Sweet Blog Scoop: Former Speaker Hastert Only has $75,673 in his Warchest

05/25/2011 12:10 pm ET

It's clearly tougher to replenish a political warchest as a former speaker in a minority party.

Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), who will announce in a few weeks whether he will seek another term, only has $75,673 cash-on-hand in his campaign fund, depleted in part because of legal costs associated with defending himself in the Mark Foley page sex scandal.

Contrast Hastert's cash-on-hand with two Illinois Democrats from safe districts: Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), Hasterts' nemesis who ran the House political operation that cost the GOP the House in 2006 (and now the number four leader in the House) has $1,265,695 cash-on-hand; Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) a power on the Transportation Committee has the biggest stockpile in the Illinois delegation: $1,700,662.

Hastert's warchest was drained because of large legal bills related to defending himself in the investigation of the Mark Foley page scandal, where the former Florida House member last year got caught sending suggestive e-mails and instant messages to young men. Hastert ended up testifying before a House ethics panel probing what House leaders knew when about warnings over Foley's conduct.... continue, visit The Chicago Sun-Times.