The protection racket and term limits
Curbing politicians' time in office can curb corruption in Illinois
What's the best way to curb political corruption in Illinois? Voters responding to a recent Tribune poll put term limits for elected officials at the top of the list — well ahead of recall elections, greater access to government records and limits on campaign contributions.
For a long time, we've wagged a finger at that notion. "The Constitution already provides an effective method of imposing term limits," a 1999 Tribune editorial said. "It's called 'voting.'"
Yet here we are, less than two weeks from Election Day 2010, the state is $13 billion in the hole, this is supposed to be a watershed political year — yet no more than 20 of the 118 seats in the Illinois House are truly competitive. Even fewer Senate races are competitive.