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*** UPDATED x1 *** Quote of the day

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011

* Freshman Republican Congressman Joe Walsh

Walsh also said he’s been encouraging local tea party members - many of whom have begun scrutinizing local government spending, to begin focusing more on state-level politics.

“My hope is the tea party movement will set their sites next year on (state Democratic Party Chairman and Illinois House Speaker) Michael Madigan. He’s a king, he’s a tyrant, he runs this state. You’ve got to educate the tea party movement to that fact,” he said.


*** UPDATE *** The National Journal claims that Congressman Walsh is one of the top ten most vulnerable members to the remap process

Illinois Democrats are still stunned by Walsh’s shocking defeat of three-term Rep. Melissa Bean last year. After all, Walsh was supposedly a marginalized tea party candidate with so much baggage (he lived outside the district in a home under foreclosure) that local Republicans wouldn’t even carry his literature. So Democrats will do everything they can to make Walsh a one-term wonder. They could make the 8th CD even more Democratic by adding heavily Hispanic Elgin, or they could combine it with veteran GOP Rep. Don Manzullo’s 16th CD.

Also on the list, Bob Dold…

After winning GOP Sen. Mark Kirk’s open House seat impressively last fall, Dold now has the most Democratic district of any Republican in the country. As such, it’s going to be hard for Democrats to make this district even bluer, but they could try by adding Skokie or other parts of the North Shore. Even if they don’t alter the 10th CD’s partisan fundamentals, Democrats could weaken Dold simply by giving him hundreds of thousands of new and unfamiliar voters.

Judy Biggert…

Illinois Democrats probably won’t be content to wait until Biggert retires to make a play for her suburban seat. At 73, Biggert is one of the few socially liberal Republicans remaining in the House and has proven a strong general-election candidate, winning seven elections in a row. So Democrats could either make the 13th CD much more Democratic by adding cities like Aurora and Joliet, or they could fold it into the 6th CD of more conservative GOP Rep. Peter Roskam to make way for a new Hispanic-majority seat on Chicago’s North Side.

And Bobby Schilling…

Democratic legislators in the Land of Lincoln could embark on the ultimate takedown: combining Schilling and one of two neighboring Republicans, 18th-CD Rep. Aaron Schock or 16th-CD Rep. Don Manzullo, into a Democratic-leaning western Illinois district none of them may be able to win. If either scenario comes to fruition, Schilling could well be the underdog in a primary against the skillful Schock or the seasoned Manzullo. Then, the winner could be an underdog in a general election. At worst, Democrats will have succeeded in collapsing two Republican seats into one.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 5:22 am:

    1. In case there was an doubt that the new map would write out Walsh’s district . . .

    2. My next thought was “educate tea partiers as to Madigan? But everybody the slighest bit politically aware knows who Madigan is.” Then I remembered, “Oh yeah, we are talking about tea partiers! The `keep government hands off my medicare’ people.”

  2. - DuPage Dave - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 5:53 am:

    The so-called Tea Partiers are the true heirs of the Know-Nothing Party of the 19th century. It would be truth in advertising if they just went back to their former name.

  3. - Cindy Lou - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 6:42 am:

    Congressman Walsh may like to have his tea party ’scrutinizers’ of local government spending think about going out and removing their almost two week old ‘rally’ signs that are still standing. Unsightly homemade signs left for the city/county workers to eventually gather up and dispose of at local government expence. Perhaps before they’re ready to tackle a ‘ Stateward Ho’ champaign they really need to practice a bit more on the local level.

  4. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 7:07 am:

    Now that SleepyJoe has bought an air mattress for the tax payer funded office snoozes, he turns to his well thought political agenda!
    We are guessing Madigan might be a little more alert that the exCongressPerson SleepyJoe beat
    Perhaps SleepyJoe might want to check with Marty Russo or Houli to see how these take him out bids have turned out
    Gotta wonder why the Daily Herald did not ask SJ a little more about all the campaign cash that found its way to the Sleepsters bankroll.

  5. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 7:35 am:

    Does this mean there might be more tea partiers commenting on here? Dang.

  6. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 7:51 am:

    Maybe the demographic change in Madigan’s district will play a role in his re-election outcome, but tea party Reps? Methinks not-

  7. - Chad - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 7:51 am:

    Walsh came in first place among the 5 House freshmen on first quarter fund raising. Keeping out there in the media, which he has been doing quite a bit of (a lot of FNC, for instance), has helped him in that regard. He is really going to need that pile of cash to run in another district by the time Madigan gets done drawing the map. So, no harm to him if he keeps it up.

  8. - cassiopia - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 7:59 am:

    Everything eventually ends. Madigan’s reign will come to an end soon but i think it will be because he takes himself off the field. It would be best if he did not run for re-election in 2012. This would give Lisa a comfortable interlude after he leaves in January 2013 to mount her campaign to replace Quinn in 2014.

  9. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 8:00 am:

    Regardless of how much money he has, he’s one and done.

  10. - bored now - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 8:12 am:

    lol. regardless of what anyone thinks of the speaker’s leadership, walsh’s attempt to divert attention from the republican’s attempt (and his vote) to end medicare as we know it to some other (conspiracy theory?) subject is both transparent and juvenile…

  11. - Don't Worry, Be Happy - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 8:14 am:

    First of all, tea partiers need to be educated about how to spell.

    Then they need to be reminded to not use language that sounds like they are promoting assassinations of elected officials.

  12. - Responsa - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 8:23 am:

    Clearly commenters here so far this morning do not care for Walsh. But I do note that no one is actually refuting his comment on Madigan: “He’s a king, he’s a tyrant, he runs this state.”

  13. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 8:24 am:

    - But I do note that no one is actually refuting his comment on Madigan: “He’s a king, he’s a tyrant, he runs this state.” -

    That’s like telling everyone the sky is blue. No need for further commentary.

  14. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 8:40 am:

    Walsh figures that if he can divert their attention elsewhere, he can get on with the business of moving toward the center.

  15. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 8:41 am:

    I guess it’s more important for the Tea Partiers to set their web “sites” on Madigan, instead of their “sights” in the sense of electoral goals. Hey, Don’t Worry, Be happy, at least he clearly isn’t using gun related language. Unless the spelling error is the reporter’s. And that couldn’t happen, could it?

  16. - piling on - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 8:46 am:

    As we all know, the speaker recently celebrated a birthday. Perhaps he is winding down, he’s probably entering the final third of his legislative career. Probably only another 15 or 20 years.

  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 8:47 am:

    I hear Walsh’s Maserati goes 185.

    Sorry, I can’t help myself whenever I hear the name.

    That Walsh is a multi-tasker, a lot on his plate.

    But since he’s one of the all-knowing, easy-answer revolutionaries who put his crew over the top in the House, I think I’ll remain mesmerized on how he and his intend to govern the United States. Lot of heavy-lifting to be done there.

    Careful for what you wish for, you might get it.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:02 am:

    What Walsh was really saying …

    “Speaker Madigan, Washington is not as much fun as I thought, do you have any ideas that would prevent me from being re-elected, yet look like I am not thowing it all away?


    Congress-Critter Walsh”

  19. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:06 am:

    There reliable Democrat/HuffPo talking points in this thread amaze me. If you took a moment to educate yourselves about the Tea Party people you would find several interesting things:

    41% are Democrats and Independents
    17% of polled registered voters self-identified as Tea Partiers
    Tea Partiers are slightly more likely to be employed than the average
    95% believe that politicians are spending and taxing too much
    87% oppose Obamacare
    Tea Partiers oppose Obama (80%) more than Republicans do (77%)
    Self-described Tea Party members were demographically similar to the population as a whole
    Tea Party members are better educated than the population as a whole

    Source: Gallup

    To call them fringe or crazy or whatever other derogatory term only indicates that is how you feel about your neighbors.

  20. - Ahoy - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:08 am:

    Does the Tea Party have a big presence in the 8th District? Seems like this guy might be treading on dangerous ground. I wonder if Bean might be gearing up for rematch.

  21. - John A Logan - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:08 am:

    Only one comment so far referencing the quote about Madigan. Walsh worked hard and won a seat that no one thought he could win. He holds the seat now and I congratulate him for calling out Mike Madigan. Too many people look up to Madigan as some sort of political god. Madigan has presided over the financial destruction of the state of Illinois. He is the common denominator through years of corruption, massive debt, and the laughing stock status that Illinois has achieved. I hope the tea party does set their sites on Madigan. He represents everything that is wrong with Illinois government, just because he plays the corrupt game better than anyone else does not make him an honorable individual. Cheers to Joe Walsh.

  22. - Liandro - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:09 am:

    He lost his license, now he don’t drive.

    Anyway, lot of butchery going on here for Walsh stating the obvious. No one actually disagreeing with him but still more then willing to to bash Walsh and the Tea Party. Little discussion of the actual question.

    Speaking of which, those commentators who kept mentioning redistricting hit the nail on the head. Last election was the moment when the Tea Party really needed to get a foothold somewhere in state politics. By losing every level of redistricting they have put a stranglehold on themselves.

    Would I like to see Madigan go down? Absolutely. Would I like to see at least a split government? Absolutely. Do I think the upcoming map is going to be conducive? Nope. Apparently the February primaries were a bit early and the tea party was still getting organized. By Nov they did some damage at the Fed level, but at the state level it was too late.

    That said, if they truly care about fiscal discipline, better late then never. We have to get involved with our local and state politics! The Dems (and certain unions) would be more then glad to have that enthusiasm missing from our side. Then they could keep running the state into the ground with little opposition.

  23. - I'm Just Saying - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:10 am:

    I’m sure right now MJM is talking Franks into running for Congress, Kills two birds with one
    stone :)

  24. - Downstate Dem - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:11 am:

    I’m not sure the tea party movement will solve any of Illinois’ problems. NOTHING will change in the state until Madigan retires or is defeated. We are here now because of his power plays designed to keep political control of the party and in so doing also the state.

  25. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:16 am:

    - I hope the tea party does set their sites on Madigan. -

    Did you notice how in the year of the almighty tea party, Madigan still retained control of the house? With the pendulum swinging back toward the left and having control of the remap, I kinda doubt Madigan is too worried about some yokels with funny costumes and signs setting their “sites” on him.

  26. - Aldyth - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:34 am:

    The 22nd District is the only one that gets to vote for or against Mike Madigan. Why in the world would they vote against him when he is the most powerful person in Illinois?

    The Tea Party can run whoever they want against him, but I cannot think of any way to package an opponent that would overcome Mike Madigan. Unless Madigan starts taking up animal sacrifice and performing black magic in the capitol rotunda or cavorting with Fanny Foxx in public fountains, it ain’t gonna happen.

  27. - Conservative Republican - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:34 am:

    @ Anonymous and Small Town Liberal: it was the Daily Herald blog that misspelled “sights”, not Walsh or the Tea-Partiers. Get your facts straight before you unleash your smugness, but I won’t hold my breath.

  28. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:40 am:

    The antipathy to Madigan in some quarters is hilarious. I guess some folks don’t know what a real conservative (not one who plays one on TV) looks like.

    As far as his being a an all-powerful, all-controlling tyrant, I imagine that Pate Philip, Emil Jones, George Ryan, Jim Edgar, Jim Thompson, Rich Daley, et al might have a different opinion.

    Funny, too, that such a tyrant can’t deliver Chicago school vouchers to his constituency, most of whom send their kids to parochial schools. Who killed that bill, by the way? I forget.

    Still, the One Bad Man Theory must be comforting to all the poor victims cursed with living in the state of Illinois in 2011. Being a Tea Partier means never having to say you’re responsible.

  29. - Timmeh - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:45 am:

    ===Unless Madigan starts taking up animal sacrifice and performing black magic in the capitol rotunda or cavorting with Fanny Foxx in public fountains, it ain’t gonna happen.===

    Is this the key to reducing the deficit?

    Nobody has managed to stand up to Madigan while he has been in Springfield. Why should we assume they’ll stand up after he’s gone?

  30. - one side of mouth - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:46 am:

    it amazes me how Tea Walsh can be so against spending etc then in the next breath go and be keynote speaker for a dupage official who thinks its ok to give raises to a political crony so he can retire 3 months later with a 100k pension. If he was a true tea partier he would be leading the protest outside the brunch not inside having mimosas!

  31. - Liandro - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:48 am:


    Leaders have gone down before. You’re right that Madigan is the most powerful person in the state, and has been for a looong time. That is exactly the strike against him: IL has been in decline for a looong time. Growing debt, worsening cash flow, ethical lapse after ethical lapse, and a collapse of the governing model. There should be repercussions to being the most powerful man in IL while ushering in that kind of outcome.

  32. - Shemp - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:48 am:

    Maybe Chicago/Springfield voters are familiar with Madigan’s power, but if commenters here think the majority, or even a fourth of voters have any idea how much power Madigan wields, then I think the majority of condescending commenters here are the ones that are actually delusional.

    If a guy, regardless of “tea party” affiliation wants to shine a light on Madigan’s overarching authority, why is that so bad?

    I think the sport of tea party basing gets in the way of a good idea once in a while.

  33. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:59 am:

    Liandro and Aldyth,

    Madigan cannot be attacked directly. The way to clip his wings is through electing enough Republicans to oust him as Speaker (unlikely, at best).

    One year and two months ago, I spoke at Tea Parties and suggested that they concentrate at the local level (I actually said Dog Catcher). Unfortunately, they were so new that they were enamored by the Federal scene. However, they came around (too late) by November and started humping for local candidates.

    Since the election, some of the Tea Partiers I work with have taken training in how to run as elected officials, and how to run a race as organizers. A couple of their people were elected in town races for Board of Ed and Alderweasel. They are learning that power grows from the bottom up.

    However, redistricting is going to be a tough thing for these folks. They will be frustrated when they see the new maps. I will continue to consul patience, and repeat the mantra that a State Rep was and alderman (or dog catcher) in a previous life. What will sustain their energy is the debt. If Illinois has a significant turnaround, becoming prosperous and reducing debt, Democrats will rule forever, if the next election cycle shows flat growth and big debt, they will be a force in ALL marginal districts and surprise a few people. You can take it to the bank.

  34. - Pat Robertson - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:10 am:

    ==I guess it’s more important for the Tea Partiers to set their web “sites” on Madigan, instead of their “sights” in the sense of electoral goals.==

    The spelling is by the author of the blog, who writes for the Daily Herald, not by Walsh or any tea partier. And there are a lot of people out there who have no idea who Madigan is, and education might be a good idea.

  35. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:11 am:

    Aldyth - I think the Speaker has been performing black magic in the rotunda — as well as in the House chamber and various offices — for decades now.

  36. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:11 am:

    Small Town Lib
    rather than trying to refute SleepyJoe’s rant why not ask the vaunted Daily Herald to ask that second question —- can you detail what you mean? What type of IL do you want to without Madigan? Will Billboards be a better Speaker (big assumption that TeaBaggers don’t take Cross out too) that Madigan.
    Just one single, simple follow-up
    Is that too much to ask
    has journalism fallen off the face of the eearth
    By the way did the taxpayers . campaign funders or SleepyJoe pay for the air mattress? Does it have the silky soft top so SJ does not get chapped?
    Will there be a PtII to this opus?
    We are on edge
    Fire,Aim Ready!

  37. - Highland, IL - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:13 am:

    Mr. Walsh has one card to play, and that is to fire up the troops for another run in two years. No one knows is what the poltical landscape will look like in less than two years.

  38. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:15 am:

    Cinci - So you’re saying dog catcher is a legitimate role of government? I kind of figured the tea party would be against that. Learn something new every day…

  39. - Joe from Joliet - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:16 am:

    === everybody the slightest bit politically aware ===

    I guess that excludes those who voted Blagojevich for Gov the second time.

  40. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:20 am:

    So the thoughts or recounts of the Census have fallen away? The loss of a seat is certain?

    The Roman Empire ended after a time, so will the rule of Madigan. The question is whether Illinois will have any resources left when he is gone…..

  41. - Shore - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:21 am:

    Of the 5 freshmen elected last fall, Walsh has been the most outspoken thus far and most interesting to watch. Even though hultgren has more elective experience and dold has had more time in Washington, he’s been the one who has asserted himself at least in the media. As for the teaparty, I am not sure if it would even catch fire within the republican party here. You can say that they were a force in some of the races and perhaps they could overrun democrats in areas, but mark kirk was their kind of target and they weren’t able to get to him. We’ll see how much energy there is for them going forward after people see how they govern and their track record.

  42. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:21 am:

    Mike Madigan is untouchable. The tea party should focus on Lisa. Mike will retire when he is ready and his legacy is set. While he is the most powerful man in IL since Lincoln, he will forever be known as the man who bankupted the state for generations for personal gain.

    Lisa cannot support her rufusal to enforce the constitution of this state. She cannot withstand a one on one debate where she cannot rely on her fathers name to pull her out.

    If you really want to cut off Mike Madigan, stop her from being governor or put an AG that believes in upholding the constitution

  43. - Are Ya Kiddin' Me? - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:22 am:

    ===- John A Logan - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:08 am: Too many people look up to Madigan as some sort of political god. ===

    He is.
    Nobody has or will ever have, as much political power, for such an extended period of time as MJM.
    End of story.

  44. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:29 am:


    Interesting point about Kirk. The various Tea Parties showed different level of support for his candidacy, from indifference through non-support, to reluctant support. What I did notice was that most (not all) Tea Parties took a pragmatic approach to Kirk this November and supported him as the most conservative man in the race.

  45. - Lincoln's Penny - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:30 am:

    Madigan is no king. I always say this about the Speaker “Mike Madigan is not powerful enough to get everything he wants. But he is powerful enough to stop ANYTHING he doesnt want. “

  46. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:30 am:

    It’s hard to leave when you can’t find the door.

    I suspect the new map will help Walsh find the door, which I hope hits him in the behind on his way out. And I’m pretty sure Dick Armey and the other corporate backers of the Tea Party aren’t finished using them in DC just yet so it’s too soon to turn them loose on the state.

    Madigan will go someday, but only when he decides it’s time.

  47. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:36 am:

    –The Roman Empire ended after a time, so will the rule of Madigan. The question is whether Illinois will have any resources left when he is gone…..–

    Another Victim heard from.

  48. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:39 am:

    ===Too many people look up to Madigan as some sort of political god===

    Didn’t Lee A. Daniels, when grasping that elusive gavel for the 1st time as Speaker say like Edward G. Robinson …

    “Where’s your Madigan NOW….”

    Yeah …

    That went well …Every substantial piece of Daniels legislation was eventually struck down, investigations, indictments, convictions, law firms ‘moving on’ from partners, and finally real estate broker …

    “Where’s your Madigan NOW …”

    Right where he always is … the ‘Omnipresent’ of Illionis politics. Good luck selling that observation of MJM …

  49. - Whatever - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:42 am:

    Hey Joe — enjoy your new district (or lack thereof), personally drawn and approved by Mike Madigan!

  50. - soccermom - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:50 am:

    Thanks for the mindworm, Word… “Just leave a message, maybe I’ll call.”

  51. - MrJM - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:54 am:

    The Tea Partisans’ political power has peaked.

    The apex occurred when it finally dawned on TP supporters that achieving the Tea Party’s stated goals (”Cut Guvmint Spending!”) are in conflict with their personal self-interest (”Hands Off My Social Security/Medicare/Corn Subsidies/Etc.!”).

    – MrJM

  52. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 10:56 am:

    Where was Joe Walsh when Madigan was the only one with the fortitude to stand up to Rod Blagojevich?

    Where was Joe Walsh when Tom Cross was criticizing Mike Madigan over his suggestion that Blagojevich should be impeached?

    How do the terms “tyrant” and “king” square themselves with a tax hike plan that met the demands of his own lawmakers for spending caps?

    And with the unprecedented power that rank-and-file members now have over the budget?

    And do Walsh’s derogatory use of the terms “tyrant” and “king” apply to Madigan’s push to rein in spending on union pensions, collective bargaining rights, and union head count?

    Powerful — yes, without a doubt. But tyrant and king? Absolutely not. If anything, Madigan’s opposition to Blago lends itself best to historical comparison with Oliver Cromwell.

    BTW, Walsh’s seat was NEVER going to survive the remap, so lets not make it about that.

  53. - MOON - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 11:02 am:

    The “Madigan Bashers” have a very short memory. It was not Madigan, but Emil Jones, Tom Cross, and the Gop leader in the Senate that tried to cut a deal with Blago so they could spend, spend, spend!

    If my memory is correct, every budget passed in the legislature had both Dem. and Gop votes supporting it.

    If my memory is correct, the current rules in place in the House were instituted by the Gop when they were in the majority.

    With regards to the legality of Madigans actions, it is well known that the Feds, Newspapers, Radio, TV, and just about every columnist has investigated him. In all instances they have never and will never find anything of any significance that would require prosecution.

    Politics is not a “Parlor Game”! It is rough and tumble. To be successful you need to work twice as long as your competitors.You need to be extremely well organized and you need to be exceptionally disciplined, focused and smart. Madigan has all these qualifications whereas the Gop Leaders have little of these qualities.

    Some may not like Madigans politics but he is the best I have seen since the late Richard J. Daley.

  54. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 11:05 am:

    === He represents everything that is wrong with Illinois government, just because he plays the corrupt game better than anyone else does not make him an honorable individual. ===

    @Logan -

    Let’s be honest. Madigan has survived this long in Illinois politics for two reasons: he is the most disciplined guy you’ll ever meet, and unlike everyone else, he knows how to color within the lines.

    You may not like everything Madigan has done, but no one yet, including a zealous federal prosecutor and an overzealous media, has been able to point to anything that was actually Illegal.

    One of my all-time favorite stories was a Sun-Times investigation of lawmakers who were getting super good property tax rates compared to their neighbors.

    In the course of the investigation, the Sun-Times discovered that Madigan was actually paying the highest property taxes in his neighborhood.

    Flummoxed, the Sun-Times called Assessor Houlihan’s office for an explanation.

    The Assessor’s office said that the reason Madigan was paying the highest taxes was because he had requested it.

    When the Sun-Times called Madigan to find out why, they were told that Madigan had requested it because he knew that if he was paying one penny less than anyone else, they would be writing a scandalous story about it.

    That, my friend, is why Mike Madigan is the longest serving legislative leader not just in Illinois, but the country.

  55. - Conservative Veteran - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 11:09 am:

    I agree with everything Rep. Walsh said. I hope that, in 2012, many tea partiers will be elected to the state senate and state house.

  56. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 11:12 am:

    We are all victims in Illinois. Today’s reports show the Illinois’s retirement liabilities are the highest percentage of the budget (45%) of any state.

    Thanks Speaker Madigan and cohorts. Illinois is number one at last.

  57. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 11:16 am:

    –We are all victims in Illinois. Today’s reports show the Illinois’s retirement liabilities are the highest percentage of the budget (45%) of any state.–

    Somehow, I’ll try to get through the day.

  58. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 11:24 am:

    @Plutocrat -

    LOL. I don’t think you want the TEA Party members thinking about government spending and budget deficits.

    Illinois’ debt isn’t even a rounding error compared to the federal debt, which Republicans had a huge hand in.

    National debt by the numbers:

    Federal: $14,330 M
    All States: $1,177 M
    Local Govt: $1,723 M

    I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see that local debt — which we never talk about since local government is dominated by Republicans — exceeds state debt in Illinois.

  59. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 11:30 am:

    BTW, a sampling on State Debt ratios (state debt as a % of state GDP) compared to our two favorite GOP states:

    Illinois: 22.1%
    Texas: 22.8%
    Indiana: 22.4%

  60. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 11:33 am:

    Walsh is the king of tea partiers. They adore him. When the rest of the GOP like myself tried to get die hard tea partiers to focus on Springfield seats, they were distracted by their federal concerns.

    During local elections for school boards and referendums, several tea partiers got their feet wet and made an impact. The status quo on those boards scrambled and were forced to rebut tea party assertions. School referendums that normally would have passed in other years (example Highland Park/Deerfield Dist 113) went down in flames and not by a narrow margin.

    What I like about the tea party is the fact that so few in the opposite party take them seriously. They are still around and learning the ways of government and campaigning. They will be a force to reckon with for years to come.

    If the tea party screams “gerrymanderer” to sitting politicians who vote for a map favorable to them in 2012, their advantages on paper may soon vanish.

    So if the Democrats want to keep the tea party movement alive and inflamed, then gerrymander away instead of creating fair legislative districts! (The old “go on I DARE you ruse!”)

  61. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 11:34 am:

    The debts are about equal, I think:

  62. - Dooley Dudright - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 11:37 am:

    Draw Joe Walsh out of “his” congressional district as some sort of political retribution? Can’t do it.

    Why? A congressperson need only “inhabit the state.”

    U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2: No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

    Bobby Schilling doesn’t live in his district. Melissa Bean didn’t. Walsh himself moved into the 8th AFTER he was nominated.

    (Yet in order to sit in the General Assembly, one must reside in district for two years. Go figure. Constitution of the State of Illinois, Article IV, Section 2c.)

    For a recent discussion, see:

  63. - just sayin' - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 11:40 am:

    I like much about Walsh. I find him refreshing in some ways.

    But now he’s falling into the same trap as most every other hapless GOP official in Illinois. He now wants to focus on bashing Mike Madigan. Meanwhile he’s going to stay silent about the broken nature of his own party in Illinois and the complete lack of Republican leadership in this state.

    2012 will not be 2010. Walsh’s lack of attention to fixing his own house practically guarantees he loses next year. There’s no IL GOP to help him in a more normal year. Redistricting is the final nail.

    In 2013 Walsh will have lots of time to attack Madigan because Walsh will be out of a job.

  64. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 11:45 am:

    ===2012 will not be 2010. Walsh’s lack of attention to fixing his own house practically guarantees he loses next year. There’s no IL GOP to help him in a more normal year. Redistricting is the final nail.===

    I think you are on to something. While the rest of the country MAY feel a GOP “surge”, the ILGOP is in zero position to help, while each incumbent GOP elected official at the state and federal level in IL face some sort of “challenge” with their new district.

    Maybe the next question Congress-Critter Walsh should ask - “How long do I have to wait to be a lobbyist?”

  65. - Ghost - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 11:52 am:

    If Walsh thinks the Tea party will be more successful taking on madigan then Cross, he needs to revisit the Rocky Mountain Way.

  66. - overcooked - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 12:05 pm:

    Whether you hate the tea party folks or not, the evidence shows that Joe Walsh beat a popular Democrat with little help from anyone but the tea party. A change in attention to the state house, especially when the GOP Congressmen get screwed by Madigan in the remap,can influence house races after the boundaries change.

  67. - Anon - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 12:13 pm:

    Madigan has frankly mastered his role as Speaker and will not fall for any reason other than wanting to leave. The man still outworks every legislator in the building day in and day out and the system he has in place simply will not allow him to fall. Great point that he cannot get everything he wants, but can defeat anything he does not want. Walsh is wasting his time. The general voting public has no idea what kind of power he holds because they don’t understand the legislative process. The majority of the voting public also looks favorably upon those they perceive as powerful, that they “get it done” - not unfavorably.

  68. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 12:17 pm:

    @overcooked -

    I like Melissa Bean, but I wouldn’t call her “popular.” Her pro-business leanings created big problems for her within her own party.

    That included a 2010 Green Party candidate who got 6500 votes in a race Bean lost by 300.

    As for the idea that voters are going to revolt over anger at the Remap, good luck with that.

    The remap doesn’t even rate as “Inside Baseball,” its more like “Inside the Manufacturing of Baseball Line Chalk.”

    Voters. Don’t. Care.

  69. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 12:22 pm:

    ===Whether you hate the tea party folks or not, the evidence shows that Joe Walsh beat a popular Democrat with little help from anyone but the tea party.===

    And… the fact that Bean got so “fat and sassy” in laziness terms. Bean got outworked, with help from the Tea Party, but to say Walsh beat a popular Dem … that is a stretch. Bean drank that Potomac Kool-Aid and relied on wonkish laziness, which is a major contributor to the loss as well.

    Further …

    I will not be shocked if the new map makes the Walsh District and THAT “10th District” far more democratic, and move Dold and Biggert to face-off in a district that would THEN have a competetive, democratic-leaning district in the Will County region.

    I could be wrong - been wrong before … but, prime seats for in-roads, for sure in the Southwest Suburbs.

  70. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 12:25 pm:

    Mr. Walsh should worry about his own constituency being displeased with what they have “accomplished” after their big national win in 2010. I hear the Reps home for break are getting an earful about how they have abandoned and/or not accomplished much of their agenda since taking over Congress…

  71. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 12:36 pm:

    Loop Lady,

    Recent reports indicate that the “earful” may be funded by and other liberal leaning organizations, who are shipping in demonstrators. In fact, it is also reported that the vast majority of town hall meetings have not been disrupted in any way shape or form.

  72. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 12:37 pm:

    ===In fact, it is also reported that the vast majority of town hall meetings have not been disrupted in any way shape or form. ===

    Which has always been the case.

  73. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 1:03 pm:

    == Recent reports indicate that the “earful” may be funded by and other liberal leaning organizations, who are shipping in demonstrators. ==


    It MIGHT also have something to do with the fact that the GOP plan to cut Medicare & Medicaid while protecting tax cuts for the wealthy are extremely unpopular.

    That unpopularity extends to TEA Party members, who strongly oppose cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and only marginally oppose raising taxes on those making $250K or more a year.

    70% of TEA Party members oppose the Medicare & Medicaid cuts, while 45% actually support raising taxes on those making $250K or more a year.

  74. - Nuclear Bozo - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 1:10 pm:

    Mike Madigan to Joe Walsh - “life’s been good to me so far.”

  75. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 1:25 pm:

    The reporting suggests the demonstrators have not been Tea Party members, YDD. And the percentage of Tea Partiers opposed to ObamaCare swamp even the 70% number from McClatchy (87%). I have not seen any recent polling or reporting that people object to block-granting Medicaid to the states, but I will look. Surely we can trust Illinois to administer any block grant money wisely.


    Right now seniors are rightfully worried about their Medicare benefits. I believe they will be more supportive of Ryan’s ideas after this summer which will be after the summer recess town halls. You can expect a full blown effort on the part of Republicans to explain that current Medicare recipients, and anyone else currently over the age of 55 will be unaffected by Ryan’s plan.

    I, for one, would like to see means testing and the elimination of all subsidies (from ethanol through high speed rail and green initiatives to mortgage interest deductions) before we talk about any tax increases. No matter how you cut it, talking about income tax rates is nothing more than a veiled attempt at class warfare, a game Democrats, and Obama play with gusto.

  76. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 1:53 pm:

    @Cincy -

    Try looking here.

    Block grants = Cuts, where the goal of the Republicans is to pass the responsibility of cutting either eligibility or reimbursement rates (for docs, hospitals and nursing homes) or both to state government. It is classic Cowardsmanship.

    And its kind of foolish to argue day-in-day-out that Illinois government is corrupt and incompetent and then push block grants as a solution.

    I doubt know if I expect a full court press by Republicans to defend the Ryan plan, but I certainly hope for one.

    2/3 of the spending for Medicaid is for seniors and the disabled. Good luck convincing them.

    And good luck explaining to the rest of America why they should keep paying the SAME into Medicare in order to get FEWER benefits.


  77. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 2:30 pm:

    I don’t see the point of the link, YDD. I is just a regurgitation of the polling already being talked about in this thread, spun by the ever reliable liberal Clarence Thomas.

    Right now, Federal Medicaid funding is a dollar-for-dollar match to whatever the state dreams up, providing a perverse incentive for states to spend more so they receive more Federal aid. Then, the same perverse incentive allows politicians to say we can’t cut the program since the state would then lose Federal dollars.

    The Ryan plan is intended to block grant an amount based on population and other factors. If a state wishes to offer a minimal safety net, they can fund a significant portion of the program using Federal monies. if they choose, as Illinois has, to provide significant benefits (think All-Kids and high “poverty” definitions here in Illinois), it falls to the state to fund those overages and not transfer cost to other Federal taxpayers.

    While such an approach would not satisfy states like Illinois, it would make a significant (perhaps electoral college significant) portion of the voting public happy. Right now, we have seen a combination of voter ignorance of Ryan’s plane cause by the demagoguery of Democrats using half-truth talking points to describe it. Remember that the CBO scores the Ryan plan as significantly reducing the debt, something the Obama and the Democrats cannot claim, even with the introduction of the new 12 year budgeting. If Democrats can make a decent case for holding taxes at the current rate while eliminating subsidies and tax breaks, while accepting the reforms in Ryan, we could really make a dent on the debt, huh?

    It is now in the Republican court to describe the plan, and relate it to the debt which is becoming a hot-button issue and with the state of the economy will probably frame the 2012 election. If they do, they win, if they don’t crash an burn. There’s the challenge, eh?

  78. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 2:34 pm:

    –I is just a regurgitation of the polling already being talked about in this thread, spun by the ever reliable liberal Clarence Thomas.–

    Yeah, old reliable liberal Clarence Thomas……

  79. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 2:46 pm:

    Clarence Thomas … or Clarence Darrow?

  80. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 2:48 pm:

    I think it’s Clarence Carter…

  81. - Shore - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 3:32 pm:

    “dold and biggert in same district”

    thats not possible.

  82. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 3:42 pm:

    @Cincinnatus -

    Unless I’m mistaken, Medicaid only provides coverage for kids enrolled in AllKids up to 133% of the federal poverty level.

    Those enrolled from 134% to 200% of the federal poverty level are paid for solely by the state.

    But let’s be real: 2/3 of the cost of Medicaid is for providing care for seniors and people with disabilities. That money ends up in the pockets of nursing homes, hospitals and doctors.

    And THAT, my friend, is exactly why Congressman Ryan is proposing block grants instead of simply saying “Medicaid isn’t going to fund nursing homes any more.”

    BTW, the poll Clarence PAGE refers to was also done by McClatchy…reliable enough for you to report TEA Party opposition to national health care…

  83. - Obamarama - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 5:55 pm:

    ===spun by the ever reliable liberal Clarence Thomas===

    Is it possible that there are more errors than words in this clause?

  84. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 6:02 pm:

    ===“dold and biggert in same district”

    thats not possible.===

    I meant Kinzinger in Will County with Biggert …

    and, if you have seen Louis Gutierrez’s district, anything is possible

  85. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 6:05 pm:

    ===and, if you have seen Louis Gutierrez’s district, anything is possible===

    This is Snark on my error … before anyone thinks I actuallt THOUGHT it … I menat Adam K

  86. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:45 pm:

    @Oswego Willy,

    In such a remap, would Kinzinger stay in the south suburbs and challenge Biggert or might he move south and challenge Schock or Johnson depending on where Bloomington-Normal winds up. He has roots in that area as well.

  87. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Apr 27, 11 @ 9:55 pm:

    By the way, I have to laugh at the people saying Madigan deserves so much credit for standing up for Blago. Sure he was better than Emil and even Cross in standing up to Blago’s garbage, but so…?

    He still co-chaired Blago’s reelection campaign didn’t he? So that argument just doesn’t hold any water whatsoever with me after Madigan took such strong stands against Blago’s corruption and incompetence earlier in his term… and then changed stripes right before the 2006 election to close ranks around Blago just because that made it easier for him to hold on to his House majority rather than taking a risk and recruiting and supporting a credible challenger of Blago in the primary when that would have been the best thing for both the state AND the Illinois Democratic Party.

    Now that said, I don’t think Madigan is any “king” or “tyrant.” Kings seek power wanting adoration to feed their egos. Tyrants seek power to do things they want and feed their objective desires. Madigan seeks power for its own sake and could care less about whether anyone likes him or anything gets done with his power.

    Thus, he’s simply a very very very shrewd politician, certainly the shrewdest Illinois politician of the last 50 years. I would argue he’s sort of the LBJ of Illinois in terms of being a political operator, and with all the good and bad results that comes from a shrewd political operator like him having as much power as he does.

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