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Lake County Gazette

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Sponsors claim Board of Elections bill will help stamp out corruption


By Glenn Minnis | Nov 15, 2019

Illinois state Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods)

Veteran state Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) has joined a trio of other GOP lawmakers in pushing legislation aimed at assuring that the Illinois State Board of Elections remains above board when it comes to funding political action committees.

“Under current state law, a person can serve as a member of the Illinois State Board of Elections while at the same time run a political action committee that benefits candidates,” McConchie said in a press release. “Not only is this allowed, it’s currently happening. Common sense would dictate that no member of the State Board of Elections should be allowed to fund a campaign while simultaneously presiding over and judging legal matters regarding that campaign. It’s an inherent conflict of interest and yet another loophole in state law that enables government corruption.”

With several federal corruption investigations that find sitting lawmakers at the center, McConchie is joined in sponsoring Senate Bill 2300 by fellow state Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and state Reps. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) and Mark Batinick (R-Plainfied).

Illinois state Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield)

"The fact that a member of the State Board of Elections can run a political committee and also sit on the board that determines if a political committee has broken the law is an obvious conflict of interest," Butler said. "Closing this loophole and preventing other potential conflicts that could place a board member in an ethically questionable situation is common sense, good government and we hope our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will help us advance this legislation."

In addition to banning a member of the State Board of Elections from also contributing to or being an officer of a state or federal political committee, SB 2300 would also mandate that a member of the election board resign from serving on any political committee within 30 days of being confirmed in the elected office by the senate.

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State Senator Dan McConchie

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