Auditor's Campaign Forms in Compliance, but Opponent's Challenge Remains

Duffy Blackburn did file his loan disclosures late, but will not be penalized, election board official says. However, Mark Batinick's complaint will still get hearing.

Update/posted at 9:55 a.m. Friday:

Will County Auditor Duffy Blackburn's campaign disclosure records are in good standing, but a hearing will held on the challenge filed by his opponent, a representative for the State Board of Elections said Friday morning.

Tom Newman, deputy director of campaign disclosure, said Blackburn did file his A-1 forms late, thereby breaking the law, but it's a common mistake, especially when candidates loan themselves money. For that reason, a "one-time amnesty" is granted, with a warning that they must comply in the future, and no penalites assessed, Newman said.

However, forms that are filed late are not included in the online disclosure information. That is the data on which Mark Batinick, Blackburn's challenger in the November election, based his complaint. 

The case has been assigned to a hearing officer, who is to meeting with Blackburn and Batinick on Aug. 8, Newman said.

Original story/posted Thursday night:

The man who would like to be elected Will County auditor this November has filed a complaint challenging incumbent Duffy Blackburn's campaign disclosure forms.

Republican Mark Batinick says Blackburn, a resident, failed to disclose two loans he made to his campaign committee -- one for $1,000 on June 19 and another for $4,000 on June 29 -- within five days of receipt, which violates state election law.

But Blackburn said Batinick's information is incorrect. While both forms were filed late, and thus are not on the State Board of Election's Web site, he is in complete compliance with the state's compaign disclosure laws, he said Thursday night.

Batinick's complaint was filed Wednesday with the board of elections, which will determine if the charge has merit before holding a public hearing. The board has the ability to impose of a civil fine of up to $5,000 if it finds Blackburn violated state law.

Batinick, of , posted information about the complaint on his election blog, www.electthebat.blogspot.com, and on his Facebook page.

"Perhaps Mr. Blackburn might have asked his treasurer or his campaign chair to oversee his filings. Unfortunately, the auditor is his own campaign treasurer and chairman," Batinick wrote on his blog. "Apparently, Mr. Blackburn does not see a need to place controls in his campaign to thwart errors, omissions and financial disclosure violations."

Blackburn admitted he filed both loan forms loans late, but that he realized his error and corrected it July 16. He was told his corrected forms would not be posted online but that he was in good standing with the state, he said.

This information could not be verified by Patch on Thursday night, but will be Friday.

"I was busy with family and with work," Blackburn said. "I double-checked this week, and the forms have been filed."

Voice of Reason July 28, 2012 at 06:17 PM
A shorter list would be what governmental bodies don't have wasteful spending. Wouldn't it be nice to stop some of it.
Plainfield Ind July 28, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Agree - but I'd like to hear the so called "watchdog" Mark call out some governmental bodies of waste.
JeffK July 28, 2012 at 08:05 PM
maybe it takes him a little longer to catch on. I mean he still hasn't figured out that Peck put him up to strengthen Peck's Senate run while Mark has little to no chance to win county wide. I have to give Peck credit, he really knows how to pull the strings on his puppets.
Jay Iacobucci July 28, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Shenon I don't what you are talking about? The facts are substantiated - Tom Newman, deputy director of campaign disclosure, said Blackburn did file his A-1 forms late, thereby breaking the law. The question is if a one time amnesty is granted or if penalties are assessed. I think it is very important for every candidate to follow the rules.
Jay Iacobucci July 28, 2012 at 10:03 PM
I have read lame comments on this board but this one tops them all. How would it make sense for anyone to elect a County Auditor who can't audit his own election filings?
Jay Iacobucci July 28, 2012 at 10:08 PM
A new low? For making a candidate follow the rules? Are you kidding? In the past 3 years we have seen Dem thugs stealing signs, try to keep honest candidates off the ballot (Cedra Crenshaw) and trying to break the rules by trying to sneak candidates on the ballot who sat out of the primary. I ask again how could this possibly be a new low. Also why don't you show some courage and use your name rather than posting anonymously.
Jay Iacobucci July 28, 2012 at 10:08 PM
I stand corrected, this is now the lamest post I have ever read.
Jay Iacobucci July 28, 2012 at 10:10 PM
OMG, you need to get informed. Batinick has been exposing governmental misconduct and waste for years.
Plainfield Ind July 28, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Who and what? Seems to be a tough question to answer.
Plainfield Ind July 28, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Here we are talking about filing forms for an election which may have been done illegally. Yet the top campaign contributor for Obama in 2008 was Goldman Sachs then they get a huge bank bailout from Obama after he's elected President. Nothing more than a system of bribery and it continues on today. Any of us who would do that in the private sector would be in jail. Why does everyone ignore the big stuff Jay?
Plainfield Ind July 28, 2012 at 11:09 PM
The lamest is the two party political system. That is the all time low since they are both equally destroying this country.
Jay Iacobucci July 29, 2012 at 12:19 AM
PI, Rules are rules, if you don't think the rules are important, then work to change them. What you are saying is it's such a little thing why worry about it when there are bigger problems. Well my friend, this is nonsensical, take a look at Cook County and the corruption that goes on there. How do you think that started? I'll answer that for that, by ignoring the "little stuff" and bending the rules just to help out a "friend". Let's just ignore this and the next thing you know we are Cook County!
Jay Iacobucci July 29, 2012 at 12:21 AM
PI, I would suggest you get off your couch and do something to save the country then.
Jay Iacobucci July 29, 2012 at 12:23 AM
PI - I'll give you two just off the top of my head. Batinick has worked and supported candidates who opposed the needless spending of JJC and has been very vocal on waste and salary compensation of the Joliet City manager. Mark has been involved, have you?
Jay Iacobucci July 29, 2012 at 12:42 AM
And here is another thing Mr. or Mrs. PI - There is no one who is more disappointed in many of the state and local leaders in the GOP than I, however Mark Batinick is not one of those people. Mark has butt heads with not just with wasteful spending Democrats but with Republicans who refuse to support a conservative agenda. This is the type of person Batinick is and why I am so feverishly supporting his candidacy.
Plainfield Ind July 29, 2012 at 12:42 AM
I never said that, you said that! The rules are broken all the time and they should be followed. I hope you direct as much effort to bigger issues as you do the little one.
Plainfield Ind July 29, 2012 at 12:44 AM
I do - I don't vote for democrats and I don't vote for republicans. They are the problem, not the solution.
Plainfield Ind July 29, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Well that's a good start. Supporting candidates who oppose spending at JJC is hardly a watchdog. And being outspoken about the compensation of one employee for the City of Joliet doesn't add much credibility to being a "watchdog." Good for Mark for watching one salary of probably over 1000 in Joliet and supporting someone else who opposes something. Hardly impressed.
Jay Iacobucci July 29, 2012 at 04:03 AM
I am very involved PI. Again I ask, are you?
Jay Iacobucci July 29, 2012 at 04:09 AM
PI, it's not a start, Mark has been in the forefront of holding state and local officials accountable for their irresponsible ways. I can personally account for the hard work and dedication Batinick has given. Not sure what you have been doing besides whining on these message boards, but maybe you should push yourself away from the computer and get out there work for candidates that share your values.
Plainfield Ind July 29, 2012 at 04:19 AM
"Mark has been in the forefront of holding state and local officials accountable for their irresponsible ways" He must be blind because I'm still waiting to see some significant accountability of local officials. Compensation of one City Manager is hardly holding government accountable. Substantial accountability would be for an entire governing body. Supporting candidtates who oppose JJC spending is not holding governing bodies accountable. That's someone else's agenda, not his. There is a lot of irresponsibility at the local level and I challenge Mark to identify a local governing body where he has spoke against their spending policy across the board. Not just one salary.
Jay Iacobucci July 29, 2012 at 04:49 AM
You are not disillusioned,you are delusional.
Jay Iacobucci July 29, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Grandstanding to require politicians to follow the rules? Are you serious?
Jay Iacobucci July 29, 2012 at 04:53 AM
I got to hear you explain how Batinick running for Will County position strengthens Peck's run for State Senate. Please share and thrill us with your brilliance.
JeffK July 29, 2012 at 06:52 AM
You should know better than anyone since you were used for the same purpose. There is a reason Peck is still running in Nov and you are not. If you didn't know or understand what your role was it isn't my job to explain it to you. For the record it's a very old and commonly used tactic. Cui bono I'm not knocking Peck, he knows what he is doing and he is doing it masterfully, I just didn't realize the rest you weren't in on it. If you did know you probably wouldn't work as hard. So it his to his benefit to keep you in the dark.
JeffK July 29, 2012 at 07:22 AM
I'm always serious. It's very common for people to file late, it's an "accepted" practice. Not much different than returning a library book late. Why isn't this watch dog going after everyone who is late? why just his opponent? It happens, You pay the fine and move on. Since it's his first there isn't even a fine.This is election law which has nothing to do with the performance of the elected position . It's grasping at the smallest straw. You would be surprised how many local elected officals have mistakes on their D-1. Only one was smart enough to amend it. I'm waiting for Mark to call them all out. So what do you think is worse? A person breaking a very minor Election Law that cost the tax payers nothing or A person requestion a hearing to discover something that has already been discovered costing tax payers money. there is only one true conservative answer
TimK July 30, 2012 at 04:05 AM
JeffK Please enlighten us with your conspiracy theory about Peck and Batinick. Mooooowwwahhhhaaaaa!!! Scary. Spooooookkkkyyyy!
JeffK July 30, 2012 at 07:15 AM
Being a chump isn't a conspiracy.
Raquel July 30, 2012 at 04:21 PM
love it!!!
Raquel July 30, 2012 at 06:46 PM
The question isn't what Mark has done to expose waste. He has several written articles, speeches, town halls, conservative candidates, and even Republicans who don’t like him that can corroborate the fact that Mark is a very vocal watchdog for the taxpayer on many fronts. The incumbent should be telling us what material things he has done to expose waste and corruption. After all, that's why WE PAY HIM. So far, he has proven all the designations after his name means nothing because he broke the law - lame excuse or not. Mark has five kids, a business, and is running for office. He filed his forms correctly, on time, AND still found Blackburn's failure. I know it pains Mark’s detractors to hear it but that is what an AUDITOR does. Those of you who are going to vote for the incumbent are going to do it no matter which laws he breaks. It is strange that people are so quick to jump to the defense of the guy who broke the law and not the person who reported it as if he forced Duffy to break the law. We live in a society where people would rather defend wrong at any cost for political gain than just let truth mete out. Like it or not, omitting the A-1 is still breaking the law. Stating his A-1 was "filed late" knowing the ISBE does not permit it is lying. So, not only is Duffy a law breaker, he is a liar. I wouldn't vote for either a law breaker or a liar for Will County Auditor. Nope, not sending the garden snake to audit the cobras. One more vote for Batinick.


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