Dueling FEC reports

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

By The Leader-Chicago Bureau (chicago@illinoisleader.com)

Andy McKenna announced his candidacy in June
Jack Ryan (right) met with State Reps Carole Pankau (left) and Sid Mathias (center) during Ryan's fly-around announcement in May
CHICAGO -- "Ta-da-da, da-dum." Answer: "Ta-da-da, da-dum."

Dueling FEC reports were filed this week, signaling a rise in competition between GOP candidates to fill the U.S. Senate seat Peter Fitzgerald will be leaving next year.

Two of the four declared GOP candidates -- Andy McKenna and Jack Ryan -- have been "one-upping" one another in the past few days, comparing whose finance committee list is bigger and more potentially more influential in raising coveted dollars needed to win a U.S Senate primary in Illinois.

Andy McKenna, President of Morton Grove's Schwarz Company, boasts of having Gregory W. Baise, President and CEO, Illinois Manufacturers Association, J. Christopher Reyes, Chairman, Reyes Holdings, and Patrick G. Ryan, Sr., Chairman & CEO, Aon Corporation co-chair the McKenna campaign's finance committee of fifty-four major financial players.

Other notable names on McKenna's committee include Sam Skinner, Former President and CEO, U.S. Freightways Corporation, Jack Sandner, Special Policy Advisor & Former Chairman, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Craig Duchossois, CEO, Duchossois Industries, Inc., State Senator Kirk Dillard and Illinois GOP Central Committeeman Steve McGlynn.

Former Goldman-Sachs partner/investor Jack Ryan answered McKenna today with his list of fifty finance committee members, including nationally-renowned names such as William Bennett, Former secretary, U.S. Department of Education and Co-Director of Empower America, Dick Schulze, Chairman, Best Buy Co., Inc., Jack Greenberg, Former CEO of McDonald's Corporation and Hank Paulson, CEO of Goldman Sachs.

But not only were the finance committee lists released, so were figures revealing the campaigns' cash on hand as of June 30.

Andy McKenna, 46, reports that he has collected $494,480.00 in the first seven weeks of his campaign to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. McKenna shows he had $464.008.86 in cash available on June 30.

Jack Ryan, 43, says that he is pleased with the $153,250 in contributions he shows in the first quarterly fundraising report with the Federal Election Commission. The FEC report says that Ryan has guaranteed his campaign $1 million, bringing the total of cash on hand to $1,030,404.82.

Both candidates were happy to talk about the money they have raised thus far.

"We are very pleased that we have raised almost a half a million dollars in the first few weeks of this campaign, with donations from $25 to $2000," McKenna said from D.C. "Winning in politics is based on addition, and we look forward to building a statewide team as we progress."

Not willing to state how much he will personally donate to his senatorial campaign, McKenna said today, "I don't put much value into what I will put in, but we are confident that we will have the ability to raise a lot of money. We'll have the resources to do whatever we need to do to win this nomination."

McKenna said that he was not holding fundraisers in the nation's capital during his current visit.

Ryan was pleased with his own campaign's money raising prospects, as well.

"I'm excited that our campaign has gotten off to such a quick start," Ryan said. "This finance committee is a 'Who's Who' of the business community, and we've just gotten started."

Ryan released a press statement last month saying that he was willing to contribute six million dollars in personal funds to his campaign.

Attorney and CPA John Cox and physician/entrepeneur Chirinjeev Kathuria, both men with substantial financial assets, have not yet made their finance committee listing public.

However, Cox's report says he has loaned his campaign $25,000 and spent $7,946. Kathuria says that he will file a report within the next ten days.

On Thursday at the Chicago Stock Exchange, Oberweis Dairy CEO and financial investor Jim Oberweis will be announcing his decision as to whether or not he plans to add his name to the list of four officially-declared candidates for the U.S. Senate seat.