A Democrat state representative has been arrested for bribing a state senator. The arrest came after Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) offered a bribe to a state senator who just happened to be working as a federal informant, CBS Chicago reported.
It’s clear corruption has run rampant in Illinois for years.
Bribery and corruption
Money and politics are a bad mix, and almost everyone knows that. This latest story further emphasizes that point.
Arroyo had offered the senator $2,500 per month. In return, the senator would support Arroyo’s legislation that would benefit one of Arroyo’s lobbying clients, according to the CBS affiliate.
The meeting that occurred was recorded by the FBI. In that meeting, Arroyo said: “I’m going to give you this here. This is, this is, this is the jackpot.”
Well, it was a jackpot for the investigative team behind the meeting; they had made a serious bust. While the state senator was not officially identified, sources identified him as Sen. Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills).
Link himself is facing charges of filing false income tax returns. He was cooperating with the FBI in hopes of a lighter sentence.
A problem in Illinois
Illinois has come up too many times in the conversation on corruption issues. Back in 2009, the former state governor was indicted for corruption, leading to a wave of reforms.
Now, over 10 years later, the reforms may be catching people, but there is a lot of corruption. Illinois was ranked as the third most corrupt state in the nation by a study done by their own University of Illinois.
From 2000 to 2017, public corruption convictions cost the state’s taxpayers $550 million. It is a serious situation that needs to be dealt with.
While it is good to see representatives like Luis Arroyo getting picked up for blatant corruption, there is a lot of work yet to be done.
It also needs to be considered where else this could be happening. Lobbying destroys public trust in our political system. Politicians are serving those with the means to make them rich, not their actual constituents.