CHANGE Illinois Says Campaign Contribution Limits Must Be Applied Fairly and Across-The-Board
A coalition of campaign reform advocates on Thursday reported some progress in negotiations on campaign finance reform legislation, but the unresolved issue of limiting contributions by legislative leaders and political parties has prevented a final agreement.
“When Gov. Quinn vetoed the flawed limits legislation at the end of August, the legislative leaders and the governor said they would work with us on an improved limits bill that could be passed in the fall veto session, and we have participated in several negotiating meetings and side discussions,” said George Ranney, co-chair of CHANGE Illinois! and President and CEO of Chicago Metropolis 2020. “That veto session begins next week, and we still don’t have an agreement. We’re running out of time.”
Leaders of the CHANGE Illinois! coalition said the negotiators appear to have tentative agreements on ways to limit contributions by individuals, political action committees, candidate committees, corporations, labor unions, and associations, but they have not been able to agree on the central issue of limitations on the campaign funds controlled by legislative leaders and the political parties.
“There has been a good exchange of information and ideas with legislative leaders and the governor, and we seem to have agreements on several issues,” said Peter Bensinger, a CHANGE Illinois! co-chair and a former Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. “But we will not be part of any agreement which limits contributions from everyone except legislative leaders and political parties.”
Created earlier this year, CHANGE Illinois! is a coalition of civic, business, labor, professional, non-profit and philanthropic organizations, which represent more than 2 million members in Illinois. CHANGE Illinois! advocates an end to this state’s unregulated campaign finance system and for the creation of a system of campaign contribution limits, like those in use at the federal level and in virtually every other state in the nation.