Yesterday's 'monumental' ethics reform today's chopped liver

Yesterday's 'monumental' ethics reform today's chopped liver

Posted by JP on Thu, 09/25/2008 - 07:16

Apparently the governor's no longer impressed with that "monumental" and "revolutionary" reform package he signed during his first year in office.

In fact, he no longer seems to acknowledge it. Consider these two news releases. (I highlighted some of the good parts)

First up …

December 9, 2003
Blagojevich signs monumental ethics reforms into law
Comprehensive package meets goals laid-out in Governor’s spring veto; Gives Illinois real, meaningful ethics reform for the first time

CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed into law the toughest, most comprehensive ethics reform package in the state’s history. At a ceremony in Chicago’s Bilandic State Office Building, the Governor was joined by Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Secretary of State Jesse White, Comptroller Dan Hynes, legislative leaders, the bill’s sponsors and representatives from good government organizations.

“Today, I am signing a bill into law that finally gives Illinois revolutionary ethics reform,” Blagojevich said. “We are not just tinkering at the edges, tweaking here and tightening there. Today, we are re-establishing the primacy of principle over politics, and in Illinois, that is real change. We are renewing the promise of public service. And I hope it’s a step in the on-going process of giving people a reason to start believing in their government again.

“Getting here was not easy. It took nearly a year of hard work. It took two ethics bills. It took cooperation from all four legislative caucuses, and from virtually every part of the Executive Branch of government. It couldn’t have happened without the efforts of good government advocates, who through the years, have been lonely voices in the wilderness – and who have fought for change and finally made it happen.”

Now consider …

September 23, 2008
Statement from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich regarding the Senate’s Passage of SB780

CHICAGO - “I want to thank the members of the Senate who joined with me to support this landmark legislation that will bring comprehensive and broad ethics reform to Illinois. For the first time in Illinois’ modern history, a legislative body joined a Governor to impose real and meaningful ethics reform on ourselves and lead by example.

We did it because it’s the right thing to do. And we did it because during tough times like these it’s essential for those of us in government to regain the confidence and trust of the people.

We are now one step closer to bringing much needed reform to state government and eliminating the conflicts of interest that have been inherent in Springfield. With this 50-1 vote, members of the Senate have made it clear that they are ready to change the ‘business as usual’ policies of state government and put the interests of the people first.

This overwhelming, bi-partisan vote tells us this can happen – and this can happen now.

This vote sends a message to the people that the tired tradition of double dipping, the fraudulent way pay raises are doled out and the deceitful way legislators who moonlight as attorneys can hide their clout-heavy client list should be a thing of the past.

I urge the House to take advantage of this historic opportunity and pass this legislation now before the election. The voters and the taxpayers should expect nothing less. It is my hope that the members of the House act now and pass these comprehensive and sweeping reforms.”

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