Trouble in Lincoln’s land

According to its license plates, Illinois is the “Land of Lincoln.”

Many of its politicians feel so strongly about this slogan that they work diligently to put themselves in a place to help make those license plates.

The latest to join this proud list was former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. In 2011, a federal jury found him guilty of 17 criminal counts. He could face up to 300 years in prison.

Luckily, in Illinois a 300-year prison term doesn’t necessarily mean your political career is over.

Among the charges Blagojevich was convicted of was an attempt to auction off Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat. A secret tape of the former governor quoted him as saying about his opportunity to name Obama’s successor, “It’s f***ing golden” and “I’m not just gonna give it up for f***ing nothing.”

He always had such a way with words.

In the spirit of true bipartisanship, Blagojevich may have an opportunity to share a jail cell with his predecessor, Republican George Ryan, who is serving a sentence for fraud and racketeering.

In addition to Ryan, Blagojevich joins Otto Kerner and Dan Walker as modern-day corrupt governors of the “Land of Lincoln.”

Kerner was convicted only because one of the people he took bribes from tried to deduct the cost of the bribes in an income tax return. Walker had the good grace to use his ill-gotten gains to purchase a yacht he dubbed “The Governor’s Lady.” (Source: Politico)

None of this, of course, even touches on the legendarily corrupt Chicago political machine.

Somehow, somewhere “Honest Abe” gave way to “Greedy George” and “Robbin’ Rod.” One would be tempted to feel sorry for the citizens of Illinois, except . . . they keep electing these guys.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.