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The Illinois Reform Commission released it’s first report detailing it’s initial recommendations for campaign reform this week, a week punctuated by United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald serving up 19 federal charges against a cadre of ultimate money grubbers and thieves, up to and including 16 charges directly against the governor.
What follows demands that you understand how compromised our state system of campaign finance truly is. When federal prosecutors questioned Rod’s brother Robert, brother Blago made it clear they were bankrolling money in advance of the new pay-to-play executive ethics ordinance; not just for the next gubernatorial election, but for Rod Blago’s run for President. They needed lots of money, and essentially doubled down on the henious fundraising actions of convict former Gov. George Ryan, a man so morally and ethically narcissistic that he ordered a moratorium on death row inmates simply buy himself a lighter shorter sentence.
It remains to be seen whether IL pols will attempt to wait out resident disgust, or whether the dems of Illinois will allow these recommendations to be enacted.
The general assembly will consider legislation that essentially require the legislature do pretty much the same thing they forced the executive branch to do: quit being total two faced bribe taking scumbags.
Up to now, Illinois was one of four states that allows unlimited contributions to campaign funds. Lobbyists used this lack of rules to pay off who they needed what they needed. The Madigans have taken in over $1 million that way, as did Blago himself.
Now in IL, primary elections are held the beginning of February, the general elections are November. The intertwining eight months is more about fundraising than electioneering, opening the door for lobbyists and special interests to buy votes on issues, like RedSpeed buying votes for traffic cameras.
Who buys what from whom has been a long running source of kickback cash for Illinois politicians. I make sure you get the $10 million dollar contract, in return you give me $10,000. I hire you as a consultant for investing Teacher Retirement System money, you contribute back to me and bundle contributions from your pals and we take the TRS money by the hundreds of millions and spread it around to finance projects and investments so all our pals can get a piece of the action. Don’t laugh, that’s exactly why William Cellini is indicted along with Blago and the rest.
Many of these recommendations have been floated by both Lisa Madigan’s office (Illinois Attorney General) or by the Illinois Municipal League. And some of these should ring a bell as Mayor Sandack and council got out in front of this with a unanimous vote well over a year ago.
More than just elected legislators should be under this rule. Both School Boards in the DG area could benefit from some clearly laid out rules for what kind of transparency is required of them. Let’s go ahead and shine the light nice and bright on everything, especially the stuff hiding in the darkest corners.
Now if we can void out the lifetime feather nest pensions, we’d really be getting somewhere.