Guilty Guilty Guilty
Newsletter of The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform
March 19, 2003
Guilty Guilty Guilty
A federal jury rejected the defense that "politics as usual" is above the law and convicted former George Ryan Chief of Staff Scott Fawell and the Citizens for George H. Ryan political committee on all counts.
The verdict came after a week of jury deliberation, following the 8 week trial. Today's verdicts bring the total number of defendants found guilty in the operation safe roads investigation to 55; no one has been acquitted.
ICPR applauds the U.S. Attorney's Office for their vigorous pursuit and prosecution of public corruption in Illinois and encourages federal prosecutors to maintain their focus on corruption in Illinois government
For more on the scandal and this verdict, see ICPR's Scandal Newsroom: http://ilcampaign.org/scandal/.
Reform Legislation In the Legislature
Today's verdict makes it clear that Illinois' political culture will no longer be tolerated, but it will take leadership from the top and
comprehensive ethics reform legislation. ICPR believes that necessary reforms include:
- Campaign contribution limits to slow the fundraising mania that has become synonymous with what is considered Illinois style politics.
- A strictly enforced ban on doing campaign work while on the state's clock.
- A ban on shaking down state employees for political contributions.
- An ethics commission empowered to probe complaints from state employees and the public and stamp out public corruption before full fledged scandals are allowed to blossom.
- Regular ethics training for all state employees.
Legislation to accomplish many of these goals is wending its way through the state Capitol. For more information, click here: http://ilcampaign.org/ethics/2003senatebill.html.
Money Goes Hollywood
"The whole campaigning thing seems kind of unseemly to me, so I haven't really done that. I hope the work stands on its own, but I fear, like in politics, money wins."
-- MERYL STREEP, a nominee for best supporting actress this year, lamenting the costly marketing campaigns mounted by studios to boost their films' Oscar chances.