Thanks to ordinary people another corrupt politician is heading to prison. Former Illinois Governor George Ryan (R) was found found guilty on all counts and faces up to 95 years in prison. I liked this article in the Chicago Tribune:
“Ordinary people like us were able to make a decision,” said juror Jill DiMartino of the jury led by forewoman Sonja Chambers.
Those are two extremely frightening words. Boss politicians in Illinois pretend to have something in common with ordinary people, but if they did have a connection once, they lost it long ago, with their drivers and their first-class air tickets, and from having their behinds smooched by people who suck up to power.
Ordinary people need to stand up and shine the light on what those in power think they can get away with.
Ordinary people who become jurors don’t usually make fortunes in public relations. So they don’t spin out the too-often-repeated lie that politics as usual is no crime, just politics. Ordinary people don’t bestow millions upon millions of tax dollars on their friends in government deals, or send $100 million in affirmative-action contracts to white Outfit-connected stooges, or smirk and play dumb as their family becomes wealthy beyond imagining.
They don’t hire unqualified 19-year-old city building inspectors, or build a patronage army in violation of federal court orders to crush any dissenting voice, or purchase millions of dollars worth of office furniture from an 11th Ward family with clout.
Ordinary people don’t take free vacations to Jamaica as George Ryan did, or pretend to live on $77 in cash while gambling and drinking and steakhousing their way across the country. They don’t squeeze the janitors and the cleaning ladies for Christmas money.