Rep. Jeanne Ives
Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) thinks there’s plenty of blame to go around as to why Illinois finds itself mired in the financial doldrums that have virtually overtaken the state.
“Mismanagement and a failure to address our spending problems has been a bipartisan affair and the word 'combine' is particularly appropriate given our agricultural roots,” Ives told the DuPage Policy Journal, making use of the “combine” description Chicago Tribune writer John Kass long ago coined in sizing up the state’s crazed political environment.
Ives, who narrowly lost out to Gov. Bruce Rauner in the GOP primary, said Springfield’s dysfunctional nature has rarely been more in evidence than in the way lawmakers have handled a few recent controversies.
In late 2017, more than 300 women signed a #MeToo letter detailing the culture of sexual harassment in the state Capitol, ultimately prompting lawmakers to finally install Julie Porter in the then-vacant position of legislative inspector general (LIG) on an interim basis.
Fast forward some six-months later, and the post still has not been filled on a permanent basis and Porter’s tenure is slated to expire at the end of June.
“The #MeToo movement came to Springfield when Denise Rotheimer finally demanded to know why her complaint against Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) had not been acted on,” Ives added. “Ms. Rotheimer discovered in that process that complainants had no rights. I filed HB4840 to address that issue and give complainants rights of notification, participation, and information when they file a complaint with any state inspector general.”
Noting that during the time the inspector general’s post went vacant at last 27 complaints of harassment in Springfield went unscrutinized, Ives added, “We only have three weeks before regular session adjourns and there has been no resolution prepared to designate a permanent legislative inspector general. Legislative leaders of both parties and members of the Legislative Ethics Commission should make this a priority.”
The same could be said of the deep financial crisis that has Illinois now dangerously teetering on the brink of junk bond status and billions in debt as many more taxpayers contemplate heading for the border as a means of escaping all the corruption.
“Illinois has decades of mismanagement and corrupt political deals to blame for its massive fiscal problems,” Ives added. “Most of our problems are the result of politicians making too many promises to special interests, primarily unions, that we never paid for and cannot pay for.”