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Article posted: 8/31/2013 4:36 AM

DuPage's interesting take on ethics

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DuPage's interesting take on ethics

Thank goodness DuPage residents have diligent public interest watchdogs like DuPage County Board member John Curran, chairman of the ethics ordinance subcommittee. He discovered that the board's ethics policy on campaign contributions is too good.

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It restricts businesses doing or seeking business with the county from only contributing $1,000 a year. Curran is horrified that this ethics law doesn't conform to the state law that allows such donors to contribute up to $5,300 during a two- or four-year campaign cycle.

"Quite frankly, I might have something on the books that's not enforceable," Curran surmised, and the full board in a bit over 24 hours acted to prevent state gendarmes from swooping down and padlocking board member offices for being out of sync with the more liberal (campaign contribution wise) state ethics guidelines.

Joining Curran in this truly bizarre exercise in bad governance is county spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet who opined, "We currently have two standards ... the board will consider making a change," claiming it's "inherently flawed" for the county to have a yearly cap when the state imposes a per election (and higher annual) limit.

What is inherently flawed are county board officeholders who would dare water down ethics guidelines regarding campaign contributions in the poster state for campaign contribution abuse. The Quinn administration, which has made ethics reform a signature accomplishment to erase the corrupt Illinois image, will not interfere with DuPage's current ethics guidelines. To paraphrase the last line in "Gone With The Wind," their take on Curran's hysteria over the imagined conflict between DuPage and Illinois ethics guidelines would be: "Frankly, DuPage ... we don't give a damn."

Walt Zlotow

Glen Ellyn

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