The Chicago Democrat said Thursday he wanted lawmakers to pass
contribution limits proposed by the reform commission he created in
the wake of the scandals surrounding ousted former Gov. Rod
Quinn also said he didn't think candidates with hefty
campaign purses should be able to use that money in the next
election if contribution limits are enacted, something that
undoubtedly would help Quinn because he isn't rolling in campaign
"The people of Illinois want reasonable limits on campaign
contributions, they want campaign finance reform, they want our
government cleaned up. The source of corruption over and over again
has been money, and so we have to deal with that issue. We've got to
take the big money out and put the people back in Illinois
politics," Quinn told reporters after testifying before the Illinois
Quinn had $83,512 in his campaign fund at the end of the year,
according to an Illinois State Board of Elections filing. One
potential challenger, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, had almost $3.5
The governor even went so far as to suggest that people with
loads of campaign money donate it to charities or a nonprofit group
so all the candidates in the 2010 election would start at the same
level, something Quinn says won't happen if money raised without
campaign limits is grandfathered in.
But any demand by Quinn in proposed legislation to not let
candidates use money they've already raised could kill campaign
finance measures the governor wants, said Cynthia Canary, director
of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.
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Canary said she liked the contribution limits proposed by the
commission that set individual contributions at $2,400 and $5,000
for donations from corporations, labor organizations and political
committees other than state party and legislative caucus committees
that can give higher amounts.
"I think the levels are about right. ... If that's enough money
to run for the U.S. Senate, you can certainly run for an Illinois
office," Canary said.
Madigan backs the contribution limits proposed by the reform
commission, but had no comment on Quinn's suggestion that
politicians donate money from their campaign funds, said her
spokeswoman, Robyn Ziegler.
Quinn called on lawmakers to vote on all the proposals that come
out of the reform commission.
Quinn pledged to talk to legislative leaders and hopes to see
bills passed by the end of May, when the session is scheduled to
"Giving it a fair vote is the least to ask for," Quinn said.
By DEANNA BELLANDI]
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