Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

June 18, 2014

Illinoisans imprisoning themselves

Well, another state legislator is heading to prison.

You won’t hear much outrage in Springfield.

Or dismay for that matter.

In the grand scheme of things, the conviction of State Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, on bribery charges is picayune.

You’ll hear it whispered around the statehouse, “He only took $7,000.”

That’s right. He took seven grand in exchange for writing a letter in support of a business receiving a state grant.

Another legislator, LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, is facing bank fraud charges. And last year, former Rep. Connie Howard pled out on a felony charge that she was siphoning money that was supposed to go for college scholarships. Instead she spent it on herself.

Let’s face it, prison has become the repository for many Illinois pols once their time in “public service” is up.

Some embraced the penitentiary with panache.

Former Gov. Otto Kerner showed up at the prison gate in a limousine and wearing a tuxedo.

Gov. Dan Walker reported to prison wearing his Annapolis ring. That didn’t sit too well with the warden, a West Pointer.

Gov. George Ryan was chauffeured to the Big House by another governor — James R. Thompson.

And Rod Blagojevich was mugging for the cameras at a burger joint moments before entering the slammer.

Illinoisans have become jaded to criminality among those we elect.

A few years back, som Springfield wag printed up bumper stickers that said, “My Governor is a Bigger Crook than Your Governor.”

This kind of cynicism has metastases through the electorate leaving political tumors of apathy, inevitability and suspicion.

There is no greater exploiter of this political cynicism than House Speaker Mike Madigan.

Despite Smith’s indictment, Madigan threw his support behind his reelecti8on this year.

Madigan’s spokesman told the Chicago Tribune, the speaker supports Democratic incumbents and believes in “innocent until proven guilty.”

Text Only
Opinion
  • Pensions need to be addressed I will have to admit that I am slightly overwhelmed today with the receipt of articles and suggestions for a column. One of my Fitness Mafia colleagues constantly tells me the columns are too long and trying to address different subjects just dilutes

    July 22, 2014

  • VA still failing our vets Jymm’s preferred attire is a skin-tight Minnie Mouse T-shirt with bright pink windbreaker pants. Even when not sporting his choice outfit, he dons short shorts and shirts with holes in them, because that’s what he finds most comfortable. His Santa Mo

    July 22, 2014

  • Feed your home piggy bank with a 15-year mortgage This summer, we finally decided to take the plunge we’d been contemplating for a while: converting our 30-year mortgage to one with a 15-year payoff. It’s a big step. Our payments will go up somewhat (the PITI — principal, interest, tax, and insuranc

    July 19, 2014

  • Under the dumb There is a TV series about an entire town trapped under a giant, mysterious crystal-clear dome that appears out of the blue one day. The dome is impenetrable; no one can get in, no one can get out. Who made the dome? Aliens? God? A super-secret branc

    July 19, 2014

  • Widening the loopholes This week, two more U.S. companies moved to reestablish themselves overseas, allowing them to pursue lower corporate tax rates. They will join dozens of others who have chased lower tax bills abroad while maintaining operations in the United States,

    July 19, 2014

  • Patriotism not questioned Editor:I am responding to Mayor Mary Jane Chesley’s Reader’s View article in the Thursday, June 19, 2014, Register-News “Patriotism is strong.”The mayor has missed the point of my Reader’s View/opinion article in the local newspapers regarding Flag D

    July 19, 2014

  • Who's telling a story now? For this administration, failure is always the result of a “communications” problem. Otherwise, failure might be taken as evidence of misguided ideology and incompetent execution, right? It’s a weird excuse for the president who fancies himself to be

    July 18, 2014

  • Why cutting corporate taxes won't help the middle class WASHINGTON — Earlier this week, I testified in front of the Joint Economic Committee on the topic of assessing the recovery after five years.As you can imagine, congressional testimony can be pretty frustrating these days for members of the fact-base

    July 18, 2014

  • Heart of darkness in buffer zone BOSTON — “Be careful. This is a dangerous corner.”It’s not until you visit the Boston Planned Parenthood clinic at the heart of the recent Supreme Court buffer-zone case that you realize the unnecessary danger it created. And I’m not even inside.On t

    July 18, 2014

  • When should U.S. use force? Was the Iraq war the greatest strategic error in recent decades, as some pundits have suggested recently? The simple answer is no. That honor belongs to the failure to take action against al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden before the attacks that killed ne

    July 17, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks