Campaign Contribution Prohibitions

Campaign Contribution Prohibitions

May 6, 2009

CHICAGO - “ Executive Order 9 (Quinn 2009) rescinds Executive Order 3 (Blagojevich 2008).  The rescission notes the uncertainty and confusion regarding the scope of Executive Order 3 and its relationship to Public Act 95-971.  PA 95-971 prohibits campaign contributions to executive officeholders by state contractors.

Executive Order 3 expanded that prohibition to contributions to legislators and state parties and was enacted concurrent with PA 95-971.  The rescission also noted the likelihood of new additional campaign finance reforms this year and the ""context in which the Order was issued"" (many believing it was a punitive response to the ethics law aimed at preventing the pay-to-play culture of the Blagojevich Administration.

Public Act 95-971 remains in effect although there is a consensus among several prominent private equity attorneys that, as a general matter, private equity and venture funds with Illinois pension funds as LPs are likely not subject to the act solely because of the investments made by the public pension funds.

From a practical perspective, however, it may be advisable to comply with the political contributions ban to executive officeholders (Governor, Lt. Governor, Treasurer, Attorney General and Comptroller) if you have or will purse contracts influenced by that office.  The law covers Illinois public pension plans and designates the Governor as the official responsible for awarding contracts in this area.

Each individual investment situation is different so readers should seek legal advice on the applicability of these requirements to any specific situation. For additional background on both the Public Act and rescinded Executive Order 3, please click here.