03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A Strong Endorsement for Julie Hamos

It is with great pride that I endorse Julie Hamos for Congress in Illinois' 10th Congressional District.

Julie Hamos knows what it takes to be a good legislator. Her policies are driven by her constituents and a desire to stand up for people who don't have a voice. She's a coalition builder who isn't afraid to find allies from the other party to build toward a common goal. And she has shown she's not afraid to tell it like it is, particularly when a well-intentioned bill is derailed to protect the Springfield status quo.

Such was the case last year, when a reform bill was introduced that, in its original form, would finally have taken some money out of Illinois politics. Instead, Springfield insiders gutted the bill of its strongest restrictions, effectively giving party leaders even more power to raise and spend money during elections.

The Chicago Tribune denounced it, yet only two Democratic legislators had the guts to oppose it. One of those legislators was Julie Hamos.

Even in the face of a challenge in her primary election, Julie didn't back down. Instead, she stood up for what was right, as she explained on her campaign website:

I believe that the final version of Senate Bill 1466 was not meaningful campaign finance reform. It is campaign finance redistribution - more money, power, and control into the hands of political leaders in Springfield. This is not real reform for a state that desperately needs it.

Earlier this year I supported a bill that I hoped would be a sound beginning and generate ongoing negotiations for meaningful finance reform. If yesterday's bill was the result of those negotiations, it's clear that the calls for reform fell on deaf ears.

Early voting starts this week. Voters will brave the snow and cold to decide who best will represent them in Congress. I urge you to choose the one progressive, independent candidate who isn't afraid to take on tough battles.

Now more than ever, we need Julie Hamos in Congress.