March 26, 2009

Most institutions handling money have surveillance cameras at every point where money is being moved. We all understand the reason for this: Dishonest people are less likely to steal if they know they are being watched.

For the same reason, the citizens of Illinois need to be able to watch money being moved in Springfield. An inexpensive way to do this is to post checks issued by the Illinois government on and easy-to-search Web site.

We should also require that companies or organizations receiving payments from the State disclose the name and address of all owners and executives. By linking this information to the existing campaign disclosure information on the State Board of Elections Web site, it would be easy to discover if a recipient of state funds is “paying” to “play.”

State Sen. Dan Duffy
Although most voters are too busy working hard to provide for their families and pay the ever increasing tax burden, enough citizens (and the press) would be watching. This “transparency” will force a change in Springfield. Legislators would know every action is being watched.

I am the sponsor of Senate Bill 2080. Unlike other transparency bills proposed, SB2080 will put government checks online, including checks written to members of the General Assembly.

Don’t be fooled by the many so-called reform proposals enacted by the career politicians who benefit from a corrupt system. Despite the ethics bills they’ve enacted, Illinois is considered one of the most corrupt states in the union.

Power is not something that is given up easily. Upon close examination, one will find that many “reform” proposals will actually greatly benefit those currently in power. For example there is currently a “campaign finance reform” proposal to limit how much an individual can contribute to a candidate without limiting contributions to a party.

Party leaders control their parties. Unlimited millions will go to the current party leaders while contribution caps will be set on challengers and elected representatives. The powerful leaders will increase their power and will single handily control “where” and to “whom” the money will be distributed. Since challengers and elected representatives depend on this money to be re-elected, this would make it harder for them to remain independent from the leadership.

We work for you. It is up to the voters to demand real reform. Do not settle for anything less. Establishing an easy-to-use Web site where anyone can see where our tax dollars are being spent will be a major step in the right direction.

The voters can change Illinois — one step at a time.