Tuesday, March 17, 2009


DIAL 1-800-719-3020

The CHANGE Illinois coalition on Monday opened a toll-free hotline for Illinoisans to call 1-800-719-3020 and tell their legislators to enact campaign contribution limits.

Callers to the CHANGE Illinois Hotline will be connected directly to their state legislators.

“Large campaign contributions in Illinois are muting the voice of the public and preventing real progress on the issues that matter,” said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois Senior State Director. “Enough is enough – we need campaign contribution limits now. The people deserve to get their voice back.”

AARP is reaching out to its nearly 2 million members across Illinois asking them to call the hotline and urge their legislators to stop the flow of special interest money into Springfield. The number also will be featured in an upcoming article in the AARP Bulletin publication which is sent to all AARP members in the state.

Launched in late February, CHANGE Illinois is a coalition of civic, business, professional, non-profit and philanthropic organizations aligned to bring government integrity to Illinois. The coalition includes many civic leaders and organizations, including AARP, the Chicago Urban League, The Civic Federation, the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and the Latino Policy Forum.

“Removing one person from office does not solve the problem,” said Cynthia Canary, Director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. “Unlimited campaign contributions have led to wasteful spending, altered the power structure and distorted the debate of issues in Springfield.”

Canary pointed out that the federal election system limits contributions to candidates and 45 other states have laws limiting contributions.

“Limiting contributions is not all that is needed to make our government fair and honest, but it is a very important step,” Canary said. “Contribution limits will help make state government more representative of Illinoisans and more responsive to all citizens.”