Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Question of the day
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Question of the day

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013

* We’ve talked about this loophole before, but Tom Kasich wrote about it not long ago

What campaign committees do is collect dozens of fat checks, let them sit for weeks or months, then deposit them in a bank on one day and report them within five business days.

That, in fact, is what Citizens for Lisa Madigan did in the first quarter of the year. It disclosed 198 separate contributions of $1,000 or more all at once, on April 5. The checks had been deposited on March 29.

Ditto Taxpayers for Quinn. The governor’s campaign fund reported 112 contributions of $1,000 or more, including $20,000 from the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, on April 2. But the trial lawyers reported that the donation was made on March 20.

Madigan’s campaign, for its part, said it reports contributions in one big batch so that it can thoroughly vet all donations and return any checks that create potential ethical problems.

And lawmakers, at the time a new campaign disclosure law was being discussed in 2009, said they wanted to avoid problems with checks that were sent to post office boxes but may have go uncollected for days or weeks.

“Legislators were upset about it — they felt there was the potential for ‘gotcha moments’ — a check in a post office box, and they would get fined for not checking a post office box,” said David Morrison, deputy director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. “I don’t know how often that actually happened. I think they might have been inflating the problem a bit.”

So the law was written to allow campaign committees to sit on contributions for long periods, although they also could disclose them quickly. A law that supposedly was written to foster public disclosure and benefit voters ends up favoring the pols.

“That means that the committee gets to determine when the public finds out about when they received money,” Morrison said. “In the context of an election, it means that a committee can have the check and know the money is in hand, but not tell voters about it until the polls are closed. That’s a very dangerous precedent.

“At the time, the folks in the Legislature said, ‘No, no, no. People won’t actually play that game. Trust us on this.’ I don’t know that that’s true. I think we are seeing some gamesmanship.”

Pretty much everybody is doing this except Bruce Rauner, who is spending money and therefore needs to deposit the checks right away, and Bill Daley, who wants to show he’s viable.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel just reported $470K on a signle A-1, for example.

* The Question: Should Illinois law be changed to require reporting campaign contribution checks within a few days of their actual receipt, rather than after their deposit in a bank account? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


free polls

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Shore - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 2:01 pm:

    The senate approved the nomination of the guy that replaces Ray Lahood which means after 60 remarkable years, the michel/lahood era ends in dc. I don’t care for lahood or his brand of republicanism, but they were an important part of an era of history and deserve more than a link in a round up when he packs his boxes in the next few days.


  2. - Been There - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    I think the law should be changed that you cannot hold onto indefinitely. But there should be a limit but not too soon. Maybe a week to two weeks tops.


  3. - Empty Chair - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 2:04 pm:

    If they have to report all of the information upon (or near) deposit re: the donor, what difference does it make when they deposit the check. They can’t spend that donor’s money until they deposit it.


  4. - Come on man! - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    With the way checks come in it is just more efficient to sit on checks and file at once. Also, how do you prove what day you received the check?


  5. - Anon III - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 2:17 pm:

    “Morrison said. “In the context of an election, it means that a committee can have the check and know the money is in hand, but not tell voters about it until the polls are closed. That’s a very dangerous precedent.””

    Where have you been, Dave? Twenty – five years ago, a veteran D. State Rep. & opponent of a campaign with which I was associated, deposited a couple of fat checks, including one from the NRA, days before the election so that they never saw any “sunshine” until after the poles were closed & the votes counted.

    But Campaign disclosure has little effect if there is no real contest. In the above case, I’m confident the incumbent would have prevailed even if he had timely reported the check, or even 100 such checks.


  6. - J - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 2:19 pm:

    It is worth noting that the current system allows campaigns to decide whether or not they want to take a specific check instead of forcing them to make a decision within an artificial timeline.

    So for those who vet checks, this system is pretty important.


  7. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 2:19 pm:

    Yes, this a campaign equivalent of a late-Friday- afternoon news dump. The motivation is to generate as little scrutiny as possible.

    –Madigan’s campaign, for its part, said it reports contributions in one big batch so that it can thoroughly vet all donations and return any checks that create potential ethical problems.–

    Ugh. Don’t treat people like they’re stupid. Are we to believe that the overwhelming majority of big donors are not well known to the campaign? That they have not been solicited many times?


  8. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 2:19 pm:

    Change it absolutely. Otherwise what’s the point of the law - might as well just have quarterly reporting. Sure there will be some enforcement challenges (when did you really receive it), but commercial contracts solve the problem with a presumption of receipt standard. Something like that could be created.


  9. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 2:22 pm:

    No change needed. The idea of taking time to vet checks makes a great deal of sense. If all were more rapidly disclosed, some questions might be missed and then Mr Kasich and kronies would bang away. Actually TOm would only bang Ds. We are still waiting for them to really cover the 2012 money laundering by the ReBooters and RapidRodney
    Wonder if Kasich has a column in him on that little shindig?


  10. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 2:30 pm:

    Just change the banking laws so that checks made payable to a political campaign expire after five business days. ;-)


  11. - Amuzing Myself - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 2:40 pm:

    Absolutely Yes. The intent of the law is public disclosure. As usual, politicians found a loophole that allows them to skirt disclosure temporarily. Fix the loophole. This is an easy one.


  12. - Bemac - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 2:42 pm:

    Campaign finance bill doesn’t work as promised.

    Dog bites man.


  13. - walkinfool - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 2:43 pm:

    No.

    Obviously not, since there is no verifiable or auditable way for a third party to establish the actual date of receipt — like there is for a date of deposit. If you want enforceable rules, this is the way it must be done. With such tight time standards at certain points in a campaign, a presumption of receipt period won’t help.

    The funds are also not available for the campaign until deposited, but that is of secondary importance.

    BTW, we once received a substantial campaign check in the mail, eight weeks after the check was written and postmarked. The reporting requirement was 48 hrs. Who would prove what in that case?


  14. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 3:07 pm:

    Make em take PayPal, instant transfer!


  15. - zatoichi - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 3:18 pm:

    Check ain’t money until it is desposited. How are you going to prove when a check arrived? Someone wants to hold on to those checks for two months? It is obviously an attempt to get around the rules or odd bookkeeping. Either way allows for plots of cheating or laziness depending on the column writer/pundit’s feelings that day. Still not usable until it is deposited.


  16. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 3:27 pm:

    I voted no, but I don’t feel too strongly about it. The current system is a pain in the butt, so I’d rather keep it than start a new process that becomes an even greater headache to manage.

    Yes, I’m biased because I’m often on the disclosing side as opposed to the public info/sunshine side. I get why the other side wants the info instantly. Heck, I want to know immediately if the Koch brothers drop big money into a race. I get it.

    But what’s to stop a campaign from borrowing money for a media buy through election day, then raising money from politically incorrect donors afterward to pay off the loan? You don’t think that’ll happen, or that there will be another way to shield this info?

    Either pass public finance or keep in place reasonable rules. Trust me, there are a lot of smart people on campaigns who can find a way around almost any rule you can think of.


  17. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 3:53 pm:

    Close call but voted no. There are some legitimate administrative concerns with “a few days” - in my experience, here’s what happens: donor gives finance guy or the candidate a big check on, say, a Thursday night, the candidate/finance guy doesn’t necessarily see the admin/volunteer/intern to enter the information into the database until Monday. Nothing sinister going on, but you’ve just eaten up three days. (and that’s assuming the person doing the vetting finds out about the donation in time to vet really quickly) So I don’t blame some candidates for choosing to hold off and depositing when you know the data entry person is available. 10 days might be a more reasonable standard. But no matter what is passed, there’s ways around it for the unsavory.


  18. - DanL60 - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 4:27 pm:

    No. Gut feeling is campaigns would find another work-around in short order.


  19. - dupage dan - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 4:53 pm:

    I said change it. However, I have little faith that when we ask the foxes to fix the fence to the chicken coop that they won’t just put another door in it.


  20. - Liandro - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 4:54 pm:

    I voted no. When I ran for office, I got checks dated for days earlier, and I sure didn’t have time to check the P.O. Box every day. Would candidates get docked for those scenarios? If not, how would it be enforceable? Honor system? I sympathize with the need for sunshine, but I’d have to see a law that was actually feasible/enforceable before jumping on board.


  21. - Mr. Jim Lahey - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 7:14 pm:

    If you change the laws campaigns will just start having people post date the check.


  22. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 8:24 pm:

    Well, at the time, Legislators may’ve said “no, no, no,” it won’t happen, but clearly their ACtions (which as we all know speak LOUDer than words) are saying “YES, YES, YES!!!” So Yes is obviously how THIS One voted…!


  23. - Observing - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 6:59 am:

    If lobbyists must report their expenditures on officials within 2 weeks, then candidate committees should be held to at least that standard.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Taking a sick day
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* Presidential library publishes digital archive .....
* Illinois receives $16M federal grant to fight o.....


* EXCHANGE: Teens taught to plant, tend their own flowerpots
* EXCHANGE: Bingo group combines fun, friends
* White Sox reliever Farquhar has brain hemorrhage during game
* White Sox reliever suffers brain hemorrhage during game
* Illinois receives $16M federal grant to fight opioid abuse
* Ramsey Lewis to play Chicago Jazz Festival before retiring
* Illinois universities see rise in union activity
* Astronomical society opens observatory in Central Illinois
* Marker dedicated for W. Indiana's 'Little Syria' community
* Race to raise college scholarship money for Dreamers

* Government consolidation efforts gain traction in General Assembly
* Bill: Put therapists, not armed security, in Illinois schools
* Report: Improvements to veterans home could cost $265M
* Rauner's point person on Legionnaires' outbreak makes $20K monthly
* Presidential library publishes digital archive of papers from Lincoln's first 33 years
* McCann to run for governor as Conservative Party candidate
* Duckworth, daughter make Senate history
* Report: Raoul hired ex-state worker convicted in fraud case
* Central Illinois couple suing DCFS over handgun ban at home day cares
* Meet the Springfield Fire Department's first female division chief

* Chicago's largest privately held companies
* Yes, we need the United Way
* Techie Neal Sales-Griffin takes aim at Emanuel
* Corrections
* The 0.3%: Million-dollar earners in Illinois


* Drunk driver crashes into another in northwest Indiana
* Shots fired in Edgewater store attempted robbery
* Man killed in Northwest Side shooting: police
* 1 killed, 1 wounded in West Chesterfield shooting: police
* Man shot in East Garfield Park
* Dear Abby: Mother-in-law stretches the truth when bragging about me
* Man critically injured in East Garfield Park shooting
* Man shot in back and chest in South Austin
* Cubs catcher: Yu Darvish ‘too comfortable’ with 2 outs, unravels again in loss
* Yoan Moncada hurt, Lucas Giolito awful in White Sox’ latest ugly loss


* Women wonder whether to call out male friends for sexism
* Woman killed while putting toddler in car among 11 shot, 3 fatally, in city gun attacks
* Midway, O'Hare start offering free, unlimited Wi-Fi: city
* Journalist among over 2 dozen killed in Nicaragua unrest
* Cubs' David Bote treasures major league debut with family, teammates
* Yu Darvish’s fifth-inning struggles continue in Cubs’ 5-2 loss to Rockies
* A tough day gets worse for White Sox in another blowout loss to Astros
* Man killed in random knife attack at California steakhouse
* Last known person born in the 19th century dies in Japan at age of 117
* Sean Manaea throws no-hitter in Athletics' 3-0 victory over Red Sox


» Official: Pop Tax Repeal Could Mean Late Tax Bills, Budget Headaches
» Casino Sale Raises Questions About A Windfall - Or A Conflict - For Pritzker
» Eliminating Golden Parachutes in Illinois; Children’s Author M.J. Mouton; Illinois Budget
» Obamacare Protection Measure Fails in Illinois House
» State Week: McCann Makes Three; Blagojevich Makes Appeal; Preckwinkle Makes History
» WBEZ’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: April 20, 2018
» From Columbine To Parkland: Art And Activism
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: Is there a Newspaper War in Chicago?
» The Week in Review: Dorothy Brown Enters Mayoral Race
» #647 Jason Isbell & Opinions on Cardi B


* Guest View: Doing nothing on transportation funding is no longer an option
* Our View: Let the people vote on fair maps
* United Way: Dedicated volunteers affect lives every day
* Government consolidation efforts gain traction in General Assembly
* Statehouse Insider: Governor's race could set records beyond spending
* Guest View: A nation at risk
* Ed Rogers: Anyone who wants to connect with people could learn a lot from Barbara Bush
* Thumbs Up: To women who break down barriers
* Bill: Put therapists, not armed security, in Illinois schools
* Report: Improvements to veterans home could cost $265M


* Area Calendar 4/22/18
* Birth Announcements
* Charles Kevin Rogers
* James Edward Ellis
* Sister Marciana Heimann, ASC
* Ronald Scott Pittman
* Minnie Eileen Jones
* David A. Riggle
* Bill L. Cripps
* Ann Karayiannis


* The Latest: Barbara Bush buried at presidential library
* Afghan Public Health Ministry says 12 killed, 57 wounded in Kabul bombing, toll likely to rise
* Martinez, Almiron lead Atlanta past Zlatan's Galaxy, 2-0
* Could Ohtani emergence open door for 2-way college players?
* High-scoring Lightning showing they play defense, too

* Farm bill amendments address crop insuranc...
* The 111 hypocrites that backed Trump's ref...
* Students Advocate for Academic Sentenced t...
* Students Advocate for Academic Sentenced t...
* This RSS feed URL is deprecated
* Rep. Randy Hultgren recognizes Loyola men'...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren visits McHenry's Pi...
* Are Illinois Congressmen safe in wake of D...
* Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar...
* It's official: If you prepaid your propert...

* Booker, Durbin, Krishnamoorthi Introduce H......
* Durbin, Duckworth demand accounting of All......
* Area US senators' votes on Trump nominatio......
* What's the Deal With Chuck Schumer's Pot B......
* Durbin, Duckworth press Allegiant for flig......

* Tammy Duckworth becomes first senator to v......
* Few mothers could do what Tammy Duckworth ......
* Four stories that mattered this week, expl......
* 4 stories that mattered this week, explained...
* Sen. Tammy Duckworth bringing baby to Sena......

* The Columbia University student revolt. 1968.
* IEA RA delegate writes their disappointment in vote on NRA.
* TenMarks to shut down operations after 2018-19 school year
* University of Akron to lift the curtain on new esports program at forum in April
* Trump says he ‘doesn’t know what a community college means’
* Report: Instructional Design Support Helps Increase Student-to-Student Interaction in Online Courses
* Universities must expand reach to stay competitive
* Class Central Learner Survey (2017): MOOC Users Highly Educated, Have Experienced Career Benefits
* "Meeting House Tavern" Coming Soon To Clark & Winnemac
* The Week In Chicago Rock


* IEMA Highlights Role of Volunteers in Disasters
* Governor Rauner activates State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield
* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties

  
* Selling products on Amazon severs the ties with your customers
* Weekly poll results: for gaming phones to succeed, they need hardware controls
* How to proactively secure your business apps
* Political scrutiny on Google continues to grow in Europe
* Huawei’s upcoming AI assistant is a Black Mirror episode in real life
* eSim collusion: AT&T, Verizon being investigated by US
* Apple is replacing some 13-inch MacBook Pro batteries

* White Sox can't find rhythm with heavy hearts
* White Sox Minor League Update: April 21, 2018
* Moncada pulled early with tight hamstring
* White Sox can't find rhythm with heavy hearts
* White Sox can't find rhythm with heavy hearts
* Farquhar looms over White Sox in 10-1 loss
* White Sox can't find rhythm with heavy hearts


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller