Cong. Mark Kirk (R- Highland Park), the Republican Candidate for the U. S. Senate, stopped by the Wilmette, IL home of Drs. Olga and Tony Ivankovich [Significant players, along with at least one other doctor in attendance, at Rush University Medical Center] last night, in an attempt to maintain and grow his advantage in terms of cash on hand for his U. S. Senate race against Alexi Giannoulias. As of the last reporting period, June 30, 2010, Cong. Kirk had almost four million dollars in cash on hand and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias had one million dollars.
The Ivankovich's house is perfect for raising money for pols. It is of substantial size, very large yards, overlooks Lake Michigan, is tastefully decorated, is located just down the street from the Michigan Shores Country Club and the setting was described by one of the attendees as "stunning." The North Shore home is five minutes from Kirk's boyhood home in Kenilworth and not far from the boating incident thirty- four yars ago in which Kirk almost drowned. A neighbor advised this reporter that four such parties were taking place on the same block last night.
It was a cool, summery evening and the homes on the block, the cars (Mercedes, etc.) of the people attending and the attendees themselves (reliable sources put the number at 40) made the event and location seem like a modern day version of the Great Gatsby. These events just reek of money--or, as the late, great Milton Friedman would correct me, I mean wealth.
Watching the people at such an event, you have to wonder if Earnest Hemingway had the best of his famous argument with F. Scott Fitzgerald (the author of the Great Gatsby). Fitzgerald (apparently no relation to the former Illinois Senator, Peter Fitzgerald or the current U. S. Attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald) said to Hemingway: You know Earnest, the rich are different from the poor. To which Hemingway responded, "Yes, they have more money." Of course, Hemingway meant to say "Wealth," not money.
Talking about wealth, the invitation to the event requested donations of $250 to $1000. Since the courts ruled that Illinois has to hold a special election to fill the last two months of Obama's term, the ballot has two elections for the U. S. Senate seat, and Giannoulias and Kirk are listed on the ballot as candidates for both elections.
Thus, an individual who has not contributed any money to a candidate in the general election for the Illinois U. S. Senate seat could give a maximum contribution of $4600 to Cong. Kirk last night to support Kirk's Senate bid. If forty people were in attendance last night and they decided to max out their contributions, thcy could have given Kirk 160K. Did they? Perhaps we'll find out when we try to question Cong. Kirk as he holds events upstate, giving him an opportunity to press the flesh.