* Press release from Auditor General Frank Mautino’s non-governmental spokesman…
Frank Mautino served his north-central district with distinction in the Illinois House for 24 years, where he held a number of leadership positions, provided exemplary service to his communities and built a record of a number of legislative accomplishments.
During his legislative career, Frank ran for re-election every two years. His campaign committee, Committee for Frank J. Mautino, fully disclosed and reported all spending by the campaign in compliance with Illinois campaign finance and disclosure laws. His reports fully detail campaign expenditures that were made to help defray the standard, reasonable expenses incurred while Frank performed the governmental and public service duties of serving as state representative of his large, mostly rural district.
Upon his nomination as Auditor General, Frank’s career in elected office ended and he closed out his campaign committee at the end of December 2015.
* As we discussed yesterday, his main problem is explaining $213,338.31 in gas and auto repair bills between March of 2005 and December of 2015.
I searched the State Board of Elections’ expenditure category for the word “repair” - not car repair, or auto repair, but just the word repair, which could be anything - for all campaign committees during the entire online era. I came up with $1,507,091.40 in expenditures since October of 1999. Mautino actually has the first disclosure of “repair” on the searched list.
Now, do the same “repair” search for all of Mautino’s expenditures and you end up with $262,067.52 since 1999.
That means Mautino’s share of all repair expenditures for all candidates and committees over more than 16 years is a whopping 17.4 percent.
I don’t know if his repair bills were “reasonable,” but they clearly weren’t “standard.”
* Also, this…
In the weeks leading up to the general election of 2010, Mautino spent $8,000 on poll watchers, plus $2,750 for precinct walkers plus an additional $2,050 for precinct workers. Quite a chunk of change, considering that Mautino was unopposed at the ballot box that fall.
It wasn’t the first time that Mautino shelled out thousands for poll watchers and precinct workers while running unopposed. In the general election of 2008, he spent $10,000 on poll watchers, even though he didn’t have an opponent, according to his campaign finance reports.
The money, all paid out in round figures, was received by Spring Valley City Bank, according to Mautino’s campaign reports. It’s not clear why the bank reportedly got money for work unrelated to banking. A source at the Illinois State Board of Elections said that campaigns must accurately identify the recipient of campaign funds in the event a recipient receives more than $150. If a recipient receives less in a reporting period, the expense need not be itemized.
A woman at the bank said that there was no one available to discuss the institution’s relationship with Mautino, which dates back more than a decade, with Mautino receiving both loans and campaign contributions, according to records at the state elections board. Mautino could not be reached for comment. He did not return a phone call last week to answer questions surrounding his campaign spending (“Questionable Campaign Spending,” Jan. 22, 2016).
Mautino’s campaign routinely reported giving money to the bank for expenses unrelated to banking, and the money often came in round figures. Since 2012, Mautino’s campaign reported giving more than $56,600 to the bank in dozens of expenditures. At least 41 of those disbursements were in round figures, according to campaign reports.
The campaign reported giving the bank money for travel expenses, parking and meeting expenses. Consider a stretch in 2014, when the campaign reported giving $750 in five round-figure expenditures to Spring Valley City Bank between May 5 and June 28 for expenses that had nothing to do with banking. According to campaign reports, the money was used for “Chicago meeting traveling expenses,” “traveling expenses,” “Chicago meeting parking expenses” and “Springfield meeting.” The records don’t indicate who attended meetings or what, specifically, was included in travel expenses.
Mautino had one major campaign this century, in 2014. He is a major Democratic player in that area, though, so he could’ve been subsidizing other campaigns.
Either way, he needs to clear this up. Right now.