As bond analyst Steve Willson has pointed out, in his industry those doing business with a government are banned from future business for two years if they make political contribution related to the entity.
No such prohibition exists for builders, architects and others who benefit financially from the building of schools or, in Crystal Lake’s case, a new library.
About two weeks before the fall election, architectural firm Engberg Anderson gave $8,000 to the campaign committee seeking a majority vote in an advisory referendum. (This didn’t even merit a “thumbs down” from the Northwest Herald, much less a story.)
$8,000 is certainly is enough for a mailing.
The check came from a Wisconsin address.
I don’t know whether this is common practice above the state line, but it certainly has happened locally.
When District 300 passed tax hike and bond issue referendums in the mddle of the first decade of this century, tons of money poured in from those who ended up building the schools. (The Northwest Herald did a splendid job covering the campaign finance aspect of thar campaign.)
Same with a huge contribution from a Woodstock builder to support the building of new schools whose company subsequently went bankrupt.
Distrcit 200 is now discussing closing some schools because of surplus capacity, but at least one school is now in what was constructed of the builder’s new subdivision.
And, who can forget how ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich sold commission seats on the Health Facilities Planning Board?
The pay-to-play corruption reached right into Crystal Lake when holders of the seats, purchased for $25,000 contributions, voted against a new hospital.
Hire the contractor I demand or no approval was leader Tony Rezko’s approach.
So, how can the Crystal Lake City Council stop similar action in Crysftal Lake?
It can pass an ordinance forbidding any corporation who has donated to a committee seeking referendum approval related to a new city building from being paid to help build it.
Pretty simple, it seems to me.
As simple as the legislation I wrote forbidding any entity convicted of a felony or admitting thereto while dealing with the State of Illinois from ever doing business with state government again.
That statute was upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court and, the last time I looked, every state contract has a requirement that the vendor affirm no such felong exists.