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Question of the day

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013

* Do you ascribe more to the theory that a Gov. Lisa Madigan would concentrate too much power in one family’s hands, or do you lean more to the belief that a Gov. Lisa Madigan would mean that the Democrats would finally elect somebody who could work with House Speaker Michael Madigan?

Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

survey services

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Yossarian Lives - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 1:49 pm:

    How about neither? What if she wants to be her own person and isn’t all that interested in working together for the sake of family ties? Hey, it’s possible.

  2. - Northsider - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 1:59 pm:

    One family leading the executive and half (theoretically) of the legislative branches? Too much concentrated power, even here in Illinois.

  3. - Caveman - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:01 pm:

    We already have a ruling class both statewide and nationally.

  4. - Irish - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:06 pm:

    I voted too much power. I am hoping that this means that MJM might be considering stepping down.
    I see a two Madigan government as fraught with questions of lack of separation of power, checks and balances, who is really running the state, etc. I would not think that Lisa would want her tenure as Governor to be misinterpreted as her father’s. So I am assuming she might know something that has not been made public.

  5. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:07 pm:

    Doesn’t matter. This is not a monarchy, we are egalitarian society. If she is the best, so be it.

  6. - titan - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:08 pm:


  7. - Pinker - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:15 pm:

    I’d feel more comfortable if it was Lisa as governor and a Madigan stooge as speaker, rather than Madigan himself as speaker.

    Appearances, yo…

  8. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:18 pm:

    Too much power. Will she stand on her own or follow her father’s agenda?

  9. - ChicagoR - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:21 pm:

    I’d love to vote for her for governor, but I won’t so long as her father is still in the House.

  10. - MOON - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:25 pm:

    Anybody who knows Lisa is aware of the fact she is her own person and will do what she thinks is best.

    Thats not to say she would not consider any advice from her father.

    Having said that, I do think the voters would have a hard time overcoming the perception that there was ” to much power/authority ” concentrated in one family.

  11. - MrJM - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:28 pm:

    I voted “too much” but I think this is definitely a “yes and” situation.

    – MrJM

  12. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:30 pm:

    It’s a lot of power, no doubt. However I think the AG has shown she can be her own person and not take every order from the Speaker.

    I don’t think the Madigans would abuse their power. I think giving it to them could cause more inaction by everyone else.

    My concern is the illusion that could spread among the General Assembly that the Madigans will have the power to do whatever they want and therefore make it more difficult to whip votes. It’s a concern very similar to the one Rich wrote about a few weeks ago involving House and Senate Democrats fighting over who needs to put a green box next to their name on the board when big bills come up.

    I think a Madigan governor and speaker would also put more power behind the Republican “Fire Madigan” mantra, therefore making it easier for Republicans to walk out of every room and face their constituents.

  13. - Learning the Ropes - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:31 pm:

    I picked “Dems could finally work together” although I’d prefer a 3rd choice. I don’t think the family thing is an issue. The Speaker is good at what he does; AG Madigan is very skilled at her job and could do well as a Governor. I don’t think that family is the determining factor for how this plays out.

    I think AG Madigan is strong enough to stand on her own, and I think she might bring a greater sense of authority to the position of Governor in Illinois. And although there may be some serious butting of heads, I wonder if an approaching retirement (it has to happen sometime) and the family ties might temper some of those conflicts.

  14. - Crazy Like a Fox - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:33 pm:

    Any two family members in constitutional succession is too much - regardless of who the family is.

    I am okay with The Speaker retaining control of the state party and his speakership while Lisa Madigan runs for office but if she wins, he should resign.

    I question how many Republicans would vote for Lisa Madigan for Governor if it meant the Speaker would resign his seat

  15. - Nick Kruse - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:34 pm:

    I would vote for Lisa Madigan because at this point I think anyone would be better than Quinn, but I do have some concerns about that family’s power.

  16. - Rod - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:36 pm:

    I voted that the Dems could finally work together, but Rich your questions were loaded. But as you have said it is your blog and no I don’t want to bite you.

  17. - OldSmoky2 - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:39 pm:

    Lisa Madigan is very, very smart, as smart as anyone I’ve seen in Springfield in the last 15 years. In the estimation of most people I’ve talked to, she’s been a very good AG, just as she was a very good state senator. The voters seem to agree with that. It’s hard to picture her father undercutting her governorship should she win the office. Her track record says that as governor she would have her own agenda. That’s been her MO and I don’t see that changing. Her father would be 73 in 2015. Maybe he’d go along with her agenda, given that he’s likely nearing the last years of his career. In the event that their agendas conflict, I’d see that as far more likely than her changing her ideas to fit what he wants. My bet is that she’s smart enough to find ways to incorporate her own ideas into a legislative agenda that her father can support.

  18. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:50 pm:

    it really is too bad that there is such a question surrounding what a very good public official may or may not do. but the separation of government simply would not exist clearly and it must. there are enough questions with Mike as head of the party and whether the AG get some sort of preference and both of them in the highest public offices would just be more of that on a higher level.

  19. - Cheryl 44 - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:51 pm:

    I think neither. I heard an interview with her long ago (probably on WBEZ, or maybe it was Craig Dellimore) in which she stated that she and Speaker Madigan (which is what she called him) keep work separate from their family life.

  20. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:55 pm:

    “Any two family members in constitutional succession is too much - regardless of who the family is. ”

    Yeah but the Speaker is way down the list, if it has to go that deep we have bigger issues..

  21. - Old Timer - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 2:57 pm:

    Even if he retires and she is Governor, his voice will be heard through Mautino. So in the end, it makes no difference.

  22. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 3:05 pm:

    Too much, only if for appearance purposes.

    Kinda like the two brothers in Wisconsin controlling the House and Senate.

  23. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 3:22 pm:

    Voted too much power in ONE FAMILY’S hands, as in UNPRECEDENTED WAAAAAAAAAAAY too much power! And I strongly agree with both Northsider and Irish’s comments above, specifically as to the likelihood about rampant problems “fraught with questions of separation of power, checks and balances, who really is running the State, etc.” In Illinois, where we’ve already been time and again humiliated publicly by the transgressions of SO many past Governors and other elected officials??!! Puhlease!! Talk about the daily 800-pound Gorilla(s???) in the room” which EVERYbody would be aware of and be “hush-hush” to converse about–except for outside of that room!!! That scenario would be a time bomb of alleged corruption just WAITing to explode!

  24. - Curious - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 3:28 pm:

    Even if the Speaker retires and Lisa wins the governor’s race, would that really mean that Republicans and other folks would move on from Madigan and turn to new things? Even if he no longer was Speaker, or even if he left the GA altogether wouldn’t Governor Lisa Madigan be met at every turn with accusations that she’s merely doing his father’s bidding from a far?

  25. - Darienite - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 3:28 pm:

    Daley, Hynes, Jackson, Madigan, how much nepotism is thrown at us before we say “enough”? Even if MJM resigns, can we only vote for legacies?

  26. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 3:49 pm:

    I voted too much power. I wonder - is there NOONE else in this state who could do as good a job as Ms Madigan. She seems able in her current position - I don’t doubt that her father has schooled her and would provide ongoing support. I just wish we had some other way to bring a competent person into the gov mansion without all the Kafquesque machinations.

  27. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 3:50 pm:

    Or perhaps I should have said Machiavellian machinations. Not that it matters much.

  28. - Endangered Moderate Species - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 3:51 pm:

    This may be the combination we need to breakthrough the fiscal issues that are burdening our State.

  29. - state worker - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 4:00 pm:

    This might sound a little strange. But here goes. What makes me uncomfortable about both of them is their interest in retaining power. In her case, she does a lot of advertising to make it seem like elderly folks are under constant attack from predators. In the speaker’s case, he does it by keeping all the Dems away from tough bills.

    I understand that’s part of politics but I go for the people who have more heart out front and less power calculus. I like the people who can’t help themselves and try to solve the mess.

    So the thought of having a father and daughter doesn’t bother me, but these two are too power-centric. And, I have to say, I respect the speaker more. He will take care of state business if he has to.

  30. - OurMagician - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 4:00 pm:

    The state and the country are in such great shape….we elect Daley(s), we elect Bush(es), we elect Kennedy(s), we elected a Clinton, many want another one…Power in the same hands and in the same family is much like the shampoo bottle instructions, lather, rinse, repeat. The bills get higher, the problems get bigger, and their are more family fingers to point at the other guy.

  31. - Rudykzooti - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 4:06 pm:

    If the old man is out of the picture maybe I could vote for her, but even if he retires, you know he would be an influence no matter what she says…

  32. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 4:11 pm:

    These either/or questions are vexing. On the one hand, I’d feel better about electing Lisa Madigan as Governor if her father retired from the House. On the other hand, if you’re going to concentrate that much power in one family, you could do a lot worse than giving it to the Madigans. Both father and daughter, despite their detractors, are exceptionally talented and dedicated public servants.

    I also quibble with the second choice. I think there are other potential Democratic governors (and maybe a Republican or two) who could work together with Madigan and the other leaders to break the gridlock. I do not believe Lisa Madigan working with her father as Speaker is the only way to get big things done.

    I guess my preference would be, if Lisa was elected, that her father would resign his house seat and become her consigliere. I do think one of the few valid knocks against her candidacy is his current status as Speaker. He could remove that negative and still be in a position to help her succeed and govern.

    If he stays, she could probably still overcome the situation and be successful, but putting to rest all of the conspiracy stories would be a tiresome distraction. They’d simply be giving lots of ammunition to their critics without gaining much in return. Let’s face it, they are both currently very powerful. It’s not like they would become dramatically more powerful if she won the Governor’s race.

  33. - Joe Bidenopoulous - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 4:14 pm:

    I voted ‘work together’ but that was really because I don’t buy into the ‘too much power’ argument.

    I was in that building daily before Lisa and I can say with some certainty that she doesn’t march to the beat of the Velvet Hammer. Rich has many anecdotes to back that up. It might give off that appearance, but it’s not the case when applied to policy.

    For the anti-nepotism crowd, you should be careful how you couch that. Let me flip the question - if Lisa is qualified and enough people want her, should she be dismissed because of who is in her family? Because I’m sure y’all got some skeletons in your family that we could just go ahead and paint you with too.

  34. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 4:35 pm:

    Lisa Madigan is bright, accomplished, hardworking, independent. So I don’t see voting for her as a vote for nepotism.

    But in this poll, I voted too much concentrated power. The concern I have is that she might look the other way at some of the shenanigans/pet projects of her father (i.e., the $35,000,000 grant attempt), and also that Dem legislators might be fearful to criticize anything either Madigan does, for fear of ticking off two powerful people, rather than one.

    I do think the Speaker will announce that he’ll retire if Lisa wins, and do it cleverly so, at some point during the campaign, to deflate this position of attack on Lisa.

  35. - bored now - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 5:20 pm:

    if lisa runs without the retirement of her father from speaker of the house, there will be a revolt among many democrats. republicans could expect to do MUCH better in cook county than they had previously. sure, regular democrats would fall in line, but illinois democrats have a rich variety outside of the regular democrats category. i’ve told lisa this, and i seriously doubt i am the only one. power concentrated in the hands of one family, which had been accepted in previous generations, just doesn’t sit well with people who live outside of the traditional democratic machine…

  36. - Ruby - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 5:33 pm:

    Does anyone else here have daughters who are young adults? Do those daughters seek and actually follow your advice? Do they agree with you about politics? I didn’t think so.

  37. - Springfieldish - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 5:51 pm:

    Continuing Ruby’s line of reasoning, how many father’s would step out of the limelight on behalf of their rising star daughter?

    I voted that Lisa could finally lead the Dems mainly because she is very smart, very savvy, and a good leader in both her own office and nationally among other attorneys general. If her father remains in office, she might be the only person who can temper his power-for-power’s-sake -alone moves. There is always the question of ‘will she.’

  38. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 5:54 pm:

    Nepotism is quite popular in third world governments like the one in Chicago.

  39. - Independent - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 5:58 pm:

    I think Mike would retire before it got to that point. He is acutely aware of how perceptions might damage the party that means everything to him. Also if Lisa ran while he was in power the media might demand he actually answer questions personally, which seems to be beneath Mike.

    I am more concerned about Lisa becoming governor period, given her extreme caution and willingness to address only the most politically simple topics in her near decade as AG. Extreme caution is not going to fix our problems and I don’t think she can turn it on like a light switch if elected Gov.

  40. - Fred's Mustache - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 7:44 pm:

    ==Even if MJM resigns, can we only vote for legacies?==

    No, you can vote for Quinn.

  41. - Fred's Mustache - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 8:05 pm:

    By the way, I find this “outrage” over having too much power concentrated in one family’s hands to be nonsense. The cries about legacies and nepotism ignore the simple fact that both Lisa and MJM are ELECTED officials.

    Every election for the past 40 years, MJM has been re-elected as Representative of the 22nd District. Lisa is in her 4th term as Attorney General. They weren’t appointed. People voted. They won. (Democracy is a beautiful thing, isn’t it!)

    If Lisa decides to run for governor, the people of the State of Illinois will have their say once again.

  42. - Pecasugar - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 8:33 pm:

    I believe that MJM will announce his retirement as Speaker as soon as Lisa announces her candidacy, but he will stay on as Democratic Party chair. That would be much less of a conflict, and give him a great role in retirement.
    Does this mean we will see the pension problem resolved before she campaigns?
    Next question for Rich - future Speakers?

  43. - Hans Sanity - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 8:34 pm:

    I’m surprised so many comments suggest it’s all about relatives calling the shots without mentioning campaign fund contributors.

  44. - park - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 9:18 pm:

    not only too much power, too much Chicago D power. They have run the entire state (not just Cook County) for 10 years, and have frankly ruined the place. No more.

  45. - Steve Bartin - Wednesday, Jan 23, 13 @ 10:03 pm:

    It’s funny stuff. Illinois is so inbred. Look at the financial condition of the state. Yeah, we are Democrats! Yeah! Let’s vote for more of the same! Wouldn’t things be easier if Illinois ran as a monarchy?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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