Today I'm calling for an investigation into what many are calling Governor Pat Quinn's "personal ponzi scheme." This is an outrage. Here we are in the middle of an economic recession, and families throughout Illinois are struggling just to pay their mortgage and utility bills. Governor Quinn prides himself on being a man of integrity and frugality. He announced that he would take a pay cut as Governor, and frequently talks about his trips to McDonald's and the Super 8. Yet behind the scenes, he is soliciting donations from lobbyists to feather his own nest. He was supposed to clean the slate of the Blagojevich scandal, and here he is perpetuating the stigma of a corrupt Chicago politician. Furthermore, he is defending this by claiming that he is a man of 'modest means.' I think that the taxpayers of Illinois would beg to differ that a single man living on a six figure salary with his housing, food, and transportation all paid for is not a man of modest means.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Governor Quinn has kept his 1996 Senate campaign fund alive by pumping in a series of personal loans and then soliciting political donations so that he can pay himself back, at interest rates approaching 10 percent. The end result is that Quinn has made at least $24,000. This activity went on after the '96 campaign, and well past a time that Quinn would have needed to loan the fund money.
Pat Quinn has some serious questions to answer. People are tired of the corruption and dishonesty in this state, and there needs to be a formal investigation into this. Who knows what the donors to this decade old campaign account were promised? Pat Quinn is a tax attorney and former Treasurer; he clearly knows election financing law.
Illinois has a long and torrid history of malfeasance and corruption when it comes to Gubernatorial campaign funds. Former Governor George Ryan is currently serving time in a federal penitentiary for his involvement in the license for bribes scandal to raise campaign contributions and personal cash, and former Governor Rod Blagojevich was impeached in part because of the allegations that he withheld funding to Children's Memorial Hospital in exchange for a hefty campaign contribution. President Obama cited a lack of faith in public institutions and their custodians in his State of the Union address. If we are going to restore that faith, we have to hold our officials accountable and repudiate actions that jeopardize it.