Understanding Illinois: Corruption, an Enduring Habit in Illinois

NowlanBy James D. Nowlan
and J. Thomas Johnson
Outside Columnists

Since our founding as a state, corruption in Illinois has been so commonplace that it is called “The Illinois Way” of doing government business.

Our state’s reputation has been sullied and our economy harmed. It is not a matter to be passed off with a rueful chuckle.

Early Illinois governor Ninian Edwards (1826-30) decried the common practice in his time of treating citizens with whisky to win their votes. Those who do so, Edwards declared, “establish a school of vice and depravity in our country tending to contaminate not only the present but succeeding generations.”

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