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Ending culture of political corruption begins in schools

April 9, 2012
Daily Herald

By Jim Ryan
Daily Herald

Another former Illinois governor went to the federal penitentiary on corruption charges in March.

Fiscal mismanagement and system corruption continue to plague state government.

A recent report released by scholars at the University of Illinois at Chicago noted there were 1,828 public corruption convictions by the federal courts in Illinois since 1976, making it the most corrupt state in the union after Louisiana and the District of Columbia.

Despite political and ethical reforms, not much has changed.

Obama campaign reviewing background of volunteer fundraiser accused of fraud

March 31, 2012
Washington Post

By Carol D. Leonnig

New Yorker Abake Assongba has pledged to help President Obama win reelection, and as one of his 400 volunteer fundraisers, she has delivered $50,000 to the cause.

But she is also trailed by some controversy, accused in court of defrauding a businessman out of $657,000, impersonating a bank official and dodging creditors.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recall: Big money fuels small-government fight

March 25, 2012
Washington Post

By Marc Fisher

MADISON, Wis. — Every day at the cutting and sewing business he runs
with his father, Ross Brown listened to Glenn Beck rail on the radio
against Big Government, Big Labor and Big Money. In his years of
middays with Beck, Brown had morphed from apolitical adolescence to
college student with his own talk show on the campus radio station and
on to businessman with 15 employees and not enough money to offer them
health insurance.

Then, one day three years ago, at the apex of the debate over

Federal judge throws out part of Illinois campaign finance law

March 13, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times

BY DAVE MCKINNEY Sun-Times Springfield Bureau Chief 

SPRINGFIELD — A federal judge Tuesday struck down two pieces of a 2009 Illinois law designed to cap campaign contributions, a ruling one government watchdog said will “open the door to a risk of corruption.”

U.S. District Judge Marvin Aspen sided with Personal PAC, the abortion-rights group that argued the state campaign-finance law violated its free-speech protections in the U.S. Constitution.

Part of Illinois campaign finance law struck down

March 13, 2012
State Journal Star

GateHouse News Service

SPRINGFIELD -- Two sections of Illinois campaign finance law aimed at reining in political action committees were struckdown by a Chicago federal judge Tuesday afternoon, a ruling that could lead to so-called super PACs coming to Illinois.

The decision from U.S. Judge Marvin Aspen does not affect contribution limits that apply to candidates themselves.

Judge nixes part of Illinois campaign finance law

March 13, 2012
Appleton Post Cresent

By Karen Hawkins, Associated Press

CHICAGO (WTW) — A federal judge on Tuesday struck down part of the campaign finance law enacted by Illinois after former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was indicted, ruling that restrictions on fundraising by independent political action committees violated the First Amendment and were unconstitutional.

Federal judge tosses key part of post-Blagojevich limits on campaign cash

March 13, 2012
Crain's Chicago Business

A federal judge has thrown out a key portion of Illinois' new, post-Blagojevich limits on campaign donations, essentially saying that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision gave him no other choice.

In a written ruling late Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Aspin tossed out limits on donations to groups that make "independent expenditures" on behalf of or against a candidate.

Big campaign cash flowing into General Assembly races

March 6, 2012
Crain's Chicago Business
Some big money is piling into races for the Illinois General Assembly, with $4.6 million in campaign cash raised in January alone, a civic watchdog group says.

According to the Illinois Ca

ICPR Reports on Fundraising by Judicial Candidates