Leadership that Southern Illinois Can Believe In

By Michael Kleen

What is wrong with Southern Illinois? Open a newspaper on any given day, and you are likely to ask yourself this question. As Disclosurehas documented for the past several years, there is no shortage of political corruption, crime, substance abuse, and economic despair. Of the 34 counties south of I-70, 14 had unemployment rates of 9.5 percent or higher in September of this year, and just two years ago, Southern Illinois University tottered on the edge of bankruptcy. The situation is not hopeless, however. With the right leadership, things can be turned around.

You see, I live far up north in Winnebago County, and we have a lot in common with Southern Illinois. This area has the highest unemployment rate in the state (13.8 percent in September), and I believe that the same thing that is hurting us up here is hurting the people of southern Illinois: a lack of responsible and inspired leadership. A sense of entitlement and contentment with the status quo at the top, coupled with a “tax and spend” philosophy of government, is strangling the life out of our communities.

Read the rest of this column!

About Michael Kleen

Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and freelance columnist. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He lives in Rockford, Illinois, where he was the 2013 Republican candidate for mayor.

Posted on November 21, 2011, in Columns and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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