Mike Boland is a Democrat running for state Treasurer and, if elected, Boland plans to donate his salary to charity. The money would go to college scholarships and other causes.
Boland has campaigned with state School Superintendent Glenda Ritz and says that education is one of his priorities. That’s why, he says, he would give up the take home portion of the State Treasurer’s over $76,000 salary to help others get an education.
“That’s probably over 50,000 a year and probably over 400,000 over a 4 year period,” he said.
It’s a gimmick similar to the one used by Democrat Tim Jeffers 20 years ago when he promised to do away with the office he was seeking. “To be the best Secretary of State and the last,” said Jeffers in 1994.
This time Republican Kelly Mitchell is a strong favorite in the race for State Treasurer. Her TV ads can’t be matched by the underfunded Boland, who nevertheless insists that his salary pledge is something he’s thought about for a long time.
“If it was a gimmick,” he said, “it’s a pretty costly gimmick to us.”
He said, “Some people get their highs off of booze and drugs. I get my high off of helping somebody get through college.”
Boland says he would establish a committee to determine who would receive the money and he promises to make his tax returns public.
Boland says he first got this idea when he heard that John Kennedy donated his salary as President. He is a former Illinois state legislator and, when he was in office there, he donated the money he received in pay raises.