At my Oberlin College Class of 1964’s fifth reunion, I asked one of the government professors, Reich, I believe, why political scientists didn’t study corruption.
He told me it was the grease that made the gears of government move or something very close to that.
In other words, it was no big deal.
In my third year as McHenry County Treasurer, I didn’t think the answer made sense.
I had been reading weekly, sometimes daily, of the corruption of Cook County Assessor Parky Cullerton. Cullerton and other investors in Plum Tree National Golf Course on Route 14 in McHenry County between Woodstock and Harvard had miraculously received the most dense zoning ever granted in unincorporated McHenry County.
The town homes (I think) have not been built because of soil conditions for septic fields, I suppose.
But, that’s where the McHenry County Democratic Central Committee holds its golf day, attesting to the club’s party pedigree.
Since 1969, scholars have studied political/governmental corruption.
That came home as I was driving to pick up my son at South Elementary School on the day former Governor George Ryan went to prison.
I was listening to WBBM Radio to catch up on news I had missed while trying to replace some of the sleep I lost staying up until 5 AM writing articles about the Tuesday Crystal Lake city council and McHenry County College board meetings.
“Holy Trinity of Corruption” was what I heard.
And guess what state was one of the three?
You’ve been reading newspapers and watching the news all the time you have lived in Illinois. That confers an unfair advantage.
The WBBM-AM story quoted Dr. Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
The part of the story that caught my attention follows:
“I often kid that the holy trinity of corruption is New Jersey, Illinois and Louisiana… I’m sure the vast majority of the people in Illinois, but they’re not enforcing the standards of honesty. When they go to the polls, it ought to be one of the first questions they ask: Is so-and-so honest?”
”Sabato says the people of Illinois are far too tolerant, electing and re-electing politicians they like for whatever reason, and tolerate whatever they do.”