Sunday, December 21, 2008

Illinois Green Party Statement on Arrest of Gov. Rod Blagojevich

Illinois Green Party Statement on Arrest of Gov. Rod Blagojevich

(Distributed by the Green Party of the United States,

Illinois Green Party

For immediate release
Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Patrick Kelly, Illinois Green Party Media Coordinator, 773-203-9631
Phil Huckelberry, Chair, Illinois Green Party, 309-268-9974

We in the Illinois Green Party are deeply troubled by the arrest of Governor Rod Blagojevich and his chief-of-staff John Harris. The Governor is charged with attempting to personally profit from his power to appoint a person to the U.S. Senate. While we recognize that the accused are innocent until proven guilty, we must also admit that we are not surprised by these allegations. We have seen a long pattern of pay-to-play from Blagojevich, and indeed, a long pattern of pay-to-play throughout Illinois politics for years. The long sordid history of corruption in Illinois must finally come to an end.

The Green Party has always stood for accountability, transparency, and clean government through clean elections. We reject all corporate campaign contributions, advocate for public financing, and have long pushed for at least caps on individual contributions, so that our elections will no longer be pay-to-play.

We call on the Illinois General Assembly to hold an emergency session to:

1) Develop legislation to give the people of Illinois the ability to recall their public officials;

2) Consider the impeachment of Governor Blagojevich;

3) Amend Illinois statute to provide for an open process for filling this and future U.S. Senate seats, preferably through a special election, as the process for filling the current vacancy has been irrevocably tainted;

4) Reform the campaign finance system, banning all corporate campaign contributions, and installing caps on individual contributions;

5) Further reform the campaign finance system to eliminate pay-for-play, by barring or severely limiting contributions from political appointees, and mandating that political committees return donations made from individuals subsequently appointed to public office, boards, or commissions.

These are the first steps which need to be taken to help instill integrity, transparency, and accountability to our state government.

Prepared by Phil Huckelberry, Chair, Illinois Green Party

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