Thursday, September 27, 2012
Voters' Poll: Illinois Corrupt, Headed Wrong Way
According to a new poll, the majority of registered voters in Illinois are unhappy with the direction the state is going, and most surveyed said Illinois is more corrupt than other states. Respondents to the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute’s annual poll released today had a rather low opinion of the state.
Almost 70 percent said that they thought the state was headed “in the wrong direction,” and 58 percent said that Illinois is more corrupt than other states. More than 75 percent of respondents said that corruption is widespread in the state. Illinois voters also pointed the finger at business. About 62 percent said that they believed that corruption is widespread in Illinois business. Between Sept. 4 and Sept. 10, 1,261 registered voters across the state were surveyed for the institute’s poll. The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 2.77 percentage points.
Charles Leonard, a visiting professor with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, said the negative views of the state’s institution are damaging not only to government but also to the private sector. “That just can’t be good for policy or the economy.” More respondents said that Illinois was on a negative trajectory than said that the country was on the wrong path. Still, almost half of respondents said they thought the country is headed in the wrong direction. Leonard said this response is not typical. He said that often in polls, respondents say that their home state is doing at least a little better than the country as a whole
Respondents favored several ethics measures. Almost eight in 10 favored term limits for lawmakers. About 78 percent favored limiting the amount of time a lawmaker can serve in leadership roles, such as speaker of the House and president of the Senate. More than 60 percent supported limits on the amount of campaign cash that party leaders can give to candidates.
Leonard said that more drastic ethics measures, such as term limits are unlikely. “It’s probably not realistic that the leaderships would allow the legislature to impose these on itself.” However, he said more disclosure of elected officials' personal finances and businesses interests could go a long way toward repairing the state’s reputation. “It’s my contention that some of these ethical reforms, the legislature could impose on itself relatively painlessly.”
You can read Jamey's full report at: http://illinoisissuesblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/poll-voters-say-illinois-is-corrupt-and.html
In the pic: Ex-newspaperman and politician Paul Simon once disclosed his personal income down to a $1.58 clothing store refund.