Illinois Politics Explained

May/31/2009 18:34PM
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Illinois is a great place to watch politics in action. After all, we gave the nation Rod Blagojevich. And, Barack Obama. One is lily white when it comes to political ethics, President Obama, and the other is stained so black he’ll never wash clean.

Because of Blagojevich, the Illinois politicians felt some pressure to develop political reform. They were also feeling pressure to have economic reform, since the state won’t be far behind California in the bankruptcy line. The new governor Pat Quinn promised a very good reform package and said he would double the state income tax to dig the state out of the financial hole Governor Blagojevich put the state into.

In the meantime, the replacement senator for President Obama, Roland Burris, was heard on tape talking to Robert Blagojevich, the former governors brother about having his attorney make a political donation to Rob to get the senate seat. Burris has told so many lies under oath he could be sent to prison for life for perjury alone. What a cozy arrangement that could be: George Ryan, the governor before Blogovich, Blogovich, and Burris, a U.S. Senator, all in the same cell. Why would we think Illinois needs reform?

While the Chicago Tribune is printing scathing attacks on the Illinois politicians for their lack of conviction to approve a reform bill with teeth, they are printing a series of stories that these same politicians were using their clout to get friends admitted to the University of Illinois with substandard academic credentials. even, in some cases getting scholarships for those with substandard academic credentials.

The result of all this, a watered down reform bill with all the loopholes the politicians need to keep beating the system. A watered down bill to raise taxes and avoid cutting any pork projects that might cost someone a vote or two. And, an interim governor who will be running for election with lots of support from his pals in Springfield since he will sign what they wanted, Spin. He did have little glitch of his own since his staff, unbeknownst to him, of course, was selling opportunities to meet with the governor for big dollar campaign contributions.

Several thoughts come from all this. How in the world did President Obama walk through all this and come out so clean? It appears that everyone involved in Illinois politics is into pay for play. Next, why do we keep reelecting the crooks until the Federal Prosecutor puts them in jail? Lastly, why do we tolerate any of this?

I think the answer is pretty simple. They get the dollars they need to be elected and reelected by selling out the voters. Then they outspend and out spin any challenger. Then the cycle begins all over again. When they are ready to retire, they step it up. That pile of unspent campaign money is theirs to use as they see fit as long as they pay the taxes. It’s a nice little cushion on top of their obscene retirement and benefits package.

Did I mention that nowhere in all this is there any incentive to do what the people want? If a poll shows they are in trouble, they might get some air time and pledge to do that, but in the long run they do what’s best for them. In Illinois they do that so well that an unusual Federal Attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald puts them in jail.

So, the real deal is Illinois is go ahead pass the do nothing reform bill, as long as we are blessed with Fitzgerald, you will behave fairly well. You may be next in his corruption net. What happens when Fitzgerald is gone? Business as usual.

Does Illinois seem different than your state? Do you make jokes and laugh about Illinois? We have a friend from Jolly Old England and he thinks Illinois politics are very funny. Sticks the needle in all the time. No more, the UK finds their politicians are using government money for cleaning their moats and hiring strippers. Your state might have two governors in prison if Patrick Fitzgerald were there.

There is only one answer to all this. Vote the bums out. Do not vote for any incumbent in any future election. Regardless of party or ability, vote them out. Local, state, and federal. Insist on term limits. Illinois is everywhere, it’s like the iceberg, still hidden. But, it’s there. It take a while for a newly elected politician to get the system in place. First they have to be taught, then bought, then maybe caught. This can’t be done in a term or two.

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