A Springfield woman whose day job is advocating for conservative issues for the Illinois Policy Institute says she just likes Christmas – and is acting as a private citizen by organizing a crowdfunding campaign to light up the Capitol dome this season.
The secretary of state's office, which maintains the Capitol, says it cannot justify spending the approximately $7,300 this year for the labor and electricity for the outdoor holiday lights. That's where Kristina Rasmussen comes in.
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“I've been collecting Christmas ornaments since I was a little girl,” Rasmussen says. The colorful light display on the dome, she says, “is one of the very festive parts of living in Springfield. I think the Christmas lights are something people do appreciate.”
In the first 24 hours, the online campaign reached more than ten percent of its goal.
Henry Haupt, a spokesman for the secretary of state's office, said via e-mail, “Ms. Rasmussen's effort is something we appreciate, and it's something we'll take a look at. One factor to keep in mind is a time factor: the lights must be strung on the dome while the weather is decent enough so as not to jeopardize the workers who put them up.”
Undecided, says Haupt, is whether to put up the tree and other deorations in the Rotunda. “This is a different issue because the costs associated with the dome Christmas lights are far greater.”