Rod Blagojevich

(Scott Stantis)

This week's inauguration of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner marks a change in leadership for lawmakers and employees at state agencies. But it's also a big transition for people who will deal with the new governor in a very different capacity over the next four years: political cartoonists.

December 9 is a significant day in Illinois' political history -- for better and for worse.

Blagojevich Associate Avoids Prison

Jul 17, 2012

Ali Ata will not go to prison for his role in the "pay-to-play" scheme of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Ata is the former head of the Illinois Finance Authority.  He was appointed to that post by Blagojevich after making a pair of $25,000 contributions to the Governor.

Ata pled guilty to making false statements to a government agent and to filing a false income tax return in 2002.

He received a lesser sentence of four-years probation based on his testimony that led to the conviction of another Blagojevich associate, Tony Rezko.

A University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign math professor will have to pay a $500 fine for refusing to take an on-line ethics test that’s mandatory for all state and university employees. 

In a settlement with the state’s ethics commission, Dr. Lou van den Dries agreed to complete the training in the future. 

Shop Talk - April 17

Apr 17, 2012

The panelists discuss a policy implemented by Chicago State University. The Chicago Tribune reported CSU told faculty and staff that everything from opinion pieces to social media communications could require prior approval, and that only authorized university personnel could share information with the media.

(Editor's note: CSU rescinded the policy in the time since this program was recorded).

Illinois is known as the Land of Lincoln but it could just as easily be called the Land of Graft.

Illinois is the second most corrupt  state -- and Chicago is the city with the most public corruption -- according to a report released by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and  the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

The report said there have been more than 1,500 corruption convictions in the  federal district dominated by Chicago since 2010.