January 11, 2006
Lobbyists Sure Can Be A Problem for Politicians
The jury in the case of former Governor Ryan of Illinois, on trial for charges of racketeering and fraud, heard from a former "girlfriend" of a lobbyist. The Chicago Tribune reports here that the lobbyist's girlfriend was recipient of the lavish expeditures of lobbyist Arthur "Ron" Swanson, but she did not know if the former governor was also receiving this lavish treatment. The article's account of the gifts given to Ryan included an "expensive porcelain figurine" for their anniversary, "a three-foot cloth Santa Claus" "as a Christmas gift," a golf game and dinner at the Ritz. Is this what Congress envisoned when they passed the RICO statute in 1970?
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