Who are the biggest campaign contributors to Illinois congressmen?   The Chicago law firm Kirkland & Ellis is No. 1, followed by Exelon and Caterpillar, in terms of money given to members of Congress from Illinois – in the House over the last two years, and the Senate over the last six years, according to a study by the group Maplight, which examines money in politics.


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Maplight spokesman Pamela Heisey says this might not buy specific votes, but it buys access: These donors get their phone calls returned, and their view is always heard.


Illinois’ Top Five donors to members of Congress:

  • Kirkland & Ellis -- $385,292
  • Exelon -- $290,862
  • Caterpillar -- $218,450
  • Madison-Dearborn Partners -- $206,690
  • Performance Trust Capital Partners -- $183,900

Time period: July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2011 for House members, July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2011 for Senate members.



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