The U.S. Senate will hold a procedural vote on a constitutional amendment on campaign finance reform next week, and protesters in Chicago are asking for support from U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.). The crowd gathered in Chicago’s Federal Plaza outside Kirk’s office to deliver 66,000 signatures asking for him to vote for the amendment, which would authorize Congress and state governments to place limits on campaign spending and contributions.
Benjamin Singer, campaign director for Common Cause Illinois, says a member of Kirk’s staff was polite while accepting the petitions, but wouldn’t say if Kirk supports the amendment. “He wouldn’t make a commitment either way on how the senator was planning to vote or what type of statement he would release,” Singer said. The senator’s office has not responded to press inquiries either as to where the senator stands on the issue.
While those petitions were being delivered, other protesters called Kirk’s offices in Chicago and Washington, asking staffers if Kirk would support the amendment. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is already a co-sponsor of the resolution. The Senate is set to vote on a motion to proceed with the amendment on Sept. 8. Sixty votes would be needed to end debate on the resolution. Then the amendment would need a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress, and then be ratified by three-quarters of states in order to take effect.