Poll: Was Too Much Spent on Schneider-Dold Race?
Between the candidates and outside groups, $13.1 was used to influence voters. Should some of that money been used for another purpose.
What did $13.1 million buy the voters of the 10th Congressional District in the election that will make Rep. Elect Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) the area’s Congressman in January?
Patch will not give its opinion but our latest unscientific poll will give readers an opportunity to weigh in on the subject.
When the Illinois General Assembly redrew the state’s Congressional map 17 months ago after three straight razor thin contests, the new 10th District was considered slightly more Democratic. The seat has been in Republican hands for 32 years under former Rep. John Porter (R-Wilmette), now Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park) and Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth).
Schneider’s 2,631 winning margin over Dold Tuesday, according to unofficial results, showed that 17 months and $13.1 million later the race was still close and the District is a little more Democratic. That is the amount of money Schneider, Dold and outside groups supporting them spent on the race, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune.
According to the Tribune article, Dold raised $4.2 million and outside groups spent another $4.7 million helping him including close to $1 million from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Schneider took in $2.5 million and was the beneficiary of another $1.7 million in independent expenditures.
Had Bloomberg elected to give the money to the local township food pantries, it would have been enough to feed those in need in the area for more than eight months according to information provided by West Deerfield Township Supervisor and state Sen. Elect Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield).
According to Morrison, who operates the West Deerfield Township Food Pantry, it would take $73,000 to feed those in need in Deerfield as well as parts of Lake Forest and Highland Park for a year. Based on the size of the township and the 10th District, $1 million would last more than eight months.
Patch contacted Bloomberg’s office to find out if he was pleased with the outcome of his expenditure or would have considered the money better spent feeding those in need. He did not respond by the deadline for this story.
The outside spending was accelerated by the Citizens United case decided by the United States Supreme Court in 2010 which allows unlimited spending by outside groups on political advertising without disclosing the source of the funds.
Campaigns themselves must report all donations in excess of $250. Donations to candidates are also limited by federal law to $2,500 from an individual and $5,000 from a political committee.
Patch readers now get to voice their opinion in the poll below. This poll will remain open through 5 p.m. Wednesday and the results will be published Thursday.