Monday, January 16, 2006

Nation deserves new, honest leadership, Durbin says


Nation deserves new, honest leadership, Durbin says

WASHINGTON (AP) — America deserves honest leadership in Washington to replace the current Republican-dominated government, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said Saturday in the Democrats' weekly radio address.

America deserves honest leadership in Washington, says Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois.

Mark Wilson, Getty Images

The concentrated power of the current GOP-controlled Congress and executive branch has produced "a culture of corruption that is preventing government from dealing with the real needs of our nation," Durbin said.

In his broadcast, Durbin made several references to civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., who was slain in 1968 and would have turned 77 on Sunday.

Durbin said that in his last book, King wrote: '"There is nothing wrong with power. The problem is that, in America, the power is unequally divided.'"

That's true in Washington today, Durbin said.

"Powerful corporate special interests control the agenda and people who don't have paid lobbyists really don't have much of a voice," he said. "To these power players, the challenges facing America are not problems to solve, but opportunities to exploit."

Those challenges include the lack of affordable health insurance, dwindling pension plans and rising energy costs, Durbin said.

Honest leadership will help all Americans, and the Democratic Party will introduce a reform package that includes increasing government accountability and enforcing ethics rules, Durbin said.

"As Dr. King reminded us, America has no second- or third-class citizens," he said. "We should all have an equal voice and an equal chance to succeed."

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