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Kirchenberg Opposes "Pay-to-Play" Contracting at DuPage Forest Preserve

DuPage County Forest Preserve Commissioners accept campaign contributions from companies doing business with the Forest Preserve District. Pay-to-Play is unethical and should be illegal!

DuPage County Forest Preserve Commissioners accept unlimited campaign contributions from companies doing business with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. This is unethical and should be illegal!

One of the worst offenders is incumbant District 2 DuPage County Forest Preserve Commissioner Joe Cantore. Cantore accepts unlimited campaign contributions from companies where he has voted to approve "no bid contracts"  - contracts totaling MILLIONS of our tax dollars.

“Accepting any campaign contributions from any companies doing business with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is unethical. It should be illegal” states Don Kirchenberg, candidate for Forest Preserve Commissioner, District 2.

“I have not and will not accept any monies from any company doing business or seeking to do business with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.”


These donations were reported to the IL State Board of Elections. Don Kirchenberg explains “the recent contributions to Commissioner Cantore from his fundraiser held in October will not have to be reported until year end. Here are enough examples that show a bad pattern that we believe is wrong.”

 

  • Cantore reported $2,800.00 in campaign contributions from Kuhn Mitchell Moss a Naperville law firm. In the past two years, Cantore has approved Forest Preserve payments in no-bid contracts to Kuhn Mitchell Moss in an amount exceeding $640,000 for legal services.
  • Cantore reported $1,000.00 in campaign contributions from Chapman & Cutler a Chicago law firm. In the past two years, Cantore has approved Forest Preserve payments in no-bid contracts to Chapman & Cutler in an amount exceeding $175,000 for legal services.
  • Cantore reported $900.00 in campaign contributions from Day & Robert PC a Naperville law firm. In the past two years, Cantore has approved Forest Preserve payments in no-bid contracts to Day & Robert in an amount exceeding $325,000 for legal services.
  • Cantore reported $750.00 in campaign contributions from Wight Architects and its owners. In the past two years, Cantore has approved Forest Preserve payments in no-bid contracts to Wight Architects in an amount exceeding $300,000 for design work for development (new building, etc) at Willowbrook Forest Preserve.
  • Cantore reported $850.00 in campaign contributions from Christopher Burke Engineering. In the past two years, Cantore has approved Forest Preserve payments in no-bid contracts to Christopher Burke Engineering in an amount exceeding $150,000.
  • Cantore reported $350.00 in campaign contributions from Coffman Truck Sales owner Frank Coffman. In the past two years, Cantore has approved Forest Preserve payments in no-bid contracts to Coffman Truck Sales for the purchase of truck parts in an amount exceeding $30,000.

The State of Illinois made it illegal for state officials to accept campaign contributions from individuals and companies seeking to do business with the State.

Why hasn't the Board of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County adopted an ordinace to prohibit these types of pay-to-play contributions? 

Ref: 

http://www.elections.il.gov/CampaignDisclosure/ContributionsSearchByAllContributions.aspx

 

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ABV October 28, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Forest Preserve must comply with Federal SEC regulations regarding campaign contributions from all firms involved in bond issues. The new SEC rule has 3 key elements: 1) Prohibits investment advisors from providing advisory services for compensation—either directly or through a pooled investment vehicle—for 2 years, if the advisor or certain of its executives or employees have made a political contribution to an elected official in a position to influence the selection of the advisor; 2) Prohibits advisory firms and certain executives and employees from soliciting or coordinating campaign contributions from others (a practice referred to as “bundling”) for any elected official in a position to influence the selection of the adviser. It also prohibits solicitation & coordination of payments to political parties in the state or locality where the adviser is seeking business; and 3) Prohibits investment advisors from paying third parties, such as placement agents, from soliciting a government client on behalf of the investment adviser, unless that third party is an SEC-registered investment advisor or broker/dealer subject to similar pay to play restrictions. The rule contains a catch-all, “don’t let the lawyers find a loophole” provision, which prohibits acts done indirectly, which if done directly, would result in a violation of the rule (such as funneling contributions thru investment adviser’s attorneys, spouses or affiliated companies).
ABV October 28, 2012 at 06:38 PM
In light of the above, it is especially concerning to see campaign contributions given by a firm handling and advising the Forest Preserve District on bond issues. It is equally concerning to see a commissioner accept such contributions and then vote on these matters. The consequences of violations of SEC "Pay-to-Play" regulations are quite severe. Case in point, the recent $14M settlement with Goldman Sachs on this very issue.
Bill October 28, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Pay to Play in Lisle? Yup. We have Navistar giving campaign contributions to Trustee Young and he then in turn votes on approval of a $32M TIF subsidy to Navistar and also vote to approve significant zoning relief and zoning permits. Sad part i, Young doesn't even acknowledge the conflict of interest. So while the SEC and the State of IL tighten up "Pay to Play" laws, we have the DuPage boys carrying on as usual. Where are the ethics in DuPage?
Dick October 31, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Time to clean up the Forest Preserve!
DuPageCountyWatch November 01, 2012 at 12:34 AM
We agree with George P and Dick and the concerns expressed in the article listed above. Don Kirchenberg is the one we are voting for and he is correct no one should get rich from public service!

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