December 12, 2011
By Nick Gale
With another Illinois governor heading to federal prison, what more can be done to prevent politicians from stepping over the line? The lieutenant governor has some ideas.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon sat on the Collins Commission in 2009, which was charged with tackling corruption in state government. She says if we follow the money, we’ll know what’s going on.
“The first thing I’d like to do and will be working on the spring is a reform in terms of following the money,” Simon said. “We have good disclosure laws on campaign finances. I want to improve our disclosure on economic interests of office holders.”
Under current law all office holders fill out a statement of economic interest form, but Simon says the questions are weak. She wants to beef up the form.
In terms of campaign cash, something that got ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich in hot water, Simon says given the economic climate it’s not feasible to use public financing for all elections, but she does think public financing of judicial races is possible because they are usually smaller and cost less to run and it could be funded through court and filing fees.