Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Yeah, What They Said - Updated x 2

The Pantagraph ran an editorial Sunday, urging the support of House Bill 1, legislation I sponsored that would effectively end the pay-to-play politics stories that have dominated our state for far too long.

The bill passed the House unanimously on April 25th, but has since languished in the Senate.

They have been joined in calling for the passage of this bill by the following papers:
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Chicago Sun-Times
  • State Journal-Register
  • Daily Herald
  • Daily Southtown
  • Herald & Review
  • Southern Illinoisan
  • St. Louis Post-Disptach
Not to mention, an overwhelming number of Illinoisans.

Ending pay-to-play, and even the allegations of it? Seems like a no-brainer, right?

From the Pantagraph:
With each new report of investigations into Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s campaign fund and other dealings, the need for stronger ethics legislation in Illinois becomes readily apparent to everyone except, apparently, the governor and some top legislative leaders.

Records from the governor’s campaign fund reportedly have been subpoenaed by federal investigators looking into corruption...

Meanwhile, House Bill 1, which would place restrictions on donations from state contractors, continues to wallow in the Senate Rules Committee more than six weeks after it was unanimously approved by the Illinois House.

Forty-five of the 59 members of the Senate have signed on as sponsors so far, including all senators from the Pantagraph area. But Senate President Emil Jones won’t let it out of committee.

If Jones has a better idea, we want to hear it — before the next indictment is handed down.
President Jones has said that he has some 'other things' that he would like to see done, and that HB1 'doesn't go far enough'. But every House member, good government group, and major media outlet thinks that it is just what we need, and long overdue.

At a time when a number of people who could use some good press could get some by simply doing the right thing, I think that I've got just the thing for them.

Pass and sign House Bill 1.

UPDATE - Add Crain's to the list:
Pay-to-play politics also undermines public confidence in government and encourages voter apathy. Why should ordinary citizens participate in a process they perceive to be rigged in favor of insiders?

Banning campaign contributions by big state contractors would be a move in the right direction on both fronts. It would help address the state's chronic financial woes and give Illinoisans a reason to believe their state government works for them.

If only Mr. Jones would get out of the way.
Another update - The Chicago Sun-Times weighed in again on the subject today:
If House and Senate leaders are sincere about favoring a bill to discourage the egregious "pay-to-play" politics, it shouldn't be too difficult to pass one. It's clear most lawmakers want to approve something, and the competing versions of the idea aren't so different that compromise would be impossible. If they are sincere about demonstrating that Illinois government is not for sale, then there's no excuse for not passing this legislation.
It's doesn't get much more clear cut.



9 Comments:

At June 18, 2007 at 10:15 AM, Anonymous DuPage Saint said...

It ain't gonna happen at least in a form that means anything.

 
At June 18, 2007 at 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again its the Dumocrats that let the legislative practice get hijacked by two people either Mike Madigan or Emil Jones. When is the party and the legislature going to step up for governance and not cronyism. Stage a coup and get Emil out of power he is only interested in his power and padding his pocket at the expense of good government. Mike Madigan is only a bit better so he should go too.

Thanks for the good work John. Now step it up and talk to the Democratic brethren and see if anyone has a stomach to move on Emil.

 
At June 18, 2007 at 1:40 PM, Anonymous lake county democrat said...

Well John, I tried! I just called Jones' and Susan Garrett's chambers urging they bring the bill for a vote. Parlimentarily speaking, are there any ways this can be forced to the floor for a vote? Like in the US Congress you can file a discharge petition if something is bottled up in committee.

 
At June 18, 2007 at 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again its the Dumocrats that let the legislative practice get hijacked by two people either Mike Madigan or Emil Jones. When is the party and the legislature going to step up for governance and not cronyism. Stage a coup and get Emil out of power he is only interested in his power and padding his pocket at the expense of good government. Mike Madigan is only a bit better so he should go too.

Thanks for the good work John. Now step it up and talk to the Democratic brethren and see if anyone has a stomach to move on Emil.

 
At June 18, 2007 at 2:16 PM, Anonymous T.L. Biff said...

Milo (Governor Blagojevich) Corruptovich should be spearheading this effort. Since he's so CLEAN!!!!!!

Guess he's a liar

 
At June 18, 2007 at 2:19 PM, Anonymous T.L. Biff said...

Milo (Governor Blagojevich) Corruptovich should be spearheading this effort.
Since he's do CLEAN!

Guess he's a LIAR !

 
At June 21, 2007 at 7:19 PM, Blogger JB Powers said...

I gotta think when you get a rogues gallery like

They have been joined in calling for the passage of this bill by the following papers:

Chicago Tribune
Chicago Sun-Times
State Journal-Register
Daily Herald
Daily Southtown
Herald & Review
Southern Illinoisan
St. Louis Post-Disptach

together on anything, it must be one of the bigger swindles going. Has anyone considered the Unintended Consequences of such a bill? Couldn't this turn out to be another McCain-Feingold?

JBP

 
At June 21, 2007 at 9:20 PM, Anonymous Reality Check said...

JB,

What are the possible 'unintended consequences' could there be of cutting ties between contributions and state contracts?

We already know what the consequences are of not doing it.

 
At June 22, 2007 at 8:25 PM, Blogger JB Powers said...

RC,

Well lets see...what were the unintended consequences of McCain Feingold? Squelch 1st Ammendment rights in exchange for more government regulation, that only occurs after the fact. Build up a whole new industry of lobbyists and special interest groups to replace the politically active individual. In short, give up ondividual sovereignty so that we have more regulation and representatives for hire.

I'll hazard a guess that this legislation could have some of the same consequence.

JBP

 

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