WASHINGTON--GOP White House hopeful Mitt Romney headlines major donor fund-raisers in Chicago and suburban Wheaton on Illinois primary day--March 20 with another in Peoria on March 19. Romney is likely to make his Illinois primary night election headquarters in the western suburbs.
In Illinois, Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have filed full delegate slates in each of the 18 congressional districts. Santorum did not, meaning he starts the Illinois contest behind. Early voting started in Illinois last week.
Romney declines to disclose his fund-raising events--or his "bundlers," the supporters who use their personal networks to raise money for a candidate.
The tab for the "Leadership in Business Roundtable and Luncheon" March 20 at the Chicago Hilton ranges from $1,000 donated to $25,000 raised to be an event co-chair.
The way the marketing works: the $25,000 and $10,000 bundlers will get their names listed in the invite. A $5,000 donation gets a photo-op for two (but 1 camera click); a $2,500 contribution gets a photo for one (and one click).
One of the top hosts is Illinois Romney Campaign finance co-chair Susan Crown with other co-chairs attorney Ty Fahner, Crown's husband, Bill Kunkler and Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who chairs the Romney Illinois campaign.
The invitation also lists as event co-chairs Robert Asher, John Hatherly, Jimmy John Liautaud, Dan Ustian, Stephen Bonner, Howard Foster, David Herro, Reeve Waud, Jim Connaughton, Cyrus Friedheim, Gregory Jones, Muneer Satter, Christopher Crane, Ronald Gidwitz and Harry Seigle.
After that, there is an evening reception at the Wheaton home of Rich and Carrie Berg co-hosted by Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) and her husband Rody; former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Rutherford, Roger Claar, John Martin and Muneer Satter.
The tab for the general reception is $2,500, which includes a photo op to $25,000 raised to be an event co-chair.
Lisa Wagner is handling the professional fund-raising in Illinois for the Romney campaign.