By Susan Stephens
DeKalb, IL – Illinoisans are bracing for another round of unwanted national attention today as jury selection begins in the trial of former Governor Rod Blagojevich. One national expert, however, sees this as an important business opportunity for the state.
J.P. Donlon says every state has at least a little corruption to clean up. But the editor of Chief Executive Magazine says Illinois' reputation puts it near the top of the corruption heap, thanks in part to Blagojevich.
Donlon says the eyes of the nation's C.E.O.s will be on the Blagojevich trial to find out how the state handles the situation. He says it's an opportunity to show Illinois is moving toward cleaner government. He thinks it will turn out well, as long as policies that follow support transparency in government.
Donlon says when business leaders want to expand, they look for states with straightforward rules that don't depend on the whims of politicians or bureaucrats. He says rooting out corrupt systems, no matter how belatedly, sends a good signal to the people who are considering investing in Illinois.