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August 9, 2022

Village of Poplar Grove’s Electioneering Communications –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On March 10, 2021

Poplar Grove, IL. (ECWd) –

It has come to our attention that the Village of Poplar Grove has been using its official Facebook page for electioneering purposes – in favor of the current Village President, Owen Costanza.

Use of official government communications, like email and social media, for electioneering purposes, is wrong and we urge residents of Poplar Grove to file an official complaint to either the Village’s Ethics Commission (if there is one) or the Illinois State Board of Elections.

This gives an unfair disadvantage to other candidates and gives the impression that the Village is taking sides in the upcoming election. No amount of couching it as an informative listening session or “coffee talk” while advertising it as a “Re-elect Costanza” event could bring it into compliance.

These advertisements also pulled Illinois State Representative Joe Sosnowski into the electioneering issue, since his name is listed as a speaker at this event. He should have known better.

Screencaps of electioneering communications on Poplar Grove’s official Facebook page:

 

 

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6 Comments
  • Fred Flemm
    Posted at 16:34h, 10 March

    Both candidates are using that page to post on, failing to see the issue here.

  • PK
    Posted at 20:40h, 10 March

    It’s prohibited by the Illinois election code, and you don’t see an issue? Wow!

  • F P
    Posted at 23:18h, 10 March

    Looks like a iligitament claim according to the Boone County Clerk’s office .

  • F P
    Posted at 23:27h, 10 March

    ELECTIONEERING UPDATE

    From Boone County Clerk Julie Bliss:

    “There are no electioneering laws in Illinois regarding social media.

    Electioneering laws that fall within the scope of the Boone County Clerk’s office or the State Board of Elections only apply to the physical polling location during polling hours, which also includes early voting polling in my office. If there are any ethical questions about electioneering that occur outside the scope of the Boone County Clerk’s office or the State Board of Elections, then the issue should be referred to either the district in which the possible ethical violation occurred or filed with the State’s Attorney’s office.”

    Julie A. Bliss (FKA Stapler)
    Boone County Clerk & Recorder
    1212 Logan Ave #103
    Belvidere, IL 61008
    (815) 544-3103

    This is inappropriate for a watch dog group, poor reporting and research. Laughable! Will no longer rely on this Page or Group!!

    • John Kraft
      Posted at 08:11h, 11 March

      There are definitely electioneering laws on the books concerning official public body social media accounts (public property) – I can only assume your County Clerk, spoke about electioneering complaints dealing directly with voting and and at poling locations. You appear to be confused about the definition of electioneering and using public public property to further a campaign for public office. We suggest you read our upcoming article: “Electioneering Using Social Media Violates State Law” – will be published this afternoon.

      • PK
        Posted at 12:58h, 11 March

        Thanks for addressing my confusion.

        The Illinois Ethics Act. Got it.

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