Campaign "Reform" from Lou Lang

Reading the post-veto do-over that Democrats want of campaign finance reform put State Rep. Lou Lang’s vision of the subject in a new light.

At last Wednesday night’s meeting of the McHenry County Democratic Party Central Committee, Lang, state representative and Niles Township Central Committeeman, was the guest speaker.

The House Democratic Party Floor Leader talked about accomplishing “some ethical reforms, including strengthening the Freedom of Information Act and campaign finance limits.

“There too high there,” he said of the bill vetoed last week by Governor Pat Quinn, a bill he previously endorsed.

Then, Lang laid out his own idea of campaign finance reform:

“I’d put strong limits on expenditures, for example, $100,000 (on House campaigns).

“Each candidate would get exactly the same access to exactly the same voters.”

I hope that I was not the only one in the room who figured out such a restriction is a way to give incumbents even more of an advantage than they have now.

Incumbents already have so many advantages.

Because they have won at least one election and had the support of state-paid public relations persons for almost two years by the time they seek re-election, public officials have a huge name identification advantage, just to mention one benefit to being in office.

Another is that newspapers quote you. (Check out the number of times non-incumbents pry their way into articles during a campaign.) That makes the incumbent and his r her ideas seem more important than a challenger.

Want to keep the same people in office?

Enact Lang’s suggestion.

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Greenwood Township’s Ed Riley greets Lou Lang at the McHenry County Farm Bureau building in Woodstock.

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