Public officials' relentless misconduct is both tiresome and tiring.
News is defined as when man bites dog, not the other way around. So is a report of more abuse of the state's legislative scholarship program really worth noting?
Members of the Illinois House and Senate hope not. They'd just as soon that no one pay attention to how many of them reward friends, family members and political supporters with tuition waivers to attend public universities in Illinois.
Newsworthy or not, people should know that a prominent lobbyist recently linked to a curious public pension windfall also managed to win tuition waivers for a daughter, a son and a nephew. It happened years ago — between 1990 and 1995 — but it's only recently been disclosed.
Relatives of lobbyist Steven Preckwinkle received the tuition waivers from former state Rep. Steve Curran, a Springfield Democrat.
News reports indicate they were close and took turns helping each other — endorsements and campaign funds on one side and tuition waivers on the other.
A Preckwinkle spokesman insists the tuition waivers were on the up and up. But no one with any sense will believe that. This program has been abused for so long by so many people that it no longer has any credibility.
The legislative scholarship program will have less than zero credibility by the time federal investigators complete an ongoing investigation of criminal wrongdoing in connection with more recent tuition waivers our legislators have awarded.
By the way, if the Preckwinkle name sounds familiar, it should. He's one of the two lobbyists who, by virtue of a special state law passed by House Speaker Michael Madigan, are eligible for a lucrative teacher's pension after working one day as a substitute teacher. He will get a teacher's pension for the time spent as an employee of a labor union, a private organization.
That's the way it is in Springfield. Insiders stuff themselves at the public trough, and the public just takes it.
That's why House and Senate members have refused to end the legislative scholarship program. They figure — so far correctly — that they can do whatever they want without paying any price at the polls.