Sunday, December 28, 2008

Illinois - The Sewer of American Politics

I had a bit of a argument with a relative on Chrsitmas. He suffers from a moderate case of Bush Derangement Syndrome that he caught from PBS and MSM programming. One of my responses was that I do not trust Obama because he comes form one of the most corrupt political environments inthe country.

Like all BDS suffers, this relative is data impaired and started off on how Texas (obvious reference to Bush) and California (I guess the reference is to Arnold?) are just as corrupt. I bought to his attention that four of the last eight Illinois governors have been arrested and three served prison sentences. What other State in the NAtions has that distinction? Certainly not Texas or California.

The conversation ended when when he that he was sick of this and left the house. Our realtionship has always been strained but even my wife has had enough.

I went looking for references to Illinois political corruption and you don't have to go far. Even one of the most liberal media outlets in the country, MSNBC, remarked on the stench from Illinois politics.

Illinois has long legacy of public corruption

At least 79 elected officials have been convicted of wrongdoing since 1972

Illinois’ official slogan is the “Land of Lincoln,” but an equally apt descriptor would be the “Land of Greased Palms.”

The state, Cook County and its governmental seat, Chicago, have a long history of corruption by elected and appointed officials.

The culture of corruption dates back to the late 19th century, when a gambling-house owner named Michael Cassius McDonald created the city's first political machine, establishing a model in which officials would distribute contracts, jobs and social services in exchange for political support, according to a scholarly history of organized crime in Chicago by Robert Lombardo, a sociology professor and former Chicago and Cook County police officer.

Its persistence was documented in Sept. 7, 2006 by the Chicago Sun-Times, which reported that at least 79 current or former Illinois, Chicago or Cook County elected officials had been found guilty of a crime by judges, juries or their own pleas since 1972. The paper provided this tally of the tarnished: three governors, two other state officials, 15 state legislators, two congressmen, one mayor, three other city officials, 27 aldermen, 19 Cook County judges and seven other Cook County officials.

The article noted that so many aldermen had been jailed that the newspaper ran a front-page-story in 1991 when the year passed with none being indicted or convicted.

This is Obama's playground. A cesspool of brbibery and corruption. Obama's Chief of Staff , Rahm Emanuel, left the congressional seat previously held by Rod Blagojevich until his election as Illinois Governor in 2002.

This is one of the main reasons why the thought of this man in the nation's highest elected office gives me chills. And these aren't tingles running up and down my leg ala Matthews.

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