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Discrepancy in campaign reports

October 21, 2018

KANKAKEE — A discrepancy has surfaced between the campaign reports of two Kankakee County candidates, which a state election official says is a “fairly routine” situation.

Democratic county clerk candidate Barbara Wells reported that the campaign committee for Democratic treasurer candidate Ray Chamberlain gave her fund $3,210 in early August.

But Chamberlain’s report shows no corresponding transfer out of his account.

Wells said the $3,210 was her portion of the proceeds from a joint golf fundraiser she and Chamberlain held in June.

Chamberlain pointed to his campaign’s $2,797 expenditure with the Oak Springs Golf Course in rural St. Anne as an explanation. But that amount was several hundred less than what Wells received. And he didn’t say why the report showed the money going to the golf course, rather than Wells’ account. He said he would look into the matter.

Matt Dietrich, a spokesman for the state Board of Elections, said it’s not unusual for one campaign to record a transaction while the other does not.

“It’s fairly routine. There are paperwork differences. The important thing is that there is transparency on one end. It sounds like the receiving committee has reported it correctly,” Dietrich said. “You’re dealing with two different committees with two different treasurers who do things in two different ways.”

Dietrich said it’s important that candidates record transfers by the time of the election, so it doesn’t appear they’re trying to push reporting until after voters issue their verdict.

Republican treasurer candidate Nick Africano, the incumbent, questioned Chamberlain’s report.

“He must have an equal, corresponding transfer out — otherwise not a legally compliant disclosure,” Africano said in an email. “If he can’t understand easy disclosure rules, how can he understand how to run a complex $192 million tax collection/distribution system?”