Blagojevich Prison Stint Hits One Year Mark

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- It's been one year since ex-governor Rod Blagojevich was sent to federal prison after being convicted of corruption. And he's not the only crooked politician in the state of Illinois- we've seen our fair share. Some local residents are asking how state government has moved on since Blago as they say they feel nothing has really changed.

Rod Blagojevich took advantage of one last photo op before heading off to jail after being convicted of corruption. Today, he is serving 14 years in the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in Colorado.

Some local residents say Illinois politics hasn't changed much since the former governor has been locked up.

"There's a lot of other people out there I think that they just haven't gotten caught,” said area resident Patricia Deppen.

Rob Etnyre is not pleased with Illinois politics. He says, "It’s almost like they have a sense of pride of being corrupt."

A handful of Illinois’ leaders aren't helping the state's image. Just this year Chicago congressman Jessie Jackson Jr. pleaded guilty to misusing campaign money, and Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell was sentenced to almost 20 years in prison for stealing $53 million from her city.

Glorie Malone is a teacher in Rockford. She says, "There are those people who enter the political arena with great intentions of making a difference- of making an impact- and, unfortunately, it seems like even those with good intentions end up being corrupted by the system instead of the other way around."

Local political expert P.S. Ruckman says, "When you've got that many elected offices and governmental bodies...that’s just all the more power there is for someone to potentially use and abuse."

"You can't legislate morality,” says Illinois State Senator Dave Syverson. “We need to be electing people who are above reproach that will follow the current laws."

Glorie Malone says she’s not giving up on Illinois politics…"I believe in the good of the human person...and that eventually we do turn things around."

Rockford College political science professor Bob Evans says since Blagojevich, our state has struggled financially, and it's slowly heading towards being a one party state. He says that would potentially eliminate some of the natural checks and balances that exists in partisan politics. But, he says he believes Governor Pat Quinn is doing his best to run a cleaner house than Blagojevich did.

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