Complainant asks why campaign reports not online
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent July 11, 2014 7:34PM
Updated: July 12, 2014 2:03AM
VALPARAISO — The attorney for the Porter County Election Board said Friday that he doubts that the anonymous person who filed a complaint over not finding campaign finance reports online for Judge William Alexa has standing in the matter.
Calvin Chubb, of Chesterton, submitted a written request last month for Alexa’s campaign finance reports from his 2012 bid for re-election. The request was made to Kathy Kozuszek, the Democratic representative in the Voter Registration Office.
Board attorney Ethan Lowe said that information was provided, though the complaint filed last month with the state’s public access counselor by someone known only as “Publius Valerius Publicola” alleged that Kozuszek had not posted the reports on the county’s website.
“This is an anonymous person who is filing a complaint with the public access counselor, and it’s not the same person who asked for the documents. There’s a question of whether this anonymous person even has standing to file this complaint,” Lowe said, adding that state law does not require that the reports be online.
A representative with the public access counselor has said an opinion on the anonymous complaint will be issued July 30.
If members of the media or candidates ask for the finance reports, they are provided directly, but if it comes from someone they don’t know, it’s forwarded to Lowe, said Sundae Schoon, the Republican representative in the Voter Registration Office.
“We take these requests on a case-by-case basis, and I want to be copied on requests, as I was here,” Lowe said.
The election board determined that proper procedure is being followed in the Voter Registration Office when someone asks for the reports and voted to keep that process in place.
In other business Friday, the election board took under advisement complaints about election signs for four Democratic candidates during the May primary election.
Kenard Taylor, executive director of the Porter County Republican Party, made the complaint, saying the candidates had inaccurately presented themselves as incumbents.
Board chairman David Bengs, a Republican, said the board could move forward with the matter if Taylor wants a hearing. Taylor was not at Friday’s meeting.
Attorney Mitch Peters, representing Democratic sheriff’s candidate David Reynolds, one of the candidates whose signs were questioned, said state law does not require the word “for” on such signs, and because Reynolds previously served two terms as sheriff, the sign wasn’t falsely representing anything.
Additionally, Bengs suggested that, after the Nov. 4 election, the board look into having voting centers throughout the county instead of precinct-based polls. There would be fewer voting locations, but voters could cast a ballot at any site, not just the poll to which they were assigned in their precinct.