Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Patronage, Cronyism, and Criminality is stuffed into Corrupt Illinois #WheresMine

Public funds spent on jets and horses. Shoeboxes stuffed with embezzled cash. Ghost payrolls and incarcerated ex-governors. Illinois' culture of "Where's mine?" and the public apathy it engenders has made our state and local politics a disgrace.

In Corrupt Illinois: Patronage, Cronyism, and Criminality, veteran political observers Thomas J. Gradel and Dick Simpson take aim at business-as-usual. Naming names, the authors lead readers through a gallery of rogues and rotten apples to illustrate how generations of chicanery have undermined faith in, and hope for, honest government. From there, they lay out how to implement institutional reforms that provide accountability and eradicate the favoritism, sweetheart deals, and conflicts of interest corroding our civic life.

Corrupt Illinois lays out a blueprint to transform our politics from a pay-to-play–driven marketplace into what it should be: an instrument of public good.

"Corrupt Illinois is the most comprehensive account of corruption in our state ever published. It proposes cures, which will take decades to implement fully, but which deserve our attention now."--Governor Jim Edgar, from the foreword

"Gradel and Simpson have chronicled corruption in Illinois for decades. Here they sum up their findings in distressing, damning detail. The authors propose important steps to tamp down this corruption."--James A. Nowlan, former state representative and co-author of Fixing Illinois: Politics and Policy in the Prairie State

"Corrupt Illinois documents the vast scope and depth of corruption in Illinois politics, which is a monumental achievement in itself. Of equal importance, it explores the underlying roots of that corruption, building an understanding of its dynamics and the policy changes necessary to address it."--Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science, University of Illinois at Springfield

Thomas J. Gradel spent 35 years as a media consultant and served on the staff of Governor Dan Walker. He is a freelance writer and political researcher. Dick Simpson is a professor, former head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, former Chicago alderman and congressional candidate. His books include Rogues, Rebels, And Rubber Stamps: The Politics Of The Chicago City Council, 1863 To The Present (Urban Policy Challenges), and The Struggle for Power and Influence in Cities and States.

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