In "The Cassidy Posse", the culprit behind the conspiracy against my detective Mike McGhan was a fictional candidate for Governor of Illinois. A few readers were probably wondering where I came up with that idea. These would be readers from other time zones or alternate realities that were not aware of Illinois political history. Thus far their have been four Illinois governors that have been elected only to later spend time in prison:
1. Otto Kerner (1961-68) was convicted on 17 counts of bribery and conspiracy.
2. Dan Walker (1973-77) was convicted in Federal court for his involvement in the S&L scandal.
3. George Ryan (1999-03) charged for corruption during his tenure as Secretary of State.
4. Rod Blagojevich (2003-2009) for his "Pay to Play" schemes and most notable trying to sell the
open Senate seat of Barack Obama. (remember"this is bleeping golden")
To many Illinoisans (?), this litany of scoundrels is well know so in an effort to expand your knowledge, I will tell you about the ones that got away. Governor Len Small, Republican, (1921-29) was acquitted of corruption charges. Soon after, eight of the jurors got government jobs. He was defended by former Governor Joe Fifer who claimed in court that the governor had the "Devine Rights" of Kings. Then there was Governor Stratton, Republican, (1953-61) that was acquitted of tax evasions charges.
In his article about disgraced governors, AP writer Chris Wills said "Unfortunately, I think most Illinoisans have just thrown up their hands and given up. But that's not the answer." All right, here I am in agreement. Don't give up Illinoisans, I have a plan. There are currently 593,931 people in Illinois that are unemployed. My idea would be to have a lottery among these Illinoisans without jobs to put one of them in the state mansion in Springfield. Since many of these 593,932 unemployed Illinoisans are homeless, I'm sure you can see the merit of my proposal already. With Illinois voters' track record for electing governors, how could any of these people do a poorer job? Of course, there would have to be standards. All applicants would have to have a background check to make sure they were not a criminal before taking office.