The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, January 07, 2005

Corruption in Illinois: a small example

The 'big story' is a defamation case brought by an Illinois Supreme Court justice - one Robert Thomas - against some rag or other.

The causa sine qua non was a nifty bit of business (not) by
Kane County state’s attorney, Meg Gorecki. Not long before she ran for the office as a newcomer in 2000, Gorecki left a message on a friend’s answering machine implying—falsely, she later said—that the friend could win a county job if she made a contribution to the campaign fund of the Kane County Board chairman.

Standards in Honest Abe's home state being what they are, though
News of the tape came out a few weeks before the primary election, and despite the ethical questions raised, Gorecki won the primary and then the general election.

When you start complaining about every crooked state attorney, where do you stop?

Bizarrely, Al Capone-like, Gorecki suffered a collateral challenge: her bar registration got suspended (which was where Thomas got involved).

But she served out her term nevertheless.

(Gorecki is (was?) a Republican; but Illinois corruption (the odd Lincoln aside) was and is pretty much bipartisan.

Before Kelly-Nash took over Cook County, we had the GOP's finest, friend of the mob Chicago Mayor William Hale Thompson.

More recently, former GOP Governor George Ryan has been indicted for corruption - links here to the recently released 114 page Santiago proffer (don't ask!) detailing the evidence the DOJ has against Ryan.

The case is being led by the Inspector Javert de nos jours Patrick Fitzgerald, who is currently doing his damnedest to incarcerate a goodly proportion of the Washington press corps.)


In Illinois Issues (November 2003), one reads a piece under the plaintive hed-and-dek Ethical dilemma: Illinoisans care about public corruption. Can state politicians set aside egos and follow the public's cue?

What they call in Latin grammar books a question expecting the answer No

I'm not inclined to get into the Ryan case - but I sense that Illinois Issues might be a good place for background and perspective on it. (This, for instance.) A Slate piece on Ryan from January 2003.

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