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Question of the day

Wednesday, Aug 25, 2010

* From a press release by Democratic House candidate Dennis Ahern…

“It is clear that people are ready for a change in leadership throughout our state. I believe that change must start at the top. If I am fortunate enough to win on November 2nd, my first vote will be for a new Speaker of the House of Representatives. This vote will not be for the current Speaker. My vote will go to a non-incumbent, a freshman.” [Emphasis added]

Ahern is running against Republican Rich Morthland for retiring Democratic Rep. Mike Boland’s seat.

* The Question: Your thoughts on this idea? Politically and governmentally, please.

…Adding… I should’ve noted that Ahern will continue to take money and staff assistance from Madigan.

* Related…

* Ahern: If elected, I’ll vote against Madigan as Illinois House speaker

* Ahern distances himself from Madigan

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:05 pm:

    I asked this (if she would vote for Madigan for speaker) of a state house challenger (a Dem) in Naperville before the primary. She was speechless.

    Seems like an interesting idea, if I was him I would be looking for a horse head in my bed.

  2. - Gary LaPaille's Ghost - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:06 pm:

    About time somebody did this.

  3. - MKA1985 - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:08 pm:

    If he’s saying he’d vote for a freshman Rep to be Speaker of the House… then that is a very bad idea. It’s ripped from the whole, “Let’s vote ‘em all out of office and get in fresh blood,” sound bite, which sounds great on the campaign trail, but I fear would lead to someone without a sense of legislative history or process.

  4. - Bill - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:09 pm:

    When interviewing candidates that was always one of my stock questions. For decades, the favorable answer was always was Oh yes!Of course!!
    Now the correct answer is just what Ahern says…NO!NEVER!!
    Funny how times change.

  5. - Nearly Normal - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:10 pm:

    Probably plays well in the district. However, if elected, what next? If Madigan has the votes to be speaker and Ahern doesn’t vote for MikeM then he will be at the bottom of the committee assignments for the duration.

  6. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:10 pm:

    Few people this side of Blago hates Mike Madigan more than I do. But this otherwise worthy statement is undercut when he vows he’ll vote for a freshman/non-incumbant for House instead. Huh? Who is this shining bastion of good government who doesn’t owe his or her political life to Mike Madigan? Or is he referring to himself?

  7. - tubbfan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:11 pm:

    I don’t like the idea of having a freshman Speaker, however for the reasons MKA stated.

  8. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:11 pm:

    Governmentally No. Some experience would be required before taking a leadership role in any legislature.

    Politically: Smart. We tried this in my legislative district the last two election cycles and no one cared if the incumbent voted for Madigan or not. This time those property tax articles about him and the state’s current financial crisis give it some traction.

  9. - Objective Dem - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:13 pm:

    I can understand not voting for the current speaker. But saying you are going to vote for a freshman because they don’t have any experience is just silly and naive. First a freshman isn’t going to win. Second if a freshman could win, I can’t imagine them being able to do a passable job. It is also insulting to existing experienced state reps that they are so “tainted” that they can’t serve as leader.

  10. - Democrat Grrrrl - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:18 pm:

    If he says he won’t vote for Madigan for Speaker, then he shouldn’t take staff and financial help from Madigan, either. His stand is self-serving and hypocritical, to say the least.

  11. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:19 pm:

    I think Ahern is laying the ground work to vote for himself as Speaker. All he needs is 59 more votes.

    Politically, taking money for his campaign while pledging to vote against him for Speaker sounds duplicitous as best. Why not come out for term limits and public campaign financing too? That would at least be less hypocritical and intellectually dishonest than this tripe.

    Governmentally, having a freshman Speaker would seem a horrible idea, unless the new Speaker retains Mapes and the rest of the staff to tell him/her what all of the various rules are for and whatnot.

    So unless the freshman is say, John Cullerton or Bob Molaro, somebody who has knowledge of the rules but isn’t currently a representative, then I think this is one of the stupidest ideas ever floated in a legislative campaign.

  12. - Irish - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:22 pm:

    It has become very clear that the present Speaker’s concerns do not include the fiscal welfare of the State. For that reason he has to go.

    I think this type of talk will play well almost everywhere except probably in MJM’s district.

    I do not like the idea of a freshman as the leader in the House or Senate. However that being said I wonder if anyone other than a freshman would accept the nomination. Most of the non-freshman either owe too much to MJM for past assistance or they do not want to incur his wrath if they lose. Elsewise why haven’t they stood up to him over this fiscal mess?

    So I guess if the Dems retain control of the house it would have to be a freshman or it will be MJM. If the Reps take control it will be moot.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:23 pm:

    I want to be in the room, when the “newly-minted” Speaker Michael J. Madigan calls the newly sworn-in fresman to the Speaker’s Office ….


    “It’s Dennis, Speaker.”

    “Danny, don’t wish for this meeting to end quick, because this will probably be our last private conversation. I just want you to know … I am here, you are here … and then you won’t be here.”

  14. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:26 pm:

    I agree with Dem Girl…now if an incumbent Rep of high moral standing did this (please ignore the obvious oxymoron in this sentence) THAT would be something…Mike has the money, therefore the power to wield…nice press pop by the candidate I must say…

  15. - Dan S, a taxpayer and a Cubs Fan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:26 pm:

    Governmentally, responsible - politically, “dead man wallkin”

  16. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:30 pm:

    List of people who will like this pledge:

    Indepented voters in the district
    Partisan Republicans in the district
    Democrats who were passed over for jobs and such in the district
    Anyone who wants to run for that seat in two years.

    People who will not like this pledge:

    All elected democrats in the district
    All municipalities in the district, including police, fire, townships
    All school districts in the district
    All agency offices located in the district
    All projects in the pipeline to get funding in the district
    Anyone donating money before this press release was issued

    Might be a tough first month of work if elected … then a tough two years.

  17. - Niles Township - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:32 pm:

    Nice political ploy that is probably well-intended. As long as Madigan is around nothing changes. But this won’t work.

  18. - Commonsense in Illinois - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:35 pm:

    Okay, big deal if that is what Ahern wants to run on, fine. Go ahead and insist this is what you’re going to do and vote for anyone you want…of course you have to nominate a person to run against Speaker Madigan and have that nomination seconded, so there’s three people away from the fold just to let a freshman fulfill a campaign promise? Good luck there youngin’.

  19. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:35 pm:

    Should Morthland win the election, he will probably not vote for the current Speaker either. And didn’t Elaine Nekritz vote against the current Speaker at the beginning of the current session? No big deal to say what Abernathy said, either politically or governmentally. Just more forgettable pre-election space filler.

  20. - Patriot - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:36 pm:

    Governmentally: our state is in the worst shape it’s been in it’s history. The house just passed an unconstitutional budget by it’s own laws. Madigan has been head this whole time. So it can’t get much worse. When someone does a horrible job in any other marketplace, they are fired. This shouldn’t be any different.

    Politically: Madigan is not a popular figure outside his pheifdom so let the sky rain bombs.

    The arguement against new blood is pretty rediculous considering that it can’t get much worse for the state. Every move Madigan has made is for self-preservation rather than good for the state.

    Ironically, Madigan’s moves affect the whole state and yet state voters have no say in his election outside of his district - save voting for someone who pledges not to vote for him as Speaker.

  21. - in absentia - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:36 pm:

    Thank you OW; that is accurate. And (Nearly Normal), I’m curious as to why you would think this would play well with voters in this district?

    I heard this rubbish from a candidate many years ago in a downstate senate race saying that his first vote would not be for Emil Jones. I think the implication was somewhat a play of the race card but whatever the implication was, it totally did NOT work. I think the press release was ill advised.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:37 pm:

    Dear Candidate Ahern,

    Way to Go! I am behind you all the way.


    Tom Cross

  23. - TwoFeetThick - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:39 pm:

    Politically, it will no doubt play well, at least to that minority of voters who actually know who MJM is. But, it will ring hollow and open him up to an onslaught of hypocrisy charges unless he also eschews any money or staff assistance from MJM. And, if he does that, he’s toast anyway - he won’t be able to get his message out, and no one with influence and money will help him for fear of the MJM’s wrath.

    Governmentally, a freshman as speaker would make for very entertaining high comedy as they lurch and blunder, but that’s about it. They would stand no chance of being effective, unless the minority party nominated an equally inexperienced leader. Even so, they would probably pass a large number of procedurally-flawed bills that would be tossed out by the courts anyway.

  24. - Been There - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:40 pm:

    ===If I am fortunate enough to win on November 2nd===
    First off, he may not be as fortunate as he might have been if he didn’t utter these words. On the other hand, Madigan doesn’t really care what his candidates say while campaigning as long as they come around once in the seat. So politically, maybe not a bad move as long as Madigan is still providing help.
    Governmentally? Well since he narrowed the pool of potential speakers down considerably it is probably the worst idea ever. Even though there are good candidates who are going to win, that doesn’t mean they are ready to be speaker. Look what happened when we put Pat Quinn in as governor.
    There looks like there could be theoretically about 39 potential freshman, realistically its probably more like 6 potentials for him to vote for and that’s assuming he gets in.

  25. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:41 pm:

    This is a “throw the bums out” campaign cycle, on TOP of the “dems are in power, so let’s show them our displeasure” and in that district, to tap into that distain, the candidate is becoming the “proxy” for the voters in sending a message to “shake up the system”.

    The voters would be in the “like” catagory for my breakdown, but in reality, they know that it might be futile, “But what a statement, eh!”

  26. - in absentia - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:42 pm:

    …and governmentally speaking if he wins, what will he do when the vote is taken for Speaker? Move to over-rule the chair? LOL All his bills will be d.o.a.

  27. - cousin ralph - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:44 pm:

    A sign of things to come. Check out the D2s, wonder if Madigan has not been forthcoming with finacial support in the amounts this candidate anticipated? The aftermath of this election is going to be grizzly for DEMs. Madigan will not be immuned.

  28. - Ghost - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:44 pm:

    As an aside, I wonder how many people really know who madigan is name recognition wise for this to have leggs.

    That said, the idea that we want the general assembly overseen by the most politically inexperienced suggests this is not the person you want.

    Our system of checks and balances relies on the GA to keep the Gov in check. Blago and Jones gave us glimpses of what the breakdown of this check on the gov authority can do to the State. Even the other party GOP was climbing in bed with Blago to get money. At the end of the day we need a GA that can stand up to the Gov, not be afraid or unable to deal with an overreaching gov due to lack of experience.

    You may hate madigna, but he was the only one that stood between the taxpayers and handing blago 54 billion in pay to play contracts; and he had to stand up to the GOP, Blago and Jones.

  29. - Piling on - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:45 pm:

    anon @ 1:35:
    Nekritz was the lone Dem voted against Madigan’s rules (which are nearly as important as the vote for speaker). You are correct. She seems to have survived just fine with her committee chairmanship still in place.

    If I remember correctly, and I almost always do, Cross and Madigan have voted for each other before as some kind of sign of bipartisan cooperation.

  30. - Draznnl (Rhymes with orange) - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:46 pm:

    I once had a freshman candidate in a Republican District who returned Madigan’s check to him. At re-election time, he had Madigan’s folks in there running the campaign for him. If it helps him get to Springfield, Ahern won’t be hurt by this. The question will be how he behaves after that Speaker vote.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:49 pm:

    ===I once had a freshman candidate in a Republican District who returned Madigan’s check to him. At re-election time, he had Madigan’s folks in there running the campaign for him.===

    So …. the Speaker got to run the campaign the next time? Sounds like the Speaker got him …I dunno (honsetly, not snark) if Ahern is of that ilk(?)

  32. - siriusly - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:55 pm:

    If Ahern wins.

    Voting for a Freshman for speaker implies that a freshman will actually run for speaker. When it comes time to organize in January and Madigan is the only one running for Speaker, Ahern is going to vote no?

    What’s the reason? Because Madigan stopped Blago’s GRT? Because Madigan didn’t put enough votes on the income tax increase?

    I understand the frustration and the Madigan bashing is “feel-good” but I would have a lot more confidence in this guy as a candidate for public office if he actually gave a reason for wanting The Speaker gone.

    Just wait until he sees the potential replacements in action. He may reconsider that statement.

  33. - Vole - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:55 pm:

    File: Illinois government sucks, the headlines are preordained in Springfield

  34. - Luke - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 1:56 pm:

    This sounds like a stunt. It’s hard to see anyone taking on Mike Madigan in the Democrat or Republican party.

  35. - easy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:00 pm:

    Looks like a “circular firing squad” on the dem side. How does it go…?

  36. - Downstater - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:04 pm:

    Great political move. Agree with comments on the Freshman/non-incumbent choice. Dillutes the message.

    Uhm… this the second shot in Illinois Circular Firing Squad called the Democratic party?

  37. - Ghost - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:10 pm:

    Is Durbin still running around trying to put together his own database and shift dem power? Ahern could try reaching out to durbin for financial support and get of the madigan train if madigan vexes him so.

  38. - Louis Howe - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:15 pm:

    Ahern’s not creditable. He took money and staff help to win a close primary and continues to take support from Madigan. If Madigan needs Ahern’s vote, what do you think will happen…he’ll make the vote. As for the question of whether it’s time for Madigan to go…Perhaps, but what’s the alternative. Picture Blago in office, would we have been better off with Madigan or a freshman newbie? Enough said. Now imagine a Gov. Brady presenting a budget, would democrats rather have Madigan or somebody else….can you think of anybody else effectively representing democrats sitting across the negotiating table. The only scenario that makes shipping Madigan back to the Southside sensible is if Quinn wins and that looks to be a very remote possibility

  39. - downstater - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:22 pm:

    Maybe this is why Tom Cross spent so much money targeting McNeil for defeat in the Feb primary … Either the Dems got their lines criss-crossed or Cross was right to help Ahern win.

    Regardless, this Ahern move is probably smart politics. He also announced that he would return his per diem to social service agencies in the district. He’s running as an outsider and against Democrats. Might help him on Nov. 2.

  40. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:22 pm:

    Ahern is probably saying and doing what Madigan’s people told him to say and do. Frankly, Madigan would not be worried about being beat by a freshman in a race for Speaker; if anyone would be able to beat him, it would be another lawmaker with a history in the House. So, promising to vote for a freshman is, in essence, a vote for Madigan.

  41. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:25 pm:

    There are no certainties here - everything is up for grabs, seemingly. Sure, it is a risk for Ahern to stake out this position at this time. If he is elected and his ploy fails, he is DOA in Springfield and out in 2 years. If he is elected and he succeeds he will be hailed as the new David to Madigan’s Goliath.

    As a freshman himself, he could position himself as the candidate to succeed MJM and reap the rewards. A freshman speaker is about as likely as 3 toed snake and about as useful. MJM being tossed out as speaker if the Dems maintain majority is at least plausible. If others jump on the bandwagon this thing could gain momentum. Could be a useful campaign message to folk in his district that are fed up w/Dems but might vote for one who asserts his independence from the Chicago Machine. Ahern should take the money from the state Dem committee. MJM may run it but he doesn’t own it…..does he?

  42. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:29 pm:

    Politically and governmentally, I thinks it’s a silly publicity stunt. Who’s paying the rent, lol.

  43. - done - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:38 pm:

    I understand all the downsides to having a freshman speaker (knowledge of the process, political capital, etc.), but I think we should try something new. The state is in shambles, Madigan’s reign helped get it this way, and it might actually breathe some new ideas into state government if we have an inexperienced Speaker.

  44. - fedup dem - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:43 pm:

    He was right to say no on voting for Madigan for Speaker. However, to limit his choice to a fellow freshman was not such a good idea.

  45. - Vote Quimby! - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:47 pm:

    Is anyone else cynical enough to think Madigan may have condoned this move to gauge it’s impact and see who else takes the bait?
    But I hope at least the statement begins the debate out qualities of a good speaker of the house…

  46. - Bluefish - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:48 pm:

    Let’s play WHAT IF…
    What if we somehow end up with a tied House at 59-59? Ahern votes for someone other than Madigan and Cross gets the Speaker gavel?

  47. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:55 pm:

    He needed to have checked with me first.
    This is what he should have said…

    “After listening to you, I have discovered that our state is ready for a fresh start. If I am fortunate enough to win on November 2nd, my vote for Speaker of the House of Representatives will reflect their desire for change. My vote for this vital leadership position will reflect their wishes.”

  48. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:56 pm:

    There was a time when a Saviano/59-59, Speakership was in play during a cycle, but his “fallout” with the Speaker, a personal fallout no less, and his “role” in the horrible ILHRO, (no fault to Skip, but they are, at times, brutal) would probably exclude him.

  49. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:03 pm:

    I know math is hard, but really, if there is a 59-59 tie, no one is left to break it. It might come down to 59-58 and the last vote either ties it up or becomes the magic #60. But nobody can break a 59-59 tie last I checked.

  50. - Wondering - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:06 pm:

    Either this candidate is out on a very thin branch or Madigan has condoned this tactic if it helps him retain this democratic seat. I can’t help but remember how the House Democrats allowed Mike Curran’s rant against Speaker Madigan on the House Floor because it played well in his Springfield district.

  51. - Bill - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:12 pm:

    I agree with Quimby.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Madigan put Ahern up to this. Look at all the free media he’s getting. It worked. I had never heard of him before. Now, he’s my hero.I’m sure Maddie would rather have him than another Repub no matter who he votes for for Speaker. However, I sure wouldn’t pick him to move any of my bills.

  52. - Reformer - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:20 pm:

    If Ahern wins, then his vote for some other freshman (who will be voting for Madigan) won’t matter — unless there are only 60 Democrats. Even Franks votes for Madigan.

    Ahern’s credibility is in question since he once criticized Rep. Boland for taking Madigan money. I guess Ahern’s philosophy is “Do as I say, not as I do.”

  53. - WOW - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:20 pm:

    The Senate GOP tried for years to do this with Emil Jones. The biggest push they had was in 2006 with it. The results that year was a net pick up to 37 seats by Emil. Good luck Tom.

  54. - fact checker - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:25 pm:

    This is just a stunt. He may not vote for Madigan as Speaker but he’ll still vote with him 95% on the other issues.

    Gonna write a campaign check to Morthland now.

  55. - Reformer - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:25 pm:

    Continuing to accept Madigan’s money and staff, while turning his back on the Speaker, violates one of the premises of politics: reciprocity. Rod was good at that vis a vis Dick Mell.

  56. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:33 pm:


    =Rod was good at that vis a vis Dick Mell.=

    And look how well that turned out for Rod.

  57. - Pat collins - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:33 pm:

    Is anyone else cynical enough to think Madigan may have condoned this move

    I absolutely believe that.

    Now, I hope his opponent plays the “still takes his money, and so is either a hypocrite or a liar” card. Plays it early AND often.

    How many times do such promises get broken, and forgotten after election?

  58. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:42 pm:

    ===I absolutely believe that. ===

    I would, too, except for that silly part about the freshman.

  59. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:43 pm:

    I would like to know why so many posters have said that it is a bad move, governmentally? Is it arrogance that says only a current veteran of the state house can be speaker? Tell that to John Mesinger. Or is it the arrogance of our posters that say that only someone they have vetted is qualified.

    Let’s just leave it at this, Mike Madigan has been speaker since 1997, how’s that working out for you.

    Certainly there would be a disruption of the “smooth” operation of our “highly efficient” and “thoughtful” General Assembly if a noob was the Speaker. Maybe that ain’t all bad…

  60. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:51 pm:

    ==My vote will go to a non-incumbent, a freshman.==

    Are you sure he wasn’t just making a joke?

  61. - jim - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:56 pm:

    The question is not how Madigan’s speakership is working out for Illinois. Obviously, it’s terrible for Illinois, even if he’s not the only one to blame.
    The question is how is Madigan’s speakership working for Madigan, his business and political associates, and, to some extent, the dopes who make up the Democratic House caucus.
    It’s working fine for all of them, and that’s all that matters.

  62. - Ghost - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:03 pm:

    === Mike Madigan has been speaker since 1997, how’s that working out for you.===

    I would say very well. Madigan stopped Jones and the GOP from turning over 54 billion worth of pay to play contracts to Blago. Not to mention putting the breaks on Blagos attempt to create new State programs without approps etc.

    You think what Blago did was bad, just imagine f he had 54 billion in contracts he could sell! and madigan was the only on standing in his way.

  63. - What planent is from again? - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:10 pm:

    Politically it sounds like either a populist move or a shot in the foot. Governmentally it will probably lead to some rough patches re-establishing all the rules (written and unwritten) that have developed over the years, but ultimately, the show will go on.

    What concerns me though is the “Mob Boss” tenor that surrounds Madigan. Like Daley the Elder, you go along with him (right or wrong), things go fine. You cross him (right or wrong) you’re in deep doo-doo. To me, that’s no way to run a government. A representative ought to be selected by his/her merits and not how much retribution he/she can rain down upon the opposition.

  64. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:15 pm:

    I would like to know why so many posters have said that it is a bad move, governmentally?

    Hopefully most regulars know how much I support citizen legislators and democracy. That said, there are two problems with his statement, one political and the other administrative.

    Politically, it is a stretch too far. It is one thing to publically oppose keeping Michael J. Madigan as Speaker, and another to publically state you would vote for someone who isn’t even in the General Assembly. No one knows who is going to be the new group of Freshmen. So saying he is going to support one of them because they are a Freshman is too cute by half.

    Ahern is bloviating about how much he brings into the GA, by making such a silly statement. It is intended to reflect on him.

    Administratively it makes a mockery of the experience and wisdom attained in the General Assembly. Cry all we wish about how power corrupts, but not everyone in Office corrupts at the same rate with many legislators never becoming corrupt at all, yet gaining valuable wisdom and experience in how the General Assembly functions.

    The entire point of this public statement was political. It really doesn’t work. It doesn’t make Ahern look brilliant - just desperate.

  65. - PADRAIG - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:16 pm:

    Ghost , you forgot whose minions put Blago in office twice.

  66. - please... - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:17 pm:

    Ahern is trailing in the polls and needs to do something or face defeat. Yes, this Ahern clown looks desperate, but if pandering works for him — go for it!

  67. - Ben Gazzara - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:18 pm:

    –Let’s just leave it at this, Mike Madigan has been speaker since 1997, how’s that working out for you.—

    Thats the only point, really. Despite probable MM staffers like Ghost constantly and arrogantly defending the man, he has more money, power, and troops than anyone in Illinois. He is the embodiment of all that is Illinois politics—moreso than Rod, because Rod never would have been elected if Madigan decided to kill that campaign.

    I know he’s brilliant, I know he works harder than anyone, and I know his people love him eternally. But the state is in shambles and he should be held accountable for his part in that.

  68. - sal-says - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:22 pm:

    I probably ought to move so I could vote for him.

  69. - HolyCatz - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:25 pm:

    Somebody in that campaign saw a poll (”I didn’t see any polling.”) and that question was tested — bet your life. And the question on voting for a “new face” for Speaker (read, freshman) was surely probed.

    They don’t do anything or fund campaigns that don’t reflect a message developed from polling data (not saying that’s wrong, either). If it is too tight for comfort and they need a wedge to put them over, maybe they think they’ve found it. They only need 50+1.

    From a policy standpoint — depends on the staff around him. Too many people full of themselves thinking state government would be in a shambles without them.

    . . . wait a minute.

  70. - HolyCatz - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:26 pm:

    Make that “too many experienced people”.

  71. - Downstate Commissioner - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:35 pm:

    Silly statement: is he related to Blagojevic? He thought he could take on MJM, and found out different. It may win him some votes in his district, but unless MJM is behind it, he won’t go far with legislation.
    The idea of a freshman being Speaker of the House is just stupid.

  72. - Robert - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:45 pm:

    politically, it helps slightly to avoid being scarred as a madigan ally.

    governmentally, it is irrelevant as a challenger to madigan doesn’t have the votes at this time

  73. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 5:21 pm:

    I would like to point out that Mike Madigan has been Speaker a lot longer than just since 1997. There was that 2 year out of power break at that time but before that he was Speaker for many, many years.

  74. - Cool Hand Luke - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 5:33 pm:

    Madigan is destined to be down in Springfield about as long as Senator Byrd was in the US Senate.”Nobody” is going to show Mike Madigan the door. If he leaves, it is because he wanted to retire or leave. He has way too many markers from others down in Springfield to be “asked ” or even “suggested to ” that he should leave.

  75. - Silverado - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 5:59 pm:

    Ahern is behind in the polls and is making a desperate move here. Morthland had a beautiful run with the pay raise repeals in Rock Island County and is doing well in the area. Morthland has been calling on Ahern to denounce the Speaker for months. Seems like a political ploy to me that will come and go…

  76. - OneMan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 7:18 pm:

    Yeah turn on your single largest contributor according to your last D-2

    Friends of Michael J. Madigan
    P. O. Box 610
    Springfield, IL 62705 $10,000.00
    1/29/2010 Transfer In
    Dennis Ahern Campaign Fund

  77. - FDR - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 8:23 pm:

    It is important that a Democratic Speaker have core Democratic values and not make concessions without getting anything on the Democratic agenda in return.

  78. - Far Northsider - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 8:38 pm:

    No doubt it would be great to see MM in the rear view mirror. This hardly seems the way to get it accomplished though! It will play well but can’t be pulled off by this guy alone of course as everyone says.

  79. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 12:06 am:

    As I wrote above, a promise to vote for a freshman for Speaker works out very well for Madigan because no serious challenger would be a freshman.

  80. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 9:18 am:

    So Ahern want to fire Madigan. OK, that is a plausible goal. However if it is true that Madigan is providing staffing, and other kinds of support the promise of change is quite hollow.

  81. - Lakefront Liberal - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 9:57 am:

    Rich — a suggestion for a follow-up QOTD: If Madigan for some reason did not or could not run for speaker, who of our current state reps would make a good speaker of the house?

  82. - kitty herself - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 10:06 am:

    Yes, WHO would make a good speaker if Madigan retired?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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