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Fitzgerald continues to tap his fortune in race against Moseley-Braun for Senate

Sunday, July 19, 1998

By Jon Sawyer
Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau Chief

WASHINGTON The Illinois race for the U.S. Senate seat continues true to form, the latest campaign filings show. Incumbent Democrat Carol Moseley-Braun is scrambling for cash, and state Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, her millionaire Republican challenger, is writing checks at will.

Reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission show that in the three months that ended June 30, Fitzgerald lent his campaign $3.2 million. The latest loan, dated April 16, was used in part to pay down $2.9 million in previous bank loans that Fitzgerald had personally guaranteed. The candidate's loans to the campaign, either direct or guaranteed, now total $7.135 million.

Fitzgerald also reported individual contributions of $778,289 over the past three months, and cash on hand of $737,733.

Moseley-Braun reported raising nearly twice as much, $1.43 million, in the most recent quarter. She now has cash on hand of nearly $1.1 million.

Michael Kreloff, Moseley-Braun's campaign director, said he was pleased with fund-raising to date but acknowledged that it was no picnic going up against someone with Fitzgerald's deep pockets.

"It does work a terrible unfairness," Kreloff said. "The senator scrambles to get maximum contributions of $1,000 each, while Peter Fitzgerald can write himself a check, write himself a thank-you note and then he's done."

Kreloff said Moseley-Braun has more cash on hand now than Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., did at the similar point of his successful 1996 campaign. But he said that between now and November, the campaign will have to raise "several million more."

Mike Cys, Fitzgerald's spokesman, said Fitzgerald is raising money from individuals, too - about 7,000 individual contributors so far. He said that 92 percent of the money raised this past quarter had come from Illinois and that all 102 of the state's counties were represented.

Cys said Fitzgerald has set no limit on what he is prepared to spend.

"That decision is not yet made," he said. "We are working aggressively to cultivate as much financial support as possible."

The most intriguing contribution cited in the latest reports was made to
Moseley-Braun. She listed a $293 "in kind" donation for "overnight
accommodation" at the home of actor Warren Beatty.


Copyright (c) 1998, St. Louis Post-Dispatch



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