Prompted by the current Blagojevich scandal, the Christian Science Monitor provides an excellent summary of how corruption has wound through Illinois politics in recent decades.
Staff writer Amanda Paulson writes:
“In the annals of corrupt Illinois politicians, Gov. Rod Blagojevich may go down as one of the most brazen. But he has plenty of company.
“Three of the state’s seven previous governors have been convicted and served time. Since 1971, by one count, 31 Chicago aldermen and some 1,000 public officials and businessmen have been convicted.
‘“We’re the corruption capital of the United States,’ says Dick Simpson, a political scientist at the University of Illinois in Chicago and a former Chicago alderman, who maintains that state corruption count. ‘We have more [corruption] even than New Jersey and Louisiana, which are our competitors.”’