Hello to all residents of Illinois,
I know it is ridiculous to use Clean Elections and Illinois Politics in the same sentence but that is exactly what we at the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project are trying to change here in this state. We have kicked off a campaign to get 3 referendums on the ballot in Nov. here in Illinois;
1) Paper Ballots for everyone in the state, right now it is a hodge podge of electronic machines and other voting devices, some which have been designed with built in mechanisms to change your vote.
After we have Paper Ballots for everyone then we will move to work towards significant audits, hand counted, the night of the election before the vote tallies are reported as further safeguard of your precious right to vote and your right to get it counted correctly!
2) Clean Elections or publicly financed elections for those candidates who voluntarily opt into the system. Right now is Illinois it is the Wild West of politics with Pay to Play as the major means that politicians have of getting the large donors needed for their expensive campaigns. We must disconnect the money from our politicians or they will never truly represent us, they will always be beholden to the big monied interests and we the taxpayers and voters of Illinois will always lose!
You know what, in the states that have Clean Elections, Maine and Arizona being the first two, the legislators love the public financing of their elections because they don't have to go begging for money all the time, they can focus on working for all the residents of their state not just the rich ones!
There is a tremendous wave of citizen action on this issue occurring across the country. Even our own Sen. Durbin has put in a bill in the US Senate called the Fair Elections Now Act calling for publicly financed elections for US Senate, please go to www.publiccampaign.org for more info.
3) Campaign Finance Reform or limits on how much the big monied interests can give to those candidates who do not voluntarily opt into the Clean Elections system.
Right now in Illinois there are no limits at all on how much you can give a campaign this is why we have the $25,000 club possibly working out of the Gov. office. We have to limit how much can be given to those candidates who do not opt into the public financing system in order to finally put a lid on the corruption in Springfield.
We have chosen the referendum route because we have tried going to Springfield and getting bills sponsored, HB 1640 and HB 1642 and all they did was languish in committee, unable to move because the power brokers in Springfield do not really want to reform the system! And State Rep. Fritchey's ethics reform will not be successful either because it would depend on other Congressional members telling on each other in order to enforce the reforms, fat chance of that! Also the recall effort is only going to be an after the fact correction when the corruption has already occurred.
We, Illinois residents must stand up for a real correction to the corruption problem here in Illinois, unless we get the money out of the campaigns we will not get the money out of the offices of the politicians!