In Chicago, a Green out-fundraises the Machine
From Illinois Green Party candidate for State House District 39 Jeremy Karpen:
GREEN OUT-FUNDRAISES MACHINE
Jeremy Karpen Runs Grassroots Campaign While Incumbent Berrios Idles
CHICAGO – Jeremy Karpen’s campaign committee announced Tuesday that he
had raised more money in the first half of 2010 than his opponent, the
Democratic incumbent Maria ‘Toni’ Berrios.
In campaign disclosures filed last week, Green challenger Karpen’s
campaign reported more than $9,000 in total receipts, with over $5,400
in individual contributions. In this same period, Democratic
incumbent Berrios raised under $6,300, with $3,500 in individual
One hundred percent of Karpen’s individual contributions came from
actual individuals, the majority of whom live in the 39th District.
The average campaign contribution was under $100. By contrast, Rep.
Berrios’ individual contributions came entirely from six corporations
and PACs. These include three corporations – Astra Zeneca, Humana,
and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America – which
regularly present legislation before the Bio-Technology Committee,
which Berrios chairs.
“The support of the community is the most important thing,” said
Karpen. “Toni has a mountain of money in the bank and a lot of
connected friends to call on, but this isn’t a community that can be
bought. We’re building something real here in the 39th District, and
our contributions reflect that.”
“Green Party candidates don’t take money from corporations – period,”
said Phil Huckelberry, Illinois Green Party Chair. “Voters here in
the 39th District understand why that matters. This November they’ll
have a choice between a candidate supported by their neighbors, and a
candidate funded by the very corporations she’s supposed to regulate.”
The contrasts between the two campaigns deepen when examining campaign
Karpen’s itemized expenditures reflect efforts at direct voter
outreach: campaign literature and expenses at a newly opened campaign
office in the heart of the district (3044 W. Fullerton). Nearly half
of Berrios’ itemized expenditures this year were for a vehicle leased
by her campaign.
“Political campaigns are won and lost at our neighbors’ front doors.
We’re sending out teams of volunteers – not canvassers-for-hire, and
not patronage armies – to meet voters and listen to their concerns,”
says Rebecca Reynolds, Karpen Field Director. “It’s simple,
effective, and it’s the way campaigns are won.”
Jeremy Karpen ran for the same office in 2008, taking 21% of the vote
despite being hugely outspent. He is a Licensed Professional
Counselor, working as a counselor with at-risk youth at a residential
treatment center in Chicago. Mr. Karpen volunteers his time working
against partner abuse with a local domestic violence agency. He has
been a consistent and outspoken community activist, fighting for
housing, health care, equitable education funding, and immigrant
For more information, contact Dave Sacks, 773-557-9411.