ALTON – John Simmons, his partners, and their employees, who burst into the front rank of Democratic donors in 2003, have given $2,600,993 to candidates for national offices since then.
Their federal campaign contributions average more than $4,000 a week.
Entries on opensecrets.com show they give greatest support to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).
In 2014, the Simmons team contributed more to the Senatorial campaign committee than to all other committees and candidates together.
Since 2003, they have given the DSCC $570,250.
They have also given $179,180 to the Democratic National Committee.
For last year’s election they gave $62,500 to Congressional candidate Ann Callis, former chief judge of the Madison County court where they practice. She lost.
Last May, Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Simmons' home for a fundraiser for Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and the DSCC.
- Barack Obama $35,000 for his Senate campaign in 2004, and $81,850 for his Presidential campaigns.
- Durbin $136,185 for two campaigns.
- Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill $116,903 for two campaigns.
- Nevada Sen. Harry Reid $97,300 for two campaigns.
- Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor $80,700 for two campaigns.
Simmons focused on Senators from the start.
In 2003, he and his crew gave $34,000 to John Edwards of North Carolina.
They gave $13,500 to Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota and $26,750 to future majority leader Reid.
They gave $10,000 to Obama and $8,000 to Joe Biden of Delaware.
They sent $14,000 across the Mississippi River, for the Presidential bid of Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt.
In all, Simmons and his crew contributed $124,250 in their rookie year.
They multiplied the amount to $435,450 in 2004, with the party as priority.
That year they gave $82,500 to the party’s national committee, $40,000 to the Senatorial campaign committee, and $21,000 to a Democratic Majority fund.
They also gave:
- $20,000 to the state party in Illinois, $10,000 to the party in Delaware, and $7,500 to the party in Ohio.
- $22,000 to the party in Nevada, along with $18,150 for Reid.
- Daschle $42,600.
- S25,000 to Obama and $21,000 to another candidate for an open seat, Ken Salazar of Colorado.
- $13,000 to Patty Murray of Washington, who sought a third term.
Presidential candidate John Kerry received a trivial $10,000.
Gephardt, Kerry and Daschle lost, and the others won.
In 2005 and 2006, Simmons and his crew supplied $455,993 for campaigns.
They gave $106,650 to the Senatorial campaign committee.
They also gave:
- $38,350 to Biden, $23,500 to Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, $23,285 to Durbin, $22,800 to Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, $21,500 to Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, and $17,000 to Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota. All of them won.
- $47,178 to McCaskill for a race against incumbent Jim Talent, along with $12,800 for the Missouri state party. McCaskill won.
- $23,400 to Bob Casey of Pennsylvania for a Senate race against incumbent Rick Santorum. Casey won.
In 2007 and 2008, Simmons and his crew supplied $451,725 for campaigns.
They gave $153,950 to the Senatorial campaign committee and $56,680 to the party’s national committee.
They also gave:
- $41,600 to Obama for his Presidential campaign.
- $32,400 to Durbin, $22,400 to Pryor, and $17,950 to Biden.
- $17,800 to Al Franken of Minnesota for his campaign against incumbent Norm Coleman, along with $9,500 for his state party.
- $29,075 to Tom Udall of New Mexico in his race for an open seat.
All of them won.
In 2009 and 2010, Simmons and his crew supplied $313,750 for campaigns.
They gave $52,400 to Reid and $20,000 to Durbin.
They also gave
- $25,250 to the Senatorial campaign committee and $20,000 to the party’s national committee.
- $45,950 across the river to Missouri secretary of state Robin Carnahan, who aimed to replace retiring Sen. Kit Bond.
- $39,200 to the Missouri state party.
- $25,600 to Illinois treasurer Alex Giannoulias, who aimed to replace interim Sen. Roland Burris.
Reid and Durbin won. Carnahan and Giannoulias lost.
In 2011 and 2012, Simmons and his crew supplied $427,275 for campaigns.
They gave $99,800 to the Senatorial campaign committee and $20,000 to the party’s national committee.
They also gave:
- Obama $40,250.
- McCaskill $69,725, Nelson $21,000, and Durbin $12,000.
- $12,000 to Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who aimed to replace retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman.
They gave local legislator Jay Hoffman $37,000 in his bid for the 13th Congressional District.
They gave $23,000 to Congressional candidate Bill Enyart, and $13,500 to Congressional candidate Matt Goetten.
Hoffman abandoned his Congressional bid. Instead, he moved from Collinsville to Belleville to run for and win the seat vacated by Tom Holbrook, who left for an appointed state position. Holbrook then took the job of St. Clair County Clerk.
Goetten lost in the 13th. Enyart won in the 12th.
In 2013 and 2014, Simmons and his crew supplied $357,550 for campaigns.
They gave $126,600 to the Senatorial campaign committee.
Along with $62,500 for Callis, they gave Pryor $58,300 and Durbin $48,500.
They gave Enyart $17,400 in 2013, but not a penny in 2014.
They gave $11,000 to U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, who sought a second term in a suburban Chicago district.
Callis, Pryor and Enyart lost. Durbin and Foster won.
The Record compiled the contributions by submitting to Open Secrets a search for Illinois residents who listed Simmons as their employer.
The search yielded 1,377 entries for the last 12 years, with less than a tenth of the entries relating to other employers with the same name.