Illinois State Representatives Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst), and Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) held a video press conference on Tuesday to demand Governor JB Pritzker call the General Assembly into special session to pass badly needed ethics reforms. The calls for reform came on the heels of news that House Speaker Michael Madigan is implicated in a deferred prosecution agreement unveiled Friday.
“For too long, ethics reform has been cast aside by Mike Madigan and it is now abundantly clear why,” said Assistant Minority Leader Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), who serves on the now-dormant Commission on Lobbying & Ethics Reform. “With these latest revelations involving ComEd and Speaker Madigan, we must return to Springfield without delay to enact meaningful ethics reform. As the Speaker is implicated in highly unethical behavior, he should not preside over the House during this emergency session. If House Democrats don’t insist on a special session on ethics, Governor Pritzker must call us back to address ethics once and for all. Silence is corruption.”
“Speaker Madigan has spent decades creating his Springfield machine. Madigan must go,” Mazzochi said. “But it does the people of Illinois no good if his crony culture stays. Otherwise, another insider will just take the reins and the corruption cycle will start all over again. The time is now for Democrats to stand up and join us in saying enough is enough. Let’s get back to good governance; real change; and a culture of public servants who finally choose the people over power. Silence is corruption.”
“This federal investigation is ongoing, and while we can’t control the direction or scope it takes, we can close loopholes in our existing laws and adopt common-sense reform measures to root out the corruption that has been allowed to infiltrate our statehouse,” said Rep. Ugaste. “There are many pieces of legislation the Republican caucus filed this Session to reform our ethics laws, and while they were stopped by Speaker Madigan, today they and more can become reality should a special session be convened. Silence is corruption.”
ComEd has admitted to hiring Madigan’s political allies to curry favor with the Speaker in order to pass sweeping energy rate legislation to improve the company’s profitability.
House Republicans have released an online petition demanding that Governor Pritzker call a special session so Illinoisans can have real ethics reforms at https://www.ilhousegop.org/ethics.