Pat Fitzgerald for Illinois governor. Or Chicago mayor.

Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. attorney for Northern Illinois, blazed a trail right into the slammer for an entire catalogue of the state's politically corrupt. Now that he is retiring after an unprecedented (for Illinois) decade of integrity, he said at a press conference on Thursday that he would like to remain in public service of some sort.

Voila!

Run for Illinois governor.

Or if he would want to get closer to the fountainhead of the muck, mayor of Chicago.

Doesn't matter to me which political party he would pick, although he likely would be a Republican. His entry into the gubernatorial or mayoral race would expose for once and for all whether the voters of Illinois or Chicago really want honest government, or that they are willing participants in the sorry system that has worked to their own great disadvantage.

And if voters were wise enough to place Fitzgerald in high office, the entertainment value of watching the rats run for cover alone would be worth the effort. But it also would challenge the accepted wisdom in these precincts that a "little corruption" is necessary to grease the gears of a smoothly running government.

Except that it isn't the "little corruption" that has turned Illinois into the Union's worst state in several regards (read: financial health, population and economic growth, to name a few). It's the big corruption, like the jobs and contracts at O'Hare Airport, that has so critically wounded the state. No, Fitzgerald singlehandedly could not end all the petty payoffs and favors that are taken for granted. But the big, big players would have for the first time in memory and beyond have to step gingerly.

Go for it, Pat!

Here is some speculation about what Fitzgerald might do.

 

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  • For the gubernatorial primary, I think a lot of Fitzgeralds viability would depend on how many crossover ballots (e.g. non-slimy suburban Dems willing to declare Republican) there would be in the R primary. Otherwise I think it would be Dan Rutherford or Adam Kinzinger's race to lose. Re the mayors race, I think all it would result in is Rahm Emanuel becoming the default candidate of the the minority groups and maybe having to dial down his pension rhetoric.

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