Congressman Jesús García uses almost $1 million in first campaign year

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Jesus "Chuy" Garcia's most recent official photograph.

In his first campaign year in the election cycle, Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García of Illinois’s 4th congressional district spent nearly $1 million after winning against Mark Wayne Lorch of the Republican Party with more than 86 percent of the votes. 

García spent $966,396 in the 2017-2018 cycle. Most of the money was used on payroll at $118,020, printing at $102,772, salary at $92,337 and non-federal contributions at $59,350, according to Federal Election Commission data. Of the total money he used on printing, Deliver Strategies, LLC, based in Virginia, received $83,002. 

“Deliver Strategies is a progressive direct mail and communications consultancy that principally serves Democratic Party candidates, political action committees, and labor unions,” states Influence Watch, a website created by the Capital Research Center upon recognizing a need for more accurate and fact-based descriptions of different experts on public policy issues. 

Deliver Strategies has done a substantial amount of work for political figures who are members of the Democratic Party.

The firm’s website lists some of its clients, including Susan Wild, representative of Pennsylvania’s 7th District in the U.S. House; Janet Cruz, representative of District 18 in the Florida State Senate; Governor of Pennslyvania Tom Wolf and Former President Barack Obama. 

García was elected to Congress in November 2018 and sworn into office on Jan. 3 of this year. He is one of only three congressmen who are newly elected. The 15 other Illinois congressmen were re-elected for this term. 

The 2017-2018 FEC reports also show that García has made non-federal contributions to committees that support democratic purposes. He gave $500 to the Democratic Citizens of Berwyn, $250 to the Cicero Democratic Organization and $250 to the Arab American Democratic Club. 

Other non-federal contribution recipients consist of candidate committees that served the purpose of supporting candidate elections and programs. García has donated to committees including Friends of Alma Anaya, which received the most with $26,000, Citizens for (Antonio) Munoz with $14,800 and Friends of Aaron Ortiz with $11,000. .

After the top four expenditures on payroll, printing, salary and non-federal contributions, García used $56,795 on media buys (commercials and advertisements), $45,016 on campaign consulting, $44,429 on mailing, $28,550 on video production, $28,000 on polling and $26,375 on payroll taxes.

The $56,795 used on media buy went toward Screen Strategies Media, a “media strategy, planning and buying agency,” according to the website.

García also has spent a considerable portion of his finances on consulting services: fundraising, compliance, campaign, digital, strategic and communications.

According to FEC and OpenSecrets, García spent a significant amount of money on H&M Consulting, which is a fundraising consulting service, starting from his period as candidate in 2018 up to the present cycle.

Winpisinger & Associates Inc., located in Maryland, also received money in both 2018 and 2019 for compliance consulting. 

Other expenditures include $4,000 in 2017-2018 and $2,000 in 2019 on VoteBuilder for the Democratic Party of Illinois. His campaign also paid rent — $7,700 in 2018 and $1,400 in 2019 — to Frank De La Torre of Illinois. 

García has spent roughly $86,414 in the 2019-2020 cycle, based on the last update from FEC.

In 2019, García’s top three expenditures were $13,500 on fundraising consulting, $10,500 on compliance consulting and $9,234 on payroll. 

As a long-time advocate for communities of color, García has been outspoken in his criticism of the Trump administration’s immigration policies. The policies have caused thousands of asylum seekers to be left waiting in Mexico

García also expressed his opposition to the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule, which became effective on Oct. 15, by holding an information session on the new policy back in September. The rule gives immigration officials the ability to deny green cards to immigrants based on their income or their dependence on public aid, such as Medicaid. 

García and his family immigrated to the United States in 1965 with a permanent resident status.

“Trump’s ‘public charge’ rule is another cruel attempt to divide the immigrant community into good immigrants and bad immigrants,” García said in a press release. “… This rule goes against our values as a nation and we must oppose the rule.” 

García funded part of the Democratic Caucus retreat in mid-April of this year, contributing $1,325 to the event at Lansdowne Resort. However, the three-day policy retreat ended in a number of issues leaders had to address regarding the Trump administration and Republican “showdowns on immigration, health care and spending,” stated the Washington Post.

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