By Mark Wachtler
February 21, 2016. Addison, IL. (ONN) While Republicans and Democrats are preparing for their March Primaries here in Illinois, the state’s Libertarians are already on the campaign trail for the November General Election. One of those is Claire Ball, Libertarian Party candidate for Illinois Comptroller. Not only does she appear more qualified than her likely Democrat and GOP opponents, but Ball would bring an anti-corruption, non-partisan approach to Illinois’ near-bankrupt finances.
Claire Ball, Libertarian Party candidate for Illinois Comptroller.
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Claire Ball was born in Evanston, Illinois and works as an accountant for one of the nation’s largest cell phone companies. Unlike the rest of her potential November opponents, Ball has a Masters Degree in finance and accounting. The Illinois Herald recently sat down with Claire for an interview about her campaign for Illinois Comptroller. We’d like to thank her for her time and consideration in answering some of our questions and telling Illinois Herald readers a little more about herself.
Illinois Herald: Why are you running for Illinois Comptroller?
Claire Ball: Fiscal responsibility, Integrity, and Transparency(FIT) are the foundation of state financial security, which fosters new jobs and economic growth. Illinois taxpayers deserve a FIT Illinois. As a professional accountant with a Master’s degree in accounting, I am uniquely qualified to bring FIT to Illinois’ finances.
Illinois Herald: If elected, you would be a Libertarian Comptroller forced to work with a Republican Governor and a Democratic Legislative super majority. How would you handle or approach those relationships?
Claire Ball: When you’re talking about taxpayer dollars, you need someone who is independent and who will not pick sides or play political games. I will approach Republicans and Democrats with the same professional attitude I use in business.
Illinois Herald: Do you support raising taxes to fill Illinois’ budget gap as Democrats want? Do you support cutting programs and spending to erase the deficit as Republicans want? Or do you have a different position?
Claire Ball: Illinois does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. As Comptroller,I will prioritize paying for critical services over political favoritism. I will also call out budget bloat at all levels of Illinois government to bring attention and drive change.
Illinois Herald: Since the Illinois Supreme Court ruled state taxpayers are on the hook for a seemingly unpayable pension obligation for government employees, how would you suggest the state raise the billions needed?
Claire Ball: The first step is to stop the pension problem from growing by placing new government employees into Defined Contribution type pension plans, like in the private sector. As for the existing obligations, Illinois needs to face the fact that those obligations will have to be restructured and reduced, similar to how business debts are handled through bankruptcy proceedings.
Illinois Herald: What is the number one issue the Illinois Comptroller faces these days and what is your position on that issue?
Claire Ball: Illinois cannot pay its bills. Illinois taxpayers deserve legislators that will create a budget that funds necessary government services without breaking the bank.
Illinois Herald: You recently ran for local office in DuPage County. While you didn’t win, you garnered over 10,000 votes. What did you learn from that experience that you can apply to your bid for Illinois Comptroller?
Claire Ball: People are sick of Illinois politics as usual. I learned that people were receptive to my open and direct approach to problem solving. This no-nonsense perspective is needed in Illinois government now more than ever.
Illinois Herald: Why are you running as a Libertarian? Do you believe it helps or hurts your chances?
Claire Ball: Being independent of the two party system is an asset. People want real change and are more open to 3rd party options now more than ever before.
Illinois Herald: Are you running to win or to raise awareness of certain issues or the Libertarian Party?
Claire Ball: I am running to win and also to raise awareness to the fact that the biggest accounting job in the state has NEVER been held by an accountant. The people of Illinois deserve their tax dollars to be managed by someone with the same qualifications required in every other business.
Illinois Herald: Your probable opponents in November will be Republican Leslie Munger and Chicago Clerk Susana Mendoza. What is your opinion of them?
Claire Ball: Neither has the qualifications that Illinois voters should require for this position.
Illinois Herald: Do you support combining the Illinois Comptroller and Illinois Treasurer offices into one office?
Claire Ball: No, I do not. Accounting standards stress separation of duties as one of the most important for maintaining good internal controls. Keeping the person holding taxpayer funds separate from the person who records those funds and issues payment is an important safeguard to have, especially in Illinois.
Illinois Herald: You’re running as a Libertarian, do you have a strategy to break the media black-out of independent and third party candidates?
Claire Ball: I plan to leverage my knowledge and experience in social media and new technologies to make it impossible to ignore my campaign.
Illinois Herald: Where can people go to learn more about your campaign?
Claire Ball: People can visit my website at ClaireBallforIllinois.com or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Illinois Herald: Thank you again for taking the time to sit down with us and telling Illinois Herald readers a little more about yourself. As a grassroots news outlet that specializes in independent and third party politics, we sincerely wish you the best of luck with the campaign.
Claire Ball: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me, I will see you on the campaign trail!
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