Post-Election Message From Claire Ball

April 10, 2015

Claire Ball, libertarian accountant for College of DuPage Trustee

I want to offer my most sincere congratulations to Kathy Hamilton’s Clean Slate; Deanne Mazzochi, Frank Napolitano, and Charles Bernstein. You ran an excellent campaign unmatched by anyone else, and earned yourselves seats on the troubled College of DuPage board of trustees. I have confidence that you will help to turn around the troubles at COD and get the college back on course to do the best for the people of DuPage, and I look forward to following your progress at the school in the coming years.

This campaign was my first effort in running for office, and 10,413 people decided that I was a candidate worthy of their vote. It is a humbling experience and I am honored to have earned votes from so many people in my home county of DuPage. I knocked on doors in twelve neighborhoods, met people at 16 train stations, and gave more speeches than I can remember over the past three months. Quite a feat for someone not used to public speaking!

This 32-year-old accountant was quoted numerous times in the Daily Herald, and had her photo printed in the Chicago Tribune. How exciting was that!? I’ve received help from close friends and total strangers. Kind words and encouragement came from people who were Republicans, Democrats, members of the local Tea Parties, Constitution Party members, and of course, from my fellow Libertarians.

There are too many people I know I won’t remember to thank them all, but a good place to start is with Jennifer Floyd, who helped with just about everything and whose graphic art skills are like a typhoon, blowing away anything Herricane Graphics could come up with. Steve Dutner, who came out to every one of my literature walks – even in the rain. Crystal Jurczynski, Linda Foertsch, Mark Agnini, Lex and Karen Green, and Matthew Skopek, for each of their particular brands of support, you have no idea how much you helped me. So many others but too many to name here. I also want to thank fellow Libertarian, accountant, and three-time candidate for Illinois Comptroller Julie Fox for inspiring me to run for this office.

I could go on but I’ll stop at the most important person. My loving husband and dedicated campaign manager, Brian. Without you I never would have had the courage to run, to push myself to go out there and be so bold. You are my motivation to do better, to go farther, to strive for more. If those of you reading this only knew how much time and energy he spent doing all the little things, handling all the little nuances of running a campaign that I couldn’t do alone. Plotting, planning, executing – he proofread my speeches, reached out to people on my behalf – he did it all and made me breakfast every morning on top of it. Most importantly he gave me the love and dedication that I needed the most.

I’ve met so many wonderful people over the last three months, people who are genuinely concerned with what’s going on at COD and I thank you for your support, even if you didn’t vote for me. Thank you to my fellow candidates, for your encouragement to this newcomer and for making this one heck of a race.

I treasure every kind word, every tip and suggestion, even the raised eyebrows at my libertarian principles. Thank you all for making this a fantastic experience. And don’t count this gal out just yet, you may hear from me sooner than you think….

Claire Ball


Claire Ball, College of DuPage, and Campaigning as a Libertarian

March 4, 2015

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Heading into March, the DuPage Libertarians are working hard behind the scenes for Claire Ball and her campaign for a seat on the board of trustees at College of DuPage.

Throughout this process of campaigning, we’ve learned a lot of things. There are two kinds of events you will be attending as a candidate; independent ones, and official party ones. Both of these events play out very differently, especially if you are a libertarian.

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The independent events are meetings, planning sessions, and forums hosted by independent groups, such as the local chapters of the League of Women Voters, local Tea Party groups like the West Suburban Patriots, and of course anything hosted the third parties like the Green, Constitution, or Libertarian Party. There aren’t too many of these groups, but the ones that do exist are full of strong and loyal members and are generally operated by dedicated individuals with lots of passion.

The official party events are run by groups affiliated directly with the Republicans or Democrats. There is a group at the county level for each of the two, and one at the township level, of which there are nine of in DuPage County, for each of the two as well. That gives you twenty groups, each with a night during the month dedicated to pushing their agendas and candidates. Some towns or cities may even have their own political factions within those parties, youth organizations, or separate factions within larger ones. In other words, it gets pretty crowded.

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You have to pick and choose your battles.

When attending the independent meetings, the support is really high, and people are willing to listen to all sides. They have all been warm, welcoming, and open-minded. Obviously, many people will still disagree with you, and interesting if not heated discussions take place, but the mutual respect is always there. These events are fun, high-spirited, and always entertaining.

The party events are a different story altogether. They can also be fun and high-spirited… if you are connected and liked by enough people. Otherwise, prepare to feel slightly ostracized throughout the event. Even if you are a newcomer and relatively unknown, you will still be accepted as long as you have the coveted (R) or (D) after your name – regardless if your particular race is non-partisan or not. The two major parties even have a sort of mutual respect for each other when attending each other’s events that can still leave a third party candidate feeling out of place. If you are a good candidate, prepare to be guilted and hashed about how you need to join a major party now if you want to be taken seriously. Being an openly third-party person means you will have to work extra hard to get that respect.

However, in Claire’s particular race, every group, both party affiliated and non-affiliated, have been very cool and respectful with her. That has been Claire’s goal as well – not just to earn respect for herself through her personality and credentials, but also to earn respect for libertarian candidates. Everyone, so far, has been very accepting of her.

Claire Ball is an accountant, also known as a bean counter... and jelly beans are the funnest beans to count!

Claire Ball is an accountant, also known as a bean counter… and jelly beans are the funnest beans to count!

In this campaign, we’ve seen some good-hearted campaigning, and we’ve seen some ugly confrontations and childish behavior. Luckily, the respectable forms of campaigning take the lead, and the limelight antics are few and far, and are only hurting those who participate in them.

Ultimately, it comes down to this: Who are the people you want to represent? As long as you are yourself, be honest about your positions, and do the best you can to put them forth to as many people as possible, then good people can get elected, regardless of their party credentials.

Please consider supporting Claire’s campaign at her website www.ClaireBallForIllinois.com and like and share her Facebook page www.Facebook.com/ClaireBallForIllinois and help us through these final weeks of campaigning. Thanks to everyone for your support!


Claire Ball for College of DuPage Trustee

February 3, 2015
Claire Ball, libertarian accountant for College of DuPage Trustee

Claire Ball, libertarian accountant for College of DuPage Trustee

While the DuPage Libertarians plot out our event calendar for 2015, we’ve been supporting our candidate for the College of DuPage board of trustees, Libertarian accountant Claire Ball. Perhaps you’ve heard about what has been going on with the board of trustees at COD in the last week from the Chicago Tribune or the Chicago Sun-Times? It’s a story that goes back for years and shines light on a growing problem that has rooted itself in a way that makes is hard to eradicate.

The board has been very active in the last week; so active, that the College Board has been in the media more times in the last several days than in probably the last two years – and we’ve been part of it. Just yesterday at a press conference in Springfield, Rep. Jeanne Ives mentioned libertarians by name with regards to the COD debacle.

Last year, we saw FOIA requests that showed receipts of lavish spending habits from the President and board, along with other FOIA requests that went unanswered. There was $110,000 used to purchase wine and alcohol for the school restaurant… a restaurant which took a $500,000 loss last year.

President Breuder never looks happy, even though he just scored a $762K buyout for his early retirement.

President Breuder never looks happy, even though he just scored a $762K buyout for his early retirement.

This year, the board voted to give the corrupt President Breuder – whom taxpayers have paid for plenty of dinners, hunting trips, and a gun club membership for – a $762,000 buyout for stepping down early into retirement. The board pushed this vote illegally, by not releasing the details of this buyout within a proper time frame for the public.

The public and media backlash was so intense, combined with a lawsuit being filed by the Edgar County Watchdogs and For the Good of Illinois, that the COD board held a special meeting the following week to hold the vote again and cover all the legal loopholes.

Massive crowd of students, teachers, and taxpayers at COD board meeting protesting the buyout.

Massive crowd of students, teachers, and taxpayers at COD board meeting protesting the buyout.

Despite several hours of commentary from the public, including a wonderful response from Claire Ball, the board still voted 6-1 (with Kathy Hamilton again being the lone dissenter) to give the President his golden parachute. The 500+ crowd of students, taxpayers, teachers and candidates made sure their voices were heard.

The original pool of 14 candidates for the three open seats has been whittled down to 12 that will appear on the ballot. It is a very diverse list, including three candidates endorsed by the lone dissenting COD trustee Kathy Hamilton, a former board member, the father of a current board member, a union-backed washed up Republican, and two of the incumbents (the third incumbent not running for re-election).

After the Chicago elections on February 24th, this race will most likely be the BIGGEST and most talked about in the state for April 7th, and there is a strong libertarian candidate in it. A candidate with a master’s degree in accounting and finance, plenty of experience, and an independent political record that keeps her free from internal pressures of either of the two political machines that run the state and county, Claire Ball is the best option to save the College of DuPage, help put it on the right track, and show the county and state of Illinois just how an elected Libertarian works for the taxpayers.

Claire Ball for COD College of DuPage trustee

Claire Ball for COD College of DuPage trustee

Please check out Claire’s website and Facebook profile, and consider making a donation to help pay for informative materials, banners, and advertising. Also, come out to our DuPage Libertarians meetings and get directly involved with the campaign. We have just over two months to go, and we have a lot of work to do!! Thanks for all your support!!

www.ClaireBallForIllinois.com

www.Facebook.com/ClaireBallForIllinois


Not Slowing Down – DuPage Libertarians On Fire in 2015

January 15, 2015

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You know with a loaded headline like that, we couldn’t possibly let you down.

In my last blog, I talked about all of our achievements in 2014, of which I am very proud of. This group has always been primed to do awesome things, and all I wanted to do was help be an igniter for all the fuel that has been waiting to be put to use.

Now that 2015 is here, it is time to see what we have on the agenda.

My first big goal was to actually run a candidate in a local election, and we are already underway with the election of Claire Ball for a College of DuPage trustee seat. As of now, there are 14 candidates running for three seats. Six of them are well-connected liberals, and seven are tea party conservatives. That leaves Claire right in the middle as the lone libertarian – and we like it that way.

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With no big political party breathing down her neck, she can operate entirely off of her values and principles of fiscal responsibility and open transparency without anyone behind her telling her to do. She has already earned an endorsement from the Illinois Herald, combined with a great interview that can be read here at this link.

Other goals include being involved in more booth events, marching in five parades (up from last years’ four), fighting corruption that we come across in all facets of government, and starting the process to bring a referendum to a ballot in DuPage County to eliminate red light and speed cameras once and for all.

As I’ve said many times before, we are NOT slowing down.

Of course, we always need financial help; some of the events we do have an entrance fee for renting space, and promotional materials also get used up. Don’t hesitate to click that button in the top right and contribute what you can, if you can. If you are low on funds and can’t contribute (which we understand) then contribute in other ways, like helping run tables at our shows, marching in parades, and going door-to-door to help our candidates promote themselves.

I want to end this update by sharing a photo with you of Ron Paul, taken when he came to visit us in Illinois during his run for the presidency in 1988.

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We have a great history here in Illinois, and a greater one in DuPage County. Help keep that history going. Thanks, and I hope to see you soon.


DuPage Libertarians 2014 Year In Review

December 29, 2014

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After almost 4 years of being a fairly inactive member of the DuPage Libertarians and meeting up in the back room of a pancake house, I decided to take up an offer from the previous year offered to me by then-Chair Josh Hanson.

I really didn’t think I was in much of a position to lead a group, but I was hungry to get involved in a way that was greater than I had been in previous years, and the only way to do that was to have more influence. As libertarians, we generally don’t like to be told what to do, or enjoy ordering others around – but to be honest, I needed more control over the group and a greater voice.

So I agreed to take on the Chair position a year ago, in December, where I began writing up a list of things that I wanted to do and objectives I wanted to achieve. Once January kicked in, I would start my term by moving our location from the back of the pancake house, to the current location at the American Tap – a pub and grill that served alcohol but was still all ages, had a large room we could use in the back, and had a great name.

I had a list of goals laid out for 2014 that I read out loud to everyone that cold January evening; goals that I hoped to meet or surpass by that same time the following year:

– To attend all 12 meetings (done)
– To double our followers on the Facebook page from 285 to at least 570 (we more than doubled, currently standing at 672)
– To awaken and use our ignored Twitter account (started with 1 follower, we now have 358, which includes many journalists and other members of the media)
– To publish at least one article per month on the DuPage Libertarians website (not only did we achieve this, but often we get two articles published in one month when things are very active)
– To release at least one newsletter per month to our members and subscribers (we now generally send out two newsletters; one every two weeks)
– To actively use our YouTube account and publish at least one original video of some kind this year (okay, we actually published over 20, and they were on a variety of things including candidate ads – we probably won’t publish nearly that many in a non-election year)
– To march in at least one parade (we did four – Memorial Day in Itasca, Independence Day in Downers Grove, Cornfest in Morris, and a Holiday Lights Parade in Westmont)
– To host some kind of statewide event for the party (we ended up hosting three candidate workshops and spearheaded the Springfield press conference in the Capitol Building – we also hosted a petition drive fundraiser)
– To double our average attendance at our monthly meetings (done)
– To operate a booth at a local event other than the DuPage County Fair (we did five gun shows and a Lt. Governor primary debate)
– To gain some kind of media presence (we had our name in both print and on television)

On top of that, we also were the chapter to bring in the most signatures for the Petition Drive, earning us a trophy and bragging rights. This list of achievements is not only above and beyond what I had hoped for, but makes me weary of how I could be expected to match or surpass it next year!

It’s quite daunting.

I have already started compiling a list of gains and achievements for the DuPage Libertarians to strive for in 2015 which I will publish in the next blog, and it is both humorous and encouraging to note that as I write out the list now, there are already things planned out on the near horizon whose goals have already been met.

Why? – Because we never slow down. We will always keep moving and we will always keep fighting for the spread of liberty, accountability, and personal freedom in Illinois, starting at home in DuPage County. Join us in 2015, and be part of our movement. We need people, and we need money. Donate at this website, if you can, to help us fund all the things we want to do next year, and then join us and take part in those things! If you can’t contribute finances, contribute your time and talents. With all the projects we have going on, there is always something for a new volunteer to jump on of their choosing.

Thanks to everyone who already helped make 2014 as successful as it was. We will continue this in 2015 and as the Chair of the DuPage Libertarians, I will do my best to keep this group a powerful voice in the community. Have a great New Year, everyone.

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