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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fighting against reform

After all the scandals surrounding former Governors George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich, you would think meaningful campaign finance reform would be welcomed in Illinois by the legislature. At the latest meeting of the Illinois Reform Commission held on Monday at the University of Springfield, we found out otherwise (SJ-R: Campaign finance crackdown urged):

Any changes in campaign finance law would have to be approved by the General Assembly. However, state lawmakers have “a profound interest in ensuring that the status quo is not changed,” Cindi Canary of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform told the commission. Lawmakers have often contended that contribution limits are unnecessary and wouldn’t prevent corruption, Canary said. But the problem, she added, is that the current system is “obviously not working.”
“Time and again, our political scandals can be boiled down to one common element: the unbridled quest for campaign money.”

Even the Illinois Board of Elections went on record against it today:

Kent Redfield, a political scientist at UIS, called for contribution limits and tougher enforcement of campaign finance laws. The Illinois State Board of Elections could play the role of enforcer, he said.
Albert Porter, chairman of the State Board of Elections, told the Reform Commission the board already has plenty to do.
Just 16 percent of the board’s budget is dedicated to administering campaign finance laws, he said, adding: “We are doing a ton of other things in addition to that one item.”

What a bunch of wimps.

Posted by Marie at February 24, 2009 12:29 AM


Just a question instead of the usual peroration: Didn't a new, "tougher," campaign finance law just go into effect in Illinois? I thought that was one of the reasons that Blago & Co. were doing the full-court press late last year -- to beat the new law that would make it harder for them to raise money.

Posted by: Dan at February 24, 2009 10:55 PM

Yes. I think the law you're referring to applies to people or companies with state contracts giving $50,000 or more to state politicians. For Illinois, that is tougher. To me, it's laughable.

Posted by: Marie at February 25, 2009 12:59 AM

Even more funny, the U.S. transportation officials objected to the new law.

Posted by: Marie at February 25, 2009 1:06 AM

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