Tim Johnson Watch

Representative Tim Johnson was elected to represent the residents of Illinois' 15th Congressional District in Central Illinois. His constituents should know what he's doing.

Location: 15th Congressional District, Illinois, United States

A concerned citizen of Central Illinois.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Third Quarter Fundraising -- Johnson Suffering from GOP Scandal Fatigue?

Tim Johnson's third-quarter fundraising numbers are now available, and they are surprisingly unimpressive. While Johnson leads his expected opponent, David Gill, in total contributions this cycle by a margin of $74,361 to $32,541, the detailed picture gives Mr. Johnson reason to worry:

First, Johnson's slightly better than 2:1 fundraising advantage pales in comparison to last cycle, when his fundraising outstripped Gill by more than 5:1.

Second, and perhaps most important, Johnson's advantage is built entirely on the backing of corporate and other Political Action Committees ("PACs"). Johnson is actually trailing in individual donations by $30,962 to $23,665 -- an extraordinary figure given Johnson's incumbency and the GOP registration advantage in the 15th District. Johnson's weakness in individual fundraising -- in contrast he had raised almost $70,000 in individual contributions at this stage of the last election cycle -- may be evidence that part of his GOP base is growing fatigued with the series of GOP scandals we are now seeing, including most importantly those surrounding Tom DeLay, whom Johnson refuses to distance himself from. Or it may be evidence that Johnson, who has reneged on his term-limit promise because he's having too much fun in Washington, prefers the relatively light lifting of fundraising from PACs compared to the hard work of individual fundraising -- leaving him beholden to corporate and other interests rather than the citizens of the 15th District. Either way, it's not encouraging news for Mr. Johnson and his constituents.

Third, Johnson is spending money faster than he brings it in. With $164,887 in disbursements, he's gone through this cycle's fundraising and most of the leftovers from last cycle. While he has $145,452 cash on hand, his campaign debt of $139,974 leaves him only $5,478 in the black. His opponent, in contrast, is debt free and has $26,554 in the bank.

As more Republican members of the House disgorge Tom DeLay's tainted money, one begins to wonder: Maybe Mr. Johnson won't return DeLay's money because he can't afford to.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unions Donate to Anti-Union Johnson

In the U.S. House race between David Gill and Tim Johnson, unions are giving money to Johnson, the incumbent who has voted against labor interests in Washington.

Where are your union dues going?

Union political action committees have contributed at least $17,500 to Johnson so far in 2005, according to the FEC. As of September 30, 2005 the following union PACs contributed:

AFL-CIO $2000
AFSCME $1000
Amalgamated Transit Union $1000
Int'l Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO $2000
Int'l Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers (BAC) $1000
Int'l Union of Painters & Allied Trades, AFL-CIO $1000
Int'l Union of Operating Engineers $1000
Int'l Brotherhood of Boilermakers, AFL-CIO $1000
Ironworkers International $2500
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners (UBC) $5000

The full list of PAC contributions to Johnson is available at

Has Johnson supported labor?

Johnson has a weak labor voting record in Washington, according to union scores compiled by Project Vote Smart. A selection of his union voting scores from the last 4 years shows scores between 8% and 60%, suggesting Johnson votes against labor interests more than he votes for them:

AFL-CIO 60% 2004, 47% 2003, 11% 2002, 33% 2001

AFSCME 50% 2004, 50% 2003, 11% 2002, 20% 2001

IBEW 50% 2004, 33% 2003, 25% 2001-02

SEIU 43% 2004, 29% 2003, 18% 2002, 33% 2001

UAW 33% 2004, 27% 2003, 8% 2002, 15% 2001

Labor ratings compiled by Project Vote Smart are available at

What does a pro-labor voting record look like?

In the same union ratings, Congressman Lane Evans scored between 88% and 100%. Evans serves in the Illinois 17th district next to Johnson. Evans' ratings are available at

Who else is bankrolling Johnson?

The FEC report also shows that Johnson's 2006 campaign is bankrolled by big tobacco, energy, and telecom PACs and the NRA: Altria $1000, Ameren $1000, ConAgra $500, Exelon $2500, National Rifle Association $1000, RJ Reynolds $1000, SBC $4000.

Johnson also accepted more money from Tom DeLay than all other Illinois politicians combined, according to TimJohnsonWatch and the Public Campaign Action Fund. Links to this data are part of the May 16, 2005 report at

To earn that distinction, Johnson received $25,000 from Delay's PAC, ARMPAC, prior to 2005. Tom Delay and the leader of ARMPAC, James W. Ellis, are currently facing indictment for criminal conspiracy in Texas.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Philosophe Forum said...

Labor contributes to & endorses the Republican incumbents that never vote for them. It's one of the reasons why I got out of my union. They've already given money to John Shimkus. Next year I expect them to give more money & their endorsement.

This is why there's no reason for Democratic challengers to waste their time on seeking endorsements & money from these organizations. It's the voters they need to work on. They're the ones that really count anyway.

8:47 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home