Irvin’s campaign did not identify Ken Griffin as sponsoring entity

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) — A concerned Chicago resident filed a lawsuit against Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin’s campaign for governor on Thursday, citing a violation of campaign disclosure law. William Cook submitted documents to the Illinois State Board of Elections showing that Irvin repeatedly failed to identify billionaire Ken Griffin as the sponsoring entity for his campaign.

Under the law, a sponsoring entity is any person, organization, corporation or association that contributes at least 33% of a political committee’s total funding during a quarterly reporting period. Cook explained that the law also states that political committees must amend the statement of organization documents to identify a sponsoring entity if they exceed the 33% threshold.

On Tuesday, Griffin contributed $45 million to Irvin’s campaign.

Cook explained that the Irvin campaign for Illinois had raised $22,827,099.76 in contributions as of the end of the first quarter of 2022. Although $20 million of that total came from Ken Griffin. Cook wrote that Griffin’s donations made up about 87.6% of Irvin’s total funding during this reporting period.

Griffin then donated an additional $25 million to Irvin’s campaign on May 2.

“Again, no changes have been made to identify Mr. Griffin as the sponsoring entity that he is,” Cook said. “The Code explicitly gives the Board the power to ‘impose a civil penalty of $50 per business day … for failure to file or late filing of a statement of organization.’

He also explained that the law states that candidates could be fined up to $5,000 for filing a false organizational statement. In fact, the penalty for violating Section 9 of the Illinois Election Code is between $1,000 and $5,000 and may be subject to criminal prosecution. Cook noted that it could also lead to Irvin being convicted of a commercial offense under the state’s Unified Correctional Code.

“The violations at issue are pretty clear,” Cook wrote. “The Irvin campaign refuses to identify Mr. Griffin as a sponsoring entity despite clear evidence that he is, and as a candidate, Mr. Irvin is responsible under the code for these violations. It is essential that the board fully investigate these repeated breaches of the code. »

The National Board of Elections plans to hold a closed hearing to discuss this complaint during the first week of June. A member of the council’s campaign disclosure division will have the opportunity to recommend that the complaint be sent to the general counsel who would then send it to the full council. The full board is due to discuss the complaint against Irvin’s campaign on June 22.

Board spokesman Matt Dietrich said members can determine the complaint was filed for justifiable reasons and direct the Irvin committee to file an amended D-1. However, the board could also direct the campaign to ensure it correctly identifies all sponsoring entities in the future.

Any complaints about violations of the Campaign Disclosure Act filed before June 10 will be heard by ISBE members on June 22. In the meantime, complaints filed after this date will not be heard until July 29.

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