Monday, October 20, 2008

Justification for the Constitutional Convention

Exelon and Ameren both oppose the Illinois Constitutional Convention. Recently, Exelon donated $100,000 and Ameren donated $20,000 to a group opposing the constitutional convention.

Since benevolence from the utility industry is always questionable, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) suggested that voters need to follow the money and determine who really benefits from opposing the constitutional convention. The benefits are obvious: better transparency and regulations for campaign financing; increased restrictions restrict special interests clout in state government.

A constitutional convention will prevent politicians from undermining the democratic process and running unopposed. Nor would they be able to cherry pick their constituents through redistricting. A convention would also give people the opportunity to make education and health care funding priorities in the budget.

A constitutional convention offers citizens the best type of forum to discuss the important issues facing Illinois, reclaim their state government from special interests and rid ourselves of the corruption that has permeated our government, Franks said. These are the same special interest groups, mind you, that have given over $10 million in the last six years to the current politicians who leave the citizens out in the cold.

And John Shimkus is one of them. As a loyal friend to both Exelon and Ameren, they always have his vote. The people never do.

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