It's fashionable these days to dislike the federal government.

But at least one federal agency has been doing a great job: Consider the difference that the Justice Department has made in cleaning up Louisiana politics. If it weren't for the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI, we might never see crooked politicians going to jail.

In the New Orleans area alone, federal prosecutors in recent years have convicted dozens of crooked politicians and their cronies. They've also launched major investigations into police abuse. On top of all that, the FBI has several ongoing, major corruption investigations under way across southeast Louisiana.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, citizens led the way in pushing major political reforms, but there's only so much that citizens can do on their own. By vigorously pursuing corruption cases, the feds have helped bring the kind of transformational change to local politics that voters clearly want.

So the next time you hear people complaining about the federal government, remind them that, when it comes to cleaning up local politics, the feds are doing something right.

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