Illinois has a long history of politicians going to jail. It appears that corruption is a learned behavior passed down from one politician to the other, or maybe power sometimes corrupts people. However, there is no excuse for the bad decisions that politicians make when it comes to serving the people versus themselves. Dennis Hastert, one of the most powerful politicians in Congress, is currently facing charges for questionable bank withdrawals. The reality is that somebody knew that Dennis Hastert was allegedly paying hush money to a young man that he allegedly had inappropriate sexual contact with during his coaching days in Yorkville, Illinois.
How could Dennis continue to keep his alleged misconduct under the radar without the help of the political machine? This is one of the main reasons why there should be term limits on elected officials, or maybe the good-old-boy system dictates that the catching comes before the hanging? In other words, "do not worry about this my brother, we can take care of this when it becomes a bigger problem." Wrong is wrong and if we are depending on corrupt politicians to make solid decisions for the people, then we are in trouble as a nation. Illinois has been hit with some major political bombs from Former Governor Dan Walker to Former Governor Rod Blagojevich.
This is bad business for the State of Illinois considering all of the major problems with the pension crisis and budget shortfalls. It's time for sweeping changes in the way we do business on high levels of government. Maybe we should implement a system to help monitor elected officials a little closer like videotaping all meetings with lobbyists and companies trying to do business with the state. This way there will be no room for corruption or backdoor bargaining. We should also think about more training designed to help politicians avoid bad situations that could lead to making poor decisions. No matter what happens to corrupt politicians, working class and poor people continue to suffer. Do not misunderstand the message in this story because there are some good politicians out there, but many have fallen in Illinois in the area of breaking the law. Aaron Schock, another promising Congressman from Peoria, Illinois recently resigned due to some revelations regarding his spending practices.
There is no overnight solution to an age old problem known as corruption, but you can bet that more politicians will fall victim to making poor decisions due to ego or being power hungry. How much money do people need to make it in life? Congressmen and United States Senators make over $170,000 a year with many perks and benefits.
There is no excuse for taking advantage of the taxpayers when the majority of high-level politicians are living high on the hog. That's probably why so many politicians are trying to hold their position for eternity.