Gov. Pat Quinn wants to ban conflict of interest voting. (WJBC File Photo)
By Paul Morello
BLOOMINGTON - Gov. Pat Quinn called for a ban on conflict of interest voting in his State of the State Address Wednesday, and WJBC.com political blogger Bob Bradley said he's not surprised at the move.
"Quinn has been known for quite some time as a reformer and as an advocate for clean government so in some senses this sort of fits with what his record has been on this issue," Bradley said.
Quinn proposed that lawmakers to recuse themselves from taking a vote or other official action if there's a conflict of interest. Quinn said citizens should be able to trust their elected officials and that dozens of state have banned conflict of interest voting.
Bradley said government transparency is a good check on unethical behavior, but the best way to stop corruption is for voters to be educated.
"When people become more informed about their legislators' backgrounds and then start comparing that to voting records and see things they don't like because it strikes them as unethical, they have that really neat option to vote people out of office," he said.
Quinn's proposal would also prevent lawmakers from representing a person or corporation where there's a financial or personal conflict of interest.
Both of Quinn's predecessors have gone to prison on corruption convictions.
Paul Morello can be reached at email@example.com.