Democrats have spent the entirety of the Trump Presidency claiming he is a corrupt agent in bed with Russia and while there is a presence of corruption in our system, it is not coming from the presidency. Across the U.S. there are corrupt local officials, deeply harming the efficiency of those state and local governments. These cities tend to be overwhelmingly blue, and as international systems show this should not be surprising.
A University of Illinois at Chicago May 2018 report chronicling corruption on the county and state level over a 30-year period from 1976 to 2016 found the most corrupt areas of the country to be: D.C., Louisiana, Illinois, Tennessee, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, New Jersey, and Florida in order.
Fair to say, these states are roughly divided between Democrat and Republican governors.
But a corrupt system is not necessarily the fault of a single governor; the list most corrupt cities in America presents a much clearer image of how corruption exists within our system.
The most corrupt city in America is none other than Chicago, following the windy city are Los Angeles, Manhattan, D.C., Miami, Newark, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Richmond, and Brooklyn.
• CHICAGO has been run by Democrats since 1933.
• LOS ANGELES has seen one Republican mayor since 1961.
• NEW YORK CITY has had two Republicans mayors since 1973, although it is worth noting one mayor became an independent after his first term.
• WASHINGTON D.C. has had a Democratic mayor every term since 1975.
• NEWARK has had Democratic mayors every term since 1962.
• CLEVELAND has seen two Republican mayors since 1972.
• PHILADELPHIA has had Democratic mayors since 1952.
• RICHMOND (perhaps most shocking), has only had one Republican mayor since 1868.
• NEW ORLEANS for its part has only had two Republican mayors since 1866, and both of those were during Reconstruction.
• MIAMI is the only city on the list with an even split of five Republicans and five Democrats since 1973.
Democrats are known for big government policies that inflate the power and wealth of the state; so, while being a Democrat does not inherently make one corrupt, consistent single-party control over some of Americas poorest cities can breed corrupt environments.
Big government policies have left cities particularly susceptible to fraud and abuse. The University of Chicago report explains, “In March 2016, Chicago businessman, George E. Smith, admitted in U.S. District Court to defrauding the state of Illinois when he managed to convince two state agencies to grant him separate six-figure government contracts for the same service. His not-for-profit agency, Diversified Behavioral Comprehensive Care, provided drug and alcohol treatment services to residents in Illinois. Smith received two grants from the state – one, totaling $400,000 and the other totaling $550,000 – for the same program.”
While any businessman could perhaps pull off this scheme, large government projects rather fuel these environments.
Policies which inflate the governments control over individual lives allow the government to take advantage of those lives. The corruption of one-party rule is no more evident than in Venezuela, a country in which full socialism has allowed the government to defraud the people. As resources became scarce, only the friends of the establishment received them.
If the left truly wants to root out corruption, it must stop looking at President Trump and begin looking in the city strongholds of its own party.
Natalia Castro is the Public Outreach Coordinator for Americans for Limited Government.