Democratic governor candidate Edwin Eisendrath
takes stand against political fundraising
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Blagojevich raises more than $2,500 an hour in
campaign cash as governor. Eisendrath promises massive reform to stop
[JAN. 11, 2006]
CHICAGO -- On Tuesday, Democratic
candidate Edwin Eisendrath made a groundbreaking pledge to not raise
one penny of political money until 2010 or the passage of tough
campaign finance and lobbyist control laws if he is elected governor
"I will not be at fundraisers, I will not be dialing for dollars, I
will not be selling access to lobbyists and people doing business
with the state," said Eisendrath. "I will work day and night finding
ways to increase funding for our schools; I will work tirelessly to
bring jobs to this state that allow us to compete in the global
economy. I will spend my time getting our state's finances back in
Eisendrath told reporters it was time to break the cycle
of indictments and the addiction to raising campaign cash from the
governor's office. Former Gov. Ryan is on trial in federal court in
Chicago on corruption charges. The U.S. attorney is also
investigating the Blagojevich administration's fundraising
Eisendrath said, "As governor, George Ryan raised more than $5.5
million and is on trial right now over that. Not to be outdone, Rod
Blagojevich has raised -- since becoming governor -- $16
million in the three years that's been reported.
"Let me repeat that: $16 million in three years. That comes to
$5.3 million every year, more than $106,000 every work week, $21,000
every day and $2,667 every hour of every work day he's been
All that fundraising has drastic implications for the people of
Illinois. Here's just one example: Illinois remains at the bottom
when it comes to paying for education. The National Education
Association says Illinois is 50th out of 50 in state funding for
schools. But Rod Blagojevich is first in the nation when it comes to
political fundraising. "We're last, he's first, and that's because
he chose pay-to-play," said Eisendrath.
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Eisendrath also outlined a package of reforms that would finally
put limits on campaign contributions and lobbying in Illinois. The
Eisendrath legislation would:
- Ban contributions from state contractors.
- Ban contributions from corporations, unions and political
- Limit individual gifts.
- Create transfer restrictions between political funds.
- Require ongoing disclosure.
- Create real enforcement in State Board of Elections.
- Require competitive bidding of all state contracts,
regardless of the size.
- Tighten control of lobbyists and make their work transparent
- Disclosure of ultimate clients.
- Disclosure of contract size.
- Reporting of specific bill or action that is the subject of
- Improved enforcement mechanisms.
- Closing of the revolving door of government staffer to
lobbyist and back again.
Eisendrath will take his message around the state about restoring
trust in Illinois government.
[News release from the