There's hope yet for Illinois
Not surprisingly, outsiders often have a hard time grasping the nuances of Boston politics, such as why Whitey Bulger was a bigger-than-life character here beyond his gangsterism. In Illinois, they have their own cast of local behind-the-scenes characters, one of whom was finally convicted
yesterday of political corruption. This is a big
deal in Illinois. I covered Bill Cellini for years as a reporter in Illinois. It's almost impossible to overstate how powerful he was as an insider's insider within the state's bi-partisan "Republicrat" system. For a decade now, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (no relation) has been trying to systematically clean up Illinois' politics, first taking down Gov. George Ryan, a Republican, and later Gov. Rod "Blago" Blagojevich, a Democrat. He next went after Cellini, a quiet and long-time lynchpin of the system. No one thought they'd ever see the day -- Bill Cellini, found guilty as charged, in a public court. But there it is. The day arrived. ... Mark Brown
of the Sun-Times and John Kass
of the Tribune have good pieces trying to convey the importance of yesterday's verdict.Update
-- Well, maybe there isn't hope yet for Illinois. Its budget is a complete disaster.
It's so bad, it's funny. It really is. They absolutely refuse to face reality. It's quite remarkable when you think about it.