Tag Archives: corruption

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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Derrick Smith Remains Optimistic on Re-election

The reelection campaign for State Rep. Derrick Smith will be a test of the iron-clad code of party loyalty for which Illinois politics is famous (or infamous). Facing trial for bribery charges and expelled from the House in August by his colleagues, Smith remains optimistic voters in his 10th District will return him to office.

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


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

Illinois’ State’s Financial Dysfunction

Illinois is getting lots of national publicity today, though not the kind the state wants. A report issued Wednesday by a committee headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and former New York Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch is unsparing in describing the state’s financial dysfunction. “The culture of budget gimmickry and short-sightedness pushes costs off to the future, but eventually that will be impossible — retirees may lose their pensions as funds dwindle.” The New York Times also took note.

Damning State Budget Crisis Task Force Report Paints a Dismal Illinois Situation

Why does Reboot Illinois exist?

Find the answer in the State Budget Crisis Task Force’s report, which is being released today. The non-partisan task force, headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and former New York Lieuten
ant Governor Richard Ravitch, is the most damning indictment of Illinois finances (and the political culture that brought us to fiscal disaster) we’ve read to date.

Read Crain’s Chicago Business summary here.


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Reforming can be a lonely and punishing pursuit

Being a reformer can be a lonely and punishing pursuit. Russell Sonneveld was an investigator in George Ryan’s Secretary of State’s Office who heard about people paying bribes to get drivers licenses. He investigated aggressively, knowing the trail could lead to his boss. He was demoted, his career wrecked. “Without Sonneveld and his partner, Ed Hammer, George Ryan would probably be a free man today,” writes Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass. Sonneveld died last week, still haunted by 1994 the deaths of six children killed by a truck driver who paid a bribe to get his license.

Did You Know??

68.5% of Illinoisans agree that to reduce the likelihood or the perception of corruption, or trading votes for money, politicians should be prohibited from lobbying their former colleagues for one year after leaving office. (Paul Simon Public Policy Institute survey, September 2012)

Jesse Jackson Jr.

Combine blind party loyalty with a dollop of celebrity lineage and you’ve got a formula for reelection even if you’re under federal investigation and haven’t made a public appearance in months. That’s the civics lesson Illinois is teaching in the campaign of beleaguered U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Is Jesse Jackson Jr. Going to Provide “Blagojevich Trial II: The Sequel”?

We were hoping that Illinois’ pay-to-play political culture finished its time in the national spotlight when Rod Blagojevich headed to his new residence in Colorado. Now it’s looking like we’ll be back in the national news cycle for all the wrong reasons once again, this time courtesy of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who had a cameo role in the Blagojevich trial and now may provide the sequel.

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