Sunday, December 18, 2005

Why doesn't Rod or the Dems get any credit for ethics reforms?

Today Edwin Eisendrath launched his campaign for governor, setting up a Democratic primary. His website here has the theme of Honesty, Independence and Integrity and he has launched into an attack on Blagojevich's alleged corruption in office.

I wonder why no one seems to get any credit for the Ethics Act of 2003.

This was, I think by all accounts, a big deal.

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (disclosure: a former employer for a bit) has this factsheet on the many provisions of the legislation. For the first time, a lot of things that were considered business-as-usual were banned with some fairly strong enforcement mechanisms, including:

  • Restricting gifts from lobbyists, state contractors, and others with a special interest in the outcome of government decisions to public officials.
  • Barring inspectors from soliciting campaign contributions from the businesses or individuals they regulate.
  • Creating ethics commissions for the executive and legislative branches of government to adjudicate complaints about unethical behavior.
  • Designating inspectors general to investigate ethics complaints about public employees and officials.
  • Mandating ethics training for all state employees and officials.
(from ICPR's site here)

Speaker Madigan and Governor Blagojevich deserve a lot of credit for this law -- the Governor pushed very hard over the summer and fall of 2003 for a tougher ethics package. No one seems to give him any real credit for that. That really was political reform and ending some shady practices.

I know there are a litany of complaints about Blagojevich (some of them fair, some of them carping) but for a moment, I'd like to ignore all of that and just ask the question why no one -- particularly the governor -- seems to get any credit for cleaning up part of Illinois government with this substantive Ethics Act.


FightforJustice said...

The House Republicans pushed the ethics reform. Tom Cross should get the credit. The Dems were afraid to vote no.

Lazerlou said...

Despite his efforts, he is still and IL Dem and as such must avoid public scrutiny of ethics issues, even if he is cleaning up, because, while cleaner, no doubt Blog and otehrs are not CLEAN.

Carl Nyberg said...

Why doesn't Blagojevich get credit for ethics reform?

Maybe because he is willing to use every dubious technique in the book to advance his political interests?

Go to the County Clerk's office today or to the Chicago Board of Elections. Get to know the people checkign Eisendrath's nominating petitions.

How many of them work for the state, city or county? How many have been encouraged to volunteer by supervisors and political bosses?

The Dems still want to preserve the perks they enjoy while trying to take credit for symbolic reforms.

leo said...

I think the Governor has run into a bit of trouble more by people who have a loose association with him more than anything else.

It might jump up and bite him as some point but until then, it's a little like Whitewater -- you know, years and years of allegations but never an indictment to be seen.

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