FITHIAN – State Rep. Mike Marron (R-Fithian) was joined in Rantoul this week for a press conference with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) to discuss the critical need for ethics reforms following the latest arraignment of former House Speaker Mike Madigan. Madigan pleaded not guilty to charges he shook down telecom giant AT&T for no-show jobs for his political allies.
Rep. Marron says he is sponsoring some of the toughest ethics laws in the country, but House Democrats have actively worked to block their passage.
“I am sponsoring legislation that would end the practice of legislators serving as lobbyists in any capacity,” Marron said. “House Democrats have worked at every turn to block the passage of real ethics reform that would end that corrupt practice as well as provide the legislative inspector general with the tools that he needs to conduct thorough investigations. Something has to change or Illinois will continue to wear the stained reputation of one of the most corrupt states in the country. Our citizens deserve better than that.”
Leader Durkin kicked off the press conference by pointing out the decades-long pay-to-play schemes perpetrated by Madigan that are being uncovered by a sweeping Federal investigation.
“Two years ago, Democrats chose to bury their heads in the sand and blocked every attempt to seek the truth about Madigan’s corruption in the Illinois House,” Durkin said. “That’s why I called for a Special Investigating Committee into his behavior. Now House Speaker Chris Welch called the Republicans’ efforts a sham and a political show trial. After all that we have learned, I’d like to know if Speaker Welch still stands by these claims today.”
AT&T joins Commonwealth Edison as companies identified so far in Madigan’s corruption investigation that have agreed to pay millions of dollars in fines after agreeing to deferred prosecution agreements. AT&T will pay a $23 million fine after admitting the company helped a Madigan ally get a no-show job in exchange for passage of legislation favorable to AT&T.
Rep Marron and Leader Durkin’s Press Conference can be seen below: