Are Biz Leaders Ready For Reform?

Crain's calls them to task

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Patty Kuhn/byways.org
    Will the business suites respond to calls for reform?

    A Crain's editorial today calls on business leaders to throw their weight behind recommendations from the Illinois Reform Commission
    designed to clean up state government.

    "Nobody has more at stake in the fight against corruption than business, which pays a heavy price for the state's notorious 'pay-to-play' political system," the business paper says. "Corruption acts as an extra tax, making it more expensive to do business in Illinois. Our state's seedy image hampers us in the international competition for investment dollars and jobs."

    The reform commission released a sweeping set of recommendations last week ranging from campaign contribution caps to move the date in which the state holds its primaries.

    "The nation's eyes are upon us, they are watching what we do here. Will we get meaningful reform?" commission chairman Patrick Collins said. "The question for our state at this time in our history is, what will be our response to this unprecedented crisis of integrity that we face?"

    The Crain's editorial is notable for calling business leaders to the table on an issue in which voters and politicians are usually maligned, though its arguably business interests that benefit the most from a culture in which political outcomes can be bought.

    "Businesses, after all, provide most of the campaign contributions that give the [political] bosses their power," Crain's notes.

    Steve Rhodes is the founder of The Beachwood Reporter, a news and culture review covering Chicago.