Political Action Committees are not all distant entities with shadowy organizers who funnel money for political causes. Some of them can be right on the street where you live.
Formed in early 2010, the Citizens for a Better Quincy was reactivated as a PAC in December of that year. Two Quincy aldermen signed on as officers. Paul Havermale, R-3, is the chairman and Dan Brink, R-6, is the treasurer. All other Quincy Republican aldermen, with the exception of Jennifer Lepper, R-5, also are listed as members of the PAC. Those aldermen/members are LeXze Mann, R-1, Kyle Moore, R-4, Mike Farha and Tony Sassen, both R-4, Mike Rein, R-5, Jim Musolino, R-6 and Terri Heinecke, R-7.
Brink declined comment. Havermale did not immediately return phone calls.
The PAC was fairly quiet in the current campaign cycle until it got $30,000 on Oct. 15. That money came in as a $20,000 donation from Otto of Carpentersville, Ill. and $10,000 from Patricia Foglia of North Barrington, Ill.
The very next day, Citizens for a Better Quincy sent out $10,000 to Campaign Grid of Fort Washington, Penn. Another $20,000 went to Multi-Media Services Incorporated of Alexandria, Va. Both disbursements were listed on campaign documents as going for “Media-television — Opposing — John Sullivan — Ill. 47th Senate.”
Another pair of donations totaling $30,000 arrived on Oct. 23. These were from Richard E. Ulhlein of Lake Forest, Ill., and Bruce Vincent Rauner of Chicago. The very next day all $30,000 went to Craft/Media/Digital of Washington D.C. for media-television services opposing Sullivan.
The video above was a product of those donations. It points to the ties between President Barack Obama and state Sen. John Sullivan, who served in the Illinois Senate together. Sullivan helped campaign for Obama in 2008 and was called out as one of Obama’s friends when the president visited Quincy two years ago.
Sullivan has benefited from PACs as well. On Oct. 16, he received $20,000 from the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150 Political Action Committee. Since it came to the Friends of Sullivan campaign fund and are not tied to a particular disbursement.
Third-party PACs have gotten lots of publicity since the Supreme Court ruled in January 2010 that the government may not prohibit unions and corporations from making independent expenditures for political purposes. PACs that can raise unlimited funds, may not donate directly to, or coordinate with, candidates or political parties. Those that put limits on donations have the option of transferring funds directly to candidates.