Rockford is a kleptocracy. Political parties require accountability to state and national advisers. Nobody in Rockford really wants those type of people snooping around here.
Same thing with the media. When Forbes named Rockford it's Third Most Miserable City the town went up for grabs in indignation. Or so we thought. But what really had happened was a few sources did their best to gin the populace up and get them to respond in anger that anyone would even hint that a town with a history of virulent racism, a poor education system, one of the highest unemployment rates in America, an epidemic of obesity, incredible violence, a heroin epidemic, and political corruption should be mentioned by the national media as unpleasant in any way.
No one wants political parties or national media in Rockford. It has taken generations to set Rockford up as the kleptocracy it has become, and those who are raking in the cash are happy that everyone has given up on Rockford.
The galling part is that they use a lot of the public funds they receive to try and persuade the locals that everything is happiness and rainbows and that they should accentuate the positive and ignore the men behind the curtain profiting from decay, corruption, and illegality. Of course the national media isn't buying it, but they hardly give a shit after they get their sound bite and story about how fat, stupid, lazy, backwards, and ugly we are. They have no motivation to intervene.
So, we have a kleptocracy that has all but cut Rockford off from the rest of the world. So they can chop and divide it up among themselves.
And it's a double-edged sword, because we have no politicians who represent us in Springfield or Washington, and because Congress saw fit to carve up our House seats so we have two out-of-towner carpetbaggers "representing" us, we have virtually no one to speak on behalf of our schools, or our economy, and out city on any level. Anyone who studies history knows, when a power vacuum is formed, someone steps in to assume that power. That is exactly what has happened in Rockford. We have shadowy leadership, sweetheart deals, no bid contracts, misplacement and mismanagement of state and federal funds, and law enforcement that seems to be stumped just who and how all this heroin is getting here, being processed, and being shipped out.
Someday it will be announced the feds were here all along "monitoring," and that either a major heroin ring, or a huge political bust has been announced, but it won't make much difference. The city has been divided up. It's in the bag.