More outside cash is pouring into the 8th Congressional District race to help the campaign of Republican Joe Walsh in his re-election bid against Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth.
After an $810,000 ad buy last week by Washington, D.C.-based Now or Never PAC, three groups have reported another $243,788 in expenditures, according to the Federal Election Commission.
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LaGrange-based Lunch Pail Republicans, a pro-union Republican-backing SuperPAC, is spending $6,618 on a billboard supporting Walsh, according to the commission. Lunch Pail officials did not return requests for comment Wednesday.
Tea Party-affiliated SuperPAC Freedom Works for Americas spent $100,000 on a mailing for Walsh, of McHenry, and another $15,000 on online ads, according to the commission. It also spent another $3,000 on voter guides and books opposing Duckworth, of Hoffman Estates.
Since last week's ad buy, Now or Never has spent another $122,000 on online advertising and direct mail, spokesman Tyler Harber said.
These groups join Credo SuperPAC, dedicated to defeating Walsh, and the New Prosperity Foundation, which opposes Duckworth.
SuperPACs are political action committees that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money. They are the product of a 5-4 Supreme Court decision in 2010 that the government cannot ban political spending by corporations in elections. While SuperPACs are not allowed to coordinate directly with candidates, they can spend unlimited amounts of money to promote the candidates they back, with fewer restrictions than a candidate's own campaign committee has under federal election law.
The 8th District, roughly centered in Schaumburg, contains portions of Cook, Kane and DuPage counties.
According to the commission, it is the third-ranking Illinois congressional race in terms of outside expenditures. SuperPacs have spent $2.1 million in the 17th District race between Republican Rep. Bobby Schilling, of Colona, and Democrat Cheri Bustos, of East Moline, and $1.4 million in the 12th District race between Republican Jason Plummer, of Edwardsville, and Democrat Bill Enyart, of Belleville.