After having made a living writing about political corruption in Illinois, author/reporter James L. Merriner seriously wonders if change can ever take hold within the state.
He plans to discuss his topic at length, offering historical background for any doubts, when he presents "Will Reform Ever Come to Illinois?"
Merriner's address -- the fifth in the Edgar Lecture Series at Eastern Illinois University -- is set to begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, in Roberson Auditorium, Lumpkin Hall (Room 2030) on the EIU campus. Admission is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the presentation.
The Edgar Lecture Series, established in 2007 by former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar and his wife, Brenda, demonstrates a continuing support of their alma mater. The series allows the university to host two speakers a year -- one in the fall and one in the spring. Lectures are to focus primarily on state government and shall address current issues in state government and their historical implications.
The Edgars personally launched the series, with the former governor speaking in Fall 2007 and Mrs. Edgar taking her turn behind the lectern in Spring 2008.
Merriner, a former Chicago Sun-Times political reporter/editor, is also the author/co-author of five books, most of which deal with political corruption in Illinois. His most recent work is "The Man Who Emptied Death Row: Governor George Ryan and the Politics of Crime."
In addition, Merriner authored "Mr. Chairman: Power in Dan Rostenkowski's America," which examined the story of former U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, who also ended up behind bars.
See more about Merriner at his Web site: http://www.jamesmerriner.com/index.html .