Sunday, December 14, 2008

The more things change

I was browsing the antique store and picked up a deal on a 1910 copy of the Chicago Daily Tribune, and this may come as a shock, but the lead story had to do with the day's testimony in the bribery trial of the Illinois state minority leader, who was caught giving out bribes to lawmakers in exchange for their votes for William Lorimer for Senate. (It was not until 1913 that the 17th Amendment deprived legislators of the duty of electing senators and turned that responsibility over to us teeming masses.)

"What is it about Chicago and Illinois?" is the question heard most often in the days since Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested for trying to sell Barack Obama's open Senate seat. My flaky old yellowed newspaper is more evidence that this level of political corruption is nothing new in the Windy City. What is it, three of the last six governors have been charged with crimes, including the last two?

But ...

They got caught. They were arrested.

Does anyone believe Illinois is the only place where jaded politicians exert their power in desired directions for a fee? What if Illinois is the only place honest enough to arrest these jokers?

Ha, ha. You thought I was serious. Good one, eh?


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