Richard M. Daley may be out of politics, but his old campaign account has remained open as a virtual ATM. The account contained nearly $1.3 million in the bank on December 31, 2010, the end of the reporting period during which he announced he wasn’t running again. Because of a wrinkle in a 1998 law governing how candidates and elected officials can use their campaign funds, Daley can keep the whole kit and caboodle and spend it however he wants (as long as he pays income taxes on any personal expenses).
Looking forward to the March 20 primary, we wondered if Daley was spreading any love around to his old political pals on the ballot. Turns out, at presstime, he hadn’t donated from his campaign fund or his personal pocketbook to anyone—not even to his nephew, Patrick Daley Thompson, a candidate for commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. Meantime, Daley has spent more than $475,209 since he said adios to politics. What’s he spending it all on? A big chunk went to office rent, phone bills, and a montly salary for his longtime campaign treasurer. Here’s an abbreviated accounting for some of the rest.*
*Spending between September 9, 2010, the date Daley announced his resignation, and December 31, 2011, the end of the last reporting period
Photograph: E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune