Talk about confirming a suspicion.
Once a subject of speculation and debate, it's now official — Chicago is the most corrupt city in the country and Illinois is the third most corrupt state.
Says who? A couple of academics, Jim Nowlan of the University of Illinois and Dick Simpson of UI-Chicago, actually added up the number of public corruption convictions and they claim the totals make their case.
Federal prosecutors claimed 1,531 public corruption convictions since 1976 from the Chicago area, the most since 1976 from any federal jurisdiction.
During the same period, Illinois was the site of 1,828 corruption convictions, the most of any state except California and New York.
Of course, Illinois is not as large as those two states, so on a per-capita basis it may actually be No. 1.
It's good to have this kind of specificity from Nowlan and Simpson. But, really, didn't we already know this even if we didn't officially know it?
After all, when Rod Blagojevich goes to federal prison next month, he'll join another former governor, George Ryan, behind bars. Unfortunately, they're just the tip of the iceberg.
Some day voters may tire of putting up with all this felonious nonsense. But in the meantime, we're No. 1.