CHICAGO - While Republicans are divided on how much emphasis their party should put on social issues, Illinois' pro-abortion political action committee - Personal PAC - is working hard to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars going into the 2014 campaign year. Personal PAC, headed by Terry Cosgrove, reports over 500 $200 plus contributions in the last three months of 2013.
Those contributing to Personal PAC include GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's wife Diana, who for several years has annually contributed $5,000 to the group's efforts.
State lawmakers that contributed to Personal PAC during the last three months of 2013 include Democratic House members Melinda Bush ($250), Sara Feigenholtz ($750), Robin Gabel ($250), Robert Martwick ($250), Karen May ($250), Elaine Nekritz ($1050), Mike Smiddy ($500) and Ann Williams ($250).
Democrat Congressman Mike Quigley wrote a check for $750.
State director of Healthcare and Family Services Julie Hamos gave $250. One-time Illinois State Medical Society lobbyist Joyce Nardulis gave $250. Planned Parenthood Executive Director Pam Sutherland $2,500 and Hedy Ratner of the Women's Business Development Center gave $250.
Several Republican notables also wrote checks to Personal PAC last quarter including former Chicago GOP Committeeman Clark Pellett at $2000 and Republican fundraiser Lori Montana $2500.
Under Cosgrove's direction, Personal PAC has successfully fought off attempts to restrict abortion in Illinois by working to elect state legislative candidates committed to abortion rights. The group's modus operandi is to conduct phone call surveys to identify voters that are open to abortion, then follow up with mailings that attack pro-life candidates and motivate voters to get to the polls.
Personal PAC is currently focused on passing the "Freedom of Choice Act" in Illinois, which would protect abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn its 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision. They also are unhappy with the parental notification law that was enacted in 2013.
Going into the primary campaign season, the political group will have $769,983 on hand to help candidates that oppose any restrictions on abortion or attack those that hold pro-life views.
There is no comparable singular issue political action group that focuses on electing pro-life Illinois state lawmakers.