* More white hat, black hat from Patrick Collins…
The head of a panel charged with suggesting ways to stop state government corruption challenged rank-and-file lawmakers Wednesday to stop seeking political cover from powerful legislative leaders and instead answer to those who elected them. […]
“There’s 177 legislators in the House and Senate,” Collins told the City Club of Chicago. “They should not be able to say, ‘Oh, I was for it, but the speaker wouldn’t put it to a vote.’ That’s what they say. We shouldn’t let them say that anymore.
“We should get people in there who will take a position and vote, or we should shrink the legislature even further,” he added.
Sure, Collins has a valid point about the power of the leaders - and not just the Democratic leaders. All leaders. If you didn’t know any better when reading his commission report, you’d almost think that it was a legislative leader who was arrested and indicted by the feds and not the governor. It’s obvious the commission targeted the leaders, and Madigan in particular.
But what’s with this John Wayne swagger stuff?
Collins did back off that last point, however…
Reached for comment later, Collins said he made an “unfortunate sarcastic comment” in jest and does not believe in cutting back the legislature, but stands by his comments about a need for accountability from all lawmakers.
Cutting back the legislature would just make it easier to control.
* Speaking of the Speaker, Gatehouse runs a story today that I’ve been following since January. Speaker Madigan has yet to reappoint former Blagojevich allies Rep. Jay Hoffman and Rep. Ken Dunkin to their committee chairmanships…
[Rep. Bill Black (R-Danville)] said it is no secret that Madigan is punishing Hoffman for siding with Blagojevich.
“That’s one way Speaker Madigan sends a message,” Black said.
But my all-time favorite quote comes from Rep. Dunkin’s mouth…
“Why has he not promoted Ken Dunkin, who is such the tourism authority in this chamber, who has promoted tourism throughout the centuries and the decades in the history of the state of Illinois? Why? Why, Mr. Speaker?” asked Dunkin.
Maybe Collins can intervene on his behalf.
* Ethics advocate urges Illinoisans to back reform: “What this state needs a little bit more of is people who aren’t cowering in their shadow because they’re afraid of how somebody is going to react to the truth,” Patrick M. Collins told the City Club of Chicago on Wednesday.
* Schoenburg: Willis brings poignant perspective to reform push
* House Republicans press for full hearing on reform report
* A post-Blago `witchhunt’? No, says rep.: Jerry Stermer, Quinn’s chief of staff, addressed the committee about why any of Blagojevich’s cabinet members are still employed… He responded that Quinn’s program of “reform, responsibility and recovery'’ required experienced people. and that the performance of those directors is under continual evaluation.]