Tuesday, March 08, 2005
As Maura Kelly Lannan reports for the Associated Press, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has announced that he will propose a program of campaign finance reforms for his state that will rock the system. "Comprehensive and widespread" he calls them.
Well, let's hope the Governor keeps his word and pushes for low limits or for a system of clean elections for Illinois, which as one of just a handful of states with no limits on contributions to candidates, sure could use some reform. We can't blame Illinois voters too much if they greet the Guv's detail-less proposal with a little skepticism.
Since Governor Blagojevich ran for office on a platform of cleaning up how government did business in Illinois, he has amassed a $10 million campaign warchest, much of which has come from corporations and individuals with business before the state. The corporate and unlimited donations alone are problem enough to warrant a serious shaking-up of the status quo in the Land of Lincoln, but you throw in the state contracts and you may have a recipe for true reform.
State comptroller Dan Hynes has already released a proposal which focuses on fixing the pay-to-play contributions that state contractors give. This type of thinking will not fix the larger problem, which is old-school domination of the political process by a handful of corporations and wealthy folks that can afford it. Blagojevich will only do right by his constituents - all his constituents - if he thinks big.