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Calls for Change in Wake of Governor’s Corruption Arrest

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December 10, 2008

Springfield, Illinois – After the arrest of Governor Blagojevich, many are calling for an end to corruption in Illinois government. Among other things, the Governor is accused of trying to “auction-off” President-elect Barack Obama’s former Senate seat.

The executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Ralph Martire, says this is a troubling revelation because the public’s best interest must be front and foremost in selecting a person to fill any public appointment.

“Anyone who would utilize their official position for their own pecuniary gain or for their own interest in any way is betraying the public trust at the highest level.”

Illinois has financial and educational advantages over other states, says Martire, but continues to fall behind. There is a need for real leadership, he says.

“We are falling behind and someone somewhere has got to start making decisions in the best interest of this state that make us really competitive in a global economy.”

Martire says Illinois needs to find a way to turn the tide when it comes to corruption in government. Some are calling for greater government transparency and accountability. Blagojevich's office released a statement saying the "allegations do nothing to impact the services, duties or function of the state."

Mary Kuhlman/Steve Powers, Public News Service - IL