Cindi Canary watches Springfield like a hawk

Q. One thing about you that might surprise the public.

A. I like to cook and throw parties. My husband is in the arts and we have a lot of friends in the arts and there's a lot of time we spend not talking about politics.

Q. Name two things Illinois needs to do to change its political culture.

A. Cap political contributions. And everyone in this state needs to commit five minutes a week to speaking out on how government runs. Send your legislator an e-mail.

Q. In your years on the job, has Illinois become any more or less corrupt?

A. The corruption has morphed. I think there's less corruption because there's a fear of [federal prosecutor] Pat Fitzgerald and the wiretap. You see that fear down in Springfield. And I think there is less public tolerance.

Q. Talk about the difference between George Ryan's corruption and what's alleged against Blagojevich.

A. With Ryan it was old-school corruption, friends and family. With Gov. Blagojevich—I keep calling him governor—it was not as much about enriching those around him, not about building his political power, it was about building his wealth. We didn't see sharing. He was not a good sandbox governor.

Q. Name two Illinois politicians you're sure are honest.

A. Do they have to be alive?

Q. Should Sen. Burris resign?

A. [A long pause.] We may learn more that makes that more clear-cut. What Roland Burris should have done is speak directly to a public that feels very aggrieved by the reports of political corruption.

Q. Do people comment on your name?

A. Yeah. When I was a kid it was "tweet, tweet."

Q. Five years from now: your corruption prediction.

A. I think it will be better. If we don't work to make it better, my question to people is why the hell do you live here? Why are you raising your children here? Why are you investing here? Is this really something you want to tolerate?