Illinois state Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis)
Illinois state Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) knows as well as anyone what could have been when it comes to ethics reform legislation in Springfield.
“I’m a co-sponsor of more than a dozen bills that are aimed at tackling the real problem of lax ethics laws and corruption in our state,” Windhorst said in a press release. “But tough, common-sense reforms seem to be like kryptonite to the supermajority that controls Illinois government. I’m sponsoring revolving-door laws, legislation that bans legislators from serving as lobbyists to the city of Chicago, and bills that require further transparency for lobbyists.”
Windhorst was left to vote in favor of two so-called ethics reform bills that he’s not sure will have much of an impact.
“I voted to support two bills today that I feel were terribly watered down but, unfortunately, presented the only opportunity for me to be on the record voting in favor of ethics reform,” he said.
Windhorst is still sounding the alarm about not enough being done to address the growing issue of corruption in state government. Over the last month alone, a veteran state representative was forced to step down after being arrested on federal bribery charges, and a longtime state senator was pressured into relinquishing power after being named in connection with a kickback scheme.
“My colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle demanded parity, equality and action on ethics reforms,” Windhorst said. “What we got was smoke, mirrors, dogs and ponies. That is not going to cut it. Offices are being raided, lawmakers are being arrested, and Speaker Madigan doesn’t seem to get it. The IRS and the FBI get it."