SPRINGFIELD — State Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland) gets a good chuckle anytime he hears about the new ethics plan now being pushed by Democrats.
“I think anytime you hear Democrats talking about getting serious about ethics reform, you have to take it tongue and cheek just based on what we’ve experienced,” Miller states. “In the last year, Republicans have filed somewhere around 30 reform bills that never even saw the light of day.”
Political corruption is the subject of three Federal investigations
With House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) embroiled in a widening Federal corruption probe involving utility giant ComEd and a pay-for-play scheme, a group of Democratic legislators are pushing a package of nine reform measures they insist will quickly lead to a culture change in Springfield.
Among those proposals are the following:
- Banning legislators from becoming lobbyists.
- Greater scrutiny regarding financial disclosures.
- Establishing guidelines for enacting a censure process.
- Making the Legislative Inspector General more independent.
- The institution of term limits.
Miller, however, states that it will take a lot of heavy lifting to get to that point.
“They’ve made a mockery of everything. I’ve heard Madigan has spent almost $2 million on lawyers since the beginning of the year,” Miller states. “Most times people don’t lawyer up like that unless there is some need. All of these things are pointing to the extreme ethics violations involving Democrats.”
“You can’t talk about change without backing it up”
He additionally states that it is not enough for Democrats to talk about change without backing it up.
“You have to see the change in behavior to believe they’re actually serious,” Miller says. “The reality is Illinois has become a laughingstock when we should be the brightest, shining city in the Midwest.”
Therefore, Miller states that the reforms have to run as deep as the prevalent corruption that exists in both political parties.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.