We were known as Squeaky Clean and we snickered at Illinois politics and we had a great reputation because we were not beholden to moneyed interests as both parties are today.
That was what Rep. Marlin Schneider, the longest-serving member of the Assembly in Wisconsin history, wrote to me in a mile-long email decrying the sour style of Badger politics.
But no fear Marlin. We can still laugh at the FIBS:
For the last few years, California stood more or less unchallenged as a symbol of the fiscal collapse of states during the recession. Now Illinois has shouldered to the fore, as its dysfunctional political class refuses to pay the state's bills and refuses to take the painful steps - cuts and tax increases - to close a deficit of at least $12 billion, equal to nearly half the state's budget.
No, that is not a Tea Party press release. That is the New York Times.