I feel I’ve been on a political roller-coaster this year in Illinois. I’m sure part of that has to do with my work at the political conventions last summer. Another factor you may have read about in the newspaper. And then there’s this story. The story about the Illinois governor arrested on on federal corruption charges last December. January 8th, the Illinois House of Representatives voted to impeach the Governor 114–1. The Illinois Senate subsequently convicted and removed from the Governor from office on January 29, 2009. The Illinois Senate’s vote was unanimous: 59–0. To add insult to injury, the Illinois Senate also unanimously voted to bar the now-former Governor from holding any public office in the state of Illinois. Ever.
All of this raises the question: How did we get here? Veteran Chicago journalist Elizabeth Brackett attempts to explain in her book Pay to Play.
From the back cover:
In Pay to Play, Elizabeth Brackett uncovers new details as she goes behind the story of the first governor to be impeached by the Illinois legislature. All the time tracing the background of corruption in Illinois politics and its implications for state government executive branches across the country, she tells precisely how Blagojevich’s personal biography and his political upbringing paved the way for his reckless fall; what the dilemma of selecting replacement senators means for other states; what secrets the federal trial of the governor is likely to produce; why Roland Burris was selected for the U.S. Senate seat for Illinois; and how a man named Obama could emerge with integrity from the swill of this same political environment.