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What the Hell is Wrong with Illinois?

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Down here in Texas we often make jokes about the day to day tolerance of political corruption in Louisiana. Up in New England they joke about the inbred machine politics of Rhode Island. In the mid-Atlantic states they poke fun at West Virginia's backwoods, populist good-old-boy system. Out on the west coast they point the naughty finger at Nevada. But today we all stand in awe of the magnificent pinnacle of unassailable perfection in the art of political corruption which is the state of Illinois.

With the state's last governor still serving his six and a half year sentence for bribery, kickbacks, extortion, fraud, and money laundering, you would think that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich might think twice about getting involved in any kind of political scandal. Yet it's almost as if he took former governor George Ryan's remarkably corrupt term as a challenge to see if he could commit even more crimes in the same time period before getting dragged away in handcuffs. What's more, Blagojevich knew from early in his administration that relentless Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was investigating him, and that even more eyes were on him with the impending institution of Illinois' strict new ethics law. Yet it apparently never occurred to him that someone might be listening when he started soliciting bribes, trying to extort money from charities and opening what amounted to a private auction to sell the Senate seat vacated by president-elect Obama to the highest bidder.

Illinois does have a history of producing some great and honorable politicians, including the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, who preferred being right to being president, progressive era icon John Altgeld, and Adlai Stevenson, the indefatigable champion of liberalism. But the state does have a history of political corruption centered around the Daley machine in Chicago, founded by notorious and ruthless Mayor Richard J. Daley and continued by his sons, including current Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley and influential Democratic power broker William Daley who is on the Obama transition team.

Yet the state capital at Springfield seems to be a sort of roach motel for corrupt leaders, sending a governor to jail every decade for the last 40 years and seeing numerous corruption scandals take down lesser politicians as well. Governor Otto Kerner (1961-1968) was convicted of 17 felony counts, including bribery, perjury, and conspiracy. Governor Daniel Walker (1973-1977) was convicted of bank fraud and sentenced to seven years in prison. Governor George Ryan (1999-2003) still has four years to go on his sentence. Now it looks like Governor Blagojevich will be joining them. For comparison, during the same time period Texas has had more governors and not one of them has spent any time in jail.

Even in this rogues gallery Blagojevich really shines forth. He was voted the Least Popular Governor in America with an approval rating even lower than President Bush. He's so unpopular that the Chicago Tribune suggested passing a new law to allow for popular recall of elected officials, and as of last month only 10% of Illinois voters said they would ever vote for him again. This was even before the full scope of his criminality had come to light. Voters were unhappy enough with his high-handed dealings with the legislature, feuds with newspapers, and draconian positions on issues like gun rights and traffic enforcement. There was discussion of impeachment, but apparently Blagovich's behavior was close enough to the norm and certainly familiar enough as part of state tradition, that the legislature never followed through.

Blagovich's rapid decline down the road to his arrest began after his election to a second term, which launched a virtual orgy of suspect wheeling and dealing in an apparent attempt to improve his family's troubled finances. Although the current indictments are based on evidence which was gathered recently, there are ongoing investigations of dozens of substantial allegations of bribery, nepotism, kickbacks, shakedowns, influence peddling, racketeering, fraud — well, just about every felonious abuse of power you can imagine. Plus he was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Tony Rezko case. Prosecutors had been working hard to send Blagojevich to jail for years and then he decides to just throw himself into the inferno with some of the most boneheaded behavior of any politician in recent years, surpassing even William Jefferson and his freezer full of cash.

In the end, the big question about Blagojevich is just how stupid and arrogant are you when you know you're under investigation by multiple law agencies for dozens of crimes, yet you openly solicit bribes and offer to effectively auction off a Senate seat without even the minimal common sense of investing in a throwaway TracPhone. Even the most strung-out crack dealer in Chicago knows better than to talk crime on his personal cell phone.

The larger question is what is wrong with the political culture of Illinois that it could produce a series of governors who seem so firmly convinced that their office included a mandate to enrich themselves criminally. They didn't come up with this idea on their own. They have to have seen their mentors in politics in Chicago and Springfield doing the same thing and getting away with it, giving them an expectation that it was a perk of office and they could do it too. Illinois produced Honest Abe and even Honest Adlai a very long time ago. Perhaps after Dishonest Blago we'll start to think twice about where our politicians come from and the political tradition that shapes their ethical values.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Yet the state capital at Springfield seems to be a sort of roach motel for corrupt leaders,

    That wasn’t a nice thing to say. You’ve insulted Springfield, Ill., cockroaches and motels all in one sentence.

    Looking at it from where I am, I cannot wait to see Olmert led away in cuffs for theft, and Peres led away in cuffs for his involvement in Iran-Contra. I can dream, can’t I?

  • Mark Eden

    It’s the Capon gene introduced by the alien designers as an experiment around the turn of the last century. Not sure how Stevenson slipped through.

    Good stuff, Dave.

  • Michael J. West

    Just one small point:

    There was discussion of impeachment, but apparently Blagovich’s behavior was close enough to the norm and certainly familiar enough as part of state tradition, that the legislature never followed through.

    Actually, there was tremendous bipartisan political support in the legislature and in the populace for impeachment. The reason the legislature never followed through is that they had no legal basis for it. As you said, his criminality wasn’t a known factor at the time, and incompetence (which nobody disputes in Blagojevich) isn’t an impeachable offense.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Does the Bush administration have all Democratic Governor’s offices bugged. I mean I’m not defending nor condoning their actions, but first New York and now Illinois?

  • Mark Eden

    Jet, maybe they’re employing that new hush hush technology developed to pinpoint the insurgerents in Iraq.

    Mark

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Michael. Blago’s involvement in the Rezko affair was already well established when impeachment was being discussed. And the legal standards for impeachment area lot more flexible than for conviction in a regular court.

    As for Iraq, maybe we should send Blago to work for al Qaeda. He’d probably have the whole organization on its knees in a year.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Does the Bush administration have all Democratic Governor’s offices bugged.

    By the looks of things, if they don’t, they should.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Democratic Governor’s offices bugged? Is Blago a (gasp) Democrat? Perhaps that is something to be inferred from the absence of any mention of his party affiliation in the article or, indeed, in many of the other reports and commentaries on this matter.

    In fairness, despite any mention in the article of Blago’s party affiliation, this did slip out:

    But the state does have a history of political corruption centered around the Daley machine in Chicago, founded by notorious and ruthless Mayor Richard J. Daley and continued by his sons, including current Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley and influential Democratic power broker William Daley who is on the Obama transition team.

    Rather dastardly, I think, to mention party affiliation even in that context.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    So, Dan, it’s the party that’s at fault here?

    B

  • Hope and Change?

    Blagojevich should have “called out Gay” and maybe this wouldnt have happened…

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    I notice the conservatives on here are conveniently forgetting that Blagojevich’s predecessor, Republican Governor George H. Ryan, is presently serving a 6-1/2 year sentence for, you guessed it, corruption! They might even get neighboring jail cells!

    If I see anyone else here try to insinuate that Blagojevich is a shining example of Democratic corruption, I’ll post a list of Republican crimes and scandals for the past eight years…and the list is MUCH longer than any corresponding period for Democrats.

  • Mooja

    Way to go Glenn C. That will really fix the corruption problems.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Baritone,

    Why no. Of course not. There is no corruption in the Democratic Party, which has no blame at all for anything bad. Everyone knows that the Republican Party is the Party of Corruption. Just ask anyone.

    Do you remember, back in the bad old days, when crime reports in many newspapers noted the race of the culprit only when he was Black? That was a bad thing, because it resulted in stereotyping Blacks as criminally inclined. Perhaps there is an analogy to be made here.

    It seems obvious that there is corruption in both parties, and that there are several Augean stables to be mucked out. What troubles me is that there seems to be a lot more willingness to identify party affiliation when the corrupt politician is a Republican than when he is a Democrat.

    Why do you suppose that is? Or, perhaps, why do you think that’s not the case? Or is it quite acceptable?

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Glen, you say,

    If I see anyone else here try to insinuate that Blagojevich is a shining example of Democratic corruption, I’ll post a list of Republican crimes and scandals for the past eight years…and the list is MUCH longer than any corresponding period for Democrats.

    I haven’t seen any insinuation here that Governor Blagojevich (D-Ill) is a “shining example” of anything.

    As to posting your list, it might be interesting. Perhaps we can later have a contest over whose dog’s poop on the rug smells the worst. Not as useful an exercise as cleaning up the poop, unfortunately, but arguably more fun.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    I didn’t want to use it in the article, but in this century there have been 12 Republican governors of Illinois and only 1 went to jail. There have been 8 Democratic governors and assuming Blago goes to jail, four of them have been criminals. So that makes the Democrats 50% corrupt and the Republicans 8% corrupt.

    Dave

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Mooja and Dan –

    Is it unfair to point out that the Republicans have been involved in a significantly greater number of crimes and scandals than Democrats? I’m sorry, but that’s what the numbers show. If either of you can show that the Democrats actually have even close to an equivalent level of corruption, I’ll sincerely apologize and happily change my tune – and Dan, I think you know that’s not an empty statement, that I’m not afraid of publicly eating crow.

    But WHY would Republicans have a higher level of corruption? Are they somehow more or less human than the Democrats? Of course not…but there is a good, logical reason why the Republicans DO seem to become involved in higher levels of corruption – and the mainstream media has nothing to do with it.

    The reason, people, should be well-understood by anyone who has served in the military. What happens to a group of men when the regulations to which they are bound are NOT enforced? They will IGNORE those regulations and they will get in trouble, and unit discipline fails.

    That’s why in the military one gets ‘busy work’, assignments that are apparently designed to keep you busy even if there’s no true benefit – but that’s the point: if the men are kept busy, then they’re too busy to do that which is wrong.

    That’s the human way – the less oversight a man has in ANY walk of life, the more that man will try to get away with stuff.

    And what does this have to do with Republicans?

    Which is the ‘party of deregulation’?
    Which is the ‘party of less government’?
    Which party has striven to weaken, nullify, or simply ignore oversight laws and regulations in business, environment, and a host of other areas?

    THAT, sirs, is why the Republican party sees more than its share of scandals. The party believes in LESS oversight…and a man who knows that no one’s looking over his should is FAR more likely to do stuff that he shouldn’t do.

    Don’t get me wrong – there IS such a thing as too much oversight, too much regulation…as anyone who is trying to start a business can testify. But less oversight always, always, ALWAYS brings with it more corruption.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Glen,

    No, there is nothing wrong or unfair about pointing out “the facts.” Should you do so, however, perhaps it would be useful to do so qualitatively as well as quantitatively. All (well, nearly all) crimes are bad — that’s why they are crimes. However, some are more harmful than others, and any comparative analysis which focuses only on absolute numbers seems futile and pointless.

    As to notion that “idle hands are the Devil’s workshop,” it’s probably true. However, hands that are busy dipping into the till would probably be better off idle. The politicians now in focus were very busy. However, that does not seem to have kept them out of trouble.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Dave – let’s look not just at Illinois, but at the nation as a whole.

    IIRC, I’m limited to three links in a post…so I’ll make two posts. The first link is to what is probably the most comprehensive list – if you print it out, the list of scandals is something like sixty feet long. But the others are fun, too.

    Hugh’s list of Bush scandals
    The Daily Kos’ list of Republican Sex Scandals (I did NOT know that Strom Thurmond fathered a child with a sixteen-year-old black girl!)
    Another list of Republican Sex Scandals

    Isn’t it interesting to note that since Barney Frank came out back in the 90’s, there have been NO Democratic sex-scandals with someone of the SAME sex? That, sirs, has since been the SOLE province of Republicans….

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    If group A commits significantly more crimes than group B, such an observation is ‘pointless’? Please take no offense, but that kind of rhetoric is IMO an empty excuse, more of a ‘talking point’ than a reason. Yes, both groups should be held accountable…but significantly more attention should be given to the group that commits significantly more crimes, as in why is that group committing more crimes? Sir, I should think that this would only be common sense to anyone involved in law enforcement.

    The last three list’s I’ll link to for now:

    Another list of Bush scandals, perhaps more user-friendly than the Hugh’s List.
    Salon’s list of 34 scandals just from Bush’s first four years
    Another LONG list of Bush scandals.

    I could post more…but let’s see if there’s a list of Democrat’s scandals that even comes close. Again, everyone should be held accountable for their crimes, but significantly more attention should be given to the group that commits significantly more crimes.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Dan – one last thing. Yes, the guys who committed crimes were indeed busy…but they also believed that they would get away with it. Such a belief only comes when a man has the perception that no one’s watching what he’s doing (insufficient oversight) or that even if people know, that he won’t be prosecuted for it (refusal to enforce standing regulations). Which party is the one that believes in less oversight, and has flatly refused to enforce standing regulations in many, many instances? You know the answer….

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Oh, another list of Republican sex scandals, but this one is very well-indexed. I didn’t know that Ted Bundy was appointed to the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Committee after working for the Republican governor Dan Evans’ reelection in the state of Washington….

    And BEST OF ALL is this list of examples of Republican hypocrisy on moral values. There is something about watching the powerful hoist on their own petard….

    BUT HERE’S A LIST of Democratic scandals going back as far as Chappaquiddick…there’s quite a few…but it’s pretty small compared to, say, the Hugh’s list of just the past eight years of the Bush administration….

    After searching around for more lists of Democratic scandals (and lists of Democratic sex scandals), they all go back to the 80’s and even to the 70’s…and not one even approaches the number of scandals of the Bush 43 administration alone.

    BTW – there of course were quite a few Democratic sex scandals (power IS an aphrodisiac, after all)…but the lists were each perhaps a quarter of the length of the lists of Republican sex scandals. Wonder why that is? I’ve got my own suspicions, but I’ll wait to see what the rest of you say first.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I don’t consider Barney Frank coming out a scandal, in fact I’m rather proud of him, considering how many people have tried to throw mud at him that didn’t stick.

    He is a professional, intelligent and knowledgable member of our government, and obviously his constituants agree or they wouldn’t have reelected him as many times as they have.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “Isn’t it interesting to note that since Barney Frank came out back in the 90’s, there have been NO Democratic sex-scandals with someone of the SAME sex?”

    None? Not even Jim McGreevey? But your point is made.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “I don’t consider Barney Frank coming out a scandal”

    Nobody on this thread asserted otherwise.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Suss, comparing McGreevy to some of the GOP sex scandals is like comparing Nixon’s impeachment to Clinton’s.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Oh sorry, I was under the impression that the reference was to Frank’s Pageboy and his boyfriend’s running a bordello-none of which was true, but they damn well tried.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “Suss, comparing McGreevy to some of the GOP sex scandals is like comparing Nixon’s impeachment to Clinton’s.”

    Glenn said there were zero Democratic same-sex scandals since Barney Frank came out. I was merely correcting him and nothing else. Down, boy.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Oh come on, you know how hard it is to get it down when we start fighting.

  • zingzing

    dan: “Is Blago a (gasp) Democrat? Perhaps that is something to be inferred from the absence of any mention of his party affiliation in the article or, indeed, in many of the other reports and commentaries on this matter. ”

    he’s a democrat? oh, no one knew that.

    really, it’s been stated that he’s a dem in nearly everything i’ve read. i dunno what you’re reading, but it’s obviously not the same thing i am…

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Maybe they just assumed he was Republican because a scandal was attached to him?

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Jet, zing –

    I wonder if there are ANY articles that don’t point out that Blago’s a Democrat?

    Sussman –

    Thanks for the correction. Now the Dems have had one – ONE! – same-sex scandal since Barney Frank. How’s that add up against the Republicans?

  • zingzing

    glenn, i’m pretty sure that self-hatred is a must-have quality if one is going to be a republican.

    they’re all cutters.

  • Baronius

    Glenn, that’s not much of a list of Democratic scandals. Of the first three names I thought of (Brown, Jefferson, Barry), only one was on the list.

    I remember one of the three networks’ websites had a slideshow of recent sex scandals. There were 12 people listed: 6 Republicans, 5 Democrats, 1 no affiliation. Of the Republicans, 5 of them had party affiliation listed. Of the Democrats, 1 had his party listed. So don’t tell me that the press is neutral about these things.

    Also, I don’t buy your psychological explanation for deregulators being more criminally-oriented. The opposite is true. It’s people who make laws, who know the caprice in legislation and enforcement, who are prone to disregarding the law.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Yep, the Republicans have had more gay sex scandals, which is worse, because I think we can all agree that gay sex is worse than regular sex.

    I for one know many Detroit natives who, after Kwame Kilpatrick was ousted from the mayor’s office resulting from criminal behavior and a sexual affair with his chief of staff, breathed a sigh of relief saying “well, at least he didn’t bang a dude!”

    Because, see, Kilpatrick is a Democrat.

  • zingzing

    wait, baronius, how’d you know they were democrats if they weren’t listed as such? my god…

    was bill clinton a democrat? i don’t remember. they didn’t mention it every time they brought up his name or lewinski or impeachment, so i’m not able to recall.

    it’s so hard to figure out. they should make them wear red or blue or have animal masks or something, just so we can all remember.

    shirts and skins? or maybe matching uniforms. the republicans can show up in pinstripes, while the dems have to wear zootsuits. that would be good. then we’d all know.

    in fact, if you’re a politician, your first name should be changed to your party name. democrat clinton, republican bush. although then they’d all be as confused as poor baronius here, what with all the dynasties and all.

  • Baronius

    Glenn – Here is an example of an article from CNN that fails to mention Blago’s party affiliation.

  • Clavos

    How puerile this discussion is.

    “My party has fewer sex scandals than yours, neener, neeener, neener.”

    There’s the bell children, recess is over.

    Buncha twits.

  • Baronius

    Zing, there’s a site called
    How Obama Got Elected
    that’s laugh-until-you-cry for a Republican. It illustrates how uninformed people assume that any scandal they’ve never heard of must be the doing of the other party. But even if that weren’t true, are you telling me that you think the press should assume that people are well-informed? Do you really see this country so bubbling over with accurate information that party affiliation doesn’t need to be mentioned? Would you apply that standard to anything other than the designation of Democrats in scandals?

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle


    Hugh’s list of Bush scandals

    Good example of how subjective the idea of a “scandal” is. Most of these are policies the author doesn’t agree with. Many of them involve people who were Republicans and not even in the Bush administration. The list of real scandals with actual crimes is maybe a 10th of the total. The truth is that when it comes to real scandals, the Bush administration has been remarkably scandal free. Fewer real scandals than Clinton and enormously fewer than Reagan. Oddest of all the list doesn’t include some of the real scandals about Bush appointees which got less publicity. To see what a real scandalous administration was like, read my article on the subject.

    The Daily Kos’ list of Republican Sex Scandals (I did NOT know that Strom Thurmond fathered a child with a sixteen-year-old black girl!)

    Good lord, do you live in a cave somewhere? And BTW, Strom did pay for the girl’s upbringing, support and education for 40-some years, AND he acknowledged her as his child a couple of years before he died.

    But IMO sex scandals are incredibly pointless and really shouldn’t be counted. Real scandals involve criminal activity, preferably with convictions and jail sentences.

    Isn’t it interesting to note that since Barney Frank came out back in the 90’s, there have been NO Democratic sex-scandals with someone of the SAME sex? That, sirs, has since been the SOLE province of Republicans….

    Let’s not downplay the Barney Frank scandal. He plea bargained his way out of charges that there was a prostitution and cocaine selling business operating out of his home. Under the War on Drug laws which Frank has supported you or I would be in jail for 20 years and would have had our home and all our assets seized without trial for the stuff Frank did. IMO the scandal isn’t what Frank did, but that he got off by ratting out his rent boy and his friends.

    Dave

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    I wonder if there are ANY articles that don’t point out that Blago’s a Democrat?

    For the record, THIS article doesn’t mention that Blago is a democrat.

    The only mention of party affiliation in the article is for Obama adviser Bill Daley.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    baronius: “are you telling me that you think the press should assume that people are well-informed? Do you really see this country so bubbling over with accurate information that party affiliation doesn’t need to be mentioned? Would you apply that standard to anything other than the designation of Democrats in scandals?”

    no, baronius. i’m saying that you DO know the party affiliation of these people, because it’s nearly always mentioned in articles. if it’s not in one, it’s in another, and if the scandal in question has any merit, you’re bound to read more than one. have you ever had a problem figuring out which party these politicians belong to? probably not. that should answer your question right there.

  • Baronius

    Dave – You were right about Hugh’s List of Bush Scandals. Some of them were just policies. Some weren’t scandals or policies; they were just…things. Hugh might as well have written:

    #147 – Stapler
    #148 – Pencil Sharpener

    I mean, “stacking the Supreme Court”? Does Hugh even understand the Constitution? The Conservative Babylon site didn’t look much better. It listed a Heather Locklear DUI as a conservative scandal, because I guess she’s a Republican. Maybe conservatives should include each of Woody Harrelson’s two thousand arrests on a list of Democratic scandals.

  • Clavos

    Does it matter to which party any one of them belongs?

    A crook’s a crook.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    It seems to matter to Fox News, Clavos. They’re pushing the Blagojevich scandal more or less 24/7 and are desperately trying to implicate Obama any way they can, no matter how tenuous or speculative the link.

  • Clavos

    They probably won’t succeed, Doc.

    When did you start worrying about what Fox News does?

    But again, it really doesn’t matter; Obama’s been elected. Now, like Bush, he can pretty much do what he wants to (and probably will), and those who like what he does will praise him, while those who don’t, won’t.

    All that will happen is the media will swap places; Fox will be anti-president now, while CNN and MSNBC will be pro. The broadcast networks are already irrelevant, so where they stand doesn’t matter, but they’ll likely be pro, too.

    Anyway, none of what the talking heads say or think amounts to a hill of beans in most people’s minds.

    And after Obama’s two terms are over, we’ll move on to the next and then the next, and nothing will change, until the Chinese take over.

  • Doug Hunter

    I am impressed with Obama, he is like teflon. Of the mud flung at him this is the least likely to adhere anyway. He got elected after doing crooked land deals with a criminal developer who he helped get government subsidies, after launching his political career at the home of a terrorist, and after spending 20 years going to a racist church and being mentored by it’s fiery pastor. None of that meant a thing and this too shall pass. Yes, it’s his senate seat and no, he doesn’t know anything about it.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    When did you start worrying about what Fox News does?

    I don’t, Clav.

    I’m just (like you with the Obama/citizenship/Supreme Court nonsense over on the other thread) putting it out there.

  • Hope and Change?

    Just not Fox…..MSNBC spent all morning attacking Rahm Emanuel for not answering questions when approached by a reporter and accusing Obama of using “old school” politcal tactics and parsing his words worse than Bill Clinton….

    Remember its not the crime its he cover up…who will be the next “friend” that Obama will throw under the bus? Fill in the blanks “__________ is not the person I once knew.”

    Where’s the hope? Where’s the change?

  • Zedd

    “12 Republican governors of Illinois and only 1 went to jail. There have been 8 Democratic governors and assuming Blago goes to jail, four of them have been criminals. So that makes the Democrats 50% corrupt and the Republicans 8% corrupt.”

    Dave your conclusion is not accurate nor well reasoned. Only 8% have been caught. You can’t conclude that either one of the ones that were not convicted were not corrupt.

    Now let’s not get silly. This state fosters corruption. They don’t know how not be be corrupt. Let’s just hope that our new prez didn’t pick up any bad habits.

  • Baronius

    “Does it matter to which party any one of them belongs? A crook’s a crook.”

    Yeah, but Clav, it’s been a rough year to be a conservative. The Republican administration has been buying up the banking, insurance, and auto industries, and their Democratic successor promises to be more aggressive. The highlight of our year has been the vice-presidential convention speech. Now a Dem governor is caught taking bids for a Senate seat? You’ve got to let me chortle a bit about that.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The highlight of our year has been the vice-presidential convention speech.

    You now have some inkling of what it’s like when your party is hopeless, Baronius.

    At least your highlight of the year was a VP candidate. If you recall, the Democrats’ crowning moment of 2004 was a convention speech by a man who hadn’t even been elected to the Senate yet…

  • Baronius

    Yeah, but the Dems didn’t have to deal with an egotistical war hero who thought he was a press darling but…oh. Oh! No wonder the Dems were so testy.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    My dogs are smarter, bigger, and in every way superior to your dogs and could probably whip them with one paw tied behind their backs.

    Nah nah nah

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    “For the record, THIS article doesn’t mention that Blago is a democrat.”

    Tell you what – for EVERY article in the mainstream media that DOESN’T point out Blago’s party affiliation, I’ll show you TEN. Heck, I’ll show you TWENTY! That’s a blind claim, Dave – care to call me on it? If not, then what does that do to your claim that the MSM’s treatment of Blago is being soft on the Dems?

    And you (and the other conservatives) certainly couldn’t find a list of Dem scandals that came anywhere close to the scandals the Republicans have been party too…all you could do is pooh-pooh them away and say ‘those don’t really count’.

    One must wonder if the REASON why you and the other conservatives here didn’t post such a list…is because no such list exists because the Dems’ history is NOT as scandal-ridden as the Republicans’….

    When it comes to the sex scandals, frankly, you would be one of a VERY small minority of conservatives who think that ‘sex scandals shouldn’t count’…so be careful – I’ll remember that statement in the future and I’ll hold you to it.

    The more important point isn’t whether YOU should think the sex scandals should count, but whether you comprehend the level of HYPOCRISY by the conservatives who railed and howled about the Democrats’ sex scandals…but didn’t say much about the FACT that the Republicans have been involved in many more.

    Yes, there are corrupt Dems – Blago’s proof of that! BUT where is the greater level of corruption to be found – in the party that believes in MORE regulation and GREATER oversight? Or in the party that believes in DEREGULATION and LESS oversight?

  • Clavos

    Republicans are corrupt evil, philandering, child molesting thieves.

    We should brainwash all the children in those crappy government schools to become good, secular progressives who will turn to the state for aid and comfort every time they stub their toes….oh, wait,….that’s what we are doing!

  • Cindy D

    “…the party that believes in DEREGULATION and LESS oversight?”

    Like Bill Clinton? What party is he in again?

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Tell you what – for EVERY article in the mainstream media that DOESN’T point out Blago’s party affiliation, I’ll show you TEN. Heck, I’ll show you TWENTY! That’s a blind claim, Dave – care to call me on it?

    Well of course you can do that. The MSM has format guidelines which their writers follow, which say (among other things) that when you mention Governor Rod Blagojevich you put (D-IL) after his name. So yes, pretty much every MSM mention will include party affiliation. And guess what, Blago IS a Democrat. Big deal.

    If not, then what does that do to your claim that the MSM’s treatment of Blago is being soft on the Dems?

    I actually never made this claim. You seem to have confused me with someone else.

    And you (and the other conservatives) certainly couldn’t find a list of Dem scandals that came anywhere close to the scandals the Republicans have been party too…all you could do is pooh-pooh them away and say ‘those don’t really count’.

    The lists you posted were ridiculous lists of non-scandals. The interesting thing about recent scandals involving Democrats is that no one ever gets punished. The latest outrage is the Countrywide Scandal. It involved both Republicans and Democrats, but mostly Democrats and no one is being held accountable at all.

    Of course it’s easy to find lists like the ones you linked to, and most are just as biased. The interesting thing about many of them, though, is that unlike your lists which included things like policies the author didn’t like, most lists of Democrat scandals are lengthy lists of actual criminal convictions, like this one.

    One gay republican blogger offers the interesting theory that the reason we think there are more Republican scandals is specifically that the Democrats don’t get the same coverage. Charles Rangel, Robert Wexler and Tim Mahoney are all Democratic congressmen who have been caught in sex scandals in just the last few months. Heard much about the cases?

    When it comes to the sex scandals, frankly, you would be one of a VERY small minority of conservatives who think that ‘sex scandals shouldn’t count’…so be careful – I’ll remember that statement in the future and I’ll hold you to it.

    Let me amend it. If it’s JUST sex I don’t have a problem with it. Accusations of sexual abuse like those leveled at Democrat Daniel Inouye are different.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Why does everyone keep calling him Blago just because they’re too lazy to type Blagojevich? Makes him sound like a hobbit.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Charles Rangel, Robert Wexler and Tim Mahoney are all Democratic congressmen who have been caught in sex scandals in just the last few months. Heard much about the cases?

    Not about Rangel or Wexler. Mahoney, yes – mainly, I suspect, because of the irony that it was Mark Foley’s former seat that his ass was parked on. (Perhaps under the circumstances that wasn’t a very good choice of words.)

    There was one Democrat chap a few years back who got himself entangled in a fairly major sex scandal – found himself in quite a pickle over it, too. What was his name now? …Tip of my tongue.

    Stimson? Hilton? Hinton…?

  • Cindy D

    Or Glenn,

    Maybe you mean these Democrats. The ones who in 2006 U.S. citizens sent a message to, that they were fed up with Bush and the Iraq war, that they wanted more social programs, etc.

    November 8, 2006
    Pelosi Pledges New Direction

    November 9, 2008
    Bush, Dems promise cooperation as Senate shifts

  • Lee Richards

    Politicians routinely lie, cheat and steal, mostly within the framework of the laws they pass that enable them to do so.

    Some are so greedy and egocentric that they blunder outside the “legal” framework and often get caught red-handed. Many Illinois politicians eliminate the pretense, and just ignore the framework as soon as they get elected.

    Party affiliation makes a difference only because
    1.)in some places one-party rule is so entrenched that a culture of corruption is SOP because of it and, 2.)for a generation the Republicans have laid claim to being THE party of moral values, patriotism, and christian ideals, so their vices, scandals and corruption have the added stink of total hypocrisy.

  • Zedd

    The reason that party affiliation matters with regards to corruption is because the Republicans set themselves up as the party of the moral. They touted “family values”, were the “moral majority” and after Clinton’s impropriety, they road that pony to death, claiming to be the party of decency. So when they screwed up, and they did off course (to our train wreck watching delight), it was greatly highlighted, with a certain underlying snicker and glee (as it should have been).

    So no the mention of an impropriety being affiliated with the democratic party wont be a big deal. But let the purity police do “nastiness” then it becomes joy unspeakable as it should. That manner of coverage would not only be about the politician doing wrong but about the hypocrisy of the party which claims purity.

    Hope that helps.

  • Joe

    So Democrats are not hypocrites because they have no moral standards? Interesting admission.

  • REMF(MCH)

    “I didn’t want to use it in the article, but in this century there have been 12 Republican governors of Illinois and only 1 went to jail. There have been 8 Democratic governors and assuming Blago goes to jail, four of them have been criminals. So that makes the Democrats 50% corrupt and the Republicans 8% corrupt.”
    – Dave Nalle

    Vox Populi’s web site has posted figures similar to those that Dave cites.