Term limits
5:49 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Term Limit Petition Cost $1.75 Per Signature

Workers load up a semi truck with Bruce Rauner's 67,976-page term limit petition on Wednesday. Each of the nearly 600,000 signatures cost $1.75, a spokesman said.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

  Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner filed his term limit initiative with election officials today Wednesday. The massive petition drive came with a hefty price tag.

As Hannah Meisel reports, Bruce Rauner's term limit petition drive cost $1.75 per signature. At 591,092 signatures, the total rings up at over $1 million.

Rauner's term limit group spent eight months collecting more than twice the number of signatures needed to get the question on the November ballot. That means conversations like this one, from primary Election Day, happened nearly 600,000 times:

Collector: "How are you doing today, sir? Would you help me out with a quick signature for term limits?"

Voter: "No — oh, I'm for term limits."

Collector: "Oh, let's talk."

A committee spokesman says the petition cost the campaign $1.75 per signature.

Rauner says it'll be worth it if voters get the chance to approve an eight-year cap on legislators' time in office.

"There's no need that somebody has to stay in one office for decades," he said. "It helps promote corruption when one person stays in place and the special interests and the lobbyists develop that tight relationship."

It remains to be seen whether voters will get that chance. Even before the petitions were filed, a lawyer for the Illinois Democratic Party sued to block the referendum, arguing it fails to meet constitutional requirements.