Democrat Lt. Governor Candidate Scott Lee Cohen Resigns Amid Scandal
Statement by William J. Kelly, Executive Director of Rebuild Illinois
Scott Lee Cohen, the Democrat nominee for lieutenant governor never even got elected to a full term and Second City’s already working on the musical. The Democrats were so eager to get rid of him, they did everything but hold a knife to his throat.
Aside from the reports of Cohen’s abuse of his ex-wife and the accusations that he held a knife to his ex-girlfriend’s throat (prostitute or not), I don’t know why Governor Pat Quinn is complaining. He has proven this year that he doesn’t really want reform. Having Cohen on the Democratic ticket could have had some positive upsides. If Quinn was really desperate for a bridge loan, he could have just had Scotty taken him down to the pawn shop on Clark Street. How much are Abe Lincoln artifacts going for these days? I mean, at Cohen’s pawn shop, you wouldn’t get market value but still. With Illinois on the brink of insolvency, these times call for creativity.
In terms of creativity though, Scott Lee Cohen also falls short. Cohen’s a betting man. He used two million of his pawn shop proceeds to buy the lieutenant governor’s seat and won the primary with no media scrutiny. However, in terms of pioneering pay-to-play politics, Blagojevich beat him to it. It is a good thing Rod Blagojevich didn’t know Scott Lee Cohen in 2008. Blago wouldn’t have sold Obama’s seat, he probably could have pawned it instead.
Illinois needs campaign finance reform now. We need to enact laws that prevent pay-to-play politics and spending caps across the board. We need full transparency and an end to all legal loop holes that circumvent campaign finance laws. In Illinois, state Republicans have proposed HB5008 to limit campaign contributions from legislative leaders and their caucus committees and political parties. Quinn’s reform bill only made House Speaker Michael Madigan and other elites even more powerful. This law puts no monetary limit on leaders and political parties during the general election. Governor Quinn, what kind of reform is that? Unless Pat Quinn is ready to pass a real reform bill, he may want to keep Scott Lee Cohen’s pawn shop number handy for future reference.