January 03, 2016

Books on Crooks: Corrupt Illinois: Patronage, Cronyism, and Criminality Pub Date: February 2015


Corrupt Illinois: Patronage, Cronyism, and Criminality

Author:
Thomas J. Gradel and Dick Simpson
Pub Date:
February 2015
Pages:
288 pages

Kindling a fire to clear the tangled undergrowth of Illinois politics




Public funds spent on jets and horses. Shoeboxes stuffed with embezzled cash. Ghost payrolls and incarcerated ex-governors. Illinois' culture of "Where's mine?" and the public apathy it engenders has made our state and local politics a disgrace.


Corrupt Illinois lays out a blueprint to transform our politics from a pay-to-play–driven marketplace into what it should be: an instrument of public good.


"Corrupt Illinois is the most comprehensive account of corruption in our state ever published. It proposes cures, which will take decades to implement fully, but which deserve our attention now."--Governor Jim Edgar, from the foreword

"Gradel and Simpson have chronicled corruption in Illinois for decades. Here they sum up their findings in distressing, damning detail. The authors propose important steps to tamp down this corruption."--James A. Nowlan, former state representative and co-author of Fixing Illinois: Politics and Policy in the Prairie State

"Corrupt Illinois documents the vast scope and depth of corruption in Illinois politics, which is a monumental achievement in itself. Of equal importance, it explores the underlying roots of that corruption, building an understanding of its dynamics and the policy changes necessary to address it."--Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science, University of Illinois at Springfield

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Thomas J. Gradel spent 35 years as a media consultant and served on the staff of Governor Dan Walker. He is a freelance writer and political researcher. Dick Simpson is a professor, former head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, former Chicago alderman and congressional candidate. His books include Rogues, Rebels, and Rubber Stamps: The Politics of the Chicago City Council from 1863 to the Present and Teaching Civic Engagement.

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