Dash of Disclosure

Disclosure is all that Illinois has when it comes to campaign finance regulation – that’s why ICPR is so hawkish about violations. The State Board of Elections does a great job of disseminating the reports, and most political committees do a good job of reporting. But there are a small handful trying to evade disclosure.

Today’s Tribune editorial explains why the Coalition for Jobs, Growth and Prosperity ought to come clean about the sources of their funds. They funneled over $400,000 to candidates in the 2004 elections without ever saying where the money came from. The editorial quotes Coalition co-founder Ron Gidwitz as saying that the Coalition promised donors that their names would not be disclosed.

Why would anyone make that promise, knowing that for over three decades Illinois has required disclosure for groups trying to sway elections? The 2006 elections are just around the corner. What the Coalition has done is display a road-map to funnel money around the disclosure reports. Voters deserve better.