McSweeney Spends $354,000 on State Rep. Race, Owes $40,000 to Vendors

Dave McSweeney

David McSweeney spent $354,013 to win the 3-way State Representative race in the 52nd House District.

He beat out appointed State Rep. Kent Gaffney and Tea Party activist Danielle Rowe.

Of that amount, he owes about $53,736 to various vendors, including $5,000 for the March payment to his campaign manager, Jim Thacker.

{When I first put this story up, I added up the wrong column on the campaign disclosure debt page of the State Board of Election. I forgot that the original totals are on the right hand side, while what is currently owed is in the center. I have corrected the headline and the text.]

Thacker says that the debt to venders is now down to “about $40,000.”

In addition, he owes himself $147,500.

The new campaign disclosure law takes a “no limits” approach if one candidate spends more than $100,000 during an election cycle.

Since McSweeney did not top the $100,000 mark prior to the primary election.

Had he done so, his opponents Gaffney or Rowe been able to find contributors willing to spend more than the

  • $5,000 limit for individuals or
  • $10,000 for business or unions or associations
  • $50,000 for individual campaign funds or Political Action Committees

they could have legally done so, the same way they could have before the new campaign limits kicked into effect.

The $100,000 limitation gets re-set for each new election. On March 29th, McSweeney loaned his campaign another $50,000, which counts toward the $100,000 mark for the general election campaign.

So, McSweeney starts from scratch and could loan or give his campaign committee $100,000 before prospective fellow millionaire Dee Beaubien or well-heeled pro-abortion Personal PAC could dump more than the amount limited by state law.

Of course, Beaubien could be the one who exceeds the limit first.

It is not uncommon, however, for wealthy candidates to carry loans on the books of their campaign committees. For example, Mark Beaubien loaned his campaign fund $85,761.38 over the years, which is still on the books of Citizens for Beaubien. That Political Action Committee will presumably be the vehicle used by his widow Dee in her run against McSweeney as either an Independent or a Democrat.

McSweeney is still raising money, reporting a $3,000 contribution from Southern Illinois electric company Ameren on April 14th.

McSweeney took $2,500 and $2,600 polls on March 6th and 13th, respectively.  A $2,300 survey was taken on December 16, 2011.  $2,829 was spent for a baseline poll on September 23, 2011.  An Austin, Texas, firm named Baselice did the work.

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Gaffney’s campaign expenditures can be found here.

Rowe’s are here.

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