Daily archives: December 8th, 2009

Quinn to Sign Reform Legislation on Anniversary of Blagojevich Arrest

Gotta give Pat Quinn credit for having a sense of humor.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Gov. Pat Quinn says he will sign into law the state’s first-ever limits on campaign contributions on Wednesday — exactly one year after his predecessor and onetime ally Rod Blagojevich was roused from bed and arrested on federal corruption charges.

Quinn acknowledged today that the campaign reform measure is “not perfect,” but said it’s a crucial first step.

“It’s substantial progress and I think it’ll make a great difference in making elections more competitive in Illinois and more open,” Quinn said this afternoon following an appearance before the Tribune’s editorial board.

The law would for the first time set limits on how much donors can give to political campaigns, though powerful legislative bosses get a pass on some restrictions. The law won’t impact next year’s elections since the money restrictions don’t go into effect until 2011.

Quinn’s signature would mark the end of a nearly year-long battle following Blagojevich’s arrest to limit the amount of money that flows into elections. Quinn vetoed an earlier version of the bill this summer after public push-back from reform groups, who have signed on in support of the latest measure in an effort to put some form of limits on the books.

Quinn said he decided to sign the bill on the anniversary of Blagojevich’s arrest to encourage citizens to look back on the past year and the changes that have been implemented since Blagojevich’s ouster.

Irony, thy name is Blagojevich.

Senate Leaders in Tentative Deal to Radically Alter Public Option

The New York Times is reporting this evening that Senate leaders are in talks to radically alter the public option.

From the New York Times:

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said on Tuesday night that he had reached “a broad agreement” among a group of 10 Democrats who have been working to resolve the dispute over a proposed government-run insurance plan that has posed perhaps the biggest obstacle to major health care legislation.

Mr. Reid refused to provide details, saying only that the group of 10 senators – five liberals and five centrists – would be sending proposals to the Congressional Budget Office for analysis. The broader Senate Democratic caucus appeared to be in a state of confusion with even some senior party leaders saying they were unaware of any agreement.

But Democratic aides said that the group had tentatively agreed on a proposal that would replace a government-run health care plan with a menu of new national, privately-run insurance plans modeled after the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, which covers more than eight million federal workers, including members of Congress, and their dependents.

This is bad news for America. There is broad support for the public option among the public. Senator Harry Reid and the other leaders are caving to the for-profit health insurance industry.