Report of the Campaign Practices Committee of the Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government in Park Forest Regarding Campaign Flyer that Violates NPC Rules

Candidates Deny Involvement

Update April 5 at bottom of article.

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)–April 4, 2013. In order to participate in candidate forums sponsored by the Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government in Park Forest, Village and Library Trustee candidates in Park Forest sign a statement that they will conduct their campaign as individuals and not join with other candidates to form a slate.

On Wednesday, March 27, at Village Hall, a woman passed out flyers asking people to vote for Robin Kelly for Congress, Village Trustee candidates Andrew DiCosmo, JeRome Brown, and Joseph Carroll, Library Board candidate Kim Peake and a District 227 School Board candidate.

Candidate Andrew DiCosmo issued a statement later on Wednesday, saying "This information that is being delivered has not been endorsed by me.”

The Non-Partisan Committee Campaign Practices Committee contacted the other candidates and asked if they had authorized, paid for, distributed or otherwise been involved with the flyer.

JeRome Brown responded: “I have seen this flyer and have taken it out of doors. I took this material to some candidate’s supporter home and told each person this was a good choose [sic].”

Joseph Carroll said, “the information on this flyer has not been authorized by me.”

Kim Peake responded, “The flyers that were distributed outside the Village Hall were created without my permission.”

Full responses by the candidates are at the end of this article. The Robin Kelly campaign has not responded to the question of whether they have endorsed candidates in the Park Forest election.

Since 1956, the Non‑Partisan Committee has provided forums to enable all candidates for village office to present their views to the public. Candidates are asked to agree to run independently and not as candidates of Republican, Democratic Party or local parties. The Committee believes that Park Forest gets the best government by electing the best individual candidates rather than by voting in a slate that may include weaker candidates.

The penalties for violations of the rules that the candidates have agreed to follow are exclusion from participation in the forums and making the violation public. For the 2013 campaign, the forums are complete. So far, the committee has not been able to find the source of the flyer.

Statement by Candidates

Andrew DiCosmo

"This evening I was informed by one of my supporters that there are flyers and emails being delivered that list my name with other candidates currently running for office. This information that is being delivered has not been endorsed by me.

"Under the rules of the non-partisan committee that I signed and agreed to, it states that I will not work with any political party or form alliances with other candidates.

"During this campaign I have been working as independently as possible with only help from family and friends. I have been working diligently designing, writing and keeping my promotional branding consistent. Although, flattered that someone wants to endorse me. I will continue to campaign independently with integrity and the upmost respect for my fellow candidates.

JeRome Brown

“I have not endorsed nor accepted an endorsement. I do understand a slate was created some time ago, however its none of the candidates that appear in this email. I have seen this flyer and have taken it out of doors. I took this material to some candidate’s supporter home and told each person this was a good choose. My signs have been stolen meanwhile, other signs appear. Other candidates have put their signs in the same yard that mine appeared. I saw a candidate and a candidate’s husband pass out material inside village hall (next to the polling area. 100 feet is the distance allowed). Enews also put a slate together. I am thrilled someone endorsed me. I do have a great deal of respect for the other candidates that was endorsed. I will continue to work independently and hard. I truly desire to serve this village.”

Joseph Carroll

The information on this flyer has not been authorized by me. I have agreed to run a Non Partisan campaign by signing the Non Partisan Agreement. I am very glad there is someone out there that believes in me. I have been working on my campaign diligently by going out to speak with residents with the help of friends and family. I will continue to campaign independently under the governing rules that were set by the Non Partisan Local Government and by the statement that I signed agreeing to follow these rules.

Kim Peake

“By signing the Non-Partisan Committee Candidate’s Campaign Practices statement, I, Kim D. Peake did agree that I would not be working with any other candidates during this campaign.

“The flyers that were distributed outside the Village Hall were created without my permission.

“I’ve been working on this campaign independently and have been spending a lot of my time introducing myself as a Library Board Trustee Candidate to the people here in the Village of Park Forest.”

Related Information:

From the Candidate’s Campaign Practices statement:

1) I will not join with another candidate to form a slate.

2) Statements made or documents distributed by me shall relate only to my candidacy for the above office.

3) I understand that I may accept the endorsement and support of a group (other than a political party) providing the group advocates only my candidacy.

4) I understand that I may obtain the support of an organization organized solely to promote my candidacy, provided the organization does not support or publicize any other candidates.

5) I understand that I may host or attend coffees or meetings other than those sanctioned by the Non-Partisan Committee, provided they are given for my candidacy alone or for all candidates seeking the same office who have signed the Campaign Practices Statement for the current campaign.

6) I will not authorize advertising that violates these guidelines.

7) I will not distribute or display campaign materials at forums or meetings sponsored by the Non-Partisan Committee. I understand that I may distribute my campaign materials at the site of a forum after the forum is adjourned.

8) I will not endorse other candidates for President, Trustee, or Library Board Director of the Village of Park Forest.

9) At any activity sponsored by the Non-Partisan Committee, I will not endorse candidates for any elected local, state, or national office.

10) I understand that people other than candidates may opt to distribute my materials along with the materials of other candidates for Village office. I understand that people may put more than one candidate’s signs in the windows of their own homes. However, I will not initiate or encourage such activities. I will instruct people distributing my campaign materials that I am not supporting or running with any other candidate for Village office.

11) I understand that I may request the Non-Partisan Committee to clarify any questions about campaign practices and/or investigate complaints about candidates who may be violating these practices.

April 5 update:

After this final report was made available to candidates, the following statement was discovered on a Facebook page for candidate JeRome Brown, "Don’t forget early voting starts 3/25 at Park Forest Village Hall. Located at 350 Victory in Park Forest. Punch #19 for me, JeRome Brown, also punch #11 for Andrew DiCosmo and #20 for Joseph Carroll all for Village Trustee. Thank you all for your support. Remember election day is Tuesday April 9th."

Source: Campaign Practices Committee, Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government in Park Forest