Bob Pritchard & Fundraising

State Rep. Bob Pritchard is the incumbent this fall and fair game for scrutiny. However, this is not really about him so much as it is about the general need for campaign finance reform in Illinois.

From a Daily Chronicle report on the defeated May 2004 IL House legislation to ban horse slaughter in the state:

Rep. Bob Pritchard, R-Hinckley, opposed the ban on horse slaughter and said it failed because fellow lawmakers realized it would be unconstitutional and a threat to the agricultural industry. He also said the ban would have had a negative effect on the DeKalb County economy. Cavel is slated to employ about 40 people.

“This is about jobs,” Pritchard said in a statement. “The defeat of this bill today is a victory for employment in our community, for broadening our local tax base and helping our school districts. It’s an economic shot in the arm.”

According to the the Illinois State Board of Elections, DeKalb’s horse slaughterhouse has also been an economic shot in the arm for Rep. Pritchard:

Cavel International Inc. 108 Harvestore
DeKalb, IL 60115 $500.00
12/22/2003 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Cavel International Inc. 108 Harvestore
DeKalb, IL 60115 $300.00
10/12/2004 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Cavel International Inc. 106 Havestore Drive
DeKalb, IL 60115 $1,000.00
6/25/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

In an earlier disclosure, I find that attorney Brett Brown contributed $350.00 to Pritchard’s PAC. Brown has represented Cavel.

I won’t be snide. I’m gonna say right out that I would better have trusted the motivation for Pritchard’s vote if his PAC hadn’t accepted money from Cavel and company.

Another thing that bothers me is when candidates get a lot of money from outside their constituencies.

Here are the itemized* contributions to Pritchard’s PAC from the last six months of 2005:

Akrabawi, Mohammad & Shirley Two Hampton Court
DeKalb, IL 60115 $310.00
9/23/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Argosy Gaming Company 219 Piasa Street
Alton, IL 62002 $500.00
9/30/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Arlington Park P.O. Box 7
Arlington Heights, IL 60006 $250.00
9/23/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Ben Gordon Center 12 Health Services Drive
DeKalb, IL 60115 $600.00
7/12/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Cable Television & Communications Association of Illinois 2400 East Devon
Suite 317
Des Plaines, IL 60018 $500.00
9/20/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Carmichael, Leonard & Patricia 815 S. Moore Rd
Rochelle, IL 61068 $250.00
9/23/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Client Business Services Inc. P.O. Box 60500
Fort Myers, FL 33906-6500 $200.00
11/10/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Comcast 29777 Telegraph Rd.
Suite 4400B
Southfield, MI 48034 $600.00
8/9/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

DRIV-LOK Inc 1140 Park Ave.
Sycamore, IL 60178 $370.00
9/1/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Hutchison, Jonathan 1034 Parkview Dr.
Rochelle, IL 61068 $250.00
9/13/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Kraft Foods Global Inc. Three Lakes Drive
Northfield, IL 60093 $500.00
8/9/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Monsanto 800 N. Lindbergh
St. Louis, MO 63167 $550.00
7/14/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Myre, Matt & Nancy 2501 Greenwood Acres Dr.
DeKalb, IL 60115-0726 $250.00
9/20/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Naig, Michael & Jamie 2501 39th St.
Des Moines, IA 50310 $200.00
8/31/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Nelson, Phil 141 N. Maple
Hinckley, IL 60520 $500.00
10/31/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Resource Bancshares Inc. 555 Bethany Rd.
DeKalb, IL 60115 $500.00
9/27/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Right Pointe P.O. Box
DeKalb, IL 60115 $250.00
7/14/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Russell Schelkopf Farms 11469 Baseline Rd.
Kingston, IL 60145 $500.00
9/13/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Southern Wine & Spirits of America Inc. 2400 SW 145 th Ave.
Suite 300
$250.00
9/6/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

UniCare Life & Health Insurance Company P.O. Box 5035
Thousands Oaks, CA 91359 $250.00
7/5/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Union Pacific Railroad 101 N. Wacker De.
Suite 1910
Chicago, IL 60606 $400.00
8/31/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Webb, Ralph & Gertrud 101 Duvic Ave.
Sandwich, IL 60548 $180.00
9/20/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

William Charles Ltd. 4920 Forest Hills Road
Loves Park, IL 61111 $250.00
9/27/2005 Individual Contribution
Citizens for Pritchard

Over half of the contributions for the period came from businesses outside Pritchard’s district. So far this year, Citizens for Pritchard has received almost as much from “outsiders” such as Allergan, Walgreens, Mid-America Engergy Holdings Company, Monsanto, and the 409 Group. Mind you, so far I’m only talking about the itemized individual contributions coming in to Citizens for Pritchard PAC, not the thousands transferred to Citizens for Pritchard from other PACs (of which I will give an example below).

There’s a lot that could be done in the way of analyzing fundraising receipts in view of bill sponsorships, committee memberships and voting records, but for now let me pick out one donor, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, because this company reminds me of a bad old state law.

The champagne toast is a symbol of success, and the champagne must have flowed on May 21, 1999 at liquor distributors all around Illinois. On that day, distributors, the middlemen who buy from wineries and distillers and re-sell to taverns, restaurants and retailers, secured legislative protection for their industry unprecedented in Illinois history.

[snip]

The Wine & Spirits Fair Dealing Act was the brainchild of William Wirtz. It has become a case study in the need for campaign finance reform. Since the end of prohibition, Illinois law has required wineries and distillers to sell their products to distributors who then sell to retailers; wineries and distillers are barred by law from selling directly to retailers. Wirtz owns Judge & Dolph Distributing, one of the four big liquor distributors that, collectively, control over 85% of all liquor sold in Illinois. The legislation he championed prohibits wineries and distillers from canceling a contract with a distiller without giving a year’s advance notice, and completely bars cancellation except for good cause. The bill also included a small tax hike on wine and spirits for Illinois First.

Critics, whose ranks include United Distillers and Vintners and other liquor manufacturers as well as retailers and consumers, contend those provisions make it impossible for wine and spirit makers to switch distributors, reducing competition. They labeled the legislation “protectionist” and predicted large price hikes, far in excess of the tax increase.

And events proved critics right. A survey by the Illinois Licensed Beverage Association found that price gouging by distributors (and subsequent increases by wineries and distillers) was two-and-a-half times the size of the tax hike.

The “Wirtz” bill was repealed by the 92nd General Assembly in May 2002. No longer daunted from that defeat, however, the distributors are at it again:

Prompted by the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois and sponsored by State Reps. Lou Lang and Jay Hoffman, as well as Republican State Sen. Timothy Schmitz, House Bill 4350 seeks to amend the Liquor Control Act of 1934 to limit the number of cases small wineries can ship to customers per year and stop the winemakers from directly selling their products to local retail stores.

You can imagine what impact this might have on our small local wineries.

Currently, HB 4350 languishes in the House Rules Committee. Rep. Pritchard is not a sponsor of this bill, so I don’t know where he stands on it but will share it with you in the comments section when he responds to my inquiry. Meanwhile, I believe another important question here is whether Rep. Pritchard has accepted contributions from Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois and the answer is “yes.” They have a PAC and, in the latest semi-annual report from Citizens for Pritchard PAC under itemized transfers, list a contribution from said distributors’ PAC in the amount of $1,000 received March 10 of this year.

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*Itemization rule: Aggregate contributions of $150 from any one source during any one reporting period must be itemized on disclosure forms. In other semi-annual reports, I found up to $11,000-plus in non-itemized contributions. Were they mostly $20 each or $145 each? We can’t easily know.

5 thoughts on “Bob Pritchard & Fundraising”

  1. Rep. Pritchard got back to me on HB4350. The winery people have countered with HB4444 & they’re trying to reconcile the two so there’s no telling what kind of compromise the House will end up voting on. He did indicate that he thought a two-case-per-year limit (as specified in HB4350) on what wineries can sell directly to their customers would be too few.

  2. The whole impact on the economy excuse for Cavel never sat well with me, 40 jobs? So the city of DeKalb is willing to open itself up to national scrunity for 40 jobs. That’s just dumb.

    Other evil corporations (or corporations whose practices I disagree with anyway) are on that list as well, Monsanto, Kraft. Insurance and cable companies are inherently greedy and more like racqueteering than legitimate business, just my opinion. I never liked Pritchard much, he’s a personable enough guy, but his politics do not sit well with me.

  3. Well, as I said in the article he was more an example of the system than anything else, but the fact is I’ve disagreed with Pritchard more often than not over the years, from the time he was a County Board member. He’s smart, articulate & consistent–& IMO wrong much of the time.

  4. As for Mr. Pritchard’s campaign contributions, that’s a whole lot of bunk. With Dekalb opening up to development, there should be plenty of job opportunity with contractors and builders to accomodate more than 40 job losses, unless the employees are latent serial killers who cannot get their enjoyment from constructive work but rather from the blood of the horses. Another thing, if Dekalb is to grow, it would be best to dispose of an industry like Cavel. Nobody wants to live near the squalor of a slaughter house or to be associated with killing horses. That this man, Pritchard, sides with this company just because they line his pockets tells alot about the man who wants to be elected…. Personally, I wouldn’t vote for him or anyone like him… the man’s a crook, a liar and a thief.. Is that what Dekalb wants for it’s community? I don’t think so.

    Cavel International is bad business to have in the community. It doesn’t contribute to the economy… from the other foreign owned horse slaughter businesses, it doesn’t even pay income taxes so where’s the economic enhancement? Come on people… better wake up and smell the coffee.

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