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The Mechanics
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Illinois Sat Apr 25 2009

How To Start Cleaning Up Corruption In Illinois

The Economist looks at efforts to curb Illinois corruption through campaign finance reform. The thrust of the piece is basically that it's a good idea, a good start, the right direction to go in, but a hard goal to accomplish. I think that's partially right, fixing corruption in Illinois means ending under-the-table-financial-transactions but it also means stopping other ways to pay people off, like giving them high paying jobs (as we've seen both Blago and most recently our new senator).

And in that, the Shakman Decree is a step in the right direction too. The patronage system IS Chicago politics. It's so deeply rooted in the city's culture that it's implied that any politician that's come through Chicago has some dirt on his hands. Even Obama, one of the cleanest politicians of our time (for whatever that's worth), had Rezko. So campaign finance reform is a start but even overhauling it would be a baby step. Think bigger.

 
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Feature

Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...

Civics

Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
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