Category Archives: Corruption

Journalist Natasha Korcecki: “Blago was radioactive” but politicians dealt with him anyway

Jesse Jackson Jr. was part of “a whole cadre of politicians who knew Blagojevich was radioactive, but dealt with him anyway,” writes Natasha Korecki.  Korecki covered both Blago trials for the Sun-Times and had a ringside seat as prosecutors untangled the web of corruption that defined the Blagojevich administration. Her book, “Only in Chicago: How the Rod Blagojevich Scandal Engulfed Illinois; Embroiled Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel and Jesse Jackson Jr. and Enthralled the Nation,” details a dark chapter in Illinois’ political history.

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Indicted State Rep Derrick Smith will Serve Through a Full Legislative Session While Awaiting Trial

Indicted, expelled and now reelected former State Rep. Derrick Smith will serve through a full legislative session as he awaits trial on federal bribery charges. His trial for allegedly accepting a $7,000 cash bribe has been set for October 2013. His House colleagues could kick him out again, but they can’t do it a second time on the bribery charges.

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Grayslake Pension Loophole Means Taxpayers Owe $500k more over 20 years

While lawmakers devise reforms for the state’s pension system, they should address loopholes that turn the system into a goldmine for a few select employees. Grayslake taxpayers will pay an extra $500,000 over the next 20 years thanks to a state pension law loophole that will benefit just a single former police sergeant, who is entitled to not just one annual 3 percent cost-of-living pension increase, but two, a judge ruled.

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Disability Pays… Unless the Sun Times Catches You

Convicted of a felony, a Chicago firefighter filed an injury claim that blocked his firing and now pays him  $38,619 a year in tax-free disability pay. The title of the Chicago Sun-Times series in which this was revealed says it all: “Disability Pays.” For some public employees, disability claims have become sources of easy, long-term pay as they move on to new careers. And taxpayers foot the bill.

 
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Jesse White Hopes Derrick Smith Can Get Booted Out Twice

Secretary of State Jesse White was the political sponsor of indicted and now reelected former State Rep. Derrick Smith. Now he hopes the House — which kicked Smith out in August because of his pending bribery trial — can figure out a way to expel Smith a second time.

 

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New York Magazine does a deep dive on Jesse Jackson Jr.

New York Magazine goes deep on Jesse Jackson Jr.’s decline and gives a detailed look into Illinois’ pay-to-play political culture. Despite the piece’s tale of political intrigue and the health problems that have kept Jackson away from his public duties since June, a landslide victory tomorrow is almost assured for the Democrat with the famous name.

 

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Derrick Smith’s Turkey of a Reelection

It’s not about graft, it’s about turkeys. If State Rep. Derrick Smith is reelected on Tuesday, remember these words from today’s story on Huffington Post:

“I just vote Democrat all the way across. Whoever’s there, I give them a chance,’ said Percy Winfields, 74, a resident of an apartment complex that caters to seniors. Besides, Winfields said, Smith showed up before Christmas last year and delivered on a promise to provide turkeys to the tenants for the holiday.”

Quote of the Day: Corruption

Quote of the Day – “Corruption is not funny and it is not free. It costs the taxpayers of Illinois more than $500 million per year.”

Via “Chicago and Illinois, Leading the Pack in Corruption,” University of Illinois’ Institute for Government and Public Affairs, April 2012

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Wall Street Journal Dissects Illinois’ “Double Helix” Situation

The Wall Street Journal editorial page sure knows how to turn a phrase. On the cause of Illinois’ wretched financial situation, the WSJ blames “the double helix of government unions and Democratic politicians.” It may not be quite that simple, but who can’t appreciate a phrase that catchy?

 

What’s In The Water: Why Is Illinois So Corrupt

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