Political Corruption

Federal, State & Local Political Corruption Podcasts & Background

~CNN Library, Updated 2:48 PM ET, Tue February 19, 2019

Operation Safe Roads

For in-depth coverage of investigations that led to a federal case against convicted Illinois Governor George Ryan, click here to read "One Hundred Percent Guilty," which was edited by Dave McKinney, who produced "Public Official A" regarding the investigation of convicted Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich.

"It was politics as usual, Illinois style. Ryan was eventually elected Governor. Then federal authorities began looking into Hammer's and Sonneveld's allegations uncovering a dishonest governor and his crooked political organization."

~Amazon, One Hundred Percent Guilty

Operation Silver Shovel

"Winter is turning into spring, and in Chicago, that means construction season...What follows is a tour de force through Chicago's underbelly: Aldermen get indicted. An FBI investigation goes awry. A community's resilience is tested - all unfolding under the spectre of racism in America."

~USA Today, The City Podcast Season One

Federal Investigation & Resignation of Spiro Agnew

"Is it possible for an American Vice President to carry out a criminal enterprise inside the White House and have nobody remember? To have one of the most brazen political bribery scandals in American history play out before the country while nobody’s paying attention?"

~MSNBC, Bag Man Podcast

History "Lessons" Repeating Themselves?

Although two of the largest Illinois newspapers, Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, reported that a particular senior Senate Democrat was the cooperating witness who helped record evidence against a House Democrat, the Senator denied being "CW-1" in the days after release of the criminal complaint...

While the federal investigation will continue, the legislative procedure to expel the state representative ended before it began upon the legislator's resignation, but that did not stop him from potentially controlling his successor...

And in the midst of several federal investigations, another legislator's resignation created a vacancy subject to a special election...

Ethics Reforms?

Between 2017 and 2019, there were increased legislative considerations regarding the investigative authority of an independent review office over the legislature; however, those considerations tended to focus on sexual harassment allegations within the legislature (click here). In response to October 2019 revelations regarding a state representative's alleged bribery attempts, the focus of potential reforms by Democratic leadership appeared to be on lobbying regulations, but some related legislative proposals regarding a Legislative Inspector General did get filed by Republicans (click here and here).

By Heather Cherone for Daily Line, November 7, 2019

One tweaks lobbyist disclosures and another creates an ethics task force. Republicans complained their bills weren't heard and that Democrats had too much power on the task force.

By A.D. Quig for Crain's Chicago BusinessNovember 14, 2019

Although several aspects of Chicago's lobby registration laws were not adopted by the state at the end of 2019, including the requirement to disclose the amount of compensation of lobbying services, ethics regulations in Chicago are still relevant to track for possible future state activity...