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  •   Outside Influence: Illinois 17th District

    America's two-party political system is increasingly affected by a third force: advocacy groups representing interests ranging from business and labor to the environment and abortion. This occasional series looks at how outsiders are using largely unregulated money and manpower to influence one crucial congressional election in Illinois. Ill. 17th District

    Big Money Redefines Illinois Rematch
    November 5, 1998
    The rematch in Illinois' 17th Congressional District ended with a final percentage spread that was virtually the same as in 1996. The big difference between 1996 and 1998 was big money.

    'Other' Campaign Shapes Close Contest in Illinois
    October 26, 1998
    Even though he predicted he would need all the help he could get to win a ninth term in Congress, Rep. Lane Evans (D-Ill.) is still astounded by the intensity of the 1998 campaign: "I've raised so much money, it just boggles my mind," he said last week.

    In Illinois Race, Organized Labor Hits the Ground Running
    August 23, 1998
    Loyalty like this cannot be bought, and Rep. Lane Evans, 47, has earned his with a near-perfect pro-labor voting record representing Illinois' 17th Congressional District. This year the union movement is using his reelection race against Republican Mark Baker to make a statement about its muscular new approach to politics.

    GOP Challenger in Ill. Reaches Into Deep Business Pockets
    June 26, 1998
    Across the country, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is putting politicians like GOP House candidate Mark Baker through their paces, extending a reach within the Republican Party that rivals that of the Christian right.

    Special Interests Betting on Illinois Race
    April 22, 1998
    Special interest groups began the television war for the hearts and minds of western Illinois voters this week, and the first battleground is pig manure.

    Free to Spend, Interest Groups Setting Targets
    February 27, 1998
    In the old days, say four years ago, the House race for western Illinois would have promised a simple, classic matchup between a liberal-leaning Democrat and a free-trading Republican.


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