100th District Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer has started a petition to call for a special session of the General Assembly. On Tuesday, upstate Republicans held a press conference asking for Governor J.B. Pritzker to call a special session to deal with ethics reform amid the Michael Madigan-ComEd bribery investigation. Davidsmeyer has started a petition for constituents to sign urging the governor to call the session immediately.
Davidsmeyer says that the time for talk and press conferences are over and action needs to be taken immediately to clean up the state’s many political ethics problems: “Ethics isn’t just something that you can say in a speech and talk about, then do nothing about. The State of Illinois is known for corruption issues. Obviously, in the last couple of years, we have seen the FBI be very active in that. We have now seen investigations into the Speaker as well as the governor at this point. I think that we need to go [to special session]. If the governor believes this is truly an urgent matter, which I obviously do, he has the ability to call us back now and change the ethics laws for the State of Illinois to make sure that this stuff can’t happen in the future. Talk is cheap. I think it’s time to get going and show the people of Illinois some action.”
Davidsmeyer says he is only echoing the governor’s urgency on the matter from the governor’s State of the State address from January, which focused on restoring faith in state government. Davidsmeyer believes that the Michael Madigan-ComEd alleged bribery and corruption investigation continues to stain the reputation of all the state’s lawmakers: “The behind the scenes stuff has been going on for a long time. I have not seen it with my own eyes, but I have heard tons of stories just from the years that I have served. I’m sure it was even worse before I ever went to Springfield to serve the 100th District. This is the close that [the FBI] has ever been to the most powerful person in Illinois. I hope they continue to pursue it because, frankly, I believe that the majority of people in politics are good people trying to do the right thing. When this stuff happens, people look at it and say ‘One bad apple spoils the bunch, so if one of them is bad, they are all bad.'”
Davidsmeyer said that he has received campaign donations from ComED and the now implicated Walgreens and AT&T in year’s past. Illinois Sunshine reports that Davidsmeyer’s re-election committee “Citizens for C.D. Davidsmeyer” received $5,400 from ComEd and their parent company Exelon since February 1, 2013; $11,860.81 from AT&T; and $3,000 from Walgreens. Davidsmeyer recounted on “What’s On Your Mind” that he had received a certain amount of money from ComEd at his local golf outing at one point, and then in the following session voted against a bill that they were for and received less money from them the next year. Davidsmeyer says they have never bought his vote: “They are supporting me as a candidate, and if they decide they don’t want to anymore, they’ll decrease [the contributions] or knock it off. I’m happy to say that there isn’t any group out there that I have a 100% voting record with besides Pro Life, and I even voted against a cross bow bill that the NRA didn’t like. I thought conservation was more important in that instance.”
Davidsmeyer says that because he excepts money from a group that he’s not bought when it comes to votes in Springfield: “If you accept a dime from somebody, they think you are bought and paid for. The reality is if $1,000 buys your vote, you’re too cheap. If the expectation is, if I give you this [money] and you’ll vote my way, you’re talking to the wrong person; but you have to raise money to be able to fund campaigns. I think Madigan has about $23 million in his multiple funds and House Republicans are at $2.5 million. I’d say the reason for this is because the power is on the Democrat side of the aisle. People tend to give more to the people that are directly making the decisions.”
Davidsmeyer says that the he hopes the petition raises Governor J.B. Pritzker’s awareness to the amount of Illinois citizens who are demanding ethics reform in the state now.
To view and sign the petition, visit https://www.ilhousegop.org/ethics and fill out your information. Currently, the petition holds just over 1,000 signatures.