Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blogger Call: Rep Julie Hamos on Contribution Caps

A call to discuss...
Julie Hamos appeared on Fox News this morning and announced the release of a petition calling on Governor Quinn and legislative leaders to enact caps on political contributions. While some legislators are calling for reform light, the petition sets the cap at $2,400 per individual per election cycle.
...and I'm on it now.

Four bloggers on the call and maybe a few lurkers.

Hamos: We just past significant Capital Bill and things are moving fast, so what are we doing on ethics reform?

She's offered a caps plan. She believes it's essential feature. She'll be sponsoring a bill on FOI reform.

Pat Collins coming to Springfield tomorrow. They'll be a bill starting in the Senate, and she's not happy that this is the best that we can do (Not sure if her problem is that it's starting in the Senate instead).

Want's to mirror the Federal law. Cap once in the primary and once in the General. Important feature is are the limits on the total about an individual can contribute? Also limits on Leader Transfers.

Important features the Senate Bill will get tangled. She expects Pat Collins to come out against the Senate version.

Her proposal is to stays with Federal Limits: 2,000 $400 caps.

No laws are going to stop people electing crooks.

Questions?

Josh Calvin (?) How has lack of limits effected your own politics? He cited lack of progress on regulating pay-day lending outfits.

Hamos: The Industry has hired 60 lobbyists. She's tried to work with the more reputable of them, but... they do wield power with campaign contributions. They have access to a lot of money.

It's also about perception. When Blagojevich came to light it showed a politican "holding up" citizens. Some honorable people get big contributions but it still raises bad feelings with the public. Illinois is the wild west of campaign finance.

David Orsby: Have Federal limits Rep Hamos seeks to any good in Washington?

[***]

Would she vote for the current bill as it stands? No, she wouldn't support it. It's a challange but she thinks it's an attempt to undermine what they're trying to do.

Who is with you? She said that's an interesting question.... she thinks maybe forty votes. If Patrick Collins and Cindy Canary comes out against it, she is thinking more will come out, although how defeating a Caps Bill will do any larger good hard to see. Challanging and frustrating....

I'll write up more in a bit and link her cites... Live blogging a call no easy task!

[***]
Rep Hamos's Petition.

[***] I couldn't get the differences in detail between the caps proposed by Rep Hamos, and the Caps proposed by Cullerton and Madigan in the bill that's appeared in the Illinois Senate. Rep Hamos said the rules would favor the Senate, and the caps so large they would be meaningless.

Here's the trib though from a few hours on the action in Springfield,
The bills are the latest in a series of ethics measures that Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, are backing in the wake of Blagojevich's arrest and removal from office.

The proposals came after hours of testimony by a special joint committee off the House and Senate, but that testimony looked at ethics issues in general -- not the specific proposals approved Thursday.

Those measures popped up in an entirely different committee Wednesday, passed after little discussion and then were approved by the House a day later.

Cindi Canary, head of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, said she hadn't seen the legislation and couldn't comment on whether it would have much impact on government corruption. She noted that even bills meant to improve government transparency are being handled in typical legislative fashion, surfacing at the last minute with little time for review.

"If anything, this year is more mystifying than ever, and that says a lot," Canary said.
Mystifying deals between Cullerton and Madigan not a good sign. I signed Hamos's petition just to stick it to these two.

Also, Progress Illinois

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