First, a few news links to get you started:
Governor testy with media 'sharks' questioning him about state hiring practices
Governor mum on response to last month's storms
Questionable hiring continued after workers fired
How special job applications were handled
For those unfamiliar with Illinois politics, the current governor is Rod Blagojevich, and he's had some trouble lately. His poor financial policies, the results of trying to be Political Santa, have left the state as the most in debt, period. Number one out of fifty. The way things look, some of that spending may have been meant to distract voters.
It seems that some elements and members of his administration are under investigation for corruption, including influence-peddling, kickbacks, and "questionable" hiring practices. The feds have already obtained some guilty pleas, it seems.
According to a recent column by Rich Miller, author of the CapitolFax blog (the column is unavailable online; I'll link it if I can ever find it), Stu Levine is among those pleading guilty. He was a Republican insider G-Rod reappointed during his term, and now it seems that Levine might end up connecting the dots back to the governor.
Miller wrote in his column that this is "big trouble" for the administration, but I'm skeptical. I'm willing to bet that specific charges would have to be leveled at Blagojevich before he was in trouble. Even if he is under investigation, most Illinois voters will either 1) not know, or 2) not care. As long as he's the one on the ballot with the "D" next to his name, he'll get their vote. Or, they'll be paid to give him their vote. In this state, same difference.
Here's the test, and it works if you live in Chicago or anywhere else: Ask a Liberal/Democrat you know who they would vote for if the choice was a corrupt Democrat or a Republican. I know what the choice is here, and it's why Illinois politics are as screwed up as they are.
Welcome, Capitol Fax readers. I'm happy you found your way over here. I write about much more than IL politics (a subject I'm no expert on), so feel free to explore the rest of the site.
Rich Miller's column is now available online. I highly recommend giving it a read.