political fundraising

State Week logo
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois politicians react to President Trump's varied statements on Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Gov. Rauner signs a pair of gun-control bills while promising to veto another. And the latest campaign finance numbers show the candidates for governor continuing to burn cash at an unprecedented rate. 

Dana Heupel
NPR Illinois

“Here are two important things in politics: One is money, and I can’t remember what the second one is.’’ 

— Mark Hannah, presidential campaign manager for William McKinley in 1896.

That axiom immerses political candidates in a never-ending whirlpool of fundraising and sometimes prevents potentially qualified challengers from seeking elective office. It also can breed ethical concerns. Witness the plight of Illinois’ last two former governors: George Ryan is in prison; Rod Blagojevich is under indictment — both charged in political fundraising scandals.