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Rep. Cassidy explains her Madigan vote

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017

* From a constituent e-mail sent today by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago)…

With the start of a new term also comes a new election for leadership in both chambers. Speaker Madigan has been in that role for 30 years (with the exception of 2 years when democrats lost the majority) and is the second longest serving leader of any state legislative body in the history of the United States.

I have heard from several constituents urging me to vote against Speaker Madigan. I can fully appreciate the frustration expressed towards him, and I have been vocal in my belief that we need to be doing things differently than we have over the last two years. At the same time, laying all the blame for this standoff on Speaker Madigan isn’t accurate either. I have been critical of both Speaker Madigan and Governor Rauner when they deserve it and will continue to do so.

Ultimately, the election of Speaker of the House is a choice between candidates. As of right now, there are two candidates who have declared their intention to run for Speaker on Wednesday - Michael Madigan and Jim Durkin, the current House Minority Leader. My responsibility is to cast my vote for the person whose values most closely align with mine. Madigan, while flawed, supports the rights of workers, equality for women and the LGBT community, and he is pushing back against policies that hurt middle class families and those living in poverty.

I have a good working relationship with Leader Durkin, but to put him in charge of the House would effectively put Governor Rauner in the driver’s seat. I cannot in good conscience cast a vote that would ultimately harm the people I represent even more than they have been already.

Ending this stalemate is important. But ending it by allowing Governor Rauner to ram through policies aimed at ending collective bargaining, enriching private contractors, decimating child care and care for the elderly and disabled, among a long list of things our caucus has pushed back against in an effort to find a budget solution not held hostage by non-budgetary issues, is not the right answer.

Assuming Speaker Madigan is reelected this week, I intend instead to continue to forcefully push him towards more thoughtful solutions and alternative policies that will actually help the people we serve, along with a more open process to allow more ideas to come to the floor.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


42 Comments »
  1. - Lech W - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 2:42 pm:

    The devil that you know …..


  2. - Mama - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 2:50 pm:

    Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), I wished you were my representative. I like the way you think. You made a wise decision.


  3. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 2:51 pm:

    “I have a good working relationship with Leader Durkin, but to put him in charge of the House would effectively put Governor Rauner in the driver’s seat. I cannot in good conscience cast a vote that would ultimately harm the people I represent even more than they have been already.”

    This.


  4. - Northsider - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 2:54 pm:

    Yep.


  5. - Archiesmom - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 2:56 pm:

    Well said.


  6. - DuPage - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 2:58 pm:

    Sums it up EXACTLY!


  7. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:00 pm:

    Well said Representative Cassidy.


  8. - Because I Said So.... - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:03 pm:

    Spot on.


  9. - illini97 - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:04 pm:

    See, ck? That’s effective communication.


  10. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:04 pm:

    When you need six paragraphs to explain how an absolutely disastrous decision is the best one, maybe you should be running for Speaker…. Not sayin… just sayin….


  11. - illini97 - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    When people believe a whopping six paragraphs is too much to read with respect to who will be Speaker and a legislator’s thoughts on the budget stalemate, I’m saddened. Do you need Cliff Notes? Should all positions or thoughts on public policy need to be reduced to 140 characters?….Not sayin…just sayin…

    @RealKCassidy
    “Mike Madigan, though flawed, more close aligns with my Democratic values than Durkin.”

    Is that better?


  12. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    Ducky- Not everything related to governance can be related in 140 characters. Nor should it be.


  13. - AlfondoGonz - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:16 pm:

    Amazing how much better a politician sounds when she is courageous enough to be honest.


  14. - Signal and Noise - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:34 pm:

    Rep. Cassiday, please share your notes with your caucus. Some of them need some messaging help.


  15. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:38 pm:

    Only one democratic candidate for Speaker?

    I wonder why that is?


  16. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:39 pm:

    ===Only one democratic candidate for Speaker?===

    Only one Republican candidate for Speaker too.

    Not much wonderment, really, if you understood how Caucuses work.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:43 pm:

    Rep. Cassidy continues to be thoughtful to her job, constituents, caucus, and state.

    You can agree or disagree with her politics, issues, but you can not say Rep. Cassidy is not a credit to herself or the House.

    Thank you, Representative for bringing an insight of someone inside the arena, and being so thoughtful to yourself and to the body you sit.


  18. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:44 pm:

    Without a change in the house rules, Cassidy will get to continue to hide behind Madigan’s control over what makes it to the floor. Some of the commentators on here need to hold off on the backslapping until she actually does something.


  19. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:44 pm:

    Do you think “several constituents” have been contacting their Republican representatives about ousting Leader Durkin?

    Does leader Durkin have the reputation of being the most unpopular legislator in the state?

    I recall representative Drury putting a trial ballon last week and I am sure you do too


  20. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:48 pm:

    Anon 3:39 - game, set, match. Mic drop. Take the rest of the day off. You earned it!


  21. - ChicagoR - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:50 pm:

    “i recall representative Drury putting a trial balloon last week”

    I didn’t see that. Did the balloon say “I don’t know if you know, but I’m a former federal prosecutor” on the side?


  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:52 pm:

    ===Do you think “several constituents” have been contacting their Republican representatives about ousting Leader Durkin?===

    “Do I think”, now you want me to speculate? I don’t know.

    ===Does leader Durkin have the reputation of being the most unpopular legislator in the state?===

    Unless Durkin polls at 100%, I guess there’s dissent for Durkin too, even if it’s by “several”?

    ===I recall representative Drury putting a trial ballon last week and I am sure you do too.===

    And? What’s the point?


  23. - Earnest - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:02 pm:

    It’s well-written and the kind of thing I’d like to see from my representatives. So were Rep Mitchell’s comments included in that earlier post today. I do think the Democratic Party of Illinois needs some consistent messages and themes which could be worked into all these things.


  24. - JDuc - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:04 pm:

    Very well said


  25. - Grand Avenue - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:05 pm:

    I don’t think Kelly Cassidy’s going to have to be worried about explaining her Madigan vote to constituents. Phelps, Costello, Yingling, Katie Stuart, etc different story


  26. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:06 pm:

    ===Does leader Durkin have the reputation of being the most unpopular legislator in the state?===

    Not yet. Perhaps if the ownership of the state’s leading newspaper and several of its wealthiest citizens decided to “enhance his negatives,” maybe he could get there someday.

    Don’t give up hope Pierre. Anything can happen.


  27. - Wylie Coyote - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    Taht’s a very well-written way of covering your political butt.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    ===Phelps, Costello, Yingling, Katie Stuart, etc different story===

    Meh.

    Rauner is going after them no matter how they vote for Speaker.

    The foolishness is folding to Rauner in voting for Madigan and then Rauner goes roughshod on them after anyway.

    Plus, if Rauner is already calling out “connections” to Madigan for everyone and their brother, there’s no reasonable belief that Rauner is going to stop by not voting for Madigan.


  29. - Wylie Coyote - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    That’s a very well-written way of covering your political butt.


  30. - A guy - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:10 pm:

    It would be a thoughtful and brave statement…from someone in a target district. The most telling thing here is that she isn’t, and she’s responding to a lot of people who have contacted her office. There’s a message there.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:18 pm:

    ===It would be a thoughtful and brave statement…from someone in a target district.===

    It’s not thoughtful?

    What is it, carefree and aloof, silly musing?

    Words actually have meanings. This is thoughtful.

    ===The most telling thing here is that she isn’t, and she’s responding to a lot of people who have contacted her office.===

    So, you want members that don’t respond to constituents? There are whole newsletters, some quarterly, that members respond to, you guessed it, constituent concerns.

    ===There’s a message there.===

    Good thing Madigan only has to win his own district and not hers, and good thing that Cassidy explained that a vote for Durkin is a “vote for Rauner” to also clear up the issue.


  32. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:22 pm:

    Yes A Guy, and the message is that she’s an articulate and thoughtful representative who actually votes her conscience.


  33. - burbanite - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:43 pm:

    No one spent millions maligning Durkin across the state for over two years, heck, half the state probably doesn’t know he even exists.


  34. - Arock - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:49 pm:

    Not blaming Madigan fully for the last two years but his thirty plus year track record is nothing to vote for as under his House leadership this mess was begun and continually got worse with almost no course correction.


  35. - Doofman - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:49 pm:

    She’s been saying this at public constituent events for a long time, this is not a new position.


  36. - Bear3 - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 4:56 pm:

    Consistent and thoughtful realist will balance a money dominated “buy anything” go Mike!


  37. - FedUpwithILL - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 5:28 pm:

    Better to abstain than vote for the status quo. Rauner has been in office for just over two years while Madigan has been there for over 40. The public employee union spin in these blog comments is a flimsy attempt to hide the fact that he runs things and what he says goes, Rauner can only say yes or no to what Madigan sends him and so far that has been nothing good for taxpayers.


  38. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 5:31 pm:

    @Anon221

    Gosh. Even 140 characters is too many. A vote for leadership shouldn’t require any explanation… especially when someone is the only person running from your own party.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 5:32 pm:

    ===Better to abstain than vote for the status quo.===

    The status quo now has Rauner refusing to submit a budget, how’s that for status quo?

    ===Rauner has been in office for just over two years while Madigan has been there for over 40.===

    Rauner has yet to get a budget passed, Madigan worked with governors of both parties to get budgets.

    ===The public employee union spin in these blog comments is a flimsy attempt to hide the fact that he runs things and what he says goes, Rauner can only say yes or no to what Madigan sends him and so far that has been nothing good for taxpayers.===

    Everyone are taxpayers, even those in unions.

    You’re so fed up, ask Rauner where’s his budget.

    … and no one is in your lawn.


  40. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 8:48 pm:

    For those representatives that will have to defend their vote for the Speaker I would avoid the flattery of Susana Mendoza and John Bradley.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 8:53 pm:

    ===For those representatives that will have to defend their vote for the Speaker I would avoid the flattery of Susana Mendoza and John Bradley.===

    … and Rauner was in Ads for all those Raunerites too, LOL!


  42. - Thoughts Matter - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:18 pm:

    Look quick, an adult is expressing valid opinions and articulate points of reasons. Now would the rest of our legislators try to keep up.


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