Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Republicans Propose Campaign Finance Reform

From the Office of the Illinois House Republicans

In keeping their pledge to Illinois residents to continue to push true campaign finance reform, Illinois House Republican Leader Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and his members support a bill that would impose campaign contribution limits on legislative leaders’ caucus committees and political parties in the general election.

“The current law puts contribution limits on everyone EXCEPT the four legislative leaders and political parties in the general election. That is not fair—we must apply the rules to everyone,” said Cross. “We could not support the bill that passed last year because it only imposed these limits in primary elections. This new bill closes the gaping loophole that was created by that law.”

“Simply put, unlimited money means unlimited power in the hands of a few individuals. That’s business as usual in Illinois, and it’s unacceptable,” said Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington). “The legislation we’re introducing today does what the bill signed into law last year should have done, impose reasonable caps across the board in the General Election. This will be a big step in putting power back into the hands of individual voters.”

Senate Republicans are also in favor of this improvement to the current law.

“The Democrat majorities and the Governor failed to capitalize on a unique opportunity to pass meaningful campaign finance reform. By not capping contributions limits for legislative leaders and political parties during the General Election, their measure will have limited impact. We now have an opportunity to right that wrong and enact true campaign finance reform,” Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) said.

House Bill 5008 will extend the varied campaign contribution limitations that were created in Senate Bill 1466 (P.A. 96-832) to the general election. The current limitations on legislative leaders and political parties will only apply during the primary elections starting in 2011.

“This should be a no-brainer if we want to curb the influence of the leaders in Illinois,” said Cross. “The majority of money is spent in general elections. According to our analysis in the 2008 election cycle—the Democratic Party of Illinois spent 40 times more in the general election compared to what it spent in the primary.”

“Everyone who voted to pass the bill to impose these limits in primary elections should have no problem voting to impose the exact same limits in general elections,” added Rep. Rich Brauer (R-Petersburg).

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