Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Good, Clean Campaign

Although it's been barely 200 days since the legislature was sworn in, this week marked the start of candidate petition season. When candidates turn in their petitions around Halloween, election authorities will ask them to submit a bunch of other papers as well, including, Statements of Economic Interest, political fundraising disclosures, and the Code of Fair Campaign Practices.

ICPR has long been a supporter of the Code. It's a little thing, voluntary and non-binding, but the Code is the only provision in Illinois law written explicitly and solely to encourage good behavior on the campaign trail. For years, we've mailed copies to all candidates for statewide and legislative office, urging them to sign the Code and abide by its principles. While a handful of candidates regularly submit the Code with their petitions, I'm always heartened to see how many ultimately do signal their agreement. It's a small step candidates can take to aver their intentions to run campaigns everyone can be proud of.

Reporter Sam Hudzik of WBEZ/Chicago Public Radio ran a story today on the Code. I'm sure ICPR will tout the Code to candidates in November, once all the petitions have been filed. But kudos to WBEZ for starting a conversation about it now, at the beginning of what will be a long political process.

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