Jack Thompson makes a lot of headlines around here for his quixotic anti-video game legal jihad. This crusade wastes court time and imposes legal expenses on video game makers. But if there’s one mitigating factor — admittedly, a small one — in the whole mess, it’s that at least his own legal expenses are coming out of his own pocket. The same can’t be said for Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who is not only forcing video game makers to spend large sums of money, but his conducting his crusade against violent video games with other people’s money:
The governor has spent nearly $1 million in taxpayer money to appeal a 2005 federal court ruling that a state law banning the sale of violent or sexual-explicit video games to minors was unconstitutional.
You may be wondering where he got the money for this crusade. Well, so was the Illinois state legislature, since they never authorized these expenditures:
A House committee discovered the amount spent to pay lawyers this week.
The governor raided funds throughout state government to pay for the litigation. Some of the areas money was taken from included the public health department, the state’s welfare agency and even the economic development department.
“We had a strong suspicion that the governor was using funds appropriated by the General Assembly as his own personal piggy bank,” Rep. Jack Franks, D-Woodstock, chairman of the State Government committee, said.
Those suspicions were confirmed when the governor’s staff, testifying before the committee, admitted they just stuck state agencies that had available funds with the bills, he added.
But it’s For The Children™, don’t you know? (And the lawyers.)