* From an August 10th Chicago Tribune editorial…
If you run for a position on your local school board, Illinois’ campaign finance laws require that you disclose contributions and expenditures. You buy pizza with campaign funds for volunteers? You have to disclose it. You accept free signs from a friend who owns a printing shop? You have to disclose it. You spend $23.56 on gasoline to drive around collecting signatures? You have to disclose it.
That hasn’t been the case with one of the state’s most influential yet obscure groups. The People’s Map, a political organization formed to fight against independently drawn legislative maps, has not disclosed any contributions or expenditures on the forms it filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections. Little is known about the group — like who finances it, who pays the attorney and court fees, or how the group spends its resources. […]
The People’s Map has filed four quarterly reports, all listing zero contributions and zero expenditures.
Meanwhile, six union groups reported on their own filings that they contributed $2,000 each to The People’s Map effort. The groups are Illinois AFL-CIO COPE, Laborers’ Political Action and Education League, Illinois Pipe Trades PEF, Illinois State Conference of IBEW (the group later canceled its payment), SEIU Local 73 and the Illinois Education Association, the union representing most teachers in the state.
Backers of the remap amendment, Support Independent Maps, asked the State Board of Elections to review The People’s Map’s disclosure paperwork. The board agreed and gave The People’s Map until Aug. 19 to file amended reports. At this writing, nothing has been filed.
The editorial was based on an earlier AP story and a press release from the remap reformers demanding an investigation.
* The group’s attorney Mike Kasper sent a response dated August 15th that was recently posted on the Board of Elections’ website…
And, as I’ve told you before, Kasper doesn’t usually bill a client for fees and/or expenses until after the case is completed. If there’s no invoice, there’s nothing to pay, which means there’s no reason to cash any checks or no debts to report. The guy probably wrote that statute, so he knows how to use it to his clients’ advantage.