The conviction of a man once known as Illinois' King of Clout raises inevitable questions about whether it will herald an era of clean government. The inevitable answer is that it probably won't.
But William Cellini's conviction in the last scheduled trial stemming from investigations of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich may mark the end of his breed of powerbroker.
Political observer Paul Green says he can't think of anyone with the pull Cellini boasted. And he calls Cellini "a man of a bygone era."
Pressed to think of anyone today whose behind-the-scene influence compares to Cellini's in his heyday, none of several political observers asked Wednesday could think of 1.
But political scientist Dick Simpson says if the political culture doesn't change in Illinois, "the system will produce another Cellini."