The name. The hair. The gall. Illinois Governor Rod Blogojevich is getting lots of attention.
However, the governor’s favor-trading is unique only in blatancy. The longer politicians hold power, the more readily they regard pay-to-play corruption as acceptable, profitable. Which is one reason I advocate initiative rights, term limits, mandatory caps on taxes and spending, and other reforms that pay-to-play politicos despise.
The desire to thwart such reform begets even more corruption.
Pundits say that if Illinois’s state government isn’t the most corrupt in the union, it’s in the running. But I nominate Oklahoma for the title. In Oklahoma, the bad-old-boy political establishment is so eager to thwart reform that politicians are willing to jail you for the “crime” of abetting democracy.
Two citizen activists and I found this out the hard way, when Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson indicted us in October 2007 for allegedly “defrauding” the state by running a petition drive to curb state spending.
The charges are phony, and Oklahoma’s residency law for signature gatherers — which we did not violate — has just been ruled unconstitutional.
Winning attorney Todd Graves said the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling “upholds an important free speech principle and joins other federal courts in upholding citizens’ First Amendment right to petition their government without threat of political prosecution.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.