wring telling details from the numbers in candidate's financial disclosure filings, this time focusing on the money spent in Illinois State Senate primary contests.

Some very interesting facts emerge, among them:

  • There were 65 state senate candidates running in 39 primary races.

  • Big Mike Jacobs outspent 57 of the candidates, ranking number 8 on the Big Spender's list.
Beydler also provides the always interesting cost per vote figures and finds that in the case of the District 33 Democratic primary pitting Dan Kotowski against James J. Morici, Jr, Morici spent $78.08 for EACH VOTE, which I assume is the highest per vote total.

While Beydler cites the lopsided spending in the District 1 Munoz vs Torres primary, in which Munoz outspent Torres by 21 to 1, it shows that for his money, Munoz emerged with a 77 to 23% victory or a 54% margin.

The Jacobs/Rumler primary was nearly as lop-sided, but Jacobs didn't do anywhere near as well.

Jacobs outspent newcomer and near unknown challenger Paul Rumler 18 to 1 in order to pull off a 12% margin, 56%-44%.

For the Jacobs/Rumler primary, the tale of the till in spending per vote breaks down as:

Jacobs: $17.04
Rumler: $1.22

That's a whopping margin per vote of $15.82, or nearly $13.98 for every $1 spent by Rumler.

Put another way, Jacobs spent 1785% of Rumler's expenditure to get 12% more votes,

But perhaps most interestingly, Beydler discovers an area in which Sen. Jacobs stands head and shoulders above all others, but one which we've not heard him boast about as yet.
Among all 65 Senate candidates, Jacobs was far and away No. 1 in the category of un-itemized expenditures. Of the $142,178 he spent, $17,848, or 12.3 percent was un-itemized.

In comparison, the biggest spender, Morici, had outlays of $373,092, of which only $1,234, or .03 percent, was un-itemized.
As noted in Beydler's post, disclosure law requires that all payments to people or vendors receiving more than an aggregate of $150 must be listed as an itemized expense.

As a commenter notes, this means that Jacobs must have spent just less than that amount a staggering 119 times in the six month reporting period, or about 20 times each month, an amount way, way out of line with any of the other 65 financial reports filed by senate candidates.

Also in keeping is the $14,925 the Jacobs campaign reported spending at various restaurants and clubs for "campaign food",parties, and one assumes, liquid refreshments and fund-raising, though it's not specified.
This averages about $2500 per month.

You owe it to yourself to read the post here if you haven't already, as well as peruse the report yourself.

Some items of interest among the $124,330.41 in itemized expenditures:

$663.60 to American Airlines for "PROMOTE ILLINOIS BUSINESS TRIP" - no destination listed.
$640.50 to John Collins for "flags"
$14,250.00 to a D.C. area firm for a "poll"
$1,009.46 to "EMEDIA C INC" for "POLOTICAL CALLING" (sic)
$3085.45 to Ford Motor Credit for "lease" for 5 months ($617.09/mo)
$1,400.54 to Hunter's Club for post-St. Pat's parade party
$1,077.56 to Hy-Vee for "election eve food"
$2,300.00 to East Moline Legion for "ELECTION NIGHT GATHERING"
$450.00 to Master DJ for "entertainment election night"
$1,599.27 to Short Hills Country Club for "volunteer appreciation"
$3,908.06 to The Roosevelt Group of Chicago for "consulting"
$2000 to Tina Sumner for "RESEARCH CAMPAIGN STRATEGIES", or opposition research.
$179.91 to The Liquor Box for "gifts"

There are also four contributions amounting to $2595 to various community groups.

$800.00 to the Boys and Girls Club
$295.00 to East Moline/Silvis Kiwanis Club
$1,000.00 to Moline Learning Center
$250.00 to Music in the Park
$250.00 to Silvis Family Run for a sponsorship

It also lists $730.00 to Van Tieghem Accounting for "professional fees"

They surely can account for all the unitemized expenditures, one would hope.


At 8/06/2006 2:09 PM, Blogger Craig said...

Can anyone answer why Rumpler decided to run against Jacobs. I mean, this is a question I have asked myself every since JAnuary. Why would he ruin his chances at most public office by going after the power house family in the QC. I must admit maybe I am looking at this in a bias way, because I am a Jacobs suipporter and I think Mike will do good things for us. But still why not run for alderman or something? (ie Michael Carton)

At 8/06/2006 3:20 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Craig, you're certainly not the only person who wonders why Rumler made that choice. People have wondered out loud ever since he announced.

And please, even if you are a Jacobs supporter, could you at least avoid the absolutely stupid, extremely annoying, and unclever intentional misspelling of Rumler's name (IF, in fact it was on purpose. If not, nevermind).

Jacobs and supporters thought this was quite the cute thing to do all through the race. All it did was show what a juvenile and unserious level they operate on.

That aside, I don't think I'd go as far as saying Rumler's political career is over due to the primary loss.

As a matter of fact, I think he aquitted himself pretty well. As the story above details, he didn't do too bad despite being outspent and out-muscled 18 to 1.

I know for a fact that he had the Jacobs campaign in near panic, peeing themselves and driven to doing frantic and bizarre things in the last 10 days of the race at the prospect that they may lose. (Jacobs' expensive polls showed Rumler 10 points up 10 days out from election day.)

I don't think Rumler damaged his political future, certainly not fatally. Actually, the very thing that caused many to scratch their heads, that he'd choose to take on the supposedly mighty Mike Jacobs, actually showed him to be confident and smart enough to see that Jacobs wasn't as tough as everyone supposed.

The fact that he at least made it a race at all in his first time out against such massive money, clout, organization and connections could be considered a success of sorts.

I'm not sure many people still wonder about the answer to your question, but the fact that Rumler choose to "aim high" in his first race shows that at least he was smart enough not to bow down to conventional wisdom that often serves to scare off potential challengers.

I'd love to know what brought Rumler to make that decision and why he picked that race, but unfortunately, I imagine only he knows. And one of the more maddening things about Rumler is that he's almost sphinx-like in his lack of revealing much of anything about himself.

I doubt we'll ever know, unless one is lucky enough to corner him and ask him in person, and even then, it's not certain he'd give an answer.

But on the chance Rumler reads this, I know that at leat Craig and I, and I'm sure many others, would love getting a little insight into how and why he decided to challenge Jacobs.

I imagine he simply refused to think inside the box and fall prey to the conventional wisdom that made many think it was foolish to take on Jacobs.

I won't hold my breath though.

At 8/06/2006 5:42 PM, Blogger Craig said...

Actulley as you may know from many of my previous comments on this site, I don't like to re-read or spellcheck my comments before I leave them. So, the Rumpler thing was a mistake, and it does seem kind of childish. So, I appoligize to Paul if he does read this. I would love to meet this guy, he didn't seem to ahve to many press confrences or forums while he was running. All I knew was that he was young, and like big red signs. It would be nice to know why he ran straight from him, but I don't think I would give up that info. if it were me in that situation. However, I wish him luck in the coming years.

I know of a state rep from around here that needs to go. Maybe Paul can do that.

At 8/06/2006 9:45 PM, Blogger Sue Preston said...

It looks like Rumler should have spent some more money. I am proud of a man that wins in such a wonderful manner.

Congratulations for the win and the ability to raise funds. Jealousy is very ugly Mr. Dope.

At 8/07/2006 3:21 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

You flatter yourself if you think I'm jealous of anyone Ms. Preston.

The day I'm jealous of any politician is the day I'll know something has gone horribly wrong.

I can't for the life of me imagine why I would be. But I can think of a few dozen reasons why I wouldn't.

So... dream on.. as they say.

But it does make me curious as to just what you mean by Jacobs winning "in such a wonderful manner".

Would you care to explain just how you justify that view?

I'd love to hear the wonderfulness of it all.

The spending 18 to 1 on everything but the kitchen sink, buying every advantage possible and then some against an unknown rookie, flailing every which way to throw out every nasty preposterous smear and whisper campaign imaginable, running scared and then finally pulling out a 12% victory? Is that what made it all such a "wonderful manner"??

Jacobs winning is sorta like Bush winning. The two are remarkably similar in so many respects.

The campaign and it's supporters showed real class, attacking and taking the low road every inch of the way starting the day Rumler announced and never stopping, desperately scratching for any faint glimmer of a negative nothing and trying to blow it up into something, attempts to intimidate and pressure people into support, berating, insulting, and attacking journalists and bloggers, and all the rest.

I guess I'm just not sure "wonderful manner" quite does it justice.

And yeah, Big Mike showed a ton of skill in raising cash. Inheriting a big campaign war chest from his Dad and having all of his Dad's donors amassed over the years kick in. That had to take a ton of fundraising skill. (cough) About like George W's fundraising skills.

Looking foreward to hearing in detail about the "wonderful manner" Jacobs won the primary.

To be honest, all that can be said is that he spent 14 times what his challenger, an unknown with no party support, did per vote and won by 12 points.

At 8/07/2006 7:02 AM, Blogger local dem said...

Dope, you mispoke. Jacobs outspent Rumler by 18 to 1. Actually it was probably more like 25 to 1 if you count all the reporting periods, and more like 40 to 1 if you count the "in-kind" contribution of smearing phone calls.

At 8/07/2006 3:58 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Local Dem,
I didn't mispeak... as you can see, I was referring to how much more Jacobs spent PER VOTE.

18 to 1 is the right number for overall expenditures (at least the ones reported specifically as such.)

At 8/07/2006 4:48 PM, Blogger DookOfURL said...

I called Jacobs this afternoon about this and he told me the reason for his excessive unitemized expenditures was because he gave back more to the community than any other state Senator.

I report, you decide.

At 8/07/2006 11:12 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Plausible, if true. I can't imagine you actually calling up Sen. Jacobs to ask though.

And... if he knows that he gave more than "any other state senator", why not provide the numbers?

And remember, any group, charitible or not, that got more than $150 during the 6 month reporting period must be listed as an itemized expenditure in the campaign finance report.

As the commenter at Beydler's blog noted, Jacobs must have been doing a lot of passing out of small amounts to square with the amount of unitemized expenditures he reports. At the very LEAST, 119 times in 6 months. That's about 20 times a month he supposedly doled out amounts under $150.

And you're right. In this respect, like Bush Jr. we all get to be "deciders"

At 8/08/2006 11:47 AM, Blogger rope-a-dope said...

In reality, with the way state law currently allows the party to appoint replacements, the Senate seat Jacob's holds was about as close to an "open" seat as we are likely to see round these parts.

Rumler saw an opportunity to run for an "open" seat, and took his best shot, at least that's what he told me last time we talked.

Mike Jacob's showing in the Primary actually is a strong indication that the Jacob's are NOT a powerhouse family anymore. In '04 Dennis Ahern had the backing of the Jacobs' clan but he lost to Boland 70-30 in the Dem primary, Rumler did NOT have Boland's backing but his race against the Jacob's was much much closer.

Make your own conclusions, but the numbers don't lie!

At 8/08/2006 12:54 PM, Blogger jghere said...

As a close friend of Mike Bolands, I will tell you that he was very much involved with Rumler. They are very close.

At 8/08/2006 2:38 PM, Blogger local dem said...

Boland was not working closely with Rumler. In fact, check the financial disclosure, no money went from Boland to Rumler, nor did any money from Boland's top supporters go to Rumler (which would be the easiest way to silently support Rumler).

In retrospect, I'd guess that Boland wishes he would have helped Rumler, as it's clear now that with a little more money, Rumler would have won.

At 8/16/2006 6:11 PM, Blogger JCKDNLS69 said...

The reason Jacobs outspent RUmler is because Rumler couldn't raise any money...oh yearhh.... wait, he had that really great pancake breakfast that brought in about$800.00 . oops sillyl me... Iforgot!

At 8/17/2006 3:56 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Jack Daniels....

So evidently you think both Rumler and Jacobs started out with a perfecly level playing field, eh?

They both were perfectly equal and so should have raised roughly the same amount of donations?

Are you suggesting that neither one had an advantage, so you can honestly sit and sneer at Rumler for not being able to raise as much campaign cash as an appointed son of a long-term local and state politician?

Real classy.


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