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Fake money drop interrupts House proceedings

Thursday, Nov 7, 2013

* Sun-Times

The Illinois House was disrupted Wednesday by a group of protestors who dropped fake paper money atop lawmakers’ heads to protest “loopholes” in the state’s anti-corruption laws.

The disturbance happened before the House approved a $5 million tax-break for Washington-based Univar to move its headquarters to Downers Grove, preserving 100 jobs and adding another 69.

Five members of a group called “Represent Us” staged the protest, which included unfurling of a banner that read “With Liberty and Justice for Sale.”

“Explosive scandals like the Blagojevich saga might grab headlines, but the real scandal is the loopholes that make quid pro quo corruption a fact of life in Illinois politics,” activist Josh Silver said in a prepared statement. “Money talks in Illinois, so we decided to speak to House members in the only language they seem to understand.”

They didn’t say what those loopholes actually are.

* More

Security forces removed about half a dozen people within seconds. It took a little while longer to clean up the mess.

* This is a national group. They’ve done similar protests in other states. From its website

Represent.Us is a fresh campaign to support the American Anti-Corruption Act: a law that would overhaul campaign finance, impose strict lobbying and conflict of interest laws, and end secret political money. We are mobilizing millions of Americans — conservatives and progressives, young and old, every issue group fighting K Street, online and offline — to join this campaign.

Five protesters in Springfield doesn’t give me much confidence that this group is “mobilizing millions.”

* Video of the protest

Notice that nobody started grabbing at the fake money.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

25 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:30 am:

    Rich,

    What is “the rule”?

    Never take the money(?)

    Right after, “Friends hug!”(?)


  2. - RNUG - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:34 am:

    OW,

    think that’s actually “never take the money in public”


  3. - OneMan - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:35 am:

    Don’t take the money from anyone you haven’t checked for a wire.


  4. - PublicServant - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:38 am:

    I think the take away here is that legislators know the difference between fake money and real money although they treat the latter like the former.


  5. - The Captain - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:39 am:

    The important thing is they didn’t spill popcorn on the House floor, which we all know is the most serious violation that can occur.


  6. - RNUG - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:43 am:

    Seriously, there are number of loopholes in various state procedures and regulations. I’d be willing to bet most of the regulars here could list at least some of them.

    As long as you keep it within the campaign donation regulations, the visuals may be bad but it’s tough to prove any quid pro quo or illegality.

    It’s even harder to prove when it comes to manipulating things like job hiring and procurement actions since nothing is ever put in writing. That’s just SOP.


  7. - DuPage - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    If they were serious about the protest, they should have used real money.
    Symbolic money sort of gives the perception of a symbolic protest, not taken too seriously.


  8. - walkinfool - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    Might’ve worked better with real dollar bills, when the Reps weren’t getting paid.

    Some reformers see the world so simply. It would be nice to have silver bullets.

    Does Josh know what decisions he’s protesting against? Is it really “loopholes,” (like tax breaks for big companies), or is it a general dislike and suspicion of money in politics?

    Is he really saying that “money talked” when the legislators passed Marriage Equality?


  9. - Squid pro joe - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 10:58 am:

    Amateur. They were on the GOP side. Hope they enjoyed the Lincoln sites while they were in town.


  10. - Rod - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:07 am:

    If they had used real money it could have potentially caused a riot on the floor. So I am glad for the safety of the members of the House they used fake money.


  11. - Norseman - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:12 am:

    Oh, so that is what happened. I thought it was Rauner trying to buy some more influence.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:21 am:

    - Norseman -,

    You should know better! Rauner throws checks signed by his wife to Democrats, FIRST, then he throws money at Republicans after throwing his wife under the bus.

    Once I saw in the video no checks, I knew straight off it wasn’t Rauner!


  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    ==Is he really saying that “money talked” when the legislators passed Marriage Equality?==

    Yesterday I thought I had read somewhere that some legislators got some capital projects approved for their districts in exchange for their SSM aye votes. I don’t mean to propagate a rumor here, but it might be worth looking into.


  14. - Soccermom - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:43 am:

    Gosh, I guess I have totally lost my moral compass. But if a legislator facing a hard vote gets something for his/her constituents in return, am I supposed to be horrified?


  15. - Norseman - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    Willy, sorry. Off my game today.


  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:52 am:

    Soccermom. Horrified? No, not at all. Quid pro quo is a way of doing business. But if a vote for equality has a price tag, then somebody may have lost a compass.


  17. - Rod - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:52 am:

    Truth to what dupage dan stated. Moreover, in Illinois the issues relating to lobbying and money are very complex and I think “Represent Us” has no real idea of the depth of these issues.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 12:01 pm:

    -Norseman -,

    No worries, keeping up with all the “advocating” by the Rauner’s is tough on all of us. It’s “not you” it’s … “Them”

    To the Post,

    I think to be considered a movement you have to be more than 19 people. If you ate not bigger than the SGOP Caucus, you can’t claim “movement” status.

    I think I read that somewhere..,


  19. - leonard - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 12:46 pm:

    If they thought that this stunt would have any influence in Illinois,they need help.Might as well throw rocks at a nuclear sub and expect it to surrender.


  20. - Siriusly - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 12:52 pm:

    Lamest protest ever. No message, no theme, no call for action.


  21. - cover - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 1:25 pm:

    I agree that 19 people does not meet the definition of a movement. According to Arlo Guthrie, it would have taken 50 people to qualify as an anti-Massacree “movement”, but only 3 to be an “organization”. Interestingly, considering the SSM vote earlier this week, his 2 person solution to evading the Army wouldn’t work anymore.


  22. - dupage dan - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 1:55 pm:

    My post disappeared. I thought maybe I hadn’t posted it but Rod made reference to it. Did I offend, somehow? I didn’t think there was anything inflammatory in the piece but I am distracted today…..


  23. - A guy... - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 2:59 pm:

    OW, interesting point about numbers. For Thanksgiving, I will be hosting a number of people at my house a bit more than the Senate Dem Caucus. Some will be children, which will outnumber the SGOP by almost double. Whew. Tough realization.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 8, 13 @ 8:32 am:

    - A guy… -,

    It is like “20″ has some magic powers I guess. When you realize anyting under “20″ is really small relative to a “movement”, but large for Thanksgiving, it sobvers you up pretty quick.

    It is quite real, that rooms for rent for meetings require 20 people, maybe “20″ is magical(?)


  25. - Elizabeth - Friday, Nov 8, 13 @ 9:38 am:

    www.Represent.Us is a national anti-corruption group backing a congressional reform plan called the American Anti-Corruption Act (www.AntiCorruptionAct.com.) We have an active District Committee in the Rockford area whose FB page is at www.facebook.com/AntiCorruptionAct. Please feel free to contact the local or national group if you’d like to learn more or get involved.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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