Thursday, June 08, 2006

The culture of corruption

Here’s an AP story about a politician taking bribes in which the AP makes no mention of his political party affiliation.

Can you guess to which political party the politician belongs? (Hint: if he was a Republican that fact would have immediately followed the first mention of his name and it would have been reported in bold)
Ill. Mayor Arrested in Corruption Probe

CHICAGO (AP) -- A longtime suburban mayor was arrested Thursday following reports of an investigation into whether he took bribes in exchange for pressuring businesses to buy insurance policies.

Nicholas Blase, 77, who has been mayor of Niles for 45 years, was arrested as he left home. He was to appear in federal court later in the day, said U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Randall Samborn.

Samborn said details of the case, including the charges against Blase, would be announced later.

The Chicago Tribune reported the FBI probe this week, citing court documents that said Blase threatened to withhold liquor and business licenses from restaurant owners unless they bought insurance from an agency owned by his late friend Ralph Weiner.

Weiner paid "significant amounts of bribes" to Blase in return, according to the documents, which the report said became public but were later resealed.

Blase has denied any wrongdoing and called the allegation "crazy." He told the newspaper he steered business to Weiner "because I liked the guy."

Niles, just north of Chicago, has 30,000 residents.

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