Poll finds Illinoisans still don't trust state government

2012-09-26T11:10:00Z Poll finds Illinoisans still don't trust state governmentTHE SOUTHERN The Southern
September 26, 2012 11:10 am  • 

CARBONDALE — Six in 10 registered voters asked think state government in Illinois is more corrupt than in other states, according to a new poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Roughly 58 percent of respondents to the recent poll said Illinois government is more corrupt than in other states, about 37 percent felt other states were just as corrupt, and only 2 percent felt Illinois was less corrupt.

The findings are the latest from the institute housed at SIU Carbondale, which surveyed 1,261 registered voters statewide between Sept. 4 and Sept. 10. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.77 percentage points. They will be presented Thursday in Chicago at a symposium focusing on ethics and reform in state government. The institute is a sponsor of the event, along with The Joyce Foundation and the Union League Club of Chicago.

The poll will also be the keynote topic at an upcoming Community Leaders Breakfast sponsored by The Southern Illinoisan’s Southern Business Journal.

“We don’t need a survey to show that there exists an ethics problem and a need for reform in Illinois,” reads a white paper from the institute on the poll. “With our two most recent ex-governors in federal prison, our status as the butt of late-night comics’ jokes, and even academic studies showing Illinois among the most corrupt states in the nation, the question is not whether there is a problem, but what is its extent, and what ought to be done.”

People’s attitudes on state government corruption trickle down to the local government level too. Poll results show 41 percent of people asked think their local governments are just as corrupt as the state’s; roughly 19 percent feel their local officials are more corrupt than in the state; and about 36 percent find their local government less corrupt.

This view even extends to businesses in Illinois, as 62 percent of poll respondents believe corruption was widespread in the business community as well. Variant responses ranged based on race and income.

Other poll results include:

  • Roughly 50 percent of Illinoisans asked trust the honesty of state elections outcomes, which is about the same level of confidence a 2008 Gallup World Survey reported people in Iran and the Czech Republic having in their elections.
  • About 85 percent of people polled want to know who has been reported to the State Legislative Ethics Committed for alleged violations. Current law only requires the Legislative Inspector General to report the number of allegations.
  • The majority of poll respondents approve of implementing a five-term limit on state representatives and a three-term limit for state senators. The limits were based on the assumption of being consecutive terms. Voters also largely favor term limits for those in legislative leadership positions, like the Illinois House Speaker or state Senate President.
  • 56 percent of people polled strongly favor and 14 percent somewhat favor Illinois moving to open primary elections, where voters do not have to choose a party ticket to participate. Roughly 70 percent of people who characterized their political leanings as independent and 62 percent of people who called themselves moderates favored the change.

Copyright 2015 The Southern. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(6) Comments

  1. Chas
    Report Abuse
    Chas - September 26, 2012 4:50 pm
    One statement is right...we don't need a poll to tell us what we already know, have known for years. Self serving special interests have harmed all of us in Illinois is we are not aligned with a special interest group. And about the guns....the "govt", little by little will try to erode what we have now. One thing....they don't manage programs well. And just wait for Obozo care.
  2. Diogenes
    Report Abuse
    Diogenes - September 26, 2012 4:12 pm
    Hey Gov! It works! I feel sooooo much better now. Where do I turn in my guns?
  3. Governor Number 40892-424
    Report Abuse
    Governor Number 40892-424 - September 26, 2012 3:39 pm
    Keep your eyes on the swinging bobble and repeat after me.

    • George Soros is my friend and a friend to all Americans.
    • George Soros is my friend and a friend to all Americans.
    • George Soros is my friend and a friend to all Americans.
    • George Soros is my friend and a friend to all Americans.
    • George Soros is my friend and a friend to all Americans.
    • George Soros is my friend and a friend to all Americans.
    • George Soros is my friend and a friend to all Americans.
    • George Soros is my friend and a friend to all Americans.
  4. MickeeD
    Report Abuse
    MickeeD - September 26, 2012 2:46 pm
    One of the things the Joyce Foundation does is advocate for gun violence prevention which is among one of several things the foundation does to "improve the quality of life in the Great Lakes region and across the country." That's is not the same thing as a complete disarmament of U.S. citizens.

  5. Gillsburgher
    Report Abuse
    Gillsburgher - September 26, 2012 1:10 pm
    The Joyce Foundation is heavily funded by George Soros. One of their primary objectives is the complete disarmament of citizens. They heavily fund anti First and Second Amendment positions and candidates. Their vision is for a dependent, subdued society that is controlled by a few, benevolent elitists. Guess who the elitists are and who the subdued society is?

    Although they appear to have the people's best interest when they target "corruption", in reality their scope reticle has far more crosshairs. Corruption is only part of it, they are targeting all influence that they do not agree with, regardless of it being perfectly legal. In particular, they act to disempower those First and Second Amendment rights groups to their own favor and anyone who puts the individual before the collective.

    If all those elitists are wonderful, competent, and have only others' interests in mind, then their world view sounds pretty good. But the price for that is the obliteration of freedom.

    Illinois is way more corrupt than most states. No question about it. I was looking into selling to Chicago one time, but it has a pay to play bid process, and so I walked away.

    The proposed reform of term limits for elected representatives will not work. California did that in order to depose an entrenched Assembly Speaker. It worked. But the unintended consequence was that the quality of elected officials went down dramatically and the unelected staffers and bureaucrats gained way more power. The staffers and bureaucrats now control that state and use it to their benefit. By the time the elected officials figure out how to work the system, they are out. California is the only state in worse shape than Illinois. The last thing we should do is to copy them.

    Limiting leadership positions sounds like a good idea.
  6. Governor Number 40892-424
    Report Abuse
    Governor Number 40892-424 - September 26, 2012 1:09 pm
    So Illinoisan don’t trust the government they elected?

    Isn’t that a little like the bride that married a convicted ax-murderer telling her Maid-of-Honor that she doesn’t trust her husband?

    Good grief folks! What’s in our water that--when compared to neighboring sates--makes us so damn stupid?

    Translation: Stupid is as stupid votes.
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