The Illinois State Board of Elections web site provides pretty good information on the fundraising activities of political committees and candidates, showing how much they are getting from donors, and from which donors, as well as how campaign dollars are being spent.
Click here for a look.
But, the electronic data only goes back so far before you have to retreat to microfiche at the elections board offices, and from there you can print out pages of interest. So, it’s not the most accessible material, the old stuff.
Which is why we’re making 1,100 pages of old campaign records for Ed “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak available here.
We were researching Vrdolyak recently for a story – he was a tangential figure in the article, available at this link – and got microfiche printouts of his campaign records from the 1980s and 1990s.
We figured they were worth scanning and posting now, if for no other reason transparency, though they also provide context for today’s politics.
Vrdolyak was a key figure in the 1980s “Council Wars” when he was a powerful Chicago alderman. He also ran unsuccessfully for mayor. He maintained political influence well beyond his days in elected office, and went to prison a few years back as part of a corruption scandal. Click here and here for more on the scandal.
Phone calls to Vrdolyak went unreturned.
This blog post was written by the Better Government Association’s Robert Herguth and Patrick Rehkamp, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 821-9030.