The Midnight Pig Brewery
Good Governor Red IPA
Four of Illinois’ last nine governors have gone to prison. Dating back to 1961, Illinois has seen an excessive number of their state’s leaders get indicted for a number of different crimes, both while in office and after their term was over.
Otto Kerner Jr. was Illinois’ 33rd Governor. In 1969 he was accused of accepting bribes from Marge Everett, the owner of two racetracks. The alleged bribes were paid out as stock options which Kerner cashed in in 1968. Both Kerner and Everett reported the transaction in their taxes and always denied any wrongdoing. The prosecution included future Illinois Governor James. R. Thompson and in 1973 Kerner was found guilty on 17 counts of perjury, conspiracy, mail fraud and other charges. After an appeal, all counts were dropped except for four counts of mail fraud. By this time, Kerner had finished his governorship and was a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit but after his conviction he resigned from the position and instead started a three year prison sentence. Kerner was released from prison early as he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he passed away on May 9, 1976.
There is reason to believe that Kerner may have actually been a target of retaliation from Richard Nixon and his cohorts. One of the Nixon Oval Office Tapes (NARA 506-13) features a conversation between President Nixon and his attorney general on the topic of how to “get him” (Kerner) in response for some of the decisions he made as a judge and for his political work. Many believe that Kerner would have been able to reverse all charges against him had he lived longer.
Dan Walker was Governor of Illinois from 1973 to 1977 but his legal troubles didn’t arrive until he moved back into the private sector in the 1980s. Walker started a business named First American Savings and Loan Association of Oak Brook and in 1987 was charged with federal bank fraud because of two questionable loans. He was accused of “borrowing against the borrower”, or giving someone a loan and then getting a loan back from them, which is a form of bank fraud. Walker was sentenced to seven years in prison but only served one and a half due to failing health.
George Ryan was the 39th Governor of Illinois from 1999 to 2003. His scandal started after a horrific car accident in Wisconsin that killed six children and badly burned their parents. It was discovered that the truck driver in the crash received his license by bribing Ryan’s office and, after a thorough investigation, 79 people on Ryan’s staff were indicted and 76 were found guilty. Eventually, a former aide started to talk of more bribes and kickbacks and the investigation made its way up to the governor. In 2003, Ryan was served with 22 federal indictments and was found guilty on all charges, most of them related to accepting bribes and inappropriately using public money. He spent more than five years in prison as well as seven years of home confinement.
Illinois’ next governor, Rod Blagojevich, started in 2003 but had his career cut short when he was impeached and removed from office in 2009. He was arrested at the end of 2008 for what is often called a “pay-to-play” scheme. Specifically, he was caught on a wiretap trying to get something in return for filling newly-elected President Barack Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat. He was impeached within a month and removed from office soon after. A trial started in 2010 and Blagojevich was found guilty of many charges including abuse of power and extortion. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison where he still resides today.
But not all of Illinois’ governors are bad, not even close. In fact, Midnight Pig’s Good Governor American Double Red celebrates one of Illinois’ best governors: Henry Horner, a man who was known for his integrity. Among his many accomplishments, Horner is remembered for helping Illinois battle through the Great Depression and for repealing Prohibition in Illinois nearly a year before the rest of the country.
From the Brewer: In 1933, Illinois Governor Henry Horner gladly announced Prohibition’s repeal. This American double red salutes a monumental moment for the country with toasty, fruity malts to compliment the pine and citrus hop flavors.
ABV 7.5%, IBU 45
Yaneli Carrillo - Founder, Jim Koblish - Brewmaster