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The Mechanics of Corruption

Alameda residents would do well to read the FBI’s complaint against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Blagojevich and his cronies operated a network that took over various boards and commissions – much the same way a single network of cronies and old-boys and old-girls here in Alameda controls the various boards and commissions – to extort money from corporations and individuals.

The federal complaint is here and it documents, as one example, how Blagojevich’s friends attempted to use their seat on the board of the Illinois Teachers Retirement System to extort campaign donations from an investment firm lobbying to manage a portion of the Retirement investment fund. The complaint gives insight into how politicos corrupt their office and the trust of the people.

Alameda residents must be willfully naive to think that corruption at the state and municipal level in California is limited to the petty bribery committed by former City of Alameda Housing Inspector Hans Williams. Williams was convicted in early 2007.

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