From the Campaign Office of Raja Krishnamoorthi for Illinois Comptroller
SPRINGFIELD – Former Deputy Illinois Treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi (krish-nah-MOOR-thee) today announced that if elected Illinois State Comptroller he would enact measures to make state government more open and accountable to the media and voters.
“A large part of the problems with state government in Illinois is that too much is hidden from the taxpayers who pay for it,” Krishnamoorthi said. “Fortunately, the Internet and its search engines can make government information much more accessible – if the people in charge of state government are committed to making information available.”
Krishnamoorthi, 36, would expand the existing Open Book database maintained by the Illinois Comptroller’s office that provides a searchable online database of state contracts and vendor’s campaign contributions.
“I will turn Open Book into Open Look,” said Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat. “Open Look will have a user-friendly e-contracts library that is easily searchable.”
The e-contracts library would publish full, searchable copies of state contracts on a going forward basis for products valued at more than $10,000 and for services valued at more than $5,000 for all state agencies.
As Comptroller, Krishnamoorthi’s transparency efforts will also include establishing an Online Checkbook for the Illinois Comptroller’s office that will allow taxpayers to track how the office spends its money, including payments for salaries, rent and purchases of goods and services.
“The Online Checkbook can serve as a model for all state agencies to allow taxpayers to see how each and every taxpayer dollar is spent,” said Krishnamoorthi.
Krishnamoorthi also said he would push to disclose all funds received by Illinois as part of the federal stimulus legislation known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
“Illinois taxpayers have the right to know where and how their money is being spent in Springfield and Washington,” Krishnamoorthi said.
Krishnamoorthi lauded the enactment of the Illinois Transparency & Accountability Portal but noted that questions remain regarding its implementation. Krishnamoorthi's vision for online state contracting transparency calls for a more interactive Open Look where taxpayers and bidders can police state contracts and hold government officials accountable.
As a result, Krishnamoorthi called for the creation of a single online portal to let the public track all Illinois fiscal information.
“The technology is available, and state government ought to be willing to embrace technology to open up Illinois state government and help reduce waste and fraud,” Krishnamoorthi said. “Well-run government should not be an oxymoron, and we need a government willing to embrace new rules and new technologies that can make it more efficient and more effective.”
A lawyer and policy expert, Krishnamoorthi worked on President Barack Obama’s successful 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate, serving first as issues director and then as a senior adviser. Krishnamoorthi also advised Obama during his presidential campaign and his 2000 congressional campaign.
Krishnamoorthi would become the first Asian American to hold any elected state office in Illinois.
As Deputy Treasurer of Illinois, Krishnamoorthi helped bring significant reforms and oversaw the custody and administration of billions of dollars in state funds. Previously, Krishnamoorthi served as a Special Assistant Attorney General, helping to establish an anti-corruption unit. As a board member and audit committee chairman of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, he helped thousands of Illinois families find affordable housing.
Krishnamoorthi was a valedictorian at Richwoods High School in Peoria. With the help of financial aid, Krishnamoorthi attended and graduated with honors from Princeton University and Harvard Law School.
He is married to Priya, a doctor, and they have two young sons. The family lives in Hoffman Estates, a suburb of Chicago.
For more information regarding Raja Krishnamoorthi and his campaign, please visit www.rajaforillinois.com.