Washington D.C. is not the only swamp. There are local versions...
Certainly true. But the trough of money that flows through Washington is mind boggling. $474 billion (FY 2016) to be exact.
Contracting is a lucrative business and is one of the reasons why the DC metro area is so affluent. Maryland and Virginia are the #1 and #8 wealthiest states in the country.
Agreed. Nevertheless, as vast as the federal government is, at the local and state levels the astonishing rate of growth of government has also amplified and compounded the temptations and rewards of corruption. Moreover, at the state and local levels, public scrutiny and understanding are often weak and the specialized investigative and prosecution resources needed in public corruption cases tend to be inadequate or lacking. For antelope and crooks alike, avoiding a large herd can be a better strategy in that it also avoids the largest concentration of hunters.