U.S. Chamber of Commerce pours $500K into ads for ex-Rep. Dold

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Former Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill., aiming to cut short a potential controversy, is disclosing the name of the sole client of his White Whale Consulting company — it’s Intel — as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pouring $500,000 into ads to help Dold beat Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill.

The chamber is reporting to the Federal Election Commission that it will spend that sum through May 28 in TV and digital ads in support of Dold, so far the only independent expenditure in the Illinois north suburban 10th congressional district contest.

The chamber spot complains about Washington “gridlock” and “partisanship” and a narrator says it is time to send “do-ers” to D.C. Dold is touted for his experience in the family business.

There is no explicit reference that Dold himself has been a member of Congress.

Now on the disclosures: Dold will list the tech giant — the previously undisclosed $75,000 client of White Whale Consulting — on the annual financial disclosure statement congressional candidates must file, due on Thursday.

Dold will also report that he is an unpaid board member of the Washington, D.C.-based America’s Infrastructure Alliance, a group with GOP ties, which was created to push Congress to spend more for various transportation projects.

I wrote about Dold, White Whale and the AIA in an April 28 column. I noted that Dold did not list his AIA board affiliation in his 2013 congressional disclosure, as required. While Dold did list $75,000 of income from White Whale in his 2013 statement, he declined to name his firm’s sole client when we talked, citing privacy issues.

Dold created White Whale Consulting in March 2013, a few months after he lost his re-election bid to. That same month, he also joined the AIA board.

Now Dold and Schneider are locked in a November rematch, in a contest that is the biggest in the Chicago area with national Democratic and GOP interests making Illinois 10 a priority.

Dold’s campaign manager, James Slepian, told me about the new disclosures to be contained in the 2014 filing. Slepian said it was “unclear” whether or not Intel or the AIA position had to be disclosed last year, “but for the sake of transparency, [Dold] is listing all paid and unpaid positions he has held in the past year.”

Slepian said Dold got permission from Intel to name the firm. In addition, Dold will also disclose that he is an unpaid member of an advisory “Strategic Council” formed by Sheridan Road Financial, a private investment planning firm based in Northbrook. 

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