In this encore broadcast from December 2012, former Illinois Governor James R. Thompson is our guest for a half-hour interview on this week's WSIU InFocus.
Thompson, the longest-serving Governor in the state's history, talks with host Jak Tichenor about the state's recent public corruption scandals, worsening fiscal situation, public employee pension crisis, and the need for bipartisan leadership in the Illinois Statehouse. The Chicago Republican served as the state's chief executive from 1977 to 1991 and was widely respected for his ability to work with Democrats and Republicans alike in forging consensus on tough issues like the state budget, taxation, and growing jobs during his record-breaking tenure.
In the interview, Thompson discusses the need for Illinois to broaden its tax base by considering a tax on services as a way to bring much-needed revenue into the state's coffers. Despite the fact that the state's last two former Governors had been sent to federal prison on corruption charges, Thompson believes the vast majority of public officials in the state are honest and get a bad rap from the few who can't follow the law.
Governor Thompson visited the SIU Carbondale campus in October 2012 to recognize the 50th anniversary of WSIU Public Television and the 15th anniversary of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.