The protection racket and term limits

October 20, 2010

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.