To the editor (My Suburban Life):
This week [Aug. 11 to 17] before the DuPage County Board, I advocated for greater transparency of lobbying activities by broadening reporting requirements and making that information available online at the County Clerk’s office. A public portal would allow us to search names of lobbyists A to Z, find out who they’re lobbying, what they’re lobbying about, dates of contact and total compensation.
“Lobbyists Online” has been a proven success at Cook County since 2010 as part of their Lobbyist Sunshine Initiative introduced by Cook County Clerk David Orr. The initiative was swiftly passed by unanimous decision. We need this public service in DuPage.
As Orr predicted, Lobbyists Online gave taxpayers, elected officials and the media unprecedented access to track lobbying.
The percentage of lobbyists and firms reporting compensation in Cook County lept from 15 to 48 percent immediately after the reporting switched to online. Government watchdogs, including myself, applaud it.
Placing more lobbying information online diminishes speculation of what’s going on behind closed doors. It aligns perfectly with DuPage County’s ACT Initiative promoting accountability and transparency. And, it’s so easy to achieve.
Jean Kaczmarek, 2014 candidate for DuPage County Clerk