State Rep. Annazette Collins, D-Chicago, has agreed to issue an apology for filing inaccurate and incomplete disclosure of contributions to her election campaigns from 2005 through 2007, and her campaign committee will pay a fine of $20,000 to the Illinois State Board of Elections.
After the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform questioned why the Collins committee reported no contributions or expenditures for three years running, Collins acknowledged that her campaigns had received more than $110,000 in contributions and had spent more than $120,000 during those three years.
The public apology and fine are part of a settlement agreement between the Friends of Annazette Collins political action committee and ICPR, which lodged a complaint against the committee earlier this year. The State Board of Elections recently voted to accept the settlement agreement.
Following a hearing before the Illinois State Board of Elections, the Collins committee filed 18 amended reports revealing $110,301 in receipts and $120,794 in expenditures from 2005 through 2007.
“Illinois has no restrictions on who can give or how much anyone can contribute to campaigns, but the law does require candidates to tell the public the amounts and sources of their campaign money and details of how it is spent,” said Cynthia Canary, Director of ICPR. “It is a weak system that has been made even weaker by a history of timid oversight by state authorities.
Under terms of the agreement signed by her attorney and accepted by the Illinois State Board of Elections, Collins has 30 days to issue a public statement acknowledging the negligence by her committee. The statement will include an admission that voters did not have the important campaign finance information that they are entitled to by law, an apology for any confusion they may have caused, and a commitment to file complete and accurate finance reports in the future.
To view the settlement agreement and ICPR’s original complaint, go to www.ilcampaign.org.