ICPR FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST POLITICAL GROUP "FOR A BETTER CHICAGO"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                Contact: Cindi Canary
February 15, 2011                                                                        (312) 335-1767
 
 ICPR FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST POLITICAL GROUP "FOR A BETTER CHICAGO"
 
[CHICAGO] In a complaint filed with the State Board of Elections, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) contends a major contributor to Chicago aldermanic campaigns has violated disclosure requirements of state election law.
 
The complaint, which was filed Monday, alleges that the For a Better Chicago non-profit organization has funneled tens of thousands of dollars to candidates through a committee called the “For a Better Chicago Political Action Committee,” which has reported receiving $855,000 from the non-profit For a Better Chicago.  The non-profit has not disclosed the sources of the funds that were transferred to the political action committee.
 
The political action committee has disclosed receipt of $5,000 from the non-profit on Dec. 29, 2010, and a contribution of $850,000 from the non-profit on Dec. 30, 2010. The only other contribution the political action committee has acknowledged is a $10,000 donation on February 1, 2011.
 
“Our complaint alleges there is no real distinction between the non-profit and the PAC with the same name,” said Cynthia Canary, director of ICPR.  “Illinois law requires disclosure of the sources of campaign contributions, and the State Board of Elections should put an end to this kind of sleight of hand trick.”
 
The news media has reported that For a Better Chicago is backed by unknown business contributors.  Thus far, the PAC reports contributing more than $160,000  to at least 10 aldermanic campaigns.  However, candidate mailings indicate that their reach may actually be further.
 
"Since the Watergate era, disclosure of the source of campaign funds has been the backbone of campaign finance regulation," Canary noted. "We cannot allow donors to hide their identities behind shell corporations. The public has a right to know who is paying to elect candidates to public office."
 
The For a Better Chicago Political Action Committee report on file with the State Board of Elections indicates that it is led by Greg Goldner, who has been involved in past political campaigns in Chicago.