Green Out-Fundraises Machine

Jeremy Karpen

Jeremy Karpen

Jeremy Karpen (G-IL) Runs Grassroots Campaign While Incumbent Berrios Idles

Jeremy Karpen‘s campaign committee for  39th District State Representative 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 contributions.

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. 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 expenditures.

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 rights.

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