CHICAGO
11/08/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Former Illinois Senator Challenges Obama On Reform

Former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.) left his mark on civic life in Illinois by sticking his neck out to try to expose the serial corruption among local government officials that has become a fact of life.

Fitzgerald was so unpopular that then state senator Barack Obama considered running for the U.S. even before Fitzgerald decided not to try for a second term.

During Fitzgerald's time in the U.S. Senate, he served with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at a time when McCain was getting beat up by his GOP colleagues for his work on campaign finance reform.

McCain has been making the argument that when it come to government reform he has "the scars on his back" to show that he picked tough fights while Obama cherry picked easier to pass reform measures that just were not that controversial but that left him with bragging rights.

On a conference call on Wednesday morning, Fitzgerald, now a banker in McLean, Va., reinforced this message with his assertion that Obama lacked political "courage" to take on local corruption.

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