Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pay to Play in Illinois

The Tribune published an article on April 30, 2008: State Targets "Pay to Play".

Below are some excerpts:

Last week Illinois lawmakers took a step toward barring companies that want state business from showering politicians with cash. It is a renewed effort aimed at ending Illinois "pay to play" culture.

The renewed effort aimed at ending Illinois' pay-to-play culture comes days after a Tribune examination revealed Blagojevich received 235 contributions of exactly $25,000. Most of the donors got something from the administration, whether it was contracts, appointments on boards, or favorable policy or regulatory action.

Former Gov. George Ryan, a Republican, is in federal prison in Indiana, convicted of corruption charges in a federal probe where his campaign fund became the first in the nation's history found guilty of racketeering.

Three years ago, Blagojevich vowed to "rock the system" with sweeping reforms to impose tough limits on donations, but he has done little to advance the proposal.

Since then, the Tribune has reported Blagojevich's campaign fund has been subpoenaed by federal authorities.

At the federal corruption trial of Antoin "Tony" Rezko, one of Blagojevich's fundraisers, testimony emerged linking the governor himself to efforts to trade contracts for campaign assistance. Blagojevich has denied the allegations, saying his administration does not do business that way.

See next post to see a partial list of who contributes in Peoria.

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