If it looks like a conflict, that’s bad enough for State Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood). He’s sponsoring a bill which would ban a sitting lawmaker from holding another elective office. He says it’s not inspired by an actual event or aimed at anybody in particular. State Sen. Steve Landek (D-Bridgeview) is the mayor of his community, and State Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan) recently made an unsuccessful run for mayor of his.
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Drury says with multiple constituencies, you can get conflicted and more interested in your own hide than in the welfare of the people who elect you.
Drury has another bill which could get some attention. It would prohibit outside employment by the four legislative leaders – three of whom are lawyers.
“It’s a good government bill,” says Drury. “I’m reading countless articles about how there are potential conflicts of interest, whether they exist or not. If the public thinks there is, then it makes the people believe that the government's not working for them.”
House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) also works for a law firm specializing in property tax appeals. Newspaper articles have painted him as a rainmaker whose clients benefit from legislation but have not reported an actual conflict.