Dold is well funded, thanks to political action committees: FEC reports
Republican incumbent Robert Dold finished 2015 as the best-funded candidate for Illinois' 10th Congressional District seat -- but he got to the top with significant help from interest groups, federal records show.
Dold's re-election committee collected $463,827 in donations in the final quarter of 2015, far more than Democratic challengers Nancy Rotering or Brad Schneider, according to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Roughly 46 percent of Dold's haul -- $212,772 -- came from political action committees representing industries, specific companies or other organizations, his report showed.
Schneider reported receiving $391,237 in donations during the period, including $84,700 from political groups. That's less than 22 percent.
Rotering's report showed $265,161 in donations -- none of it from political action committees. Aside from a $100,000 loan from the candidate herself, all of the Rotering campaign's donations for the quarter came from individuals, reports showed.
Rotering and Schneider will face off for the Democratic Party nomination in the March 15 primary election. Dold is unopposed for the GOP nomination. The winner of the Democratic primary will face Dold in the November general election.
The 10th District includes parts of Cook and Lake counties. It stretches from Lake Michigan into the North and Northwest suburbs.
Races for the seat have been among the nation's costliest in recent years, with candidates on both sides of the aisle raising and spending millions of dollars. Dold won the seat in 2010, lost it to Schneider in 2012 and reclaimed it for the GOP in 2014.
The candidates' latest financial disclosure reports cover donations received and spending made between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31. The documents are available for viewing at fec.gov.
Dold's campaign received $241,294 in donations from individual people, his latest FEC report showed.
The Kenilworth Republican also reported $212,772 in donations from political action committees. Committees representing banks or the financial industry were especially generous. Financial organizations that donated to Dold during the quarter included:
• Credit Suisse Securities, $1,000.
• Morgan Stanley, $1,000.
• The American Bankers Association, $2,000.
• Citigroup, $3,500.
• Quicken Loans, $1,000.
• JPMorgan Chase, $3,000.
Other notable Dold supporters included the political committees for General Electric, Wal-Mart, the Dow Chemical Co. employees and Boeing, records show.
Dold ended 2015 with an estimated $1.5 million in the bank.
When asked about the donations from the interest groups, Dold campaign spokeswoman Danielle Hagen said the congressman "has demonstrated, via his fiercely independent voting record, that he cannot be influenced by donations from anyone."
Hagen also took swipes at Rotering and Schneider for using their own money on their campaigns, something Schneider has done in the past.
"A debate over the sources of donor support and financial transparency is not one that either Nancy Rotering or Brad Schneider want to have with Bob Dold," Hagen said.
Schneider, of Deerfield, received financial help from political committees in the final quarter of 2015, too, his latest report showed.
But the donations weren't nearly as sizable as what Dold received from such groups. The checks came from organizations that were very different from groups supporting Dold, too. Schneider received donations from groups representing:
• U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley's campaign, $1,000.
• U.S. Rep. Bill Foster's campaign, $2,000.
• The Service Employees International Union, $5,000.
• The Transport Workers Union, $2,500.
• The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, $1,000.
• A letter carriers union, $3,000.
"While Bob Dold's campaigns have long relied on the massive support of direct and indirect contributions from a select group ... Brad's campaigns have received support from a wide range of groups and organizations that reflect his progressive record," Schneider campaign spokeswoman Magen Ryan said.
The Schneider campaign ended the year with $882,363 in the bank.
Rotering, who lives in Highland Park and is that city's mayor, reported receiving $164,228 from individuals. Notable donors included:
• Former 10th District U.S. Rep. Abner Mikva, $500.
• State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie of Chicago, $250.
• State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz of Chicago, $250.
• Former state Rep. Karen May of Highland Park, $250.
• U.S. Rep. Carol Ronen of Chicago, $250.
"Nancy is proud to have broad grass-roots support from throughout the 10th Congressional District, with 90 percent of the campaign's funding coming from residents of Illinois and 71 percent of her funding coming from within the district," campaign manager Stacy Raker said. "These numbers reflect her clear strength as a candidate to represent this district."
The Rotering campaign ended the year with $936,131 in the bank.