Friday, July 25, 2008

The Heat is On

Well, it looks like the last few weeks have gotten the better of my blogging duties. Apparently, the frequent pop-ups in my head that I should write about one subject or another, never quite made it from my brain to my keyboard.

In any event, I hope that everybody has been enjoying summer so far. And while most every day seems to bring some form of political news ripe for commentary (Hey, let's deploy the National Guard in Chicago! Oh, I never discussed it with anybody first? Oops.), I'll leave that task to others for now.

But as the summer sun continues to beat down on us all, the heat continues to increase on the Governor to sign the pay-to-play ban bill sitting on the his desk. There was little doubt that the recent campaign fundraising disclosures were going to result in renewed attention being given to the issue, and today's SJ-R editorial does not disappoint. While there have been countless editorials from papers around the state supporting the bill, this one does a very good job at crystallizing the present issue. Give it a read.
IN ESSENCE, Blagojevich is saying he won’t sign a law that will apply only to his office because it’s not strong enough. That logic rocks our system, though not in the way Blagojevich has promised.

If Blagojevich were serious about ridding Illinois government of “pay-to-play” contracting — or even the appearance of it — he would have voluntarily stopped taking donations from contract-holders long ago. That would have meant his campaign would be $238,500 lighter this year, but it also would have demonstrated real resolve to end pay-to-play.

And there is absolutely nothing that would stop Blagojevich from signing this bill, then working with the General Assembly later to add more reforms.

Ethics legislation is an ever-evolving beast. There is no single, perfect ethics bill that will stand for decades unchanged. And to be successful, ethics legislation must come from collaboration, not from one person or entity dictating what the laws should say. The Blagojevich administration’s perpetual demand for the perfect has set up obstacles for what would be solid reform.
I hope to crank the blogging up somewhat in the near future, there really are some interesting things going on (both big and small), but in the interim, I hope that everybody is enjoying the summer.


At July 29, 2008 at 8:51 AM, Blogger Cousin said...

John, I'll bet you all the money in my bank account (which ain't all that much, but...) that if you took your average Lincoln Park resident and moved them to Englewood they'd be screaming for the National Guard. I'll grant you your Guv-is-politiking point, but the larger point is that it's shameful -- let me repeat - S H A M E F U L - that we have become so numb to urban violance that we don't reflexively act to put more police in those neighborhoods. This is mostly because of a devaluing of African-American and other minority lives -- we don't want to pay for effective policing of these areas, so we talk about shifting around existing resources. Does the national guard (those not serving in Iraq) have something *more* important they should be doing right now? I'm all for stronger ethics laws, I just wish that there was less "leaving that task to others right now" when it comes to our urban violence crisis.


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