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Ethics Measures for County Contractors and Lobbyists Target Nepotism

By Camela Furry in News on Sep 17, 2009 2:20PM

Cook County Races Heat Up An ethics measure approved by the Cook County Board yesterday will require county contractors and lobbyists to disclose the names of relatives who are elected municipal, county or state officials according to Clout Street.

If the amendment is approved, a contractor who doesn't file the disclosure would be barred from doing business with the county for three years. Commissioner Elizabeth Gorman (R- Orland Park) who drafted the amendment, told Clout Street, "This is an opportunity for Cook County to lead the way in ethics reform....How 'bout that?"

The approval came on the heels of another ethics amendment approved in the last two weeks which cuts in half the amount a contractor can donate to a public official's campaign for primary or general election. The max amount is now $750 a year. Clout Street also reports that a proposal to require county lobbyists to reveal the names of new clients within two days after securing the business, and another proposal that requires the lobbyist's disclosures to be posted online, have both been unveiled. A spokesman for Cook Country Board President Todd Stroger said that "Stroger and his staff are reviewing the amendments and have yet to decide whether to back them."