News-Gazette: Tom Kacich: Kinzinger building a national political base

Opinion column by Tom Kacich of The News-Gazette: Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s vote to impeach former President Donald Trump, and his opposition to Trump followers such as Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, has earned the Illinois Republican a lot of media attention.

It also got Kinzinger, whose congressional district is just north of C-U and includes all of Iroquois County and parts of Ford, a lot of campaign contributions from around the country.

Reports show that Kinzinger’s congressional campaign fund collected $1.14 million in the January-through-March period. That’s about three times the amount Kinzinger received in the same period two years ago.

Kinzinger’s haul also is far greater than the $393,760 that Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, reported, or the $423,709 that went to Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria. Davis and LaHood have been far less critical of Trump and his followers than Kinzinger has.

The distinction is significant because all three have said they may run for statewide office in Illinois if they are displeased with new congressional-district maps expected to be passed by Democrats in the next few months.

If they want to run for governor, for example, they can move their federal campaign money to a state gubernatorial campaign account. Campaign contribution caps are already off for the 2022 gubernatorial primary in Illinois because Republican businessman Gary Rabine put more than $250,000 into his gubernatorial campaign fund.

Kinzinger, who now lives in Channahon but grew up in Bloomington-Normal and is in the Air National Guard, has established a nationwide fundraising base beyond political action committees. His campaign report included the names of dozens of Illinois GOP establishment donors such as John Canning Jr., a private-equity investor in Chicago; Jerry Reinsdorf, the owner of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox; and Edward Rust Jr., chairman of Bloomington-based State Farm. None of them lives in Kinzinger’s district.

He also picked up Champaign County donors, including attorney David Sholem of Champaign, Lenville Stelle of Mahomet and Jerry Payonk, executive vice president of Clark Dietz Inc.

Outside of Illinois, Kinzinger raised individual contributions from most states, including $2,800 from Walmart heir Christy Walton of Arkansas, $1,250 from conservative editor and analyst (and Trump foe) William Kristol of Virginia, and filmmaker Peter Farrelly of California.

Further, conservative political action committees still embrace Kinzinger despite Trump’s pledge to oppose him and others who supported his impeachment. Kinzinger received contributions of $1,000 or more from Sinclair Broadcasting, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Koch Industries and Walmart Stores.

Kinzinger also gave to his congressional committee about $295,000 that a separate fund, Adam Kinzinger —

Future 1st Committee, raised in the last quarter.

One Republican planning to oppose Kinzinger in a 16th District primary next year, Catalina Lauf, raised about $163,000 in the first quarter.

While Kinzinger’s main campaign fund now has

$2.54 million on hand, Davis reported having $337,103. LaHood had $3.25 million, although he had started the year with $3 million.

 

The entire article can be found on The News-Gazette website here


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  • Maura Gillespie
    published this page in News 2021-05-18 11:34:58 -0500