The PJ Tatler

Criminal Charges of Bribery, Bank Fraud and Bringing a Gun Onto a Plane: The Illinois Assembly is Back in Session

The Land of Lincoln should just change its name to the Land of Larceny and be done with it. They’re not fooling anyone.

As members of Illinois’ newest General Assembly took the oath of office Wednesday, the state that’s still struggling to rebuild its image after two consecutive governors went to prison set yet another precedent of sorts: three sitting lawmakers facing criminal charges.

The allegations against the three officials vary widely: bribery, bank fraud and trying to bring a gun onto a plane. But experts say that while the charges differ, the accumulation and timing is damaging to Illinois as it struggles to address some of the most serious financial problems in its history.

Two consecutive Illinois governors have gone to prison. The three lawmakers accused of breaking the law are Rep. Derrick Smith, Rep. La Shawn Ford, and Rep. Donne Trotter. They are all Democrats.

But I guaran-darn-tee you that Illinois voters will not only return them to office if they’re given the chance, they will return the Democratic Party there to power despite that party running their state near bankruptcy. There is a culture of corruption, but it isn’t limited to our elected betters. The people have a say in this, and keep choosing poorly.