Legally, some if not all will escape and remain free men. But the fact that can never be denied is this: Illinois is the most corrupt state or a damned good competitor, according to the FBI.
My Dad, an FBI agent himself, used to say, “Buying politicians is the gift that keeps on giving.”
“If it is not the most corrupt state in the United States, it’s certainly one hell of a competitor,” said FBI Special Agent Robert Grant during a news conference announcing the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Blagojevich: Wacko, Pathological, Grandiose and Narcissistic: But Criminal?
In Illinois, Corruption Often Expected, Accepted
This means Rod Blagojevich, Barack Obama and Jesse Jackson all come from the same gene pool. The same Illinois and Chicago cesspool of corruption spawned the careers of all three men. Each has a vast web of friends and helpers within this gene pool.
In this June 20, 2005 file photo, Gov. Rod Blagojevich, D-Ill., speaks as Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., listens during a news conference in St. Louis. Federal authorities arrested Blagojevich Tuesday Dec. 9, 2008 on charges that he brazenly conspired to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama to the
highest bidder. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)
Rod Blagojevich, Barack Obama and Jesse Jackson were all elected by the same voters: many of whom were duped and tricked and cheated by a long running system of corruption, bribes, influence peddling, quid pro quo and media manipulation.
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., pauses during his remarks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008. Jackson, a 7-term House member and son of a famous civil rights leader, said he is not a target of the federal investigation that led to this week’s arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, that he eagerly and openly sought the Senate appointment, but was not involved ‘whatsoever in any wrongdoing.’ (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Sounds like parts of Beijing to me.
The Illinois voters, therefore, are not to blame. Unless they participated in the wrongdoing they were mostly taken for a ride. Taken advantage of.
So now we know: the man to be elected President of the United States won his Senate seat by springboarding from one of the most corrupt political systems in the nation. And the U.S. Senate seat he’ll vacate to become President of the United States went up for sale even before the leather chair was cold.
This doesn’t mean Rod Blagojevich, Barack Obama and Jesse Jackson are guilty of anything — other than growing up in the same fish tank and swimming with the dirtiest mutated sharks.
But it does mean that they have friends and aquaintences who are some of those mutated sharks — and that gives opportunity for wrongdoing in the White House, at the top of the State of Illinois, in the House of Representatives and perhaps, in the U.S. Senate.
Is this what we want?
In this Aug. 17, 2005, file photo Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, left, laughs with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich during Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, Ill. Blagojevich was roused from bed and arrested Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008, after prosecutors said he was caught on wiretaps audaciously scheming to sell now President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for cash or a plum job for himself in the new administration
(AP Photo/Randy Squires, File)
What is Happening In Illinois?
By Eamon Javers and Fred Barbash
A visibly disgusted FBI special agent Robert Grant stood at a podium in Chicago during a press conference Tuesday announcing the arrest of Gov. Rod Blagojevich and hurling his contempt at the entire political culture of the state of Illinois.
“If it is not the most corrupt state in the United States, it’s certainly one hell of a competitor,” Grant said, his disheveled shock of black hair giving some indication of the dramatic and stressful events of the day.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald termed the events leading up to the governor’s early-morning arrest by the FBI, “a corruption crime spree,” and said it was “an appalling statement about what’s been happening in Illinois government.”
So just what is the problem with Illinois?
It certainly seems like Illinois has a particular sweet spot for corruption: Blagojevich’s own predecessor as governor, George Ryan, went to jail in 2007 in a 6-1/2 year sentence for corruption of his own.
And two other Illinois governors have faced legal trouble in modern times: Otto Kerner, who was mocked locally as “Blotto Otto,” and Dan Walker, who was charged in a savings and loan scheme involving fraudulent loans for repairs on his yacht, which was called The Governor’s Lady.
Fitzgerald, who is known as a crusading prosecutor for his role in the Valerie Plame CIA leak case, seemed to throw up his hands in despair, saying: “We’re not going to end corruption in Illinois by arrests and indictments alone.” He stressed that rooting out corruption would depend on the willingness of the people of Illinois to solve the problem.
In that, Fitzgerald may be on to something. It turns out that a state’s culture is at least as important to its degree of corruption as the aggressiveness of its law enforcement officers.
And it’s also true that some states are just plain more corrupt than others.
In an early attempt to explain why that is, the late Temple University political science professor Daniel J. Elazar argued in the 1960s that the United States can be divided in to three general political cultures, moralistic, traditional and individualistic.
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