Interest Groups Spend Heavily on Congressional Races in Illinois, comments RFI ED Alisa Kaplan
Illinois Congressional races have been flooded with spending by outside interest groups, specifically in the 3rd and 6th Districts. The new 3rd District has Chicago Alderman Gil Villegas battling against State Representative Delia Ramirez for the Democratic primary. In that race, outside interest groups have spent about as much as the candidates themselves, with the biggest contributor being the VoteVets.org PAC, which has spent $523,000 on Villegas’ behalf. Villegas’ opponent has not been left out either, with various progressive groups spending hundreds of thousands on Ramirez’s behalf as well.
Commenting on outside spending, Reform for Illinois’ Executive Director Alisa Kaplan noted: “Outside spending can be much harder to trace than candidate spending because of the looser rules around who can donate to those groups and what kind of information they’re required to report, so high levels of outside spending can be problematic from a transparency perspective—it can be much harder for voters to know who’s trying to influence them (and trying to influence their candidates/potential representatives).”