In the early 1980s, there was a judicial scandal known as Operation Greylord, in which judges accepted bribes to fix cases ranging from traffic tickets to murder trials. The crooked judges received envelopes stuffed with cash, often slid beneath bathroom stall dividers by attorneys acting as bagmen.
That system made sense in the days before the Internet, when people used cash for almost all retail transactions, from buying taquitos at 7-Eleven to buying judges. Now, though, you can pay with a debit card or a smart phone at 7-Eleven. So, why should buying off politicians be any different?
Illinois has always led the nation in political corruption. So we should lead it into the 21st Century by establishing a website and a smart phone app for developers, attorneys, businesses and job-seekers who want to bribe public officials. We have official websites for paying taxes, parking tickets and Tollway fees -- so why not bribes.
Bribe-Illinois.com would feature a listing of every officeholder in Illinois. Once you click on his or her name, you’ll be directed to pull down menus which will list the services desired -- a zoning variance, a job for your son, a vote on an important bill -- along with a list of prices, ranging from $500 to $100,000.
If the politician agrees to perform the proposed action for the proposed amount, you’ll get an e-mail, and your money will be automatically deposited in his bank account. Monthly payments would also be available -- with interest, of course.
It’s a lot more modern -- and a lot more sanitary -- than passing envelopes across a dirty bathroom floor.
Published at 8:47 AM CST on Jan 10, 2013