Illinois state Rep. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport)
Illinois state Rep. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) wonders how Democratic lawmakers can even keep a straight face while talking about wanting ethics reform.
“There is so much low-hanging fruit on reform that the tree is about to fall over,” Chesney said in a press release. “To not take up the substantive measures proposed by Republicans and to allow some of these practices to continue one minute more really put the truth to the lie of concerns over corruption by Illinois Democratic lawmakers.”
Chesney argues there is no way that Democrats can still feign concern about ethics in state government given their actions in the wake of the flurry of recent scandals.
“Their Democratic colleagues have been caught allegedly self-dealing and with their hands in the cookie jar, and their colleagues respond by saying, 'Let’s study the issue,'” Chesney said. “Then the commission to study this is stacked with Democrats instead of equal representation. The lack of self-awareness is simply unbelievable.”
Over the last several weeks, numerous federal corruption probes have unfolded that find various Democratic lawmakers at the center. Veteran state Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) was recently forced to step down in the 3rd District after being arrested on federal bribery charges, and longtime state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) was pressured into stepping down as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee after being implicated in an ongoing kickback scheme.
Among the GOP-backed reform measures that were not taken up during the just concluded fall veto session are House Bill 3947, which would ban members of the General Assembly, their spouses and immediate live-in family members from performing paid lobbying work with local government units, and House Bill 3955, which would create mandatory and publicly available documentation of General Assembly communications with any state agency regarding contracts.