Dave Olien, a former top staffer of George Ryan when he was House Republican Leader, has written a column for the Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin, which compares Wisconsin and Illinois convictions of political folks.
It marks a major change of the "rules" of politics in Illinois and many other states, including Wisconsin, where insiders have routinely used access to governors to build strong lobbying practices as well as state resources to win elections.Or, as the headline of the column says,
The Rules of the Game Have ChangedI’m not as sure as Dave. I’m still waiting for the Mike Tristano shoes to drop.
But Olien predicts
It marks a major change of the "rules" of politics in Illinois and many other states, including Wisconsin, where insiders have routinely used access to governors to build strong lobbying practices as well as state resources to win elections.He continues
Insiders in Illinois and Wisconsin both argued that it was standard practice to use state resources for political purposes. But in both the Federal Courthouse in Chicago and the Dane County Courthouse criminal prosecutions have demonstrated that standard practice was in effect a criminal undertaking as defined by both Wisconsin law and federal law.Olien escaped Springfield to the higher paying world of the University of Illinois and, there, underwent an extreme makeover. He also escaped from Springfield’s politically corrupt atmosphere, ending up as a Vice President of the University of Wisconsin System.
Clearly, state employees in the executive and legislative branches in Wisconsin now are vulnerable to federal prosecution as well as prosecution by local authorities if they engage or have engaged in facilitating fundraising or other political activity on state time.
For the rest of the story, including a story about why this McHenry County Republican gave money to Chicago Democrats against the wishes of GOP Speaker W. Robert Blair--using a floor amendment, no less--go to April 26 on McHenry County Blog.