Editorial: Bill Brady for governor of Illinois

By Editorial Board

The Northern Star Editorial Board has decided to endorse Ill. State Senator Bill Brady for this Tuesday’s governor’s race.

Illinois has long had a problem with governmental corruption. Two of our last three governors – George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich – have been impeached on corruption charges.

Brady has announced, among other things, his intention to clean up Illinois government. This is something that this state desperately needs and something we’re not sure his opponent, incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn, can deliver.

Since taking the reins of the State in 2009 after Blagojevich was impeached following his arrest on corruption charges, Quinn represented our hope for a fresh break for Illinois government.

While outright corruption has not prevalent in the Quinn administration, general dissatisfaction certainly has been. Quinn has certainly done things – just not well enough. Quinn has made Illinois government more transparent – just not transparent enough. Quinn has tried to balance the budget – just not well enough. His proposed cuts are too one-sided and not broad enough to be effective.

This is not all Quinn’s fault. It is hard to work with a legislature that is dominated by a political party that puts its own interests above the people’s. But the lack of leadership on Quinn’s part is not helping matters either.

There’s also a couple of instances where Quinn has rubbed us the wrong way. When Quinn came to campus on Jan. 27, 2010, a couple of days before the primary, to announce that the funds to renovate Cole Hall had been finally released, we noticed what had happened. And this is not the only time he did it either; Quinn released millions of dollars to Illinois schools just a few of weeks ago, strategically timed prior to the election.

It’s a shame that this kind of politically-timed release of funds is part of the normal discourse here in Illinois, because some people do rely on these funds, and making people wait for funds that they are not sure will ever come is shameful. Only in Illinois could it take nearly three years for a public building that experienced a tragedy like the Feb. 14, 2008 shootings to even start being renovated.

Illinois does not need new blood, top to bottom. But what it needs are politicians who are interested in the health of the people and the society they live in, and not their own self-interest.

The next couple of years are going to be filled with tough choices. We need a leader, someone who can stand up to strong party interests and say, “This needs to be changed.”

That man is Bill Brady.