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Pritzker: Let FBI investigation play out

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Gov. Pritzker was asked today if he was concerned about the FBI recording of Speaker Madigan discussing property tax business with a developer and Ald. Danny Solis

There is an ongoing FBI investigation and I think we should see that play out. I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to comment on that ongoing investigation.

I think it’s very important for people to be held accountable if they’ve done something wrong. So we need to see the investigation play out and then people who are indicted or are found to be, to have acted inappropriately or against the law to be held fully accountable for that.

* The governor was also asked about restrictions on outside income by legislators

I’ve said for a long time that a citizen legislature exists, and that’s also the case in other bodies that are elected across the state, that people hold outside jobs. And when they do that there is the potential for conflicts of interests. And that is where we need to make sure that people are either abstaining from the activity on the outside that would interfere with their ability to do their job that they’re elected to do and do it ethically, or abstaining from being involved in it in any way in government.

It’s one or the other, but you can’t be, in my view, it’s improper for people to be voting on issues that are directly effecting their income, their industry, their personal well-being in terms of money-making.

That all sounds good, but would Pritzker really stop farmer legislators from voting on ag bills?


  1. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    Legislators are not the only ones that vote on things with a personal stake.

    I have watched many school board members do the same thing. In central Illinois no less.

  2. - MG85 - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 12:05 pm:

    For me, it’s why we need a full time legislature. Pay State Senators $150,000.00 a year and State Reps $100,000.000 a year and bar outside employment while holding office.

    A caveat tho. I believe legislators are “absent” far too often. Have minimum requirements for attendance (like a real job). If they don’t, put them on a track to be removed from office.

    If you don’t understand why I want to pay politicians more, I can answer that: I believe in attracting the best talent and you have to pay good wages to attract good talent. Besides, the only people who can afford to take a full time job and not take a salary are millionaires and billionaires. I, for one, want more financial diversity than that in my legislature.

  3. - Perrid - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 12:05 pm:

    Like Senator Grassley applying for relief because China stopped buying soybeans. It’s legal, but it doesn’t look too good.

    I don’t mind (too much) legislators passing laws that will impact them. I do mind quid pro quo deals, or extortion. Pritzker seems to be conflating the two a bit.

  4. - Perrid - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 12:06 pm:

    MG85, why would Senators get more than Reps?

  5. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 12:10 pm:

    == That all sounds good, but would Pritzker really stop farmer legislators from voting on ag bills? ==

    Going a bit further, every legislator is a citizen of the State. Every law they enact affects them to some extent.

    The same conflict exists in the court system. The IL SC has had to rule on pension cases that (would in the future) affect theirselves along with all government retirees.

    The real question is was the personal affect incidental or was the law deliberately tailored to favor just that person?

    Conflict of interest, like pornography, this is not always clear-cut … but most people know it when they see it.

  6. - Half Empty, Half Full - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    I read this all the time in an FBI agent’s affidavit: “I understood” … Here it is again: “I understand Solis to mean that by hiring Madigan’s private firm, [the developer] would ensure that Solis and Madigan would take official action benefitting [the developer] in their capacity as public officials.”

    To charge anyone with a federal crime based on “I understood” is a mockery of our judicial system. Maybe I understood the “facts” differently.

    If lawmakers were smart, they’d amend the criminal code to make it more reasonable to charge someone with more than “I understood.”

  7. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    == There is an ongoing FBI investigation and I think we should see that play out. I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to comment on that ongoing investigation. … ==

    JB got this part right.

  8. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 12:18 pm:

    There is a difference between a farmer legislator voting on an ag bill and an official approving zoning decisions or assisting with property tax appeals depending on whether they do business with them. It’s also important to remember that a lot of these legislators started up these businesses and firms after being elected. Does anyone really believe that Madigan’s firm would make as much money if he wasn’t the Speaker of the House and de facto leader of the Illinois Democratic Party?

  9. - Michael Westen - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    So JB will recuse himself from any bill that affects the hospitality industry, among others?

  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    On the investigation, the governor is spot on.

    On the legislation part… that Ag example is a pretty good reason why it’s not a perfect idea

  11. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    You’ve got to wonder whether JB’s term would be easier, or harder, if Mikey went off to be Blago’s roommate for the next few years. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the new Governor’s house…

  12. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 12:31 pm:

    ===It’s one or the other===

    If only everyone was born with a billion dollar trust fund in their name. This is the problem with Citizens United and the sorry state of campaign finance. Pretty soon politics will only be a play thing for the uber wealthy.

    Sorry JB, but some people have to work to make a living.

  13. - Levois - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 12:34 pm:

    I would say we need a part-time legislature that has limited days to meet, but then what would they do in that off-time. And perhaps if they have that expertise they’d seek out for ex. property tax business.

  14. - don the legend - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 12:38 pm:

    JB wants to let the investigation play out.

    Contrast that with the ‘he’s corrupt and hopefully he’ll be locked up’ position of the previous governor.

    What a refreshing change.

  15. - 19th ward fuy - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    It’s the oldest scam in the city and has gone on for decades. And if Feds looking at RICO charges in any of this they can go back a long, long way.

  16. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 1:51 pm:

    =So JB will recuse himself from any bill that affects the hospitality industry, among others?=

    Pretty hard to do as governor when a bill lands on your desk. The best he can do is divest himself and put assets in a real blind trust.

  17. - Team Warwick - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    5 ILCS 420 describes everything you ever wanted to know about legislators and their outside interests and when they should vote -recommended reading.

  18. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    === Does anyone really believe that Madigan’s firm would make as much money if he wasn’t the Speaker of the House and de facto leader of the Illinois Democratic Party? ===

    No, but I bet a legislator that’s a plumber or an insurance broker also gets business due to them being a legislator, either because people know their name, want to get closer to them, or some sort of perceived quid pro quo (whether or not it exists). Hard to draw the line.

  19. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 2:32 pm:

    ===That all sounds good, but would Pritzker really stop farmer legislators from voting on ag bills===

    So, how many farmer legislators have we got left these days?

  20. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    == So, how many farmer legislators have we got left these days? ==

    Don’t know. But my former State Senator was also my insurance agent and had been for many years prior to his legislative terms.

  21. - Truthseeker - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    So all attorney’s sit out conversations that might come to their law firm down the road?? Be careful what you hope for . . . . .

    Still a few farmers left in the ILGA. Ag is still by far Illinois largest industry . . . .by far.

  22. - Meet Edwards at the London House - Tuesday, Jan 29, 19 @ 3:55 pm:

    FBI investigation / Tapes to come out next for the Division of Banking Director, including unethical use of state funds for travel?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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