Schock fall unusual for social media aspect

PEORIA — Soon-to-be former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria) is one of many Illinois politicians to be brought down by scandal.

Schock is the second member of Congress from the state to resign amid an ethics investigation during this decade, the first being now imprisoned ex-U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

What makes Schock’s situation unique in the history of Illinois political scandals, according to Better Government Association program director Robert Reed, is the role social media played.

Reed commented that Schock may the first lawmaker driven out of office by Instagram, and he cannot recall any incident where social media evidence piled up the way that it did.

No matter what final result of the investigations into Schock’s spending, Reed says this won’t help Illinois’ reputation for corruption.

As to what happens next, Reed says the resignation won’t do much to curtail the probe into spending within Schock’s campaign and congressional office. He does hope this prompts a closer look into how politicians use their campaign contributions.