Illinois politics, it seems, is where corruption, nepotism and politics meet.
He was married to one of the state’s top legislators. That connection and his blue-collar reputation and charm catapaulted him into the Governor’s job. Then he figured he was “owed” more: a cabinet position, money for campaigns and maybe even money for himself and his wife.
By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
That belief that I am “owed” runs deep in Illinois politics.
Jesse Jackson Jr., the son of a prominent minister and civil rights activists thought he was owed too. From the House of Representatives he had his eye on the Senate and perhaps bigger jobs and money for his wife.
I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine is common in Illinois: and it has been for years.
What makes the itch go away and then crave more is money and favors….
“As much as politicians in Illinois have had a tradition of corruption, the people of Illinois have had a tradition of accepting it, even expecting it — and long before Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich was accused of trying to put a Senate seat up to the highest bidder,” wrote Kate Zernike of the New York Times.
“Otto Kerner, who served as governor in the 1960s, was found to have accepted bribes in the form of racetrack stock only after the track owner deducted it on her taxes as the cost of doing business.”
And there are many more examples of corruption in Illinois politics and acceptance by the Illinois voters…
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)