Two Cheers for Old-Fashioned Political Scoundrels

The recently deceased Dan Rostenkowski was an old-school Chicago politician. From my knowledge of the breed, this means that if you had lunch with him, placed a twenty on the table for your share of the tab, and then turned to flag the waitress for a refill on your ice tea, when you glanced back at the table, the money would be gone and there would be an innocent smile on his face.  Rostenkowski's generation wasn't much into six-figure bundled political contributions. For one thing, by today's standards, they they seldom spent much on their own campaigns. When they began, campaigns were mostly local affairs, managed by political cronies or family members and staffed by the ward heelers. Nor when they first ran for office did pay to play mean contributing $20,000 to a campaign fund in return for an appointment to a government board that may determine how millions in...(Read Full Article)

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