Wednesday, December 10, 2008

State of Illinois

Well, hasn't this been an interesting year in Illinois?

I have lost a Senator, lost a Congressman and am about to lose a Governor. But I did gain a President and White House chief of Staff... to largely, I guess it has worked out.

The whole thing is completely surreal.

The worst of it is that I can't walk around and say I am surprised or shocked. Illinois has always been a place like this. The surprises come when people like the late Paul Simon (no, not the guy who sang Graceland, the guy with the bowtie) and Barack Obama actually come to prominence.

What I see so far is a lot of hot air being blown... but then that IS tradition in Chicago and is the source of the description, "Windy City" although a nice frigid breeze blowing off the prairie in January might convince you otherwise. Unfortunately, in the hot air, I haven't heard anything where the Guv asks for specific dollar amounts.. so I am going to hold my opinion until something more substantial occurs.


Well, Chicago, while home to corrupt politicians has also been home to folks who will do ANYTHING to bring them down. And the anything portion of that phrase often bothers me. I know that when U.S. Atty Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed by then Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (you can see how that stuck in my brain, although there is no relation between them), it was announced that he very specifically had been put into his position to bring down Mayor Daley. Obviously this has not happened.

He did manage to root out corruption in Springfield under Governor George Ryan, who is currently in the Federal pen. On the other hand, what was going on in Springfield was SUCH an open secret, that I can't believe we actually had to go through a full investigation. And the current Governor? Well, he was under investigation from the moment that he took the oath of office. Why? Because his father-in-law is an important Chicago Alderman.

I met a gentleman recently who commented about how blase Chicagoans were about what is perceived to be a culture of corruption. But we remember the 70s and the 80s when there was still corruption but our streets weren't getting plowed and roads weren't getting patched.

So will I take a bit of corruption to get people who can provide city services? I hate to say it, but yes. Unless you can show me that the squeeky clean guy can get stuff done.

I am practical that way

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