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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Effectiveness

On the Sixth Ward blog, I blogged about Daley's comments that George Ryan got more done in Springfield that the ones who have been there starting in 2003. That caused me to ponder the difference between Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan. Was Ryan more effective than his successor?

For Mayor Daley the answer is yes! And he's certainly not the only one who has that idea. This is what Chicago Argus has to say about Ryan...
He was an old-school politico who got things done and didn’t get caught up in the political partisanship that has poisoned modern-day politics.
I can agree with this. Of course the fact that he had spend the better part of 30 or so years in politics would raise my eyebrows. If one stays in the system long enough while one benefit might be knowing the system enough to use it effectively, the one drawback could be that such an individual might be comfortable in that system. That could be problematic especially if said individual is so comfortable that they're not willing to make any changes.

In all the years Ryan spend in Illinois politics it's certainly possible that he couldn't see the change in tide against what he eventually got convicted for. Surely the former Governor had seen it all whether he was serving in Kankakee, his hometown or in either the state general assembly or in the Illinois executive branch as either Lt. Governor, Secretary of State or Governor. Whatever happened under him as Secretary of State it was certainly something that might have been done for years in state politics. Unfortunately if most of them hadn't been caught, Ryan finally was.

Our current governor unfortunately seems to have taken corruption or more accurately "pay to play" to much higher levels than ever before. Ironically Blagojevich was said to have campaigned as a reformer but unfortunately he didn't govern as one. Worse still Blago has proven himself to be ineffective.

Looking at these series of updates on the Capitol Fax blog there isn't much hope for a capital budget. Something that appears to have been a priority for many in the legislature seems to still be a struggle at the current moment. A capital budget takes care of roads and infrastructure and this was also one of George Ryan's achievements. Can anyone say Illinois FIRST?

Either way could it be concluded that Ryan may have been corrupt, however, he was more effective. Unfortunately we have as his successor a man who was supposed to change business as usual in Springfield only to continue business as usual in Springfield. Even worse a man who usually kept his word is replaced by one who no one in Springfield trusts.

It just occured to me both have spent most of their lives in the public sector. Although Ryan was a pharmacist he spent almost 30 years of his life in politics while Blagojevich has spent perhaps close to 20 years starting as a worker in the Cook County State's Attorney office and then with stints in the state House of Representatives, US House of Representatives, and finally Governor of the great state of Illinois. It's just too bad that he hadn't built or maintained the relationships that might have helped him in some of his contrived endeavors as governor.

Additional posts
Illinois corruption update: Ex-Gov. Ryan runs out of appeals, ex-Gov. Thompson to ask for sentence to be commuted - Marathon Pundit
Ryan Pardon? - Second City Cop

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