The mainstream media treated Joe the Plumber having a tax lien as a matter of national interest. But, as Jim Lindgren points out at Volokh Conspiracy, obvious ethics violations by a certain former Illinois state legislator are considered unworthy of attention.
The Illinois Governmental Ethics Act (apparently last changed in 1995) provides:
(5 ILCS 420/2-110)
Sec. 2-110. Honoraria.
(a) No member of the General Assembly shall accept any honorarium.
(b) As used in this Section:
“Honorarium” means a payment of money to a member of the General Assembly for an appearance or speech.
But State Senator Obama reported accepting honoraria on his 2000 and 2002 tax returns:
2000: On his 2000 Schedule C-EZ, Barack reported that he received $16,500 as a â€œFoundation director/Educational speaker.â€
2002: On his 2002 Schedule C, Barack reported $34,491 for â€œLEGAL SERVCES / SPEAKING FEES.â€