THE BLOG
12/17/2014 12:43 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Legal Corruption? It's Real, and It's a Problem for Illinois

Illinois is famous for its corrupt politicians, exemplified by its long list of former governors who went on to serve jail sentences. But the state also has plenty of political corruption that's perfectly legal.

Truth in Accounting's Bill Bergman explains some more:

A recent study published by the Edmond Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University ranked the 50 states on both "legal corruption" and "illegal corruption." The authors described the shortfalls in relying exclusively on legal measures like conviction rates, and defined "legal corruption" as "political gains in the form of campaign contributions or endorsements by a government official, in exchange for providing specific benefits to private individuals or groups. ..."

After ranking the 50 states on both measures, the study identified seven states that appeared in the list of both "most legally corrupt" states and "most illegally corrupt" states. The study also identified 7 states ranking among the least corrupt states in both categories.

The "most corrupt" states included Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, Alabama, New Mexico, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.

Read the rest at Reboot Illinois.

Another legal question: What to do about filling the office of Illinois comptroller after the Dec. 10 death of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka. Everyone seems to have an opinion about appointments, special elections and what the late elected official herself would want. Attorney General Lisa Madigan has said she thinks the Illinois Constitution mandates that Gov. Pat Quinn fill the vacancy with an appointment to last just about a month while Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner deals with the candidate's failure to qualify in January with another appointment. But even though Rauner could wield the legal authority to make a four-year appointment, she urges him to call for a special election in 2016 in the interest of democratic ideals. See how other politicians responded at Reboot Illinois.

NEXT ARTICLE: Cartoon: Roland Burris gets a second chance at comptroller's office

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