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Saturday, December 11, 2010

An anniversary recently passed

The arrest of Rod Blagojevich. No one felt like celebrating according to Rich Miller. What is there to celebrate? The celebration happened the day he got arrested and eventually removed from office.

Miller wrote this column talking a little about that Chicago magazine article that I mentioned a few nights ago. This is one reason how Blago got re-elected the second time when he really shouldn't have:
The biggest reason Rod Blagojevich was re-elected four years ago was because a real effort wasn’t made to defeat him in the Democratic primary. The people who run the Democratic Party didn’t go after Blagojevich because the last time they primaried out a sitting Democratic governor, the Republicans took control of the office for the next 26 years. But that decision was a huge mistake. The Republicans were too weak in 2006 to make any sort of inroads. Illinois’ independent voters are as scared of the GOP as Iroquois County voters are of the Democrats.
So in 2006 it was more important to keep the Republicans out of the governor's mansion for another 26 years instead of removing a dead weight on their ticket. Four years late the state Dems came very close to losing the Governor's mansion so how much worth it was protecting Blagojevich. Oh yeah and I also recognize that 2006 was a wave year for the Democrats as well.

Miller also knocks down a theory about corruption in Illinois:
“If you’re out on a farm, there isn’t all that much to be corrupt about,” former Illinois Republican Party Chairman Gary MacDougal told Chicago Magazine.

Back in the mid 1970s, my father was a deputy sheriff in Iroquois County. Most Chicagoans probably don’t even know where that is, but it’s a huge, rural farm county with almost no people. Its northern border is only about 70 miles south of the city on I-57.

It may be geographically close to Chicago, but it’s a whole other world. Iroquois is and always has been one of the most Republican counties in the state. It was one of the few that went for that wacky Marylander Alan Keyes over Barack Obama in the 2004 U.S. Senate race, for instance.

Anyway, my dad says the sheriff back then had a company that leased the deputies’ police cars to the county. The sheriff had a company that sold police uniforms to his own officers. Every week, as dad tells the story, the sheriff would stop by the jail to pick up a big package of meat that the county ostensibly bought for the inmates.

So much for MacDougal’s theory.
So the Chicago mag article stated that Illinois government isn't as clean as our neighbors in Iowa or Wisconsin. If those states are mostly rural, well Iowa is mostly rural, then how do we know that this story doesn't occur there. It brought to mind this scene in HBO's Truman.

In that film, Harry Truman was building his political career. He was elected to a county commissioner position thanks to a political machine in his part of Missouri, the Pendergast machine. He wanted to building some road by the political boss himself wanted it done because he already owns businesses that could benefit.

BTW, if that name rings a bell it should. The movie was about the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman.

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