Quinn Calls for More Transparency Following Blagojevich Conviction

June 27, 2011

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says attention needs to remain on reforming state government after the conviction of former Governor Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges.

Blagojevich is the fourth Illinois governor turned convicted felon, following Democrats Otto Kerner and Dan Walker and Republican George Ryan.

Quinn served as lieutenant governor, but became governor in 2009 after the Illinois legislature removed Blagojevich from office.

Speaking to reporters Monday afternoon, Quinn said anyone who misleads the public should be held accountable. Quinn underlined the importance of passing stronger ethics legislation.

"That's imperative in Illinois," Quinn said. "Seems to me after two straight governors have been convicted of serious felonies, it's time to turn that page, and we have and make sure we trust the people."

Quinn said he has a full roster of ideas he still wants passed to make state and local government more transparent in Illinois, including public financing of campaigns, open primaries where voters don't have to go on record registering with a particular party, and stronger conflict of interest provisions for legislators.

Quinn also said he will push for a constitutional amendment that would allow ethics initiatives on state and local ballots.

But State Representative Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) said there is no way to legislate moral conduct.

"There will be a lot of knee jerk reactions from politicians, 'we need to do this that that and this," Durkin said. "The fact is the public needs to do a better job of scrutinizing the people that they send to the governor's mansion and send to public office.

Story source: WILL