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Maine Township committeeman hopeful says PR work was donated

A candidate for Maine Township Republican committeeman has decided to put a volunteer’s efforts for her campaign on the books.

Carol Teschky, who’s also Maine Township Supervisor, has updated her campaign finance records to show that a township contractor donated his services to her political campaign.

Teschky’s campaign disclosure report was amended on Feb. 26 to include an in-kind contribution in the amount of $500 for public relations services provided by Dick Barton. The date of the contribution is listed as Dec. 15.

The addition came just days after the Park Ridge Herald-Advocate reported that Barton, whose public relations firm is paid $42,000 annually by Maine Township annually promote township government and events, was also promoting Teschky’s election campaign for Maine Township committeeman. Both Teschky, who is Maine Township supervisor, said the campaign work was done on a voluntary basis.

Under Illinois law, public funds cannot be used for political or campaign purposes. Last month, David Morrison, policy analyst with the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, suggested that if Barton was not being paid for the work he was providing Teschky’s campaign, then it should be reflected as an in-kind contribution to the campaign.

Teschky, of Glenview, is facing Park Ridge resident Charlene Foss-Eggemann, president of Park Ridge Republican Women, in the GOP committeeman race on March 18. Early voting takes place through March 15.

A look at each of the candidates’ campaign war chests shows that Foss-Eggemann has raised $33,100, while Teschky has raised $22,000 in contributions, according to the most recent quarterly report.

Teschky’s contributors included a number of Maine Township employees. Thirteen contributors listed in the quarterly report are employees or paid elected officials, and 12 of them contributed exactly $300 to her campaign. Robert Provenzano, highway commissioner of the township, donated $500.

Teschky said the contributions were made voluntarily.

“They were given the opportunity to do so, but there was no pressure on them to contribute,” she told the Park Ridge Herald-Advocate. “I really appreciate the fact that they decided to voluntarily support me.”

Foss-Eggemann said she is not concerned by the contributions.

“As long as it was voluntary, I have no concerns,” she said.

Township employees also largely circulated nominating petitions to get Teschky’s name on the ballot for committeeman. A review of these petitions shows at least 32 employees, two Plan Commission members and six elected officials collected signatures. Some family members of employees also circulated petitions, many of which were notarized by township employees, including Teschky’s assistant.

Foss-Eggemann’s campaign contributions show financial support from the Republican Women of Park Ridge, as well as the campaigns of Jim Oberweis, Jim O’Donnell and Susan Sweeney. O’Donnell and Sweeney ran unsuccessfully for the state legislature in 2012.

Also contributing to Foss-Eggemann’s campaign are at least two locally elected officials: Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 Board member Dathan Paterno and District 207 Board Member Mary Childers. Childers once served on the Maine Township Plan Commission.

Foss-Eggemann received help in circulating petitions from a handful of individuals, largely Sweeney. She also collected a large number of her own signatures, her petitions show.

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