Our latest winner in the "You're Bad for Democracy" sweepstakes is former Illinois Gov. George Ryan.
Congratulations, Mr. Ryan. You were just convicted on all counts in a wide-ranging corruption case. Though you were nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for commuting all Illinois death sentences, you also exchanged state privileges and jobs for cash and gifts! A marvelous dichotomy that once again proves fact is crazier than fiction. But who knows, in your mind you probably thought you were entitled to do such things because you were such a great humanitarian. Maybe this is why you said, "I believe this decision today is not in accordance with the kind of public service that I've provided the people of Illinois over 40 years."
Unfortunately, one of your jobs for bribes schemes put an unqualified trucker behind the wheel. He later caused a highway accident that killed six children. This set off an eight-year investigation that eventually led to your door and brought you down. Political scientists are weighing in on the impact of your conviction, how it will affect the upcoming state-wide elections, but none more succinctly than John Jackson of the University of Illinois - Carbondale who said,"We can't have too many more of our governors going off to jail. It's bad for democracy."
We have another winner.
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