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Margin Notes

NBC 5 Chicago Interview

Update:  Watch the Video

March 31, 2015. Here in Illinois, we are all abuzz about our recently resigned U. S. Representative Aaron Schock. Not only did he compare himself to Lincoln during his Farewell speech, but both Lincoln and Schock have been in the news lately for their mileage reimbursements.

NBC5 Chicago’s Phil Rogers stopped by Abraham Lincoln Book Shop to talk with our Bjorn Skaptason about how the rules of travel influenced Lincoln’s mileage reimbursements when he was in Congress. Bjorn also discusses the effect the technological advancements in travel influenced the reimbursement rules.

Bjorn tried to make the case, as we almost always do, that Representative Lincoln made daily choices in his life regarding ethical questions. He was a human being, like others of his time, and like people in our own time. Not every ethical choice looks good under the harsh lights of history.

Did Lincoln “fudge” his mileage reports? How were his problems similar to Representative Shock’s? What role did the Media (or Press) play in framing political scandals in 1847 versus 2015? We have no idea how much influence Bjorn had on Phil’s story, but we’re looking forward to discovering that.

The report airs tonight on the 5 o’clock news on NBC5 Chicago.