Claire Ball

Claire Ball

Libertarian Party

Comptroller Candidate

Questions & Answers

For the November 2018 Election

What is the importance of Illinois Comptroller to your constituents in Champaign County?

The Illinois Comptroller is responsible for recordkeeping and payment authorization for the state. The Office is like the accounting department of any company in that the Comptroller is the state’s Chief Financial Officer. Specifically, this office: reviews invoices to be paid, reports financial information to the taxpayers,​ and audits local government at the county level. Furthermore, the importance of the Comptroller to Champaign County is that the Comptroller controls the flow of funds by reporting what is available, what can and will be disbursed, and when disbursements can be made. Recently, the powers of this office were spotlighted when the current Comptroller withheld funds owed to the city of Harvey in order to shore-up Harvey’s unfunded pension liabilities.

Why are you qualified to be the Illinois Comptroller?

In the nearly 200-year history of Illinois, the Office of the Comptroller (originally called Auditor of Public Accounts when the Office was created) position has never been held by an accountant. The public official in charge of the finances of a state with an annual budget of $85. billion dollars has never even held a background in finance. I have both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in accounting and finance, over 12 years of experience in accounting, as well as my CPA certification. I am the only candidate running for Comptroller who is truly qualified.

What is the key policy difference between you and your opponents?

One area where both my opponents agree on is the question of combining the Offices of the Comptroller with that of the Treasurer. I disagree, and please consider my explanation. Coming purely from an accounting perspective, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles stresses three areas of importance in any accounting system that should always be segregated to keep a good system of internal controls: authorization, recordkeeping, and custody of assets. The

Comptroller handles the first two, the Treasurer the third. The offices were split in 1970 because of fraud from the Auditor of Public Accounts, Orville Hodges, who embezzled over $6 million (in 1970’s dollars). Rita Crundwell, Comptroller of Dixon, Illinois embezzled over $53 million over 23 years because she had full control of all areas of the City’s finances with no oversight. I do not want to see an important safeguard erased because of unfounded promises of savings. It is said that combining will save $10 - $14 million dollars, but I have not seen any detail on what makes up that number. I will not sign off on any proposals without a full understanding of where the savings is going to come from. Lastly, as a Libertarian, I do not like the idea of eliminating one of our elected positions. By potentially combining these offices, Illinois will effectively silence a voice of the People. Other roles will be created to do the work (with additional salaries) and individuals appointed. I am all for combining services within these Offices and shrinking the budgets of both. I do not believe you need to eliminate an important financial check and balance in order to do so.

Any other information you would like to add for undecided voters in Champaign County?

There are many things that set me apart from my opponents in the 2018 race for Illinois Comptroller. One of the most prominent is that I am the only candidate who is truly independent from the two-party powerhouse in Illinois. I am the only candidate who will speak openly and honestly about what both sides are doing–right and wrong. I am also the only candidate who has the qualifications required in any company, any business–the qualifications of an accountant. Lastly, I am the only candidate who is running to d​o the job of Comptroller​ and nothing else. I am not interested in having a long political career.

My focus and goals as Comptroller are to get the financial reports out on time, instead of chronically late (Illinois is late every year; an average of 129 days over the last ten years, with the 2008 reports released more than a year later!), provide real and objective transparency in payment processing, auditing, and fiscal policy, and to get Illinois fiscally sound and put money back into the pockets of the People. I want the numbers to be as crystal clear as glass and I want the people of Champaign County, as well as the whole of Illinois, to know exactly where their money is going and for what purpose. Please visit my website for more details at w​​ I welcome your questions and please consider casting your vote for the only independent accountant running for Comptroller.

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