Back in the 1970′s I put in a request to the Legislative Council (the General Assembly’s non-partisan research agency) to develop a way to compare corruption among the states.
That was when United States Attorney Jim Thompson was convicting lots of Democrats and Republicans or assorted nastinesses.
Thompson was my last candidate for political hero. I didn’t get disillusioned until after the election. I was sitting in my car on the senate driveway listening to the radio.
Thompson was asked if he were going to keep Governor Dan Walker’s Ford. His reply was,
“No. What do you think this job is all about?”
Later, he came up with something that sounded a bit more reasonable. He needed a limo because of his long legs.
Under pressure, he finally settled for a Checker Cab…painted black, of course.
Anyway, my request was considered for a while and then Gerry Gherardini called to tell me they didn’t think that was an appropriate research topic.
I remember going to my fifth reunion at Oberlin College In 1970 and asking a new government profession about research in corruption.
He pretty much pooh-poohed my question, telling me that corruption was the grease that allowed government to operation.
Since then, I’ve seen a fair amount of research on the topic. Then, it was pretty much a virgin topic.
In any event, a month ago I happened upon this in the Rockford Register:
It’s not something that compares corruption, but at least its headline is asking the right question.