Monday, February 2, 2009

Dear Senator Steans, Reform Begins With You.

It seems like every time Senator Heather Steans (D-7th) sends me a legislative update, I get a blog post out of it.

Since Senator Steans does a poor job of keeping her web site updated, I'm posting her most recent one, which I received via email, here.

It's about what you would expect, including the last two paragraphs, which follow:

Today the sun is shining and I - like people throughout the state - am breathing a sigh of relief that we can start a new chapter. Clearly Illinois suffers from a culture of corruption that requires ethics reforms such as campaign contribution limits and greater transparency and oversight. We have an enormous budget deficit that has to be tackled. And we need a capital plan to restore our infrastructure and put Illinois residents back to work. I am confident that our new Governor, Patrick Quinn, and the House and Senate will now pull together to start the real work that needs to be done.

Please call or email me if you have any questions or would like further insights into the impeachment trial. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

Since she asked, here are my thoughts and suggestions:

Dear Senator Steans,

Respectfully, we do not need more ethics legislation from the same people who gave us all of the previous ethics legislation, then immediately figured out how to get around it and continue to do business as usual.

The current situation presents a unique opportunity for every Illinois legislator to lead by doing. What will you do to be more open and transparent about the way you conduct your own official business? What will you do to help expose the existing corrupt systems, individuals and groups of which you and every other legislator are aware? What will you do to demonstrate to your constituents that they and they alone direct your actions, even above and beyond the Senate and party leadership?

What will you do to show us—-prove to us-—that this really is a new chapter and not a repeat of the last reform movement, which as you may recall was led by the now disgraced ex-governor and his running mate, the new governor?

What can you say to us that we haven't heard a thousand times before? What can you do to show us you are really different?

Perhaps a good place to start would be the confession of past sins. What do you think?


mcl said...

Very well stated! This 'letter' should be sent to ALL ILLINOIS ELECTED OFFICIALS, State, County & Local. Thanks, Chuck.

Lorraine Swanson said...

Do you have a problem? That's Heather's usualy comeback when asked tough questions, followed by, "I'm trying to something good." BTW, she wasn't aware when she and hubby Leo were forking over five separate payments of
$25K to Blago's "$25,000 Club" that he was "doing anything illegal." But what the hell do I know, I'm just the dumbsh$t neighborhood reporter.