Crooked politicians seem to be Illinois’ way, but that can change

Corruption seems to have been part of Illinois even before 1818, the year our state was admitted to the Union. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We need institutional changes instead of just convictions.

SHARE Crooked politicians seem to be Illinois’ way, but that can change
Former Ald. Ricardo Muñoz walks out of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse after being sentences to 13 months in prison, Thursday, March 17, 2022.

Former Ald. Ricardo Muñoz walks out of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse after being sentences to 13 months in prison, Thursday, March 17, 2022.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

I’m not sure if I have a greater likelihood of ending up in prison if I had a hobby in theft or larceny, or if I was an incumbent Illinois politician. It’s becoming harder to tell the difference.

As former Ald. Ricardo Muñoz (22nd) was sentenced to 13 months in prison, I was reminded of the public corruption that our state continues to tolerate. Corruption seems to have been part of Illinois even before 1818, the year our state was admitted to the Union.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We need institutional changes instead of just convictions. I don’t know what those changes are, but it’s a conversation we need to have to ensure our continued capacity for honest self-government.

Alexander Dean, Lincoln Park

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Catanzara, inexperienced bully

Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara is basically the new kid on the block and thinks he carries the big stick and can bully and threaten people into his way of thinking, including supporting his candidate for Illinois Senate.

It sort of reminds you of another person who bullies and threatens people, Catanzara idol Donald Trump. How many police officers voted in the last elections? I believe Ald. Nick Sposato, Ald. Anthony Napolitano, and Ald. Jim Gardiner could probably school the FOP president in who to support.

I don’t believe Catanzara has enough political victories under his belt to threaten anyone. I would tell him, when you do have them, come back and talk to me, but you have a long way to go before I listen to you. Go and get some training on how to be an effective union president and someone whom people respect, and you have a long way to go in that area.

Gerald Burnson, Tinley Park

KBJ for Supreme Court

I was excited to read your coverage and editorial on the historic nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. Jackson is exactly who we need. She is a brilliant lawyer and jurist with nearly a decade of experience on the federal bench. Her lived experience as a Black woman in America and her professional experience as an assistant federal public defender give her a perspective that is missing from, and needed on, the highest court in our land.

Confirming Jackson will bring us closer to the promise of equal justice for all. She deserves the support of the full Senate, and I urge our senators, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, to vote for her confirmation. It will be a great day for our country when a Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson ascends to the Supreme Court bench.

Shaun Wiley, Chicago

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