Recommendation To Clear John Ryan and Monica Clark of Nancy Zettler Justifiable Complaint

While my email was in limbo last weekend I guess I missed this clearance of newly elected District 300 school board members John Ryan and Monica Clark.

Hearing Officer Tony Morgando wrote two long paragraphs about Nancy Zetter’s complaint, which you can see here. I shall break them up to make them easier to read on this screen.

“A review of the documents and statements in this matter clearly establishes the Family Taxpayers Network, as a major funding source in the campaigns of Mr. John Ryan and Ms. Monica Clark.

“Both candidates indicate acceptance of yard signs from the Family Taxpayers Network promoting their campaign in mid-March, 2007, at a cost of $1,320. The parties to the complaint were in agreement that the campaign mailer/postcard produced by the Family Taxpayers Network was received by residents in the district on April 10th, or 11th, 2007, at a combined cost of $2,539.32.

“The respondents state that the notification of the in-kind contributions was received on April 27th (Ms. Clark) and April 30th (Mr. Ryan).

“Based upon these dates, it appears the candidates were liable to file a Statement of Organization (From D-1 ) ‘within 10 business days of the creation of such committee’, 10/ILCS 5/9-3. It is the opinion of the Hearing Examiner, that both candidates filed their Statement of Organization within the statutory time limit.

“Also, based on the dates presented above, it appears the candidates were not liable to file a Pre-Election Report for the April 17th, 2007, election, as such reporting period, January 1st, – March 18th, 2007, was prior to the creation of date of the political committees: April 30th, 2007 (Mr. Ryan) and April 15th (Ms. Clark).

“The Hearing Examiner feels the Complainant had reasons to believe violations of the Disclosure Act had occurred, therefore it is the opinion of the Hearing Examiner that the complaint was filed on justifiable grounds, but recommends no further action on the Board be taken on this matter.

“The Hearing Officer further recommends that the Board in its Final Order, serve notice upon the Respondents that as candidates they ‘have the responsibility to report such in-kind contributions or expenditures from the donor if it actually knows or reasonably should have known from the facts available to it that an in-kind contribution had been made in its behalf’, Adm. R&R 100.120.”

So, it turns out pretty much as predicted on McHenry County Blog right after Zettler filed her complaint.

Let me repeat what I said then:

I can understand Zettler’s frustration.

During the three Republican primary elections I was under siege by Personal PAC, their mailings and phone calls did not show up in campaign disclosure forms until after the primary election.

I think they should show up ahead of the election, but that, apparently, would require a change in state law.

Maybe Zettler’s lobbying can be expanded from trying to raise our income taxes to changing the campaign disclosure laws.

I’d be happy to join her in such an effort.

In this case, however, one would have to be blind not to figure out that the Family Taxpayers Network was helping Clark and Ryan.

Take a look at the return address on the literature.

I’d add that learning who is paying for a campaign is the purpose of the Campaign Disclosure Act and Zettler and anyone who could read knew it as well.

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You can click on the recommendations to make it large enough to read.

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