Is There Something Different About Illinois?
"If it isn't the most corrupt state, it's certainly one hell of a competitor." -- Robert Grant, FBI, 12/9/08 Rod Blagojevich is ...
"If it isn't the most corrupt state, it's certainly one hell of a competitor." -- Robert Grant, FBI, 12/9/08
Rod Blagojevich is the fourth Illinois governor in as many decades to be indicted. Two went to prison for abusing their office, including Blagojevich's predecessor, Republican George Ryan.
Ironically, Blagojevich was lobbying for President Bush to pardon Ryan just last month. And Blagojevich owes his career -- or the lucky breaks that made his career possible -- to corruption.
The dysfunction of the Illinois Republican Party in the wake of the corruption scandal that plagued Ryan led to Blagojevich's election in 2002 -- the first election of a Democrat to the Illinois governorship in more than 30 years. Continued dysfunction and the bad name of the Illinois GOP allowed Blagojevich's reelection in 2006, despite low approval ratings.
Blagojevich also was positioned for the governorship due to the corruption of others. Dan Rostenkowski, the longime chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, lost his seat in 1994 and eventually went to prison due to corruption charges. Rostenkowski lost to a nonentity named Michael Patrick Flanagan.
Flanagan was a ripe target in the overwhelmingly Democratic district in 1996. Blagojevich beat two rivals in the party primary, thanks to support from Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and Alderman Richard Mell, one of Chicago's last strong ward leaders -- and Blagojevich's father-in-law.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
Is the Orange County Government Center Historic, or Just Ugly?37 minutes ago
Scott Walker May Want to Be President, But He Has to Fix Wisconsin's Budget First22 minutes ago
Prisoner Ask Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for Historic Pardon7 minutes ago
Texas House Passes Controversial College Gun Bill17 minutes ago
How States’ Job Growth Compares So Far This Year1 hour ago
A P3 Model for Building Green Infrastructure3 hours ago