Chamber Backing Endorsed Candidates for Congress, Statehouse with Resources to Win
With the 2012 General Election just around the corner, your chamber is working hard supporting pro-business candidates for office. For the first time this year, the Illinois Chamber’s political arm, Chamber PAC, has endorsed not only candidates for state office, but for Congress as well. To back up those endorsements, the Illinois Chamber is spending approximately $800,000 in support of the preferred candidates.
The 2012 election is the first under new district boundaries for both the Statehouse and Congress. The new districts have resulted in a larger number of contested races in Illinois than we have recently seen. Thus, candidates have had more competition for funds, making it harder to find the resources they need to campaign effectively.
In 2012, Chamber PAC will provide at least $5,000 in support for more than 20 candidates for the legislature. Of those, 12 will receive funding at $10,000 and five candidates are receiving more than $20,000 in contributions.
Again this year, the Chamber will also conduct independent expenditures on behalf of Congressional candidates. This is the second election to take place after the Citizens United Supreme Court decision freed corporations, including 501(c) 6 organizations like the Chamber, to fund independent expenditures through their treasuries. Combined with issue-based messaging, the Chamber’s program will impact millions of voters with award-winning online advertising and voter identification.
Much of the Chamber/Chamber PAC candidate support comes in the form of direct communications with voters. Leveraging the positive image of the Chamber helps deliver a strong pro-jobs message to the electorate. We have produced direct mail, television and radio advertisements, voter identification, and online advertisements – the latter earning a prestigious national award for online political advertising following the 2010 election.
Of course, all of this activity gets the business community nowhere without good, pro-business candidates. We are particularly impressed with the pro-business candidate profiles that have emerged in recent elections and again this year. Chamber PAC was proud to endorse six candidates for Congress and 26 candidates for the state legislature.
In considering Congressional endorsements, the Chamber PAC Board focused only on competitive races. In addition, it took into account the US Chamber of Commerce voting record and endorsements, issue positions, and relationships with the business community.
Endorsed Congressional Candidates are:
- Joe Walsh, 8th District
- Bob Dold, 10th District
- Judy Biggert, 11th District
- Jason Plummer, 12th District
- Rodney Davis, 13th District
- Bobby Schilling, 17th District
Since the Chamber PAC Board endorsements matched those of the US Chamber of Commerce, we collaborated on advocacy advertising produced by the US Chamber and aired in support of candidates Biggert, Davis, Dold, Plummer and Schilling.
The Chamber PAC endorsed candidates for the Statehouse are too numerous to list here, but please review those candidates here. For these competitive candidates, the Board considered the Illinois Chamber’s voting record, candidate interviews, and stated positions on issues and relationships with the business community.
As for judicial races, the Chamber PAC has endorsed Judge Steve McGlynn for election in the Fifth Appellate District. The Fifth District is comprised of the 37 southern most counties in the state, including both Madison and St. Clair. The Chamber has endorsed Judge Nicole L. Villani’s candidacy for Resident Circuit Court Judge in Jefferson County and supports the non-retention campaign launched by Citizens for Judicial Integrity to oust four incumbent circuit court judges in Madison County.
It is not too late to help us help pro-business candidates. You can contribute to Chamber PAC online by simply following this link and making a contribution via credit card. In addition, we hope you will support local pro-business candidates by providing financial assistance, walking precincts, making phone calls, talking to friends or even putting up a yard sign. Most importantly, get to the polls and vote!