Gov takes aim at corruption in Illinois

August 18, 2009 9:23:05 AM PDT
Governor Pat Quinn is trying to root out corruption in Illinois, making it harder for clout to play a role in politics and also expanding the power of the inspector general. The governor Tuesday morning news conference was carefully staged in front of the statue of Abraham Lincoln in Grant Park. He signed a bill passed by the legislature last spring that is another component of the state's larger ethics reform package.

Monday, Quinn signed a measure increasing transparency in state government. Tuesday's bill not only forbids the promise of state jobs or contracts in exchange for campaign contributions, it also expands so-called revolving door prohibitions.

"The legislation today is an omnibus bill," the governor said. "It covers the lobbyists, the behavior of those in government, preventing what's called the revolving door where sometimes people in government, they are in government one day, and the next day they are out in the private sector. They use their government information to get special advantage. We don't think that's right. This is the way the public's work should be done."

The governor still has not signed a controversial part of the ethics reform package, and that is the campaign finance reform bill passed by the legislature last spring.

The head of the governor's own reform commission, attorney Patrick Collins, has said that bill does not go far enough. Quinn said Tuesday he and his staff are still reviewing the campaign reform measure, hinting there is a chance he might veto all or part of it.


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