Editorial: Governor’s ethics ‘executive order’ is a total sham

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

In its spring session, the Illinois Legislature passed a comprehensive ethics reform measure to shed the light of truth on all areas of state government. It was a bipartisan effort that sailed through the Senate and the House.

It’s not perfect, but the bill goes a long way to end “pay to play politics,” a decades-old practice that makes Illinois government the best money can buy for contractors and influence peddlers, but a lousy deal for taxpayers.

We wish we could say we’re happy our governor signed the bill. But no. On the last day before the bill would have become law automatically, Gov. Rod Blagojevich vetoed it, substituting instead an executive order that he said would do much the same thing.

Right. We’ll believe that when the deadbeat state government starts paying health-care providers on time.

This executive order is executive B.S., what we’ve come to expect from this governor. It’s a total sham. The order won’t take effect until AFTER the Nov. 4 elections, and it won’t cover state departments or branches that are not under the governor’s control.

Plus, there are no penalties for ignoring this order. So, the governor could break his own ethics order and not be punished. Nor, we imagine, could anyone else. Plus, executive orders aren’t laws. They can be changed or abolished according to gubernatorial whim — and this is one whimsical governor we’re talking about.

Legislators have vowed to override the Blagojevich veto. They should do so, and quickly. No more shams from the Flimflam Man!

Rockford Register Star