Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Question of the day
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
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        

  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:


    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
* Rauner issues executive order barring legislators from representing clients at PTAB
* Kennedy: Limit top progressive income tax rate to less than 6 percent
* Question of the day
* Next week's House session cancelled
* *** UPDATED x2 - Pritzker "Did Chris Kennedy Just Endorse Bruce Rauner?" - Kennedy campaign tries to explain *** Kennedy says Rauner "should be applauded" for "trying to do what he thinks is best for the state of Illinois"
* Sen. Donne Trotter retires
* Illinois payrolls were up just 0.5 percent last year
* Vitriol continues in Durkin's primary race
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Judge clears courtroom in Rauner lawsuit hearing
* You can't "fully inform" voters without money
* State agrees to a $400 million consent decree
* Rate Prizker's new online ad
* Rauner gets another property tax press pop
* Emanuel pokes Rauner over Amazon comments
* Rauner's new Pritzker ad cost just $11,900
* Kennedy unveils health care plan
* Gov. Rauner gets his own blog
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...






* Ralph Martire: ISBE’s provocative funding request..
* Gov. Bruce Rauner visits annual Algonquin/Lake .....
* All Kids Audit..
* Tom Kacich: Biss, Rauner piling up local endors.....
* Commentary: Abortion law a moral, financial bur.....
* Editorial: Illinois taxpayers deserve to know h.....

* EXCHANGE: Basketball bookends Vietnam veteran's story
* EXCHANGE: Brown's Chicken murders changed business forever
* Thousands protest Trump at Illinois women's marches
* $1.9M in Mellon Foundation grants aid UIC humanities studies
* The Latest: Thousands protest Trump at Illinois marches
* Schools test approach that lets students learn at own pace
* Chicago police shoot man officers say was attacking woman
* Metra fares, service cuts coming in February
* EXCHANGE: Few shelters from cold for suburban homeless
* EXCHANGE: Cannery now handles weddings instead of pumpkins

* Rauner order bars lawmakers from property-tax appeals
* Outdoor sports participants hoping for larger cut in farm bill
* U of I trustees approve 4th-straight tuition freeze
* Rauner to air extended ad of Pritzker, Blagojevich on wiretap
* Mendoza to keynote Women's March Saturday in Springfield
* Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bid
* Under the Dome Podcast: More Blago-Pritzker talk, Rauner confirms Duke is racist
* U of I withdrew 35 job offers after background checks
* Frerichs: Can't get tax break for using college savings plan on private K-12 tuition
* Illinois governor to air extended ad of rival, Blagojevich on wiretap

* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* What you need to know about the L.A. Times 'frat-boy executive' scandal
* Law firms' 2018 resolution: Less paper
* Could this company become Chicago's own Salesforce?
* Manufacturers discover marketing

* 4-year-old girl missing from West Garfield Park deemed ‘high risk’
* Jordan urges Pence to ‘rebuild trust’ after Jerusalem pivot
* Sun-Times/WBBM Religion Roundup: Results mixed on testing of Morton Grove relics
* Man shot while driving on Northwest Side
* Man shot, another man stabbed at Far South Side party
* Turkish troops attack Kurdish enclave in northern Syria
* Tracking path of the 2018 Farm Bill: Chances and meanings in this political year
* Taliban attack on Afghan hotel ends after 13 hours, 6 dead
* Police: Man shot to death while driving in West Pullman
* Police: Man shot to death while driving in West Pullman

* Turkish troops attack Kurdish enclave in northern Syria
* A weekend of finger-pointing as Democrats, GOP try to dodge blame for shutdown
* Around the world — and near Trump's home — women march in show of political force
* 'SNL' revisits Trump’s cognitive test results and asks, ‘How broke that brain?’
* After 21 years, inmate who says he was abused by police goes free
* Founder of Crate & Barrel says goodbye to the Michigan Avenue flagship store he built
* Hospitals worry about closures, layoffs as they brace for Medicaid funding changes
* 4 killed, 16 wounded in Chicago shootings, including 4 shot at West Side birthday party
* 4 shot at West Side party: 'I just dove to the floor'
* Locking panties and man-repelling bracelets: Is this what the women of 2018 need?

» Chicago Schools Chief: Cost A Driver In Special Ed Overhaul
» One Year Later, Women’s March Demands More Than Attendance
» State Week: Education Funding, Pritzker-Blagojevich, Rauner-Duke
» Sheriff Offers To Help Review Police Shootings In Suburban Cook County
» A Prescription For Fruits And Veggies: One Solution To Food Insecurity in Illinois
» A Call For Transparency
» 2 Illinois Governor Candidates Spend $26M In Last 3 Months
» State Board of Education: Double School Funding Now
» Lawmakers Demand Fast Internet For Rural Schools
» 2 Dreamers Discuss Helping Other Immigrants Amid Uncertainty

* Rauner goes after Madigan's other job
* Madeleine Doubek: May we better value journalism and the journalists
* Our View: Springfield needs more than a cautious plan for Y block
* Statehouse Insider: Rauner goes after Madigan's other job
* UIS Perspectives: Public affairs internships lead to success
* Petty, Davidsmeyer both decry anti-Petty calls
* Ed Rogers: High stakes for Trump at the World Economic Forum
* Scott Reeder: Formula for political success is to listen to voters
* Rauner order bars lawmakers from property-tax appeals
* Outdoor sports participants hoping for larger cut in farm bill

* Families have small window to apply for Illinois private school scholarships
* MARK-TO-MARKET: Retail surges, but trend to e-commerce continues
* North to freedom on Illinois’ Underground Railroad
* Collinsville doughnut shop relocates; new furniture store opens in O’Fallon
* B-N youth, adults honored for actions with MLK awards
* Burnham Mansion tour
* Daily Digest 1/21/18
* Area Calendar 1/21/18
* 1968: A year that rocked the world
* Week in Review: Stories you may have missed

* The Latest: Turkey's Erdogan warns Kurds not to protest
* Trump's attempts to show voter fraud appear to have stalled
* Taliban attack on Afghan hotel ends after 13 hours, 6 dead
* Rule Britannia: Edmund carries Britain's hopes in Melbourne
* Democrats, GOP exchange charges of blame for shutdown

* Bipartisan Illinois criticism follows Trum...
* Time Magazine's Powerful New Cover Feature...
* Letter: Talk to tax preparer about GOP tax...
* Hultgren makes strong mark on nation's new...
* US places Pakistan on special watch list f...
* Our view: End patronage at Algonquin Towns...
* Dissident artist Ai Weiwei and US Rep. Ran...
* Letters to the editor: Election commission...
* Teacher raised in Yorkville running agains...
* Lawmakers back renaming Warrenville post o...

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...
* Durbin and Trump: Men of Their Words - Rea......
* Sen. Dick Durbin talks Trump comments on '......

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...
* Tammy Duckworth Scorches Donald Trump As '......
* Iraq War Vet: Don't Need A Lecture From Dr......

* Observing Epiphany With A Plunge In The Lake
* Michael Pfeiffer, Former Crew Server, Missing
* Don't Get Conned By The Armani Jacket Scam
* Sketchbook.
* Napkin sketch.
* #RAW25
* Thank you Sen. Donne Trotter
* Chance The Rapper Visited Uptown Last Night
* “Chicago” West?
* Donald Trump And The Rhetoric Of Dictators

* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

* Samsung Galaxy S9 internal change, Razer Project Linda dates & more – Pocketnow Daily
* Women’s March embraces collaborative social app Crunchet
* Portrait Camera App 'Focos' Gains Real Lens Optical Effects and Improved Shooting Mode
* Shell wants to turn smartwatches into smartphones on a wing (or two)
* Gboard goes big on GIF creation in the suggestion bar
* iOS 11 is now on 65 percent of devices
* FCC sees US variants of Nokia 6 (2018) or Nokia 7

* Getting ready for Soxfest 2018
* White Sox seeking new flagship radio home
* Engel working to steady barrel in Year 2
* WLS parent company looking to end White Sox radio deal
* Inbox: Who replaces Rodon in the rotation?
* 2018 South Side Sox Hall of Fame Ballot
* With maturity comes lofty expectations for Eloy

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

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


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

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