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Post Illinois Governor James R. Thompson
Created by John Eipper on 01/08/17 8:34 AM

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Illinois Governor James R. Thompson (David Duggan, USA, 01/08/17 8:34 am)

James R. Thompson, who won four elections as governor of the Prairie State (1976, 1978 [they changed that term to 2 years to make the governor's election off the presidential election cycle], 1982 and 1986), never ran for president of the United States.

In 1988, he was mentioned as a vice-presidential running mate for George Herbert Walker Bush, but there were concerns as to his proclivities, which, like those of the ex-governor whom he convicted of tax evasion and perjury, Otto Kerner, had been kept in the closet. Nevertheless, he has had a distinguished post-gubernatorial career as the managing partner of one of Chicago's leading law firms, Winston & Strawn. He is married to former Assistant Attorney General of Illinois, Jayne Carr, who co-authored the article, with the Hon. Joel Flaum (now a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit), advocating the prosecution of corrupt public officials under the mail fraud statute for depriving citizens of their expectation that the officials render "honest services" for their salaries.

JE comments: "Proclivities" can still be a barrier to the highest political offices in the US, as there has never been an openly gay governor (or president).  (Jim McGreevey of New Jersey resigned in 2004 after he was "outed" for having a male Israeli lover.)

This ceiling will almost certainly be shattered soon.  I can even foresee a time when the expression "openly gay" will pass into the dustbin of history (meaning, the adverb will be viewed as an archaic redundancy, akin to "openly left-handed").

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