Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Turelli Hits May on Campaign Finance Reform

We haven't spent a whole lot of attention on some of the "down-ballot" races, like Lauren Turelli, Dan Sugrue, Hamilton Chang and other state rep races, and of course, Suzi Schmidt, who is looking to take over from State Senator Michael Bond. But we'll be doing more on those races as we get close to the election. For now, here, is a release from State Rep. candidate Lauren Turelli who is battling long-time incumbent Karen May:



In 2009, under pressure from citizens demanding meaningful ethics reform to end pay-to-play and clean up Illinois, Democrats in Springfield passed a long overdue bill to reform our campaign finance laws. They smiled for the cameras, declared victory, and headed home, awash in self- satisfaction. There was just one problem: everyone except entrenched Springfield insiders could see the bill didn’t go far enough.

As the Chicago Tribune reported, Speaker Mike Madigan’s hand-crafted reform served to preserve his own clout because it failed to cap donations from political parties and party leaders. The twisted logic is easy to see: would we really expect the same Democrat bosses who wrote the bill to sacrifice their own arm-twisting power for the good of Illinois?

Editorial boards and nonpartisan groups like the League of Women Voters across the state slammed Speaker Madigan and Senate President Cullerton for their half-hearted attempt at campaign finance reform. Lawmakers of both parties worked to close the massive loophole, and those efforts became HB6200 – a proposal that would do just that. To her credit, Rep. Karen May submitted HB6200 as the chief sponsor.

After two months, however, the bill hadn’t advanced. Desperate to circumvent Democrats’ efforts to run out the clock, Republicans in the committee filed a petition that would have fast-tracked HB6200 for a full hearing and an up-or-down vote. Not surprisingly, Democrats shot down the measure and the Republicans dutifully appealed the decision. That appeal was rejected on party lines and the bill was killed. Even Rep. May lined up behind Speaker Madigan and voted against the very bill she had helped to write and introduce! The 58th District deserves a State Representative who will answer to her constituents, not sell out votes on critical issues and cater to the whims of Springfield’s powerbrokers.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

May is as independent as Madigan will let her be. No more no less. Her vote on ethics is shameful and just proves that she is at the beckon call of Madigan and not her constituents.