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Aurora renews contract with political lobbyist

Updated: March 14, 2014 8:19AM

AURORA — Aldermen unanimously voted to approve a contract with a Chicago-based political lobbyist Tuesday night.

Aldermen voted 10-0 to renew a contract for one year with political consultant Dan Shomon. Shomon’s team, Dan Shomon Inc., represents the city’s interests in Springfield and Washington, D.C.

Under the new contract, the city agrees to pay Shomon about $82,800 annually to monitor and lobby on local, state and federal legislation, as well as consult on other issues important to the city. Shomon has been Aurora’s lobbyist since 2006.

In 2013, Shomon lobbied for the release of Downer Place bridge funds from the state and lobbied against slots at racetracks, which would negatively impact Aurora’s Hollywood Casino. Shomon’s team also assisted Aurora University in obtaining a $3.5 million grant from the state to fund the STEM Academy and the Association for Individual Development with an unfunded capital request of $250,000, according to city records.

In 2012, the City Council voted 10-2 to approve Shomon’s contract extension, with then-aldermen Stephanie Kifowit, 3rd Ward, and Rick Lawrence, 4th Ward, voting against the contract renewal. Kifowit is now a state representative from Oswego.

Kifowit and Lawrence also voted against the Shomon contract in 2011. In 2010, aldermen renewed the contract by a 7-5 vote.

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