DuPage hires four lobbying firms

DuPage County officials defended their use of lobbyists before awarding one-year contracts to four firms.

"As the second-largest county in Illinois, with almost 1 million residents, it is critical the county maintain a strong and effective presence in both Washington, D.C., and Springfield," county board Chairman Dan Cronin said.

On Tuesday, county board members voted 15-1 to spend a total of $282,000 to hire the four companies.

Three of the firms - Roger C. Marquardt & Co., NJ Kimme & Co., and All-Circo Inc. - will work with state lawmakers on the county's behalf.

The fourth firm, BGR Government Affairs LLC in Washington, D.C., will focus on federal initiatives.

As part of its contract, All-Circo will be paid $102,000 for a period starting Sept. 15 and ending Sept. 14, 2017. The firm has lobbied for DuPage since 2011.

Roger C. Marquardt & Co. of Wheaton will be paid $45,000 with John "Chip" Humes of Addison coordinating lobbying efforts at the state level. NJ Kimme & Co. will be paid $55,000 to do lobbying work at the state level.

BGR Government Affairs will be paid $80,000 for its lobbying at the federal level.

Democrat Elizabeth Chaplin was the only board member to vote against the contracts. Board member Tony Michelassi, another Democrat, left the room until after the contracts were approved.

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