(CHICAGO, IL) – Former Republican candidate for comptroller and director of new reform group, Rebuildillinois.com, William J. Kelly, held a news conference this morning in front of Royal Pawn Shop owned by family members of Democrat candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Scott Lee Cohen. Kelly talked about the urgent need for campaign finance reform and is calling on Cohen to step aside in the lieutenant governor’s campaign due to recent media disclosures about the candidate’s checkered past. Here is Kelly’s statement:
“With comprehensive campaign finance reform, political candidates will not just be able to buy their way into an election without any track record of public service whatsoever. In Illinois, the Democrat candidate for Lieutenant Governor spent $2 million of his own money and had the support of party insiders. As usual, there was no transparency and the media was nowhere to be found when it counted: before the primary.”
“Incumbent Governor Pat Quinn will now having to suffer the consequences of this embarrassing situation. For decades, Quinn has talked about being a reformer. But once he was in office, he gave Illinois an anti-reform bill – a bill that strengthens the hands of party insiders and influential money people.”
“Today, in Illinois it is easy for corrupt politicians to play the system and skirt Illinois’ election disclosure requirements. There is no real transparency. New campaign contribution “limits” are not limits at all. Quinn’s new campaign finance reform just makes legislative leaders and political parties even more powerful. Now, instead of giving the money directly to the candidate, elites and insiders just funnel it through the legislative leader or political party. And…wealthy insiders continue to buy elections. That is not reform. That is not transparency.”
“Scott Lee Cohen, the Democrat candidate for lieutenant governor is yet another example of pay to play politics in Illinois. It is a good thing that Rod Blagojevich didn’t know about this guy a few years ago. Instead of selling Barack Obama’s seat, he would have just pawned it. Scott Lee Cohen needs to step aside. We want reform and we want it now,” said Kelly.
Kelly is calling for comprehensive campaign finance reform in Illinois as part of Rebuild Illinois’ Reform Agenda.