Over the past 40 years, about 1,500 people—including 30 Chicago aldermen—have been convicted for bribery, extortion, embezzlement, tax fraud, and other forms of corruption, according to Dick Simpson, head of the political science department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Three former Illinois governors have gone to prison, and a fourth soon could be locked up if a jury convicts Blagojevich in his upcoming retrial on corruption and conspiracy charges.
Why is Illinois so corrupt
Shane Tritsch isn't the first to ask the question. (Politico, for one, did awhile back) But his thorough investigative piece in Chicago magazine relays a reasonable array of factors that inform the answer. Apparently the graft really started to get thick with Bathhouse John Coughlin and Hinky Dink Kenna in 1869. All downhill from there: