Rep. Adam Kinzinger fundraising expenditures rise up while media expenses decrease in 2020

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Adam Kinzinger's most recent official photograph.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger showed an immense change in campaign fund spending for the current 2019-2020 Illinois’ 16th Congressional District election campaign, which includes a decrease of media and advertising and an over 200% increase in fundraising spending. 

According to the Federal Election Committee records, Kinzinger has spent $1.9 million dollars so far during the current 2019-2020 campaign cycle. The amount of expenditures decreased by 15% compared to his 2017-2018 campaign cycle with a total amount of $2.2 million dollars. 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s top 10 expenditures during the 2019-2020 election cycle.

During his previous campaign, Kinzinger’s campaign budget consisted of spending $788,336 toward media-related purchases, which include Honold Communications. Kinzinger’s campaign finance data suggests that Honold Communications was hired by Kinzinger and was the top recipient of Kinzinger.

In his previous campaign, Kinzinger spent the most on advertising, directing $340,000 into media production and approximately $320,000 into media buys, according to FEC data.

However, he has spent only $60,169 in media purchases and $28,459 in advertising purchases so far for his current campaign, which is a total of $88,628. 

In addition to Kinzinger’s decrease in expenditures toward media spending, there are no current records of an amount spent to the Honold Communications, Inc. 

Although there was a decrease in expenditures on media, Kinzinger’s largest expenses during the 2019-2020 cycle have been on fundraising and consulting.

Kinzinger spent a total of $419,878 on fundraising. That is a 216% increase in fundraising expenditures compared to spending $132,799 during his 2017-2018 campaign. 

His campaign also made a combination of 44 disbursements totaling $305,979 in fundraising consulting. His expenditures consist of $202,558 for Red Liver Co, LLC and $97,916 for The Charles Group, LLC. Yet, compared to his 2017-2018 cycle, Kinzinger’s campaign had a higher number of 53 disbursements at a total of $312,764. Within that total, Kinzinger paid Red River Co, LLC, located in Maryland, $207,552 and The Charles Group, LLC, located in Illinois, $69,193 for consulting services. 

The FEC restricts certain amounts of expenditures a candidate can make during a campaign, such as personal gifts or loans and bank loans in connection with a campaign. However, candidates can use their personal funds as long as it aids with their campaign. Each representative should always report their funds to the FEC.

Other expenditures Kinzinger made include event catering at $93,581. Businesses who were involved in catering spending include Capitol Hill Club and Fiola Restaurant in Washington D.C. Based on Kinzinger’s data, event catering was also part of the fundraising.

His lowest expenditure was $89 for flowers.

Kinzinger’s spending rates are still tentative as the current campaign cycle is still running until Election Day, November 3 of this year. 

Kent Redfield, retired professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Springfield and campaign finance specialist, said he believes Kinzinger did not spend a lot of money in the media due to his recognition and current position as the U.S. Representative for Illinois’ 16th Congressional District.

“There is no particular reason for him to be spending a lot of money on TV and direct mail. I mean he’s going to do something to remind people that he’s running,” Redfield said. “He’s been elected four time from this district (16th District). So, he doesn’t have to go out and build recognition and don’t have to counter negatives.” 

Redfield said representatives use their campaign funds depending how tough the campaign is with other opposition notes during elections; this includes how competitive a district is or if they have a token opponent. 

Dani Brzozowski, Kinzinger’s Democrat opponent, has only raised $173,617 and spent $66,342. Majority of her expenditures are on staffing and media strategies, according to Brzozowski. Brzozowski’s top expenditure is Marguerite Dooley, a national organizing director, spending at $9,900.

Brzozowski said that she agrees Kinzinger does not have the need to spend funds due to his status and the lack of opponents he has had in the past. 

“The money will always be there for Kinzinger. He has a steady stream of revenue. He has a deep well that he can continue to go back to from these corporate taxes, from the fossil fuel industry and airlines,” Brzozowski said. “He just keeps going back to them and he will. He has over the course of the past decade. 

Brozowski said Kinzinger’s campaign spending has not influenced a shift with their own spending during the current campaign cycle. She claims Kinzinger might be influence by her campaign decisions instead. She would like to help restore power to people and prop up Democracy with a reform on campaign finance.

“Big money in politics has so significantly corrupted the integrity of our democracy. It’s hardly even recognizable as such, but we have it as corruption,” Brozowski said. “We have elected officials whose votes are being bought and paid for by corporate interests and that’s deeply problematic.”

Kinzinger for Congress campaign officials couldn’t be reached for comment.

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