Chicago Sun-Times Voices
Early and Often
Protestors disrupt Illinois House by sprinkling fake money on lawmakers’ heads
SPRINGFIELD-The Illinois House was disrupted Wednesday by a group of protestors who dropped fake paper money atop lawmakers’ heads to protest “loopholes” in the state’s anti-corruption laws.
The disturbance happened before the House approved a $5 million tax-break for Washington-based Univar to move its headquarters to Downers Grove, preserving 100 jobs and adding another 69.
Five members of a group called “Represent Us” staged the protest, which included unfurling of a banner that read “With Liberty and Justice for Sale.”
“Explosive scandals like the Blagojevich saga might grab headlines, but the real scandal is the loopholes that make quid pro quo corruption a fact of life in Illinois politics,” activist Josh Silver said in a prepared statement. “Money talks in Illinois, so we decided to speak to House members in the only language they seem to understand.”
The interruption brought calls for order from state Rep. Arthur Turner, D-Chicago, who held the gavel, and brought the bustling chamber to a halt.
The protestors were subdued by Capitol security guards.
“They were escorted out of the building and told they would be arrested if they came back,” said Henry Haupt, a spokesman for Secretary of State Jesse White, whose office maintains security at the Statehouse.