Thursday, July 30, 2009

Who didn't see this coming? -OR- You had to be willing to ignore the obvious.

Local CBS affiliate reports

Illinois Stimulus Web Site Worst In Country

We're #1! The best at being WORST!
Recovery Illinois

While New Jersey has temporarily stolen the crown for criminal indictments of the politically connected, it IS only temporary. A blip on the radar.

The sheer volume of currently subpoenaed documents and official investigations are certain to result in several New Jersey sized roll-ups.

From Senator Roland Burris to the official Doggoner position in the lowliest Illinois backwater, the monkeys have seen and the monkeys do do. The State's Campaign finance disclosure website is equally as bad as its Recovery site.
Sure, you can glean information. Sure you can see that the major contributors are those who derive the most benefit from their vendor status and affiliations with state and local campaigns.

So what? It's all legal as long as the disclosures are filed and the limits are mostly adhered to. Overall, an appearance of PROPRIETY is about the only way something seems queer. $50K to $500K warchests for low to no pay elected positions are NORMAL. Once safely elected, the voters can be largely and safely ignored.

It's all according to Hoyle. Well, it's mostly according to Hoyle. OK, it's a rats nest of thieves, villans and scoundrels paying to play. But it's all legal, well, mostly legal errr, it's all within the vaguely defined parameters that prevent things from being ILLEGAL.

Unlike Ponzi schemes, campaign funds never run out of fresh rubes. Recent antics have caused me to pull out the glossy mailers from the last local elections to compare the hype to the reality. That independent thinker who promised to be fair and open? Turns out he's a Lock-step Toady. Now he enjoys the benefits of incumbency with a network of municipal vendors to fund his re-election campaign. No outreach necessary.

They don't bother to hide their activities because it's all been made legal by the legislators who derive the maximum benefits from the system. Our mayor openly told a wannabe involved citizen that "You have to give sugar to get sugar." The Blago tapes revealed the open expectations of quid pro quo, but as long as it is disclosed, there's nothing illegal about it. Slimy? Sure. Malignant? Absolutely. Unethical? Evidently not, so long as it is disclosed?

The problem isn't that a few bad apples get caught because they're too stupid to follow the program, it's that the program is constructed to ensure pay to play.
The problem is that there are millions of SIGs, PACs, Consultancies and Lobbyists lined up with sugar to get their sugar.

According to The Campaign Disclosure Project Illinois gets an overall grade of B for disclosure. I guess that means we can SEE how scummy and LEGAL all the pay to play is?

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