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December , 2017
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(From Common Cause Illinois)

Every candidate backs Fair Elections Illinois ballot measure to reshape Chicago politics

CHICAGO, IL – All five of the city’s mayoral candidates stood up today against the corrupt influence of special interest donors by endorsing the Fair Elections ballot measure aimed at putting elections back in the hands of voters and changing the shape of every Chicago election for generations to come.

“Our mayoral candidates are standing behind the one thing on the ballot that has the capacity to change the entire face of politics in the city of Chicago for generations, and that’s our Fair Elections question,” said Rey López-Calderón, Executive Director of Common Cause Illinois. “No matter whom you’re voting for, in this race or any other, voting YES for Fair Elections is the one way you can ensure every race, now and for years to come, is decided by the people, not special interests.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Ald. Robert Fioretti, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, William “Dock” Walls and Willie Wilson endorsed the Fair Elections Illinois ballot measure led by Common Cause Illinois, which asks voters whether the City and State should create a campaign financing system through small donors and limited public funds.

Passage of similar small donor match campaign finance systems in other cities, like New York City and Los Angeles, has helped stem the tide of dark money and Super PAC donations that have flooded elections since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Chicago’s ballot measure is the first step toward ensuring we can join other cities and states across the country intent on ensuring voters – not corporate donors and lobbyists – choose our elected officials.

Common Cause Illinois and its partner organizations across the nation are working on multiple fronts to stop the influence of big money in elections, including pressuring state and federal lawmakers to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. Big money has long dominated our elections, and the problem has severely worsened since the decision in 2010 allowed corporations and groups to spend unlimited amounts of money on our elections. In 2012,

“independent” groups spent about $1 billion on elections, much of it from anonymous individuals and corporations.

The Fair Elections Illinois ballot measure will send an important message to both lawmakers and special interests that Chicagoans want their elections decided by ballot boxes, not check books, and they are ready for a campaign finance system and laws that protect their democratic rights.

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