Another felling blow for Illinois
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[December 10, 2008]
Although the talk of Gov. Blagojevich being
involved in "pay for play" politics has been in the media for
several years, his sudden arrest yesterday morning came as a shock
to most Illinoisans.
With the arrest at his home at 6 a.m., it has to be wondered why
federal prosecutors could not wait until the governor at least got
to work, or as in most cases, advised him to report to their offices
that morning. In speculation across the state, pundits and reporters
all wonder if the feds were concerned that, given even one more hour
as an unindicted governor, an appointment of a new Illinois senator,
one who perhaps made the best personal promises to our governor,
might have been on the morning's agenda.
Although indictments are not the same as convictions, the Justice
Department reports, including many self-incriminating statements
made directly by the governor in monitored phone calls, seem to
paint a dark picture of our governor's moral and ethical behavior.
The charges against Blagojevich are all over the media, including
here in LDN, so we choose not to be redundant.
Rather, we have to ask the serious questions that these charges
Have, in fact, every and all unilateral decisions made by our
governor in the last six years truly been in the best interest of
the state? Or have they been decisions based on who would give our
governor the most bucks for the bang?
Now the move of IDOT jobs out of Springfield, the closing of
Pontiac prison, the closure of state parks, the reductions in state
service employee rolls, and the huge costs and overruns on state
projects all have to be questioned. The entire executive
decision-making process in our state now must be scrutinized and
examined. What telling information these inspections will yield is
yet to be known.
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Indeed, it is another sad day for the honest and hardworking
citizens of this state, to say nothing of what this does to honest
lawmakers who believe in their role as public servants and carry out
their duties honestly and ethically.
Already, news reports are recalling the convictions of three
former governors: Otto Kerner, Dan Walker and George Ryan. The
inference is clear. Illinois politics is corrupt. Robert Gates,
special agent for the FBI in Chicago, hit us with a telling blow
when he stated: "If it (Illinois) isn't the most corrupt state in
the United States, it's certainly one hell of a competitor."
Although, many Illinoisans are pleased this day that our governor
will be made to account for his actions in a court of law, this is
not a day to celebrate.
Illinois politics has again become ugly. And as they say about
the economy, "It will get worse before it gets better."
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