Democrats tout recent ethics work

Posted1/25/2010 12:01 AM

Each of the two Democrats running for governor claim to be the best choice for continuing to reform Illinois politics.

Both state Comptroller Dan Hynes and Gov. Pat Quinn, Chicago Democrats, tout recent efforts in enacting restrictions on who can donate to politicians and how much they can give.


In response to a Daily Herald questionnaire asking for his views on campaign finance, Hynes laid the groundwork for public funding of campaigns.

"I believe the recently passed ethics legislation is a step in the right direction to restore trust in government, but there is plenty of work still to be done," he said. "We must recommit ourselves to additional reforms, such as enhanced disclosure of lobbying activities, greater transparency and real-time reporting of contributions, and, eventually, a path to public funding of campaigns."

The recent legislation Hynes referred to would for the first time limit individual and business contributions in state races. Individuals would be restricted to giving $5,000 and businesses $10,000. Those limits kick in for the 2012 elections.

However, the so-called reform package has been roundly criticized because influential legislative leaders face no such limits in the expensive November general election season.

Despite criticism from the very panel he appointed to come up with reform proposals, Quinn signed the legislation into law last year.

Still, he too said more work is needed.

"Like everyone else in Illinois, I have had to spend the past year listening to talk show hosts and late-night comics making jokes about our state and the people who have led us. But there is nothing remotely funny about a government, at any level, that has lost sight of its true responsibilities," Quinn said in filling out a Daily Herald questionnaire.