James Marter is hoping an Illinois Appellate Court’s recent rebuke of state Auditor General Frank Mautino will serve as a wakeup call to voters across the state.
“I hope this case will move voters to start paying more attention to who they vote into office and how the state is broken with no one but elected officials to blame for it,” Marter told the Kendall County Times. “On top of that, they aren’t doing much of anything to fix the problems.”
Late last month, a 4th District judge ruled that Mautino, essentially the man responsible for making certain all public funds are properly used in the state, was backed by a campaign committee during a run for state representative that wrongfully spent upwards of $225,000 at a local gas station and cashed out almost $160,000 in checks while keeping little record of the transactions. Election code allows for mileage reimbursement for campaign work, but not for repairs or filling up cars.
In its ruling, the court added that the Illinois State Board would be justified in considering fines in addition to the $5,000 the election board slapped Mautino’s now former campaign committee with in 2017 for its handling of the situation.
“You want to see elected officials held accountable when they’re blatantly not following rules or are cheating and get caught,” added Marter, now running for Congress in Illinois’ 14th District. “I’m glad to see the court holding him accountable."
Marter said he sees no place in politics for those who are proven to have run afoul of the law.
“I don’t think anyone should hold public office if they are convicted of an offense,” he said. “I think that sends the message that elected officials in Illinois can’t be trusted and that’s really bad for everyone involved.”