WTTW’s 2016 Voters’ Guide to the General Election is an online resource designed to inform voters about the candidates running for office in the Nov. 8 election.
Candidates were given two minutes to tell voters where they stand on the issues, why they feel they are best qualified and what they intend to do if elected or re-elected. The messages were recorded at the WTTW studios at no cost to the candidates. The Voters’ Guide is an online version of Candidate Free Time, pioneered by WTTW in the 1992 race for U.S. Senate. This year’s Candidate Free Time is underwritten in part by the League of Women Voters of Cook County and the City Club of Chicago.
About this office: Illinois Comptroller
The Illinois Comptroller is an Executive Branch office of state government charged with maintaining the fiscal accounts of the state of Illinois and ordering the Illinois Treasurer to make payments into and out of those accounts. The Illinois Comptroller is ordinarily elected in non-presidential election years. This is a special election to replace Judy Baar Topinka, who died shortly after her re-election in 2014 and was replaced by a gubernatorial appointee.
About this candidate:
Name: Claire Ball
Born: October 29, 1982
Family: Spouse (Brian), two cats (Phoebos and Deimos)
Political experience: Candidate for College of DuPage Board of Trustee’s, 2015
What is your vision for this office?
My vision is for this office to be an independent accounting department; to report timely and without bias the financial details of the operations of the state with the highest level of detail possible. This office should also be the last checkpoint before checks are issued, to ensure all vouchers are properly approved and provide reasonable justification for all payments. These are common requirements in the private sector equivalent, but lacking in our state government, as we have never had an accountant in the office of the comptroller.
What is the most pressing issue facing constituents, and how can you help address it?
The budget impasse has severely affected Illinois’ ability to pay vendors timely. The comptroller has no control over state budgets or initial expenditure authorization, but does have control over sending checks out the door and financial reports. One way I will help address state finances is through accurate reporting, explaining without bias where every dollar is going and, more importantly, why. Timely, transparent financial reports provide a reliable method of benchmarking government programs and initiatives taken throughout the year. Unfortunately, Illinois frequently issues its reports more than a year late. These reports, when issued in a timely manner, can be used by businesses and investors to evaluate potential investments, including bringing business to Illinois and investing in the state.
Hi, my name is Claire Ball and I am the Libertarian candidate for Illinois Comptroller in this November’s election.
In the 197-year history of Illinois, the office of Comptroller has never been held by an accountant. This position has been used as a political reward or career stepping stone for the entirety of its existence, and that needs to end. Financial reports are issued late every year, there is no clarity behind the payment process, and no independence in calling out questionable spending.
I am an accountant, with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in accounting and finance, over ten years’ experience in the field, and I recently passed the CPA exam. I have the qualifications needed for Comptroller. I also have the focus and drive to bring Illinois finances up to the same standards that you would see in any publically traded company.
As a Libertarian I will provide the highest level of independence – who better to watch over the Republicans and Democrats than a Libertarian? I don’t care what letter follows your name, if you play games with our money I WILL call you out on it.
If elected, I will establish a table of priority that lists out who gets paid first, and most importantly, why. Without a balanced budget, when social services have to close their doors and businesses go months without payment, it is crucial to know where every dollar is going. I will release the financial reports on time, so everyone can see and understand exactly what our government is doing with our money, and I will call out questionable spending wherever I see it, regardless of political affiliation.
I am running to do the job of state comptroller, to bring the financial standards of the state to a level of clarity and transparency that we deserve in Illinois. Visit my website at ClaireBallForIllinois.com and vote for me, Claire Ball, this November 8th for your next Comptroller. In Illinois it’s time we voted for the qualified and not the connected.
See more candidates for Illinois Comptroller
Return to our 2016 Voters’ Guide to the General Election