DuPage County might Spend $284,000 to Keep Lobbyists
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Posted by: Deni LaPenna
Daily Herald- 08/24/2015
DuPage County Board members are expected to decide Tuesday whether to spend $284,000 to continue using four lobbying firms to promote the county's legislative agenda at the state and federal levels.
Two of the firms -- All-Circo Inc. and V.A. Persico Consulting Inc. -- are working with state lawmakers on the county's behalf. Another firm, McGuire Woods Consulting, represents both the county board and the DuPage County Health Department at the state level.
The fourth firm, BGR Government Affairs LLC, lobbies for projects before the U.S. Congress and federal executive branch.
Members of the county board's legislative committee are scheduled to vote on the four firms' proposed one-year contracts during a 7:30 a.m. meeting at the DuPage administration building, 421 N. County Farm Road in Wheaton.
A final vote on the pacts for All-Circo, V.A. Persico and BGR Government Affairs is slated to happen during the regular county board meeting, which starts at 10 a.m.
DuPage's lead lobbyist in Springfield is Vince Persico, who is a former state legislator from Glen Ellyn. His firm, V.A. Persico, has represented DuPage since 2003. If the firm is retained, it will be paid $60,000 from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, 2016.
All-Circo has represented DuPage at the state level since September 2011. As part of its proposed contract, the firm would be paid $120,000 to represent the county's interests from Sept. 15 to Sept. 14, 2016.
If retained, All-Circo's primary focus will include coordinating lobbying efforts with Cook and the collar counties, defeating legislation that reduces county revenues or authority and educating, communicating and advancing the county's priorities to lawmakers outside DuPage, officials said.
The third state lobbying firm -- McGuire Woods -- has represented the DuPage Health Department since 2008 and the county board since 2011.
As part of its proposed contract, McGuire Woods would be paid $24,000 to represent the county from Sept. 15 to Sept. 14, 2016. It would work under the direction of the county's lead lobbyist and provide assistance on issues as needed, officials said.
Meanwhile, BGR Government Affairs might be paid $80,000 to represent and promote DuPage's interests at the federal level between Sept. 1 and Aug. 31, 2016. The Washington, D.C.-based firm has represented the county since September 2009.
Vendor disclosure statements show that one of the lobbyists contributed to the campaigns of three elected county officials within the past 12 months.
Between October 2014 and February 2015, Persico donated $830 to county board Chairman Dan Cronin, records show. In September 2014, he contributed $100 to county board member Sam Tornatore and $50 to County Clerk Paul Hinds.