Rep. Jan Schakowsky continues targeting fundraising, salaries

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Although the 2021-2022 cycle is still in its early stages, Illinois’s 9th Congressional District Rep. Jan Schakowsky continues to spend most of her disbursements to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). 

During this cycle so far, Schakowsky has spent $320,000 to the DCCC, making up almost 90% of her $351,825 in total disbursements during the first half of 2021. In comparison, she spent $1,538,439 in total disbursements during the previous cycle. In the last cycle, she also spent $320,000 on the DCCC.

As of right now, Schakowsky has made five payments of $87,270 to the DCCC. Schakowsky has consistently given money to the committee throughout her career. The DCCC and the Hilton usually receive the most money in contributions from her campaign.  

Historically, Schakowsky has always been a big spender at Hilton Hotels & Resorts. The Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch usually has a big event at the Hilton Chicago each year. According to Open Secrets, a non-profit, non-partisan group that monitors campaign finance, she spent $247,797 to Hilton for this event during 2019. 

These Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch meetings usually account for Schakowsky’s largest individual expense each year. However, due to COVID-19, the past two Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch meetings have been held virtually via Zoom. 

Due to the event being held virtually these past two years, Schakowsky had to spend over $14,000 dollars to Hovercast. Hovercast allows for companies to launch virtual meetings and live events. 

Another one of Schakowsky’s main expenditures are for her staff salaries. According to Open Secrets, she has spent $147,180 on her staff’s salary so far. This has accounted for roughly 59.78% of her total expenditures, the highest of all spending categories. 

At the conclusion of the previous cycle, she had spent $544,791 on salaries for staff. This took up around 41.89% of her total expenditures with her fundraising coming in second at 27.92%. This cycle, the second-highest category in her expenditures are “contributors” with a total amount of $31,500 (12.79%).

In the past, Schakowsky hosted an annual barbecue at the restaurant Hecky’s. Hecky’s is located in Evanston, Illinois. Evanston is also the location of where Schakowsky and her husband reside. The last time that this event took place was back in 2019, and she had spent $4,969 on the event. 

Due to COVID-19, the event was not hosted in 2020. It is unknown when the next event at Hecky’s will take place. Schakowsky was present at the reopening of Hecky’s back in November 2020. The restaurant was closed because of the pandemic, and because of the death of the longtime owner Hecky Powell. 

The title of second-highest recipient belongs to her finance director Sarah Gersten. Gersten has received 13 payments, totaling $64,500. Gersten has usually been one of the top three recipients of money for Schakowsky. In other years, she would be behind the Hilton due to the Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch, but last cycle Gersten received 52 payments, totaling $251,650. 

New Blue Interactive is also one of the top recipients of money from this cycle. New Blue Interactive is a boutique digital strategy firm. According to Open Secrets, they have been one of the top 8 recipients since the 2016 cycle and have received six payments of $21,001 this cycle. 

Schakowsky isn’t the only Illinois congressperson who has used their services. According to the New Blue Interactive website, Rep. Brad Schneider is also a client of theirs. 

The payments of this year’s cycle seem to be consistent to the payments of years past. The only difference is that Schakowsky didn’t pay any money to Hilton Hotels and Resorts due to COVID-19 making her Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch a virtual event.

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