Buncich incident another failure of the corrupt Lake County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, the press and citizens who should review campaign finance reports and ask questions
January 18, 2018-It is not popular to say today, but John Buncich is a nice guy. Buncich was such a nice guy that he used campaign cash to spend his way into prison. over the course of the past 20 years, he has given money to practically every Lake County politician and many would be politicians. Few of those people are willing to say today that John Buncich is a nice man.
The truth of the matter is, however, that nice guys do bad things. It happens. In a system of government that works, those in power who make mistakes are punished for those mistakes before it becomes a federal case. In Lake County Indiana, those in power are surrounded by Yes men and women and their misdeeds are covered or applauded.
During his statement to the Judge at his sentencing hearing Mr. Buncich said that no oversight board told him there was a problem with his campaign finance. While the Lake County Board of Elections and Voter Registration repeatedly states that they are not “the election police”, they are also not supposed to be the apologists for illegal activity. Buncich was so brazen in his flouting of campaign finance laws that he routinely put “anonymous” as the source of funds on his report. Certainly someone at the Lake County Board of Elections and Voter Registration noticed this practice. While they are not the election police, we have a partisan election board meaning half the staff is actually appointed by the Lake County Democratic Party which Buncich ran. Would Buncich have been better served if Michelle Fajman had talked to him and explained that there were problems with his campaign finance reports? Would he have been $90,000 in debt if he didn’t need to grease the wheels of the political machine at election time?
The Gary Precinct Organization was charging nearly $10,000 for an endorsement. Lake County Council Member Elsie Franklin was the Chair of the Gary Democratic Precinct Organization in 2013. At that time she filed a report for the Organization saying they raised Zero dollars for the year 2013. At the very same time she filed that report, she filed a report for her own committee stating that she gave $500 to the Gary Democratic Precinct Organization:
Despite all of this, if one requests an investigation regarding these issues you risk the Civility Counts folks writing nasty editorials about you. The Board of Elections will ridicule you and drag out hearings requiring numerous appearances in the hopes that you will just give up. Finally, if you don’t give up they may issue a $10 fine after over a year of meetings. Clearly this is a broken system. The appointed staff at the Lake County Board of Elections and Voter Registration are a part of the system that led John Buncich down the path to federal prison.
To make matters worse, even obtaining campaign finance information is an expensive and time consuming process. Lake County taxpayers were billed for an online campaign finance system similar to that utilized by the State of Indiana. Despite having paid for the system, we still do not have online access to campaign finance reports. Michelle Fajman absolutely refuses to provide electronic copies of campaign finance reports. This is unacceptable in Lake County, Indiana in 2018. Residents must demand that campaign finance reports be available online.