Quinn announces campaign finance veto, will try again

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced his intention today to veto a misguided campaign finance regulation bill.

“Even a self-styled reformer like Gov. Quinn recognized what we have been saying for a long time: so-called campaign finance reform is often used by politicians to benefit themselves at the expense of challengers and political outsiders, while ignoring real solutions to cleaning up government,” said Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) President Sean Parnell.

In February, CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith testified before the Illinois Reform Commission on campaign finance and CCP Research Director Laura Renz testified on the topic before the Illinois Joint Committee on Government Reform in March.

“The solution to curbing corruption in Illinois isn’t contribution limits or other campaign regulations that favor incumbent politicians over challengers while limiting the right of citizens to support candidates,” Parnell said. “States like Virginia and Utah, which have no contribution limits, are exceptionally well-governed. Illinois must instead empower media watchdogs, citizen activists and others to expose corruption with greater transparency and accountability in state government.”

Quinn, statehouse leaders and members of the Illinois Reform Commission announced their opposition to the bill based on their desire to go further even in regulating campaigns and political speech, and have vowed to start over with the intent of passing an even more restrictive bill when lawmakers reconvene for an October veto session.

“Any new bill should abandon the failed reform ideas of the past, and move towards more transparency in government and less regulation of citizens’ First Amendment rights,” Parnell said.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.