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  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
Blago lesson for Winona (12/14/2008)
By John Edstrom

The latest juicy scandal emanating from the rancid venue of Chicago and Illinois politics should be the inspiration for a whole new generation of small government conservatives. I can see quotes which the FBI gathered from the baby-faced lowlife, Governor Rod Blagojevich, and his guttersnipe wife carved in granite as memorial irony to the idea that a political machine is a good way to run a big city or state:

“I’ve got this thing and it’s f***ing golden...I’m not giving it up for f***ing nothing.” (Blago referring to the Senate nomination in his control.)

...this “motherf***er...f*** him. For nothing? F*** him.” (Blago denouncing the president-elect for his stingy attitude vis-à-vis the Senate seat for sale.)

“…hold up that f***ing Cubs s***. F*** them.” (Mrs. Blago, discussing retaliation against the Chicago Tribune for critical editorials. How’s that for a two-for-one, Illinois voters?)

Believe it or not, there is a lesson here for little Winona, a veritable rose garden of political virtues compared to our neighbors to the southeast. Government inevitably becomes corrupt as its size, expense, and power increase. The founders understood that when they gave us a republican form of government, whose checks and balances were to limit its size and reach. Benjamin Franklin answered a Mrs. Powell’s question as to whether the new government was a monarchy or republic by saying it was “a republic, if you can keep it.”

We’ve done a lot better job of keeping it here in Winona and Minnesota than they have down in Chicago and Illinois, perhaps only because there are fewer of us. It requires a lot of attention.

Currently there is a move within Winona County government to convert the offices of auditor, treasurer, and recorder from elective to appointed ones. Little rationale for the change has been presented by those pushing for it, except that there is a need for professionals to fill these positions that can be more astutely chosen by government itself than by the voters. Of course, the experts who will then do the choosing were themselves elected from the general population, some with good credentials, some, alas, with none at all.

The only certain consequence of this change will be to concentrate power in the hands of fewer elected representatives, and make the newly appointed positions subordinate to and beholden to them. How can that be good? (For how it can be bad, refer above to Blagojevich quotes.)




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