Contact: Bob Peickert – (630) 421-2405

Operation: Turn DuPage Blue opposes
proposed legislation aimed at
restricting political participation

With a mission not only to elect Democrats in DuPage County but to widen the local political landscape by encouraging grassroots and progressive candidates, Operation: Turn DuPage Blue is strongly advocating the rejection of proposed legislation that would make it much more difficult for such campaigns to get off the ground.  

State Senator Dan Cronin (R-21) recently submitted an amendment to House Bill 1752 that would increase by 300% the number of signatures required for candidates to appear on DuPage County ballots. Illinois law currently requires signatures from one-half of one percent “of the qualified electors of his or her party who cast votes at the last preceding general election in his or her county…” Senator Cronin’s amendment would add, “or 1.5% if the county is DuPage County.”

Such legislation would seemingly be at odds with Senator Cronin’s promotion of a strong two-party system of government, as stated in his recent letters to the editor of two publications.

In his June 14, 2007 letter to the Elmhurst Press, Senator Cronin wrote: “It has become imminently clear that one-party rule in the General Assembly does not benefit the people we were elected to represent.” He reiterated his point saying, “This legislative session is a perfect example of why a partisan balance is critical to the legislative process.”

In his August 7, 2007 letter to the Daily Herald, Cronin again called for a two-party system of governance. Cronin stated that Illinois budget stalemate was “the result of one-party control of our system of governance, which eliminates the need for cooperation and good-faith negotiations.”

In challenging not only the particulars of the proposed amendment, but the motives behind it, Operation Turn DuPage Blue Chair Bob Peickert asks, “Doesn't Senator Cronin see the hypocrisy in his proposed amendment? Cronin wants to change Illinois law to trap DuPage County under the exclusive control of the GOP by making it three-times as difficult for reform candidates to get on the ballot. If his proposal isn't to entrench the power of Republican bosses, why does the legislation single out DuPage County? Why not in Will, Kane, McHenry, or Kendall?”

A bit more colloquially, OTDB Executive Director Amy Tauchman adds, “Something smells fishy -- and it's not the Friday special at Curly's.” 

Operation Turn DuPage Blue will be making calls and sending e-mails to Democratic legislators encouraging their rejection of this amendment.