After viewing the new Steven Spielberg film Lincoln, federal authorities opened an investigation aimed at the former President and his political allies. “Operation Log Roller” will probe alleged promises of political appointments, patronage jobs, and even cash bribes to members of Congress during efforts to pass a Constitutional amendment ending slavery.
Federal authorities claim a suspect, identified only as Cabinet Official A, used third parties who offered appointments to federal patronage jobs and other favors on behalf of President Lincoln. The investigation is the latest effort to end the culture of corruption in Illinois politics.
“Honest Abe” Lincoln first gained his reputation for political deal making during his tenure in the Illinois state legislature. He worked with a group of central Illinois legislators, known as the “long nine,” who allegedly traded their block of votes in exchange for support of moving the state Capital to Springfield. Critics called the scheme “log-rolling.”
The investigation will likely be overshadowed in the press by rumors surrounding the Thaddeus Stevens sex scandal.
Former President Lincoln, former Governor George Ryan, former Governor Rod Blagojevich and former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. could not be reached for comment.