Last night at the Prairie Grove Village Hall, State Senator Dan Duffy talked about Springfield.
The more I heard, the more it reminded me of the principal character in black and white movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”
Duffy managed to alienate the Democratic Party powers that be right off the bat. It was during his comments on impeaching Governor Rod Blagojevich.
“The testimony presented definitely warrants the Governor’s removal from office, but what confuses me is that the testimony shows this abuse of power has been going on for years and that many people in this government and in this chamber had to have known about it.”
Telling the truth on the Senate floor?
You can bet veteran Democrats didn’t want to hear that.
But, it gets better:
“According to the Governor’s speech today, he said that what he did he did in conjunction with the Democratic Senate Leadership. He said he couldn’t have done any of this without their help and support.
“The Auditor General’s testimony yesterday reflects how deep and how widespread the corruption has gone.
“How it is that the majority in this chamber, the same people who have presented this case reflecting years of corruption, are the same people that have praised the Governor by giving him three pay raises over the past two years? Three raises since the 2006 election, increasing the Governor’s salary by almost 18 percent at the same time that all this document corruption was taking place.
“Mr. President, we have just scratched the surface of corruption. The Governor did not and could not have done all this without a lot of help. We must implement clear and concise transparency laws in this state.
“Every single government check written, whether for payroll, bills or expenses, should be posted on the Internet on a website for all to see.
“Voters should have the ability to recall, if necessary, any elected official in the state.
“And we should have a whistle-blowers’ hotline for all legislators, staff and lobbyists to call if they suspect or know of any corruption taking place. This hotline should be maintained by a nonpolitical appointment who will keep names anonymous and offer rewards for convictions.
“This is just the beginning, Mr. President, and we have a lot of work to do.”
Join me, if you don’t remember reading anything about this freshman state senator’s remarks.
What happened next puts it into context.
After the debate, Senate President John Cullerton came up to Duffy and said, according to what Duffy said last night,
“Base on your comments, I’ve concluded you’re in the wrong parking space.”
Duffy said he was then assigned a parking space behind those of senate staffers.