In a complex unfolding story, it appears that Chicago mayoral candidate Amara Enyia may have underreported her 2017 income by almost a third.  Enyia’s financial troubles may, in fact, run deeper as reporting by the Chicago Tribune reveals that the IRS filed a tax lien against her for errors on her taxes in 2011-2013, and again in 2015.

For those of you located outside Chicago, it is may be hard to overstate just how crowded and contested this current mayoral race is.  Candidates run the gamut from a former White House chief of staff to a professor at Northwestern University. The slate of candidates brings to the table a mix of races, genders, ethnicities and experience that has not been typical to Chicago politics.  And while this diversity is certainly cause for hope, it can make voting difficult. Chicagoans are not just comparing apples to oranges here; we have entire fruit salad in front of us!

Bad metaphors aside, the most important thing today’s voters can do – in Chicago and elsewhere – is to get educated.  But even this task can be difficult as with fake Facebook accounts and dubious media sources, it can be hard to know what information to trust.

Consider this.  In this topsy-turvy media environment, one of the most objective, apolitical sources of information is public records.  Liens, litigation and other matters of public record can help the public identify where there may be cause for concern. Starting from this most basic information, we can begin to ask questions for ourselves – questions which can help us discern, in the end, which individuals we believe are best suited to lead.

The same, of course, is true for business.  Financial news from The Street is one thing, but the pure, objective reality of public records can help lenders and investors assess the real risk and reward associated with a particular company.  Every time Boomerang does a search for you, we are not just helping check a box, we are accessing the unbiased information necessary to help you and your clients make intelligent, informed decisions.

Whether or not Enyia is ultimately to blame for her financial challenges is not the point.  Rather, the real story here lies in value of the information that our industry provides. By asking critical, fact-based questions of Enyia – and of all of the candidates –  the voters of Chicago are far more likely to get the mayor they deserve.