West Side congressman has to pay election fines

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Politicians in Illinois risk being booted from the March election ballot if they don’t pay off overdue fines. Among them: Congressman Danny K. Davis, WBEZ reported last week.

Davis (D-Chicago) is running for re-election to Congress and also to be Chicago’s 29th Ward Democratic committeeman. But before he can get on the March 20th ballot, Davis must clear up about $1,887 in fines owed to the Illinois State Election Board, according to WBEZ reporter Sam Hudzik.

The fines, imposed on two of his committees – Citizens for Davis and Davis for Mayor – were levied because campaign money disclosure reports were filed late or not at all.

Davis knew about them, but explained in an interview last week with WBEZ that the congressional schedule has kept him too busy.

“I’m here [in Chicago] for two days, and – damn – I can’t find time to go get a haircut,” Davis told WBEZ.

The election board recently sent a letter to local election authorities citing an Illinois law that was clarified at the beginning of this year. The board attached a spread sheet to the letter, listing about 150 candidate committees owing overdue fines totaling about $600,000 dollars, according to WBEZ. (A list on the board’s web site also includes fines owed by political action committees, which are not subject to the “ballot forfeiture” law.)

Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) also paid off overdue fines recently; like Davis, he has filed to run for Democratic ward committeeman.

Candidates are allowed to stay on the ballot if they appeal their fines. That happened in the case of state Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), who owed about $8,000. An election board official said Lightford was removed from the list because she filed a petition for review in the appellate court.

To read the rest of WBEZ’s story, click here.


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