DuPage County Campaign Contribution Limits Increased


Against the urging of  several watchdog groups including The Citizens Advocacy Center, For the Good of Illinois and Illinois Campaign for Political Reform at last nights meeting of the DuPage County Board, the board voted 16-1 in favor of increasing the limit vendors can contribute to board members.  Pete DiCianni did not vote.

For more please see below:


My Suburban Life  story here  and the Daily Herald story here.

  

You can learn more about the Citizens Advocacy Centehere.

You can learn more about  For the Good of Illinois here.

For more information about Illinois Campaign for Political Reform click here.

DuPage Ethics 102 – Pay to Play


For the latest news coverage on Pay to Play the Daily Herald writes:

If DuPage County Board members allow themselves to accept more money from campaign donors doing or seeking county government work, it won’t be because an existing cap on contributions is unenforceable, according to a government watchdog group.

The county board is expected to vote Tuesday night on a list of revisions to DuPage’s ethics law. One of those proposed changes deals with the amount of campaign contributions county board members and the county board chairman can receive.

You can read the full story, here.

For past coverage see below:

You can read the full story from the Daily Herald here.

You can read David Morrison’s statement here.

The minutes from the August 13 Ethics meeting can be found here.

The state law on vendors is the Pay-to-Play provision of the state’s Procurement Code, and it prohibits vendors and bidders from giving any money to the statewide executive officer who ultimately oversees the contract. 

Stop pay to play in DuPage County.  Let your voice be heard and give public comment at our next meeting on Tuesday August 27th at 7:00 pm. The address is 421 North County Farm Road Wheaton, IL 60187. C

DuPage County Ethics 102 – Pay to Play

After reading the story in the Daily Herald “DuPage Considers Ethics Law Revision” one would believe that by law we have to increase the limit that a vendor can contribute to a DuPage County Board member or candidate.  


The Ethics  Ordinance Subcommittee Chairman Officials said the only reason DuPage has a different cap is state lawmakers didn’t adopt campaign finance reform until 2011 — one year after DuPage adopted its restriction.


“We had passed a separate standard here because there were no (state) regulations back when we addressed it,” said board member John Curran, who serves as chairman of the ethics ordinance subcommittee. “If we knew back in 2010 what the state was going to do in 2011, we would have adopted that,” he said, according to the Daily Herald article.


 David Morrison from Illinois Campaign for Political Reform has weighed in on the matter  on his blog, here. He Wrote:

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, the state also has a separate law that limits giving by vendors, which was enacted in 2008 over Gov. Blagojevich’s veto. This provision went to the heart of the Blagojevich fundraising system, and the enactment of this law in October of 2008 directly sparked the “crime spree” that ended in his arrest on December 9, 2008.

The state law on vendors is the Pay-to-Play provision of the state’s Procurement Code, and it prohibits vendors and bidders from giving any money to the statewide executive officer who ultimately oversees the contract. The Pay-to-Play provision in the Procurement Code is completely compatible with the limits provisions of the Election Code. They were both enacted within 13 months of each other at a very momentous time in state history. There is no conflict between the two statutes whatsoever.”


Although not a member of the Ethics Committee,  I brought up my concerns on August 13, 2013.  From the meeting minutes:

Member Chaplin brought forth concerns regarding Section 2-475 – Political Contribution Limits. She is of the opinion that the limit of $1,000.00 per year for cumulative campaign funds is excessive and inappropriate. She recommended that amount be reduced to zero or $100.00. Member Zay commented that individuals have a right to support the candidate of their choice and there is a fine line when you attempt to reduce the contributions to zero.

You can read the full story from the Daily Herald here.

You can read David Morrison’s statement here.

The minutes from the August 13 Ethics meeting can be found here.

The state law on vendors is the Pay-to-Play provision of the state’s Procurement Code, and it prohibits vendors and bidders from giving any money to the statewide executive officer who ultimately oversees the contract. 

Stop pay to play in DuPage County.  Let your voice be heard and give public comment at our next meeting on Tuesday August 27th at 7:00 pm.  The address is 421 North County Farm Road Wheaton, IL 60187. CL 60187 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL 60187

DuPage County Ethics 101

When people hear the word lobbyists it represents all that is wrong with our government.  That is why when seeking to use lobbyists the process should be fair, open and transparent.
Thursday evening I gave public comment at the meeting of the DuPage County Election Commission .  I applauded the members of the Election Commission for seeking Request for Qualifications and Proposals from a variety of lobbying firms.  It is refreshing to see the Election Commission lead the path for good government in DuPage County. Commissioners and Executive Staff are listed  here.
The members of the Election Commission were not required to seek qualifications or proposals because lobbyists fall under professional services.  The Election Commission sought the requests because it was the right thing to do.  See meeting minutes here.
Our neighbor to the south, Will County, also has sought Request for Qualifications for lobbyists. Again, not because it is required, it is not, but because it is the right thing to do. View RFQ  here.
It is very important that citizens know that contracts aren’t being rewarded due to cronyism and favoritism, but rather based on merit and costs.
The DuPage County Board could learn a thing or two from the DuPage County Election Commission and Will County.  Going above and beyond of what is required, to assure the process is open, fair and transparent.
Last week the DuPage County Board handed out contracts to four lobbying firms.
You can read about the meeting here …
In the spirit of transparency and accountability I believe that the DuPage County Board should seek Request for Qualifications and Proposals next year when our current lobbyists contract expire. I sent a request to the  Chairman of the Legislative Committee to place this item on the agenda at our next meeting for matters of discussion.   
For more on lobbyists you can read an article from Illinois Campaign for Political Reform you can here.

This is the first part of DuPage Ethics 101.  I will be posting DuPage Ethics 102 later this weekend…Stay tuned…..

Formation of Ethics Ordinance Subcommittee

A  new subcommittee has been established to address issues raised by Mr. Hanlon, DuPage County Ethics Advisor at the July 9th meeting.   The new subcommittee will also address suggestions to improve the current Ethics Ordinance.

The Ethics Ordinance Subcommittee will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, August 13th at 7:30 am in the DuPage County Board Room.
Below you will find the subcommittee members:
                            County Board, District 1 –  Sam Tornatore
                             
                             County Board, District 2 – Sean Noonan      
                             
                              County Board, District 3 – John Curran
                              County Board, District 4 – Grant Eckhoff
                              County Board, District 5 – Tony Michelassi
                              County Board, District 6 – Jim Zay
                 
                                

FEMA INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE DEADLINE EXTEDNDED UNTIL AUGUST 8



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FEMA has announced one final extension to the deadline for residents to apply for Individual Assistance due to the April flooding. The deadline has been extended until August 8.  Residents who incurred uninsured losses during the April flood can apply for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA, or by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov, through August 8.