Friday, May 30, 2008

REFORM ADVOCATES CALL ON GOV. BLAGOJEVICH TO STOP ACCEPTING CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM STATE CONTRACTORS

The leaders of seven Illinois government reform organizations urged Gov. Rod Blagojevich to sign House Bill 824, which would limit pay-to-play opportunities in state contracting and called on Blagojevich to stop soliciting and accepting contributions from state contractors.

The House passed the legislation Saturday by a vote of 114 to 0. The Senate earlier approved the bill on a vote of 56 to 0.

"Illinois taxpayers are fed up with corruption in state government and the high cost of pay-to-play contracting," said Cynthia Canary, Director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. "Passage of this bill signals legislators are coming to grips with the damage that has been done to public confidence in the fairness of state government. If Gov. Blagojevich really does believe in ending 'business as usual,' he will sign this bill and direct his campaign committee - immediately - to stop soliciting and accepting contributions from state contractors."

In a letter to Blagojevich, the reform advocates noted that the five other statewide officeholders have policies against accepting contributions from contractors doing business with their offices. If signed into law, HB 824 would take effect January 1, 2009, but Blagojevich should put the policy into effect for his campaign organization immediately, according to the advocates.

The letter was signed by the Better Government Association, Common Cause Illinois, Illinois PIRG, the Sunshine Project, the Citizen Advocacy Center, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform and Protestants for the Common Good.

A copy of the letter is attached. More information about HB 824 is available at www.ilcampaign.org.

CampaignReformLetterMay31-08.doc