Former COD board member Savage asks federal government to shut down DuPage Policy Journal
Former College of DuPage (COD) trustee Kim Savage has filed a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against the DuPage Policy Journal.
Notably, Savage was named in previous stories by the DuPage Policy Journal on the College of DuPage scandal.
In a February 2016 piece, the DuPage Policy Journal reported on Savage’s taxpayer-paid pension and pointed out that she has continued to be paid as a consultant, focusing on strategic planning, assessment development planning and administrative services, according to her LinkedIn page.
Savage, formerly an administrator at the University of Illinois at Chicago who collected a state pension of $74,637 in 2014, was a member of the COD Board of Trustees that voted for a $763,000 taxpayer-funded severance package for former COD President Robert Breuder.
Breuder was accused of lack of oversight and excessive spending regarding more than $95 million in questionable expenditures on behalf of the state’s largest community college.
After the excessive spending was revealed, a group named Clean Slate for College of DuPage Committee supported three new candidates for the COD board that resulted in Savage losing the election and her seat as a trustee.
Savage later filed a complaint with the Illinois State Board of Elections against the Clean Slate for College of DuPage Committee.
The next COD board — minus Savage — stripped Breuder of that deal, which became the basis of statewide legislation regarding severance payments for public employees.
As the pension debt crisis has arguably been the biggest issue facing Illinois, the DuPage Policy Journal has featured in-depth reporting on public employee benefits.
In her complaint, Savage alleges the DuPage Policy Journal has been coordinating with Tonia Khouri, the Republican candidate for the 11th Congressional District. Savage’s filing said the publication costs for the paper should be reported as political contributions in Khouri’s bid to replace incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL).
The filing questions the independence of the DuPage Policy Journal — alleging it is run by a political organization — and contends it should not be entitled to press exemption from campaign finance laws.
Savage’s filing alleges the DuPage Policy Journal is not an independent newspaper, but rather is controlled by the Liberty Principles PAC through Dan Proft.
Proft is a businessman, a radio talk-show host and a principal of Local Government Information Services, which owns the DuPage Policy Journal.
Proft denied allegations made in the FEC filing and said the newspaper is owned by a private company.
"It's a legitimate newspaper just like any other newspaper," Proft told the Associated Press. "I'll put the stories we do on politics and policy up against any other newspaper in the state."
Rich Miller, publisher of the Capital Fax political blog and newsletter, agreed in a post that the problem with the filing is that the newspaper is owned by a private company.
“Look, I do not want the federal government defining what is and is not a legit media company,” Miller wrote. “Progress Illinois does good work, but it gets most of its money from SEIU. I don’t know who funds Illinois Review, but I’m fine with them, too. Stay the heck away.”
The FEC has 15 days to get a response from those accused in the complaint. It will then make a decision on whether to launch a full investigation.