The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) on Wednesday said the campaign contribution limits legislation signed by Gov. Quinn is a significant victory for Illinois voters and should help reduce the influence wielded by big campaign contributors.
“Credit for enacting this significant, but long overdue reform, goes to the people of Illinois,” said Cynthia Canary, ICPR Director. “The arrest of Rod Blagojevich one year ago and the subsequent worldwide headlines and talk show appearances turned stomachs across the state. The spectacle drew the attention of every voter, and the General Assembly could no longer ignore the growing call for change in the rules that govern campaigns.”
Noting that the fight to impose contribution limits in Illinois dates back more than three decades, Canary said the opposition can be traced in part to the culture of corruption that has plagued Illinois government and the indifference displayed by too many elected officials. “Imposing contribution limits will not cure all that ails Illinois politics and government,” Canary said. “No single law can ensure honesty and fairness. That is going to require the active participation of many more citizens acting as watchdogs, holding candidates accountable for their actions and running for state and local offices.
“Enactment of this limits bill is reason for optimism about the future prospects of additional reforms, including the enforcement of campaign laws, regulation of lobbying and disclosure of personal finances of key government officeholders,” she said. “But because this bill limits party and legislative leader contributions to candidates in primaries but not in general election campaigns, even this bill fell short of what is needed, and we’ll work to close that loophole in the next legislative session.”
For additional information about SB 1466 and other reform issues, please visit www.ilcampaign.org.
Founded in 1999 by the late Sen. Paul Simon, ICPR is a non-partisan public interest group that conducts research and advocates reforms to promote public participation in government, address the role of money in politics and encourage integrity, accountability, and transparency in government.