PAC Contributions Help Crane Build Campaign Fund

Article excerpt

Byline: Diane Dungey Daily Herald Staff Writer

Rep. Phil Crane raised $259,743 in his first full year of collecting campaign funds from political action committees, enough to rank him 18th in the House of Representatives for PAC donations.

The Republican from Wauconda ended his nearly quarter-century practice of rejecting PAC money in mid-1994 after an expensive four-way primary election battle that spring cost him about $450,000, spokesman Kirt Johnson said.

In the March 19 primary election, Crane faces Donald Huff, 36, of Grayslake, who said he has not raised the $5,000 minimum that requires filing of federal election reports.

Crane expects to spend $50,000 to $100,000 on this primary, Johnson said.

Crane's position on the powerful Ways and Means Committee helped him attract contributions from a wide variety of interests, particularly health care, insurance and aviation. The committee has jurisdiction over tax policies as well as Medicare and health reform plans.

"Being on Ways and Means draws PAC money," said Bob Schiff, staff attorney for Public Citizen's Congress Watch in Washington, D. …