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Government Reform Requires More Than Rhetoric

Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2011

With the conviction of former Governor Rod Blagojevich, Illinois has another scandal to overcome, and Governor Pat Quinn says he is ready to enact sweeping reforms. “This is my mission,” he said, “to reform our government so we do not have governors going to jail.”

Quinn is proposing an “ethics initiative” including reforms such as new limits on campaign fundraising as well as strengthening the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. He is even suggesting “giving the voters the opportunity at the ballot box to pass strong, no-nonsense ethics laws to protect the taxpayers and protect the public.”

But as an editorial in the Northwest Herald points out, Quinn has already made some decisions that call into question his true commitment to reform. “Quinn’s deeds must match his words.” In particular, the paper criticizes a legislative and congressional “remap” that was rejected by his Reform Commission.

Changing the ethical culture of a city or state with a history of corruption is a big job, and one that can only be accomplished with when leaders take strong actions that match their promises.

Tags: corruption, ethics codes, ethics reform, Gov. Pat Quinn, Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Illinois

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