From the Albracht for Senate campaign…
We elect our state representatives and senators to go to Springfield to be our voice. We expect them to be fair, honest and conduct business with honor and integrity. Unfortunately this is not what we’re getting! We are dealing with a culture of corruption, greed and deceit. When challenged, “servants of the people” become indignant and even arrogant. We hear “How dare you call me a thief!” as they plunder our great state’s treasury and sully our honor.
Senator Darin LaHood put forth a bill that would require lobbyists to disclose family ties to legislators and would bar state lawmakers from being a lobbyist for a year after leaving office. It would have also established an ethics tack force to investigate ethics violations and matters pertaining to conflicts of interest. This should have been called the JACOBS BILL.
The story of former senator Denny Jacobs, turned lobbyist, using his influence to have his son, Senator Mike Jacobs, ram through the “Smart Grid” bill is the stuff legends are made of. The “Smart Grid” legislation directly benefited Denny and provided significant PAC money for his son. The whole sordid affair was so incredibly froth with the specter of corruption that pointed directly to bribery, kick-backs and pay-offs, that even the New York Times reported it. The denial from the Jacobs clan was loud and long – it’s just business, move along – nothing to see here. But the facts are simple. Denny was paid to use his influence to get the bill through. Mike was paid via donations to get the bill through. Connect the dots! Again, I ask the question that the Jacobs clan avoids, when does a “donation” become a pay-off?
And speaking of conflict of interest, we have a seated Illinois State Senator, Mike Jacobs, partnering with an area development group in a multi-million dollar riverfront project. Whereas the business partners put up their money, Mike puts up zero. So, we have a business partner in a multi-million dollar development with no skin in the game. QUESTION: Could the influence of Jacobs’ senate seat be his buy in? This is clearly a conflict of interest, period.
Senator LaHood’s bill died in the Democrat controlled Illinois Senate Executive Subcommittee on State Government Operations. At a time when Democrats and Republicans need to “double down” on ethics and vote it out of committee and call for a floor vote, the ruling party declared it DOA. Democrat’s “1” – ethical government “0”.
In an interview by the Dispatch-Argus that appeared on April 1st, Denny Jacobs wrapped himself in the American flag and claimed that it was “unconstitutional” for an ethics bill to demand transparency rules for lobbyists in Springfield. The constitution he cited in no way bears any relationship to the Constitution that I swore to uphold and that brave men have shed blood and died for. This must be a special “lobbyist’s constitution” known only to them.
Jacobs then mocked Senator LaHood for attempting such foolishness as bringing ethics to Springfield. Sensing that this may not fly, Jacobs attacked the media for inventing a story where clearly there was none. After all, he asked, “I don’t know where the outcry is for such a move; I think it makes no sense.” That question is valid, where is the outrage? Where are the voices of the people of Illinois saying “No more corruption!”
It is often said that people get the government they deserve. The good people of Illinois do not deserve to be governed by the arrogance of one party rule. We do not deserve to have our elected officials for sale to the highest bidder. What we do deserve is complete and utter honesty and integrity from our elected representatives. Any bill that goes toward that end is a step in the right direction. In my previous position paper on the need for an Illinois ethics amendment (which is posted at www.albrachtforsenate.com), I compare the 36th District politics with a well know HBO fictitious NJ crime family (rhymes with Pianos). Under our current senatorial leadership, we have it all: intimidation, physical violence, and pay-offs! All we are missing is Paulie Walnuts!!
The decision to clean up Illinois politics is ours, not theirs. We can and must demand ethics. The time to act is November.
There is a Midwest saying that should instruct us. “You can’t clean the creek until you get the pigs out of it.” Our choice is clear, we can continue to vote for those who put us in our present situation or we can clean up the creek!
I’m Bill Albracht and I’m running for the IL 36th District Senate seat and this time I’m fighting for you.
For more information about Bill Albracht, visit our website at http://www.albrachtforsenate.com.