Chicago Sun-Times

Give Your Legislators An Earful on Reform

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May 6, 2009

BY CAROL MARIN Sun-Times Columnist

If we cared about ethics reform in Illinois the way we do about outrageous privatized parking meters in Chicago, we'd be in full boycott mode right now.

We are not.


Legislature e-mail contacts

• • House Speaker Michael Madigan:
mmadigan@hds.ilga.gov

• • Senate President John Cullerton:
john@senatorcullerton.com

• • House Republican Leader Tom Cross:
tom@tomcross.com

• • Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno:
cradogno@sbcglobal.net

• • Gov. Pat Quinn:
governor@state.il.us

• • Attorney General Lisa Madigan:
attorney_general@atg.state.il.us

• • Sen. James Meeks:
jmeeks@senatedem.ilga.gov

• • Sen. Bill Brady:
billbrady@senatorbillbrady.com

• • Sen. Matt Murphy:
senatormattmurphy@gmail.com

To find out how to e-mail your senator or representative, go to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform's Web site http://www.ilcampaign.org and click "Get Involved."

If public corruption generated the hysteria of swine flu, we'd be stamping out the sickness that afflicts our politics.

But we're not.

And if capping obscenely large campaign contributions attracted the same media frenzy Rockin' Rod Blagojevich commands by walking into the federal building, we wouldn't be an international laughingstock.

But we are.

With only 3½ weeks to go until the General Assembly in Springfield heads for the door, there's precious little time left to do what needs to be done.

Believe it or not, the e-mails and phone calls you've been making to Springfield are beginning -- just barely -- to be irritating.

Great. Time to drive them nuts.

Time to demand change so that public utilities and big business can't give six-figure contributions to politicians who pretend that corporate cash doesn't influence their votes and then gouge you.

Time to demand that elected officials can't stay in office or in leadership forever, strangling the will of the people with their raw power.

Time to be able to recall politicians.

Time to reform redistricting so we never again see only a pitiful 15 competitive legislative races because all the rest are a solid lock for incumbents.

Time to publish the state's subcontractors, now kept secret so relatives and friends of elected officials can make a fortune without taxpayers knowing it.

Time for change. Real change, not a pathetic, puny compromise that pretends to clean things up.

And time for Gov. Quinn to beat a far louder and more relentless drum on behalf of the commission he formed to reform this state.

Former U.S. Attorney Pat Collins and his Reform Illinois Commission are not naive and they're certainly not stupid. But they cannot succeed without us.

Read their 100-Day report at ReformIllinoisNow.org. And if you agree with what they're proposing, tell the powers that be to get going and pass their exhaustive proposal.

Here are the e-mail addresses that count in the Legislature:

• • House Speaker Michael Madigan: mmadigan@hds.ilga.gov

• • Senate President John Cullerton: john@senatorcullerton.com

• • House Republican Leader Tom Cross: tom@tomcross.com

• • Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno: cradogno@sbcglobal.net

Oh, and while you're at it, give a holler to candidates gearing up to run for governor in 2010. The ones who are busy fund-raising now. Tell them what you expect in the way of real reform before you'll consider supporting them:

• • Gov. Pat Quinn: governor@state.il.us

• • Attorney General Lisa Madigan: attorney_general@atg.state.il.us

• • Sen. James Meeks: jmeeks@senatedem.ilga.gov

• • Sen. Bill Brady: billbrady@senatorbillbrady.com

• • Sen. Matt Murphy: senatormattmurphy@gmail.com

And don't forget your own legislators. If you don't know who your senator or representative is, go to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform's Web site http://www.ilcampaign.org and click "Get Involved." It will show you how to e-mail them. Remember: A personal note, rather than a form letter, makes a difference to these folks.

And don't listen to any phony baloney if they claim that unless "millionaire candidates" are reined in, regular pols need to raise a lot of cash to compete.

Remember millionaire Blair Hull? Al Hofeld? Jim Oberweis? They had buckets of cash and lost.

Pay-to-play politics is all about the unrestrained money that is choking the system, the transparency that is lacking and the trust that doesn't exist between elected officials and the voters.

One governor is in prison.

Another might be on his way.

Make Springfield listen. Don't take no for an answer.

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This page contains a single entry by Carol Marin published on May 6, 2009 5:33 AM.

Who's in the Running for Obama's Supreme Court? was the previous entry in this blog.

Have the Daley's Thrown Todd Stroger Overboard? is the next entry in this blog.

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