D15 challengers demonstrate their transparency

Updated 3/31/2011 4:50 PM

Campaign disclosure is fantastic. It shows you exactly who is funding the elections of the various candidates. But, only if you file.

Four years ago, Gerald Chapman and James Ekeberg ran for the District 15 school board on a slate which they registered under the name "Friends of Bokor Chapman Ekeberg". On their campaign disclosure filings they reported $9,500 cash received from various employee groups. In addition, the Classroom Teachers Council reported more than $22,000 of additional expenses benefiting Chapman and Ekeberg's committee.

This time around, interestingly enough, Chapman and Ekeberg denounce employee groups contributing to the campaigns of school board candidates. And, even though they are obviously both running on a slate along with David Seiffert, they are choosing to declare themselves individually self funding. This maneuver enables them each a $3,000 limit for contributions or expenditures, for a combined $9,000 maximum before any disclosure is required.

While nothing illegal has been done or is even being implied, the matter is really one of transparency. Candidates Sriram, Herr and Iannuzzelli chose to be transparent from the very start by registering their committee "Vote 1-3-5 for District 15 Sriram Herr Iannuzzelli," not knowing how much they might receive or spend. Chapman, Ekeberg and Seiffert chose to not be transparent this time around and have not filed for disclosure.

When Chapman, Ekeberg and Seiffert declare that they will not receive campaign donations from employee groups you will just have to take their word for it. When Sriram, Herr and Iannuzzelli make the same claim you will be able to confirm it. Using this instance as an example, if you value openness and transparency we need to elect new leadership for our school board. Please vote 1-3-5 for District 15 on April 5.

Edward Evenson

Rolling Meadows