Isn't it interesting that George Ryan has now apologized for his crimes against the people of Illinois? I may be living in another state now, but I was an Illinois resident and taxpayer during Ryan's tenure as Illinois governor. Weren't we foolish not to elect Glenn Poshard?
Like most Illinoisans, I am also very much opposed to the release of George Ryan for any circumstances. I reiterate — from a commentary I wrote for the local paper — George Ryan's sentence should stand.
Despite what former Gov. Jim Thompson says, and who would ever question his judgement, I can't believe Ryan has had a change of heart, or a anything remotely related to such a human component. There is however, what Ryan is all about, the political component — the save your own ass component — of potentially winning a commutation of Ryan's sentence. Perhaps a public apology was a requirement for consideration by President Bush. But the timing becomes interesting in light of the recent arrest of the current governor. Perhaps 'the apology' was in the works already and the political train en route to Ryan's freedom, was already moving. I would say that any president who would let Ryan out of jail would be a fool, but there really is no point in speculating further on that thought.
I will never forget my own dealings with Ryan. Arrogant isn't enough to describe him. From my observance, seeing "the look" from George Ryan conjured up thoughts of snakes coming out of his head because "the look" could almost turn you to stone. I recall a press conference where I asked him a question. Instead of an intelligent answer, I got "the look." And this was not an isolated event. I disagreed with George Ryan. Simply, he didn't like people who disagreed with him.