Rep. Aaron Schock's financial mismanagement led to his resignation from Congress and triggered a federal investigation. Now, as Schock departs public office, Illinois Republicans are quietly closing up a political machine that distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars around the state.
Schock has pumped money into dozens of races in Illinois, ranging from the governor's mansion to mayoral contests to city council elections, during his rise up the political ladder. Now, the political network Schock formed is unraveling, leaving some in Illinois—especially downstate Republicans—wondering who else might get caught up in a wide-ranging investigation and how much they'll miss Schock's help.
One of Schock's financial vehicles, the 18th District Republican Central Committee, distributed almost $280,000 to Illinois Republicans over the past four years.
"There's no future for it at this point," said Mike Bigger, who heads the 18th District Republican Central Committee. "Obviously Congressman Schock resigning is going to make it difficult to raise funds in the name of that particular account."
At the same time, Illinois Republicans strategists say the Schock aftermath won't just have financial consequences in the state. FBI agents have started issuing subpoenas to people close to Schock and examining his expenses and campaign fund. Witnesses will be called before a federal grand jury next month in Springfield, Ill.