Reformers are trying to put the brakes on a bill that would lift limits on campaign contributions.The bill in question, S.B. 3722, would exempt all candidates from contribution limits if Super-PAC spending exceeds $250,000 in a statewide election, or $100,000 in any other election.
Terry Pastika of the Citizen Advocacy Center says this blows up the first-ever Illinois limits that reformers pushed into law three years ago. “This is typical Illinois politics,” she said. “When the Illinois General Assembly finally manages to pass reform legislation, which is often prompted by scandal, the M.O. is for an immediate counterattack on that legislation to slowly chip away at the advances.”
Click for Summary
David Morrison of the Campaign for Political Reform says if this bill becomes law, it will be easy for politicians to manipulate it: Just have a deep-pocketed friend create a Super PAC that spends $100,000 praising you or criticizing your opponent, and then you are free to spend what you want.
The opponents say they need more time to study the impact of Super PACs and to come up with solutions that don’t destroy the contribution limits.
The spending of Super PACs, which under the law must not be affiliated with a politician’s campaign, is not limited, under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs. FEC, and a federal court ruling in Illinois, Personal PAC vs. McGuffage.