FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Chicago Tribune: “Illinois May Be Bad, But Louisiana is Worse!”
Oh, please. Do we really want to base this judgment on the rate of public corruption convictions? Especially when Chicago politics have been dominated since time immemorial by a notoriously corrupt Democratic machine? One that controls the prosecutors, the cops, and the juries?
But for genuine, savory, infused-in-the-gumbo style public venality, Louisiana still has Illinois, and most of America, beat. Ranked according to corruption convictions per capita from 1998-2007, Louisiana is No. 3, well ahead of Illinois at No. 19. (Only Washington, D.C., and North Dakota ranked higher—and in North Dakota’s case, the results were skewed because of its extremely small population.) [Uhhh .... doesn't per capita normalize for that? Oh, never mind. - ed.]
In terms of Federally-incarcerated former governors, the two states tie 1-1. Rod Blagojevich’s impeachment/removal and the Burris nomination fiasco don’t register on the Trib’s radar.
At least Louisiana’s Republican governor is a legitimate reformer who is trying to correct past wrongs. In addition to convicted ex-governor Ryan, the Illinois Republican party has given us the kind of log-rolling “moderate” pork-barrelers who survived precisely by not taking on the Democratic machine: Michel, Hastert, LaHood, etc.
Congratulations, Illinois. Wear it proud.