The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Little Known Candidate Removes Fundraising Caps In Mayoral Race With $100K Donation

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 15, 2014 2:00PM

Conservative pundit, television producer and mayoral candidate William J. Kelly.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is already sitting on an $8.4 million campaign war chest as he prepares for his re-election campaign next year. Now he and other candidates can raise as much damn money as they can after a little-known mayoral candidate lifted the fundraising caps with a personal donation.

Conservative pundit, television producer and frequent candidate for political office William J. Kelly donated $100,000 of his own money to his campaign Monday. Under Illinois law, contribution limits for all candidates in a local race are lifted when a political candidate donates more than $100,000 to his or her campaign within a year of an election. Kelly previously donated $7,441.48 to his campaign in July, according to records from the Illinois Board of Elections.

The first thing we thought when we read about Kelly’s donation was “well that wasn’t very smart.” Emanuel, whose fundraising prowess is an integral part of his political reputation, can now raise as much money as he wants with a simple phone call. Kelly, for what it’s worth, recognizes this and sees his move as an opportunity for him and Emanuel's other challengers.

Contrary to popular media belief, busting the caps does not help Rahm - he already has all the money he needs in this race. Rahm could have busted the caps himself but he didn't. By busting the campaign caps, I have now leveled the playing field in this race. Now if any donor or corporation or PAC wants to defeat Rahm Emanuel - they have the opportunity to donate to my campaign without limitation.

Yes, it is true: Rahm has a huge campaign war chest and it will get much bigger yet. Rahm has circumvented campaign finance laws by bundling contributions. Through his brother, Ari, CNN gifted him millions of dollars in in-kind contributions with a national TV show production intended to portray him as the "star he really is." CNN spent millions more to promote Rahm with an advertising campaign complete with giant billboards all over the city.

But Rahm can't buy respect or love from the voters. Chicago voters are not fooled by Rahm anymore and his embarrassing poll numbers show it. Sixty-two percent of Chicagoans say Rahm is out-of-touch.

Kelly announced his mayoral candidacy in June, touting himself as “the only real Republican” in the race, an Irish Catholic born and raised in the 19th Ward. He also hosts the CLTV program “Power Player.” Besides Kelly, Emanuel and Fioretti (and most of the media attention goes to Emanuel and Fioretti), other declared mayoral candidates include community activists Amara Enyia, William Dock Walls, and former 9th Ward Ald. Robert Shaw.