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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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IL is corrupt because....

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/o...,6116826.story

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In an exhaustive report from the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School, two faculty members finally expose the cause of state-level corruption.

It's not Super PACs or power or greed that corrupts. Not comfy relationships between lobbyists and lawmakers. Not overlap between private business and public service. No, sir.

It's geographic placement of capital cities. That's right. Illinois breeds more corruption because Springfield is isolated. Politicians get less scrutiny, citizens pay less attention and the news media aren't as aggressive as they tend to be in larger metropolitan areas. Elected officials are free to roam the prairie like cowboys, the authors concluded.

How isolated is Springfield? Well, there's the obvious physical location. It's a long drive from Chicago, marked by cornfields and a flat horizon. Unless you're an elected official with state plane privileges, the most likely path to the state capital begins and ends along a lonely stretch of Interstate Highway 55. (Best fast food? Dwight. Best rest stop? Funk's Grove. Speed traps? Pontiac and Bloomington. You're welcome.)

Figuratively, Springfield can be isolating as well. Sparse accommodations limit visitors to just a few hotels downtown. It's not unusual during session days to find lawmakers, lobbyists and tourists huddled around the waffle-maker at the breakfast buffet. There's no escape.

Restaurants tend to draw the same cliques during the week. If you want to find House Republican Leader Tom Cross, try Sebastian's. If you want to find House Speaker Michael Madigan, try Saputo's or the Sangamo Club.

During the day, those who work for state government find themselves sequestered inside the Capitol. There isn't even a Starbucks on site only a fluorescent-bulbed cafeteria that regularly serves meat loaf and canned green beans.

So, yes, you could argue Springfield is isolated.

In fact, Springfield ranks as one of the two most remote locales in the report, "Isolated Capital Cities, Accountability and Corruption: Evidence From U.S. States." The other is Pierre, S.D. Pierre, of all places. Pierre isn't even serviced by an interstate highway. Capital visitors must travel 34 miles to find one. Now that's isolation.

In the 19th century when capital cities were chosen, many states picked central locations that were removed from the main economic centers. The idea was to insulate state governments from urban areas dominated by money and the power. In doing so, however, some states created capitals where corruption could fester undetected.

The researchers pinpoint Springfield and Pierre, along with Jackson, Miss., Baton Rouge, La., and Nashville, Tenn., as the most corrupt state governments when federal corruption convictions are compared to capital city populations. Illinois lands on the list because the number of public officials convicted is relatively high, compared with the number of people who live in and around Springfield. Fewer people are paying attention to state government, the researchers argue.

Their report claims newspapers cover statehouses in isolated cities with less ferocity. Public officials operate with less scrutiny. As a result, special interest groups carry greater influence. In fact, campaign contributions given to state-level politicians here, when compared with Springfield's population, are higher than any other capital city nationwide, the report found.

Authors Filipe R. Campante and Quoc-Anh Do use a sophisticated statistical model to measure isolation, corruption and media scrutiny.

But the basic conclusion they draw is this: If Illinoisans want to eliminate political corruption, the best remedy is to move the state capital to the state's most densely populated, least isolated city.

One problem: That's ... Chicago.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 11:56 AM
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They should move it to Rockford. Would revitalize that town, already has an international airport, and lots of people.

Otherwise put it in Aurora or something.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 12:51 PM
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get rid of the liberals, then there will be no corruption
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 12:58 PM
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Bah, symbiotic relationships between campaign donors and politicians, that's what really breeds corruption. Remove the mutual benefit and you rid yourself of much of the associated goings on.

Tom

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Originally Posted by Tacitus
In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by taledarkside View Post
get rid of the liberals, then there will be no corruption
This.

You better be nice to America or we will bring democracy to your country.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 07:08 PM
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Some of that may be true but, Chicago is corrupt as fuck, and its not isloated from anything. ALL politicians are corrupt. The ones that haven't been caught, just haven't been caught, YET.

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