Bailey not encouraged by what he sees in Springfield
New state Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) frets over Illinois being cast in the national spotlight for what he deems all the wrong reasons.
“The Democratic party’s way of keeping an iron grip on Springfield is to dole out whatever they feel they need to in order to maintain control so that their brand of self-serving politics can continue,” Bailey told the SE Illinois News. “It’s pretty much like anything goes as perceptions of the state get worse and worse.”
A new study by the University of Illinois-Chicago concludes that Illinois’ tattered reputation seems more than well deserved, with more politicians from the Chicagoland area and northern Illinois incarcerated for public corruption over the last four decades than any other part of the country.
Using U.S. Department of Justice data, the Illinois Policy Institute reports researchers found that from 1976 to 2017 there were 1,731 federal corruption convictions involving public officials from those areas of the state.
“Too many of them are lining their own pockets and on a power trip to keep this system for themselves in place,” added Bailey, who won in the 109th District in November with more than 75 percent of the vote. “I can’t fathom why voters don’t do something to change this. Until they do, not a thing is going to change in Springfield.”
Bailey notes how the 2019 world of local politics got off to a rousing start with the federal indictment of Chicago Ald. Ed Burke, the city’s longest-serving public official, on extortion charges.
Bailey said remnants of the "pay-for-play" system that has landed Illinois in so much trouble was still sadly evident earlier this month when Democratic lawmakers in Springfield banded together to pass a $15 per hour minimum wage increase.
“No one should support a pay hike like this with Illinois being where it is,” he said. “But everyone knows Gov. Pritzker has a lot of money to dole out, and everyone’s just playing the game.”
The 109th House District includes all or parts of Clay, Edwards, Effingham, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White counties.