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Hey, what’s wrong with a little political corruption if ‘nothing done was illegal’?

Chicago is crooked. Illinois is crooked. Washington D.C. is full of crooks. As our founding fathers knew, everyone is always trying to help themselves, their family and friends.

Former Ald. Danny Solis on soliciting campaign money from developers seeking his help at City Hall: “They should be smart enough to figure out how they can give me a contribution, you know, not necessarily connecting with them, so I’m just going to tell them.” Brian Jackson / Sun-Times

“It’s public record. There was no quid pro quo.”

That’s not President Donald Trump speaking about his conversation with the Ukrainian president.

Those are the words of Thomas Meador, a real estate developer and business partner of White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, discussing campaign contributions to Chicago aldermen with the Chicago Sun-Times.

An FBI wiretap caught former Ald. Danny Solis planning to seek campaign contributions from Reinsdorf and his buddies, who wanted to build an apartment complex in his ward.

“They should be smart enough to figure out how they can give me a contribution, you know, not necessarily connecting them, so I’m just going to tell them,” Solis said.

The Sun-Times reported that Meador didn’t recall getting a call from Solis soliciting a campaign contribution, but other members of the development group did contribute to the alderman’s campaign fund.

That’s when he explained it was no big deal. “All the developers give to all the aldermen.”

There is no quid pro quo. I’m sure the businessmen were only interested in promoting good government. Wait a minute. Solis, facing criminal prosecution, wore a wire for the FBI to record Ald. Edward Burke and other crooked politicians as part of a two-year federal government probe of public corruption in Chicago and Illinois.

So maybe the good government businessmen were paying for wasn’t so good. And maybe they got what they wanted.

Chicago is crooked. Illinois is crooked. Washington D.C. is full of crooks.

Just listen to the Democratic Party candidates running for president in 2020.

They constantly talk about the influence of Wall Street lobbyists who buy politicians. Big pharma and the health insurance industry spend millions of dollars to prevent health care reform. Gun lobbyists spend big to stop gun control legislation.

Of course, there’s nothing illegal about any of it.

Those are Trump’s favorite words. Remember he too believed there was corruption in government. He was going to drain the swamp. As a businessman, he knew how things worked.

Now, no matter what the allegation thrown at him or his family, no matter how dirty the deal sounds or how many porn stars he pays off, Trump says there is nothing illegal about any of it.

His Republican supporters in Congress are quick to step up in his defense. Nothing illegal. No laws were broken. He knew nothing as people around him were being sent to prison.

Joe Biden says the same sort of thing about his son’s involvement in a Ukrainian gas company while Biden, vice president in the Obama administration, was threatening to withhold U.S. funds if the Ukrainian government to clean up corruption

Nothing illegal, Biden says. Nothing wrong. People looked into it. But it stinks.

Republicans are happy to tell you about the stench. These are the same Republicans, the same supporters of Trump, who don’t care how much money the president’s family is making off their connections to the White House.

When Russian billionaires were trying to make deals with Trump and his family before, during and after the election, there was nothing illegal about any of that. Nothing illegal about seeking foreign interference in American elections.

The Republicans trust Trump. The Democrats trust Biden. I trust no one involved in politics.

As our founding fathers knew, everyone is always trying to help themselves, their family members and their friends. All the real estate developers in Chicago contribute to politicians.

Governors George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich said the culture of corruption in Springfield was so pervasive they saw nothing wrong with what they had done. Both of them went to prison still claiming they did nothing different than their predecessors.

This is why people defend Trump, his lies and misdeeds, contending it’s all just business as usual. It has been said that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

But that’s not quite true. Evil prospers because “good men” always find a way to contribute to it and profit from it.

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