Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Come on, Feel the Illinois!

It's not like other states (or the Feds) are that much cleaner, but it's hard not to agree with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald when he says the actions of notoriously corrupt--and finally busted--current Governor Rod "The Hair" Blagojevich have "taken us to a truly new low."

With Obama's ascendance to the Presidency nigh, it is easy to forget that Illinois politics are not that far removed from the Al Capone or Richard J. Daley days. Let's recap:

1. The current mayor of the city of Chicago is Richard J. Daley's son, Richard M. Daley. He has kept Chicago extremely clean, helped preserve historic buildings, planted many trees, etc...but has also helped steer most of the city funds into the pockets of his friends, among other nefarious things.

2. Our last governor, George Ryan, is currently in an executive prison camp, serving a 6.5-year sentence for his 2006 conviction on racketeering and fraud.

The funny thing is that this is simply how politics works. The reason you don't hear more about it is that most politicians are smart enough to leave it at a nod and a wink, or meet in random delis or highway rest stops if they need to lay down specifics. Most of them do not get caught. Most of them don't have Patrick Fitzgerald chasing after them.

And so, while every governor/senator/mayor/alderman/etc frantically searches their offices and homes for bugs, the public rejoices in the fact that the lone bad apple has been removed from the bunch.

NOW the halcyon days of universal, transparent honesty can finally begin!

(A link to the full article in the New York Times)

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