When Republican Rodger Cook announced his candidacy for St. Clair County treasurer last week, he said what many county residents increasingly believe: Decades of one-party rule has created a "culture of corruption" here.
It seems like every week there's a new example of it. It's everything from the drug scandal at the courthouse involving two judges and a probation officer to multiple public officials indicted for official misconduct to a Washington Park trustee pleading guilty last week to Medicaid fraud. Until his indictment the trustee worked in the county Probation Department.
The hyper-partisan politics in St. Clair County makes conditions ripe for corruption. With a full two-party system, public officials would be more accountable to the voters and these sorts of things less likely to happen. And if they did still happen, the problems would come to light more quickly.
There is no disputing Cook's statement that county politics would benefit from the checks and balances created by two-party rule. "I think people are ready for that," he said. After all the corruption you would hope so.