Illinois state Rep. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport)
Illinois state Rep. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) is one of many Republican lawmakers questioning Democrats' commitment to eradicating corruption in state government.
“Instead of treating it like the five-alarm fire it is, they punted,” Chesney said in a press release. “They cowered and passed a partisan task force to study the issue. The urgency of the moment turned to databasing bad actors instead of prohibiting them.”
In Chesney’s mind, more forceful action is desperately needed, such as banning lobbyists from being legislators at the same time. And for those found in violation, Chesney is adamant about enforcing strong penalties.
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago)
“They could have owned the issue of ethics reform,” Chesney said. “Instead, the credit for clearing out Illinois corruption will rest with their arch-nemesis, President Donald J. Trump. It’s under his Department of Justice that the feds have cast their sights on Illinois corruption.”
With longtime Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) having recently announced his plans to step down at the start of the new year, Chesney says theories are forming about possible explanations for his abrupt announcement.
“We are beginning to see stories in the media about alleged fiscal mismanagement of caucus campaign funds in President Cullerton’s caucus,” Chesney said. “An internal power struggle resulting in a he said, she said over unpaid bonuses and wages are fueling an airing of dirty laundry at a time when the feds' interest is already piqued toward rooting out self-dealing and insider corruption.”
Still in his first term, Chesney sits on the House Judiciary Criminal, Restorative Justice and Revenue, and Finance committees. His 89th District includes all of Jo Daviess and Stephenson counties and parts of Ogle, Carroll, Winnebago and Whiteside counties.