“Here are two important things in politics: One is money, and I can’t remember what the second one is.’’
— Mark Hannah, presidential campaign manager for William McKinley in 1896.
That axiom immerses political candidates in a never-ending whirlpool of fundraising and sometimes prevents potentially qualified challengers from seeking elective office. It also can breed ethical concerns. Witness the plight of Illinois’ last two former governors: George Ryan is in prison; Rod Blagojevich is under indictment — both charged in political fundraising scandals.