Blago's blockbuster ethics/campaign finance proposal
Governor Blagojevich recently issued his proposals for reforming campaign finance laws and ethical guidelines for elected officials, their families, PACS, lobbyists, those with business with the state, and contributors.
"The Decatur Democrat", is a great blog run by an anonymous blogger who goes by, oddly enough, "The Decatur Democrat." He focuses primarily on central Illinois political goings on, and has meticulously laid out the components of Gov. Rod's proposal.
They sound very strong, reasonable, and very desirable, at least from a citizen's point of view. They're likely to make politicians and bag men everywhere break out in hives. I see no downside to any of them, unless of course you're a pol or someone who buys or sells access and/or influence.
What are the chances they get enacted without them being re-jiggered to the point that the originals are unrecognizable?
Here are a few, but go read the rest within his post. It's generating tons of comments, as one might expect.
* Prohibits family members of state employees, including those of legislators, from lobbying the state (including all constitutional offices, state agencies and state regulatory boards) or from serving on state boards or commissions for which they receive compensation.
* Conflict of Interest Provision. The Governor’s plan prohibits a public official or public employee from voting or making an official decision if the official or employee (or a business or organization they or a family member is associated with) has a financial interest in the vote or decision.
* Prohibits any officer of any state campaign organization from receiving state contracts, lobbying the state (including the office of the Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller and Treasurer, state agencies or state regulatory boards) or from participating in investments involving the state.
* Completely prohibits contributions from corporations and unions. This would be Illinois’ first limitation on contributions from any corporate entity.
* Limits individuals to contributions of $2,000 per candidate per election. This would be the first limit ever placed on donations to candidates by individuals in Illinois.
* Limits Political Action Committees (PACs) to contributions of $5,000 per candidate per election. This is the first limit ever placed on donations to candidates from Political Action Committees (PACs) in Illinois.
* Limits state party contributions to $5,000 per candidate per election.
* Limits contributions to state parties and PACs to $5,000 a year from individuals or other PACs.
* Prohibits an individual from contributing more than $40,000 in total contributions to all candidates, party committees and PACs in any election cycle.
* Requires Disclosure of Lobby Contracts and Improved Lobbyist Regulations. Current law requires lobbyists to list their clients and gifts on public disclosure forms. The Governor’s plan requires lobbyists to disclose the terms of their contracts, including fees and exactly who they lobby.
* Closes the Revolving Door between Public Officials and Lobbying Firms. Current law places a one-year prohibition on former state employees working for companies they regulated or to which they awarded contracts. The Governor calls for extending the law by requiring a one-year prohibition on all former legislators and state employees lobbying.
Read the rest at Decatur Democrat.