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We the people

Madison County Record

Friday, November 9, 2018  |  Editorial  |  By The Madison County Record

Ethics, Campaign Reform, Transparency (12a) , Political Parties (Incld Tea Party) (39a) Madigan, Michael--State House, 22
Well, that’s that. The election’s over. Everything’s back to normal. Maybe we’re happy with the outcome, maybe not, or maybe we’re ambivalent. It doesn’t matter anymore because it’s all behind us now. We can all be friends again and not pay any attention to politics for the next year or so.

Yeah, right!

Whether we like it or not, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and there’s no getting around that. There are no days off, no vacation, no retirement from the struggle. It never ends. Defeats are never permanent for our enemies, victories never permanent for us.

Too many Americans may not understand that, may not care enough to be bothered, and some may be seeking to undermine our freedoms, but that’s the way it is.

Money isn’t everything in American elections, but it’s a lot. The First Amendment guarantees our right to free speech, especially political speech. In our era of mass media, that includes our right to pay to have our opinions and endorsements printed, broadcast, and otherwise disseminated by whatever new media are available.

That’s an inviolable principle. It’s sacrosanct. Etched in stone.

But that doesn’t preclude expressing concern about the enormous amounts of money that certain vested interests contribute to candidates and ballot issues, or questioning the motives of the funders. That’s free speech, too.

So, when 15 Illinois plaintiff law firms dump $1.7 million into the campaign coffers of state Democratic candidates in October alone, we’ve no qualms about asking, What’s with that? Do they really like the candidates they’re supporting that much, or could it be that they’re expecting a significant return on their “investments”? 

If much of that money is passing through Mike Madigan’s fingers first, what is he expecting from the minions he metes it out to?

Those are some of the legitimate questions that citizens should have asked before the recently passed election, questions that should be asked and that demand an answer before the next election.