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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."


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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