State of Illinois Archives: on Government Reform


Napoleon Harris: Automatic voter registration when getting driving license

Senator Harris co-sponsored legislation SB2134: Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. Provides that each person applying at a driver services facility for a driver's license or permit, a corrected driver's license or permit, an Illinois identification card or a corrected Illinois identification card shall be notified that the person shall be registered (rather than may apply to register) to vote, and if his or her address has changed, his or her voter registration information shall be updated (rather than may be transferred upon application) to the new address within this State. Provides that the person may decline to register to vote and the employee or the Secretary of State shall not transmit the person's information to the applicable election authority.
Source: VoteSmart synopsis of 2015-2016 Illinois legislative records May 18, 2015

Bruce Rauner: Reduce lobbyist influence; push for term limits

Illinois has one of the most expensive state governments in America, yet we have the worst run government bar none. Why?

Illinois has been completely taken over by special interest groups that get money from government. The lobbyists write the bills for special interests, the career politicians in both parties let it happen--and we, the taxpayers, get left with the bill. It's time to make government work for us, not the other way around.

Source: 2014 Illinois Gubernatorial campaign website BruceRauner.com Nov 4, 2014

Sharon Hansen: Photo ID for voting

Question topic: People should be able to vote without photo identification.

Hansen: Strongly Disagree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Illinois Senate race Sep 30, 2014

Napoleon Harris: Allow voter registration on Election Day or at early voting

HB 105 Authorizes Election Day Voter Registration: Bill Passed Senate (39 - 17); Napoleon Harris voted Yea
Source: VoteSmart synopsis of 2014 Illinois legislative records May 30, 2014

Doug Truax: Political class fails to put interests of taxpayers first

Doug Truax lashed out at state Sen. Jim Oberweis' "yes" vote on Tuesday's landmark pension reform bill. "Illinois is the worst run state in America due to a political class--largely Democrats--that consistently fails to put the interests of everyday taxpayers first," Truax said in a statement. "My opponent, Jim Oberweis, knows this but voted anyway in favor of a tepid pension reform bill that is likely to result in further tax increases and a continued stagnant economy. Every other financial 'fix' passed in Springfield the past decade has harmed taxpayers. Mr. Oberweis needs to explain why he so easily voted with the status quo that never solves problems but rather transfers them to the next generation."

Oberweis voted in favor of the measure that promises to ultimately save the state $160 billion. In his remarks from the Illinois Senate floor, Oberweis said the bill wasn't true reform--but it was the best that Illinois was going to get right now.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times on 2014 Illinois Senate race Dec 4, 2013

Pat Quinn: Online voter registration and no party in primary voting

In our Illinois, we embrace the voices and the votes of all people. Our democracy is strongest when more voters raise their voices at the ballot box.

That's why Illinois should join 15 other states in making voter registration available online. We must move our election process into the 21st century. And while we're at it, let's pass a long overdue law to allow voters to participate in primary elections without having to publicly declare their party affiliation.

Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Illinois Legislature Feb 6, 2013

Pat Quinn: Enact power of petition to recall a corrupt governor

In our Illinois, government belongs to the people, not to the office holders. Citizens should be able at all times to trust their elected officials. Four years ago, Illinois was the Wild West of campaign fundraising. We had a corrupt governor removed from office and headed to prison, and another already in prison, both for fundraising abuses. This was not our Illinois. So we changed it. We passed a strong ethics code for office holders and public employees. For the first time in history, we enacted campaign contribution limits.

And we gave the people of Illinois the ability to use the power of petition to recall a corrupt governor. But we have more work to do.

In 1976, I led a petition drive to ban conflict of interest voting in the General Assembly. 635,158 voters signed this petition--the greatest number of signatures ever gathered on a single petition in Illinois history. Silence about conflict of interest voting wasn't our Illinois then, and it's not our Illinois now. We can do better.

Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Illinois Legislature Feb 6, 2013

Andrea Zopp: Voter ID laws are intended to limit the Black vote

Black voter apathy is simply wrong in light of our history and the current attacks across the country on our right to vote.

Let's start with our history. Prior to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, African Americans across the country, but particularly in the South, were systematically prevented from exercising their right to vote. My own grandfather who lived in Mississippi was told that in order to vote he had to recite the Bill of Rights to the Constitution from memory.

History repeats itself. We entered this election season with voter ID and other types of voter suppression laws in 17 states that could deprive an estimated 700,000 young people of color the right to vote. Across the country, but particularly in critical swing states like Florida, Virginia and Ohio, efforts are underway to limit the Black vote.

If Black votes mean nothing, if African Americans have no political power, no ability to influence or effect government, why are people so intent on preventing us from voting?

Source: Huffington Post column by Zopp for 2016 Illinois Senate race Oct 12, 2012

Pat Quinn: Limits on campaign contributions and much more disclosure

Obviously, the events that preceded my Oath of Office shook the confidence of the people of Illinois. So we went about the task: we enacted strong standards with respect to procurement and contracts. We reformed the behavior; we enacted strong ethic standards for lobbyists as well as state employees.

We enacted a campaign finance reform law that I did sign, that is for the first time a chance to have limits on campaign contributions in the State of Illinois and much more disclosure and openness with respect to money and politics. I think that's a great achievement.

I think we do need in Illinois, what I would call, an ethics initiative that we would put into our constitution that would give voters at every level of government - whether it be the local level, or county level, or the state level - the power to petition and binding referendum to enact binding ethical standards and campaign finance rules that the people feel are appropriate for all of us who are elected representatives.

Source: Illinois 2010 State of the State Address Jan 13, 2010

Alexi Giannoulias: Public election financing reduces special interest influence

Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, AlexiForIllinois.com, "Issues" Dec 25, 2009

Alexi Giannoulias: Wasteful programs go hand-in-hand with campaign contributors

Our campaign finance system is broken. While the campaign coffers of D.C. politicians are flush with corporate cash, Americans have seen their health care costs double, and their jobs shipped overseas. It's the most open secret in Washington: pay-to-play politics, sweetheart deals and wasteful programs often go hand-in-hand with deep-pocketed campaign contributors. Alexi's very first action as Illinois State Treasurer was to sign the strongest ethics order in state government.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, AlexiForIllinois.com, "Issues" Dec 25, 2009

Alan Keyes: Reinstate that state legislatures elect US Senators

Q: [to Keyes]: Youíve publicly endorsed the repeal of the 17th Amendment, which gives individual voters rather than the state legislature the right to choose their US Senators. Iím just wondering how you reconcile your claim to empower voters when you would disenfranchise them in your own Senate race.

KEYES: Senators were originally chosen by the state legislatures for the simple reason that the US Senate was supposed to represent the state government as sovereign entities. Our laws in Illinois are passed by the state legislature. Are the people disenfranchised in the passing of these laws? I donít think so.

OBAMA: I think [Illinois citizens] should be voting, not state legislatures. I teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago and I understand thatís how the constitution was framed. It also prohibited anyone but white, male property owners from voting. Thatís why we had amendments. Itís a funny way to empower people to take their vote away.

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004

Barack Obama: Electing US Senators empowers people: keep 17th Amendment

Q: [to Keyes]: Youíve publicly endorsed the repeal of the 17th Amendment, which gives individual voters rather than the state legislature the right to choose their US Senators. Doesnít that disenfranchise people?

KEYES: Senators were originally chosen by the state legislatures for the simple reason that the US Senate was supposed to represent the state government as sovereign entities. Our laws in Illinois are passed by the state legislature. Are the people disenfranchised in the passing of these laws I donít think so.

OBAMA: Listen, I love my colleagues in the state legislature but I think [Illinois citizens] should be voting, not state legislatures. I have a little understanding about our constitution because I teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago and I understand thatís how the constitution was framed. It also prohibited anyone but white, male property owners from voting. Thatís why we had amendments. Itís a funny way to empower people to take their vote away.

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004

Mike Bost: No political contributions from the gambling industry

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support banning political contributions from the gambling industry?

A: Yes.

Source: 2000 Illinois National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Illinois Politicians: Archives.
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