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*** UPDATED x2 *** C’mon, Bill

Wednesday, Oct 30, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Mark Maxwell

When Governor J.B. Pritzker appointed former state Senator Bill Haine to serve on the State Board of Elections in May, the former downstate Democratic Senator had to surrender control of his campaign fund and the $286,786 in it. But now, months later, Haine controls the same money, just under a different name. […]

State election law prohibits board members, who are tasked with regulating other political committees, from controlling campaign committees of their own while they adjudicate other potential campaign finance violations. […]

In paperwork submitted to the state board in June, Haine relinquished control of the account, signing it over to his wife, Anna Haine, and effectively removing himself as chairman. The same document also changed the name of his campaign committee to the Illinois Metro East Improvement Committee with a newly defined purpose “to advance the progress of the Metro-East.” […]

Haine was sworn in as a new member at the State Board of Elections on July 1st. Two weeks later, Haine retook control of his old campaign fund, but under a new name and with a new purpose. Now, state records list Haine as the chairman of a newly formed political action committee, the “William Haine Fund to Promote Progress of Citizens of the Metro-East.” […]

Haine said he believes the law would allow him to spend money in his son’s race [for state’s attorney], or any race, if he chooses.

That’s not all. His latest D-2 filing shows his fund paid $2,588.16 to lease a car. Haine then partially reimbursed the fund $1,050 for that lease on October 24th.

Bill Haine was one of the most respected state Senators of the past quarter century. He shouldn’t taint that image now. He ought to reimburse the fund for all auto lease payments and empty the fund’s account by giving it to charity before this gets out of hand.

*** UPDATE 1 *** I just got off the phone with former Sen. Haine. He said the committee won’t have any fundraisers.

“My intent” he said, “was to give it away over time,” but added “I’m going to accelerate the depletion of the fund” and give the money to local charities. And even though he’s allowed to take some money out for personal use, he won’t do that, either.

He said he’d consulted with the Senate Democrats’ lawyer and was told to move the money into a non-candidate fund. He also said he took some of the comments here to heart.

However, he did say that if his son, a Republican, asks for a contribution, he will give him some of the money.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Matt Dietrich at the Illinois State Board of Elections…

Bill Haine also consulted with our staff before joining the board about the disposition of his candidate committee. His conversion of the committee to a political action committee puts him in compliance with board rules.

       

19 Comments
  1. - mcdouble - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 11:47 am:

    Give to charity or senate dems or local Madison co dems. Whatever, other than this.


  2. - Most respected - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    He was pretty chummy with the insurance industry.


  3. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    You can take the legislator out of Springfield, but you can’t take the Springfield out of the legislator.


  4. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    Screw reimbursing the fund. JB should give him the boot. Today.


  5. - Bothanspy - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    It’s just a Bill.


  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 11:57 am:

    ===JB should give him the boot===

    He cannot. Haine has been confirmed by the Senate. He can call on him to resign, but not much else.


  7. - Norseman - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:01 pm:

    This is slimy. A prohibition of this type of action must be included in one of the ethics bills under consideration.


  8. - Vote Quimby - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    Mr. Haine: Just ask yourself “What would Paul Simon do?”


  9. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    Another example of following the letter of the law but disregarding its intent. This is why it’s so difficult to legislate ethical behavior.


  10. - Truthiness - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    The old school legislators get to personally keep whatever cash was in their committee account when they passed the law making all future contributions exempt from personal use. He should cash out, close the committee, and move on.


  11. - West Side the Best Side - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:39 pm:

    How, in the name of all that’s holy, does someone on the State Board of Elections think that having a campaign committee does not stink to high heaven?


  12. - Streator Curmudgeon - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 1:07 pm:

    Is this the same Board of Elections that voted along party lines to allow the irregularities in the Frank Mautino campaign fund?


  13. - My New Handle - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 1:19 pm:

    Another why it is difficult to take any elected official seriously in “this business.” As a voter, it seems as though any choice is really just a matter of blind dart-throwing.


  14. - Pyrman - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    BTW, his son is running as a Republican.


  15. - Collinsville Kevin - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 2:21 pm:

    Not sure who Haine was respected by, but it sure wasn’t me. Time to turn him out to pasture.


  16. - Shocked - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    Just once can there be a story about how the Board of Elections is effective or doing anything right? What’s wrong with that place


  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    == BTW, his son is running as a Republican==

    At first I was going to say I dont have any issues w it. This is Illinois, not Wisconsin.

    However if his son is running as a GOPer, then I have issues. People who contributed gave to a Democrat who stood for Democratic issues, not someone in the Orange Man party.


  18. - R A T - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 3:56 pm:

    “Bill Haine was one of the most respected state Senators of the past quarter century”

    If this is a true statement and he has this kind of ethics, then Illinois is impressively reprehensible.


  19. - TypicalIllinois - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 4:56 pm:

    Is Sandvoss still leading that ship and do they even have attorneys or is it just chaos there? Is anyone advising the Board at all, or is just a dumping ground for political hacks and retirees to cash out for a few years? If something this basic is overlooked, why should we trust that they’re ready for the next cyberattack


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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