Claire Ball: Candidate Profile
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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Twitter: Candidate did not respond.
Facebook: Candidate did not respond.
Family: My Mother is retired with two cats and my Father lives in California and works for Google.
I also have an older brother living in St. Louis and a younger sister with a fantastic knack for art.
Education: Keller Graduate School - Master's degree in Accounting and Finance.
DeVry University - Bachelor's degree in Accounting and Finance.
Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Should lawmakers be paid on time or should they be put in line for payment among all the state's unpaid bills?
Establishing a balanced budget each year is one of the legislature's essential functions. Lawmakers should be last in line for payment when they are not doing their jobs.
Should a comptroller be more or less active in seeking court orders to pay for state programs during a budget stalemate? Should state employees get paid with no appropriation?
Incoming revenues allow the highest priority payments to be made, which is why it is vital to know exactly who is getting paid and why. With clear-cut rationale behind the priority selection process, court orders should not be necessary.
Should the office be merged with the treasurer? Please explain why or why not.
The Illinois Constitution states the Treasurer cannot accept funds until they are recorded by the Comptroller. This rule was established for good reason. Sound accounting practices keep the duties of (1) Authorization, (2) Recordkeeping, and (3) Custody of Assets separate to minimize the risk of fraud. In Illinois, Custody of Assets are held by the Treasurer, while both Authorization and Recordkeeping are held by the Comptroller. This control should not be eliminated, especially in a state infamous for sending its' politicians to prison. Cost savings that could be achieved would be insignificant next to the increased risk of corruption.
How would you streamline your office's duties to save the state money?
I will combine general office functions, such as office space and general administrative functions, with the Treasurer's office wherever possible. I will dig into the Comptroller's budget and eliminate inefficiencies such as lobbying services for circuit court judges. There is not enough information in the budget to know what the true expenses for the office are, which is why I will also provide detail at the budget level so everyone knows exactly what the office needs to spend.
What special qualifications make you the best person to serve as state comptroller?
I am an accountant, holding both a Bachelor's and Master's degrees in accounting and finance, with over ten years' experience in the field. I have experience in payables as well as financial reporting which touches the two basic areas the comptroller's office handles. These are the standard qualifications for the private sector equivalent to the state comptroller. In Illinois, no one with these qualifications has ever held the office and taxpayers deserve a comptroller who is #QualifiedNotConnected.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
Illinois does not release financial reports on time-the 2014 report was 259 days late, for example. Financial reporting needs to be timely as well as accurate. I will get our reports out on time.
Independence is stressed in accounting, in order to provide unbiased information, but is severely lacking in state government. As a Libertarian I will provide that independence. I have no use for political favors, I am running to do the job, and I will not hesitate to speak out against either party if they are not working in the best interests of the people of Illinois.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
I admire Justin Amash's dedication to transparency. He posts every vote online with his justification behind it.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
As a homeschooled child I learned that my education was in my own hands, with all successes and failures a result of my own decisions.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I would have ridden the rollercoaster rides sooner. It taught me to face my fears and just go with it.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
Philosophy. I loved studying different viewpoints and analyzing how there isn't always one right answer to any situation.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Invest early. Compound interest is your greatest ally.