Carol Marin's column today hits the nail on the head. Quinn's promise for a new day in Illinois politics has been a joke. Even he had to admit the phony campaign reform bill that passed earlier this year was so bad he had to veto it after lauding it just weeks before.
After Ryan and Blagojevich used Illinois' free-wheeling campaign contribution system to benefit generous state contractors and reward family and friends, Quinn gave us all the impression with his swearing in, that that scandalous era in Illinois politics was over. And maybe it would have been, had not Quinn felt "The Chicago Way" pressure to "cooperate" with Speaker Madigan (also the IL Democratic Party chairman) and Senate President John Cullerton's determination to keep things the way they were.
Quinn had betrayed his own newly appointed Ethics Reform Commission, caved to Madigan and Cullerton, and with great ceremony declared the hollow new campaign finance law they pushed through their Democratic majorities to be "landmark" legislation.
So full of loopholes, and so crammed with leadership spending prerogatives, citizens all over the state saw the Swiss cheese they'd made and rose up.
That's why Quinn was forced to veto that which he had hailed, with Madigan and Cullerton uncomfortably at his side.
During these last three days of the fall veto session -- the last before the February 2, 2010 primaries -- the Democrats have the ball in their court. Either they pass a meaningful campaign finance reform or we as a state understand that Mike Madigan and John Cullerton have no intention of cleaning up our state. If true reform -- with input from both Democrats and Republicans -- isn't a part of the final legislation, then we will know Illinois is ruled with "The Chicago Way" iron fist.
If that doesn't get you riled up enough to get involved and oust their comfortable majorities, nothing will.