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Louisiana tops Illinois in Political Corruption

The Chicago Tribune, so graciously, pointed out the corruption in politics the great state of Louisiana is facing in the wake of Blagojevich by pointing out, while Illinois may have corrupt governors, they are nothing compared to us.

The beleaguered residents of Illinois may be squirming over their newfound visibility in the pantheon of corrupt states, thanks to the extravagant malefaction allegedly committed by the recently ousted governor, Rod Blagojevich.

But for genuine, savory, infused-in-the-gumbo style public venality, Louisiana still has Illinois, and most of America, beat. Ranked according to corruption convictions per capita from 1998-2007, Louisiana is No. 3, well ahead of Illinois at No. 19. (Only Washington, D.C., and North Dakota ranked higher—and in North Dakota’s case, the results were skewed because of its extremely small population.)

While it may be disheartening, the article faces a dateline of “New Orleans” and does, in fact, mention the following:

“We used to say that in Louisiana we like our food spicy and our politicians colorful,” said Rafael Goyeneche, president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, a corruption watchdog group. “But lately we have noticed a shift in the public’s attitude toward corruption. It’s no longer a spectator sport. People don’t want to tolerate it anymore.”

It is nice to see a story featuring the headline “Most corrupt state: Louisiana ranked more corrupt than Illinois” does feature some reality: Louisiana residents are no longer willing to put up with bureaucratic nonsense and are ready to take a stand. While corporations and big business have relied upon apathy, it is good to see a quote in a national paper, albeit one with a slanted headline, point out we’re not putting up with the nonsense any longer. Just as insurance companies have put up with our complacency, we hope people will no longer put up with what they are offered but, instead, stand up for what is right.