One of Illinois' leading political reformers says it's interesting that only Democrats in the state are asking for a clarification about rules surrounding campaign contributions and quid pro quo concerns.
The laundry list of Illinois politicos and former politicos who are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify the rules as to when a request for a campaign contribution becomes essentially a request for a payoff are all Democrats.
They filed a request with the high court to clarify the quid-pro-quo ruling that has former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich sitting in federal prison.
Sarah Brune, executive director at the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, wondered out loud Wednesday if it is because of the link between Democrats in Illinois and the public sector unions who contribute to them.
"Certainly, unions have constituted a large part of the funding stream for Illinois Democrats," Brune said. "[For] Democrats running federal races, unions constitute a less significant part of their funding than Democrats running in state races. But that's a minor point."
Brune said there is danger for both parties in getting too close to donors and a quid pro quo allegation.
"It's definitely the case that Democrats take money from a union source, and then it can be seen as quid pro quo for certain legislation that is favorable to that union source," Brune said. "But the same thing can happen on the Republican side. If there are business donors, or wealthy donors and the Republicans are seen as sending state contracts there way."
In 2014, the last governor's race in Illinois, eight of the top 10 donors to former Gov. Pat Quinn were unions. That same year, all but one of the top 10 donors to Gov. Bruce Rauner were wealthy individuals.
The Democrats who are asking the court for clarification say they're not taking a position on the former governor, they just want guidance going forward.