How Corrupt Are Illinois Politics? Let Us Count the Ways

Still, I was struck by this piece by the IPI:
Senate President John Cullerton announces retirement amid sweeping Illinois corruption probe

Cullerton and House Speaker Mike Madigan have held office in the Illinois General Assembly for nearly 90 years combined.

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, announced Nov. 14 that he will retire from office in January 2020.

Cullerton has held a seat in the Illinois General Assembly for 40 years.


Cullerton’s retirement comes amid one of the most wide-ranging federal corruption investigations in state history, which has ensnared three Democratic state senators with leadership positions: Tom Cullerton, Martin Sandoval and Terry Link. Nearly 30 politically connected individuals and businesses across Illinois have been questioned, targeted, investigated, arrested, indicted or convicted as part of law enforcement’s anti-corruption activity in Illinois in 2019. (emphasis added)

The IPI article sets out the allegations against the three senators in more detail and further points out that (John) Cullerton will benefit handsomely (to the tune of six-figures after one year of retirement) from the pension system he helped shape. (Let’s not forget that Illinois currently has a serious pension crisis.)

So, to review, Illinois — in addition to having 4 of its recent governors who’ve served time  — presently has 3 state senators — and 30 politically-connected individuals and businesses — caught up in federal corruption investigations. Forget “the Chicago way” — “the Springfield way” seems intent on putting that meme to shame.




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