New Legislation Cracks Down On Pay-To-Play Politics
Monday, January 05, 2009
By Dawn Alderman
Posted January 5, 2009 @ 5:16 p.m.
As Governor Blagojevich faces federal charges, a new state law is cracking down on pay-to-play politics.
As of January 1st, anyone with a government contract worth $50,000 or more is banned from contributing to the office that awarded the contract. But breaking Illinois' long-standing problem of pay- to- play politics won't be easy. Former Governor George Ryan is serving time after trading contracts for money. And Blagojevich is now accused of trying to offer a state tollway project to a highway contractor in exchange for a campaign contribution.
"What I think it's going to do is just drive the process more underground and the kinds of bribes will switch and it will just be other forms of perks and handouts," says Rockford College Philosophy Professor Dr. Stephen Hicks.
Critics of the legislation call it a band-aid for the problem pointing to loopholes in the law that still allow contributions to be funneled to campaigns.