An excerpt from Editorial: Pass much-needed reform bills
"Pay-for-play" has also come up recently involving Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who stands accused of a host of sins, including a brazen attempt to sell President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder.
The case against Blagojevich is far from over, but just hearing about another politician accused of corruption in one form or another is disturbing.
Like the recent scandals that rocked Madison, the accusations against congressmen in the last few years and now the Illinois governor, should be a clarion call for ethics and campaign reform.
Unfortunately, many reform proposals introduced in the Legislature in the last session failed to even get to the floor for a vote.
These reforms, including a simple one to ban campaign fundraising while the state budget is being debated, would help to restore public confidence in lawmakers and remove the influence of special interests.
Sadly, four of our local lawmakers were among the many who didn't support reform attempts. Reps. Steve Kestell and Dan LeMahieu and Sen. Glenn Grothman were listed as "public enemies" by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign for voting for only one of seven reforms. Sen. Joe Leibham was listed as a "bystander" for supporting two. [my italics]
Glenn typically doesn't like reforms that keep big money from advertising their candidates into office since it violates big money's their freedom of speech. I'm not unsympathetic with that view, but frankly, being the good neo-con that he is, I'm only surprised that Glenn hasn't suggested we go the whole way: privatize government and let the market take care of elections, the way the Illinois governor has.