Illinois Suit Promises Renewed Interest in Contribution Limits

July 26, 2012   •  By Sarah Lee
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A situation is developing in Illinois that CCP has been watching closely since we first caught wind of the potential suit in Illinois, finally filed Tuesday of this week. From the Daily Chronicle:

A “pro-liberty” political action committee is challenging the state’s campaign-contribution limits, which it claims give an unfair advantage to legislative leaders who are exempt from them.

Liberty Justice Center – through its client, Illinois Liberty PAC – filed the suit challenging the constitutionality of the limits Tuesday in federal court. Dan Proft, chairman of Illinois Liberty PAC, said the law violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and the First Amendment.

“We don’t believe there should be two sets of rules when it comes to participation in the political arena in Illinois,” Proft said. “One set for party bosses of both political parties, another set for the other 13 million Illinoisans and the associated groups and organizations that want to take part in the political arena.”

Essentially, this case promises a second look at what actually leads to the political corruption places like Chicago is deservedly famous for. Here’s a hint: contribution limits have little to do with it. In fact, what actually leads to the corruption that lets ethically questionable practices like those favored by disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich carry on in perpetuity is hinted at in the story here:

“’It’s about equal participation,’ Proft said. ‘It’s not about one agenda over another. It’s not about one party to the exclusion of the other. It’s about equal protection and fair participation.’”

CCP has researched and written about the causes of corruption and incumbency protection in the past and continues to watch closely any movement on the issue of possibly lowering or the outright removal of contribution limits. These are issues we plan to involve ourselves in where we can. We’ll be watching what happens in Illinois with renewed interest.

Sarah Lee