Statement by ICPR on July 25 lawsuit challenging campaign contribution limits
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 25, 2012
CONTACT: David Morrison, ICPR Deputy Director, 312-335-1767
Statement of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform
On the Lawsuit Challenging Contribution Limits
Contribution limits are designed to prevent actual or apparent corruption arising when donors give large contributions to candidates. Plaintiffs in this lawsuit are correct that the campaign contributions of parties to candidates should be treated the same way as private interest contributions, but ICPR believes both should be regulated. Plaintiffs are sorely mistaken in suggesting that Illinois should return to the bad old days of Blagojevich-style shake downs and pay-offs, which were disguised as campaign contributions under Illinois' earlier, unrestricted campaign finance system.
Illinois Liberty PAC is seeking for any private interest to be able to give as much as it wants to politicians. This risks returning Illinois to the days when public policy and official actions by elected officials were for sale for a price.
ICPR has said from the beginning that there should be limits on all giving to candidates, including limits on contributions from parties and caucuses. We have supported legislation to codify that goal since the current limits system was enacted almost three years ago. ICPR believes the existing limits system serves a critical role in deterring corruption possible through our privately funded campaign finance system.
We urge the plaintiffs to consider the serious damage its suit may do to public trust in government if successful, and ICPR will continue to defend limits on private giving to candidates.