In this important book, Patrick Collins gives a first-hand account of the federal investigation and trial that landed former Governor George Ryan in prison and demonstrated the cost and tragic consequences of Illinois' "culture of corruption." Collins also reflects on his recent service as chair of the Illinois Reform Commission and calls on his fellow citizens of Illinois to launch a longterm, concerted effort to change that culture. He outlines four specific reforms that could have a "game-changing" effect on "business as usual":
- Passing True Campaign Finance Reform to eliminate the “pay-to-pay” nature of politics by closing loopholes that give preferential treatment to legislative leaders and party bosses, experimenting with public financing of judicial campaigns, and pursuing ways to make media advertising less costly to candidates.
- Creating a Fair and Competitive Election Process to improve our democracy by dramatically altering the way we draw our legislative districts.
- Enhancing Corruption-Fighting Tools to allow state law enforcement officers the same tools that federal agents utilize successfully to expose wrongdoing by public officials.
- Improving Voter Access and Participation to encourage enhanced citizen participation in elections and governance.