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*** UPDATED x1 *** And the point is… what?

Tuesday, Jun 4, 2013 - Posted by Rich Miller

* It’s as if Gov. Quinn wants people to see that he’s trying to do something. But all he’s doing is further highlighting his utter failure

Gov. Pat Quinn and Senate President John Cullerton have met to discuss stalemate over a solution to Illinois’ pension crisis, but House Speaker Michael Madigan didn’t show up.

Aides to all three leaders had no details on Tuesday’s roughly hour-long meeting in Quinn’s Chicago office. Neither Cullerton nor Quinn addressed reporters.

Quinn announced the meeting a day earlier.

On what planet does the governor look active and concerned in this scenario? Because on this planet, he looks ineffective and appears to be flailing.

The meeting was about optics, because nobody in their right mind believed that anything was ever going to get done. But it doesn’t take half a brain to predict that the optics would suck.

*** UPDATE *** Speaker Madigan did not call into the meeting. He and his staff weren’t informed that it was an option, according to his spokesman, who also posted in comments that the AP called him about what happened at the meeting before the meeting even ended.


  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 12:55 pm:

    “Dear Governor Quinn,

    This is a great idea!


    May 30th 2013″

  2. - Steve Brown - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 12:58 pm:

    Just to be clear, the AP reporter called me before the apparent end of the meeting so I don’t know what “details” would have been available.
    But in twitter world any shred of info is better than an actual story — not.

  3. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 1:03 pm:

    Did Speaker Madigan in fact call in to the meeting? Or not?

    It was stated that he might.

  4. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 1:09 pm:

    He should have had Squeezy, the Pension Python fill in for the Speaker. The optics would, I’m sure, been spruced up considerably.

  5. - Susiejones - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 1:11 pm:

    oh we need new leadership in this state. clearly these clowns are not up to the job!

  6. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 1:24 pm:

    Met for an hour, that is working night and day…

    Bet they spent the entire time complaining about Madigan.

  7. - slow down - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 1:26 pm:

    In what world does the Sepaker (or his staff) need to be told they can call into a meeting? If they wanted to participate in person or by phone, they surely would have done so.

  8. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    @susiejones - completely agree.

    How is it our 3 leaders cannot get on the same page regarding a phone call or meeting concerning pensions?

    Kudos to those who wanted to at least try and keep the momentum moving forward.

  9. - Lil Squeezy - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 1:36 pm:

    I think slow down has a point.

  10. - Frenchie Mendoza - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 1:44 pm:

    Where are all the “real world” comments? I mean, come on. This is crazy. Madigan: if you were working in the “real world” you’d be fired — or at least reprimanded — for “not knowing that, um, you could call in” to a meeting.

    Come on. This is silly. If you’re the perfection of leadership — and you’re denigrating everyone else, including Quinn — then be the first one on the call, last one to hang up. Don’t get your “spokesperson” to crack snide about “twitter world.”

    Twitter world? This is like saying, “Yeah, I like Pink Floyd. I listen to him all the time.”

  11. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 1:49 pm:

    I don’t really see what the big deal is, I’m sure Quinn and Cullerton will get a chance to speak with Madigan soon. No harm in the two of them meeting in his absence, might even be a good idea to have separate meetings with each.

  12. - Old and In The Way - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 1:55 pm:

    Reminds me of several meetings with PQ. No agenda, no action items and no follow-up!

    As far as the Speaker goes I know he is not a fan of technology but he had to know that there are phones in the conference room! Quinn and his crack staff probably forgot to invite him!

    If you’re PQ why would you even meet without the Speaker? Is the Speaker just pointing out how lame PQ is? You have to wonder……

  13. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 1:56 pm:

    What a doofus on the part of Q, to call a mtg w the other two principals, and not know who would attend, or participate from afar, or just stiff you.

  14. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 2:01 pm:

    Rich, you’re right that this was going nowhere. But Frenchie have a really good point. If the Speaker wanted to participate via phone or skype or that awful system the State uses to conduct interoffice video calls, somehow I think they would have made that happen.

  15. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    Was the sith holographic messaging system down?

  16. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 2:11 pm:

    Apparently the Speaker decided to take his ball and go home.

    Wouldn’t call Cullerton’s bill for a vote after Cullerton called his.

    Wouldn’t get on the phone the day after, either.

  17. - Quiet Sage - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 2:17 pm:

    The media meme is that this was a failed session. It was not a failed session, it was a highly productive session with a few issues left behind (as always happens). Concealed carry, fracking, Peotone/McCormack, Medicaid expansion, medical marijuana, drone regulation (pioneering legislation of national interest), a quick budget agreement (the first in many years that did not cut). Marriage equality almost certainly lies in the future as more states enact it. Gaming expansion has failed to happen since 1999, so it is not fair to pin special blame on this General Assembly. Only pensions failed and frankly, as a state employee, I’m not so sad that the Madigan/Nekritz juggernaut did not break through the Cullerton/union opposition.

  18. - Joe M - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 2:17 pm:

    “If you aren’t going to play my way, I’m not going to play at all”

    I guess people weren’t kidding when they said last Friday night that Madigan had picked up his ball (or was it marbles) and left.

  19. - James the Intolerant - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    Quinn is Fredo, we know that. But that doesn’t mean that Madigan and Cullerton can’t get together and forge an agreement. Now we are worse off than before and we may not see this addressed until next spring or the lame-duck session after the first of the year, bad news for taxpayers and pensioners alike.

  20. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 2:26 pm:

    I wrote my advice for Quinn the other day. To summarize, take two steps back, figure out that pensions are a symptom, not the problem, and attack the real problem of lack of revenue. Buy into most of what Martire has to say … and then sell it. Other Gov’s have managed to sell tax increases with less ammo than Quinn has.

    Do that and Pat will have his legacy … but he’ll probably lose the next election.

  21. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 2:28 pm:

    Madigan and Cullerton having different opinions on the right solution to pension reform was no secret; I wish that Quinn had gotten them together to hammer out compromise weeks ago.

  22. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 2:29 pm:

    “Quinn says Madigan doesn’t have a cell phone and is unreachable.” — speaker of the house doesn’t have a cell phone - this can’t be true, can it?

  23. - East Central Illinois - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 2:45 pm:

    @ Robert the Bruce - - Yeah, I read that too that Madigan didn’t have a cell phone. Maybe UNO can “loan” him one for a few days.

  24. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 2:48 pm:

    “The governor says he left a message with Madigan’s wife.” Oh my God - is that a joke? Did PQ really say he couldn’t reach the Speaker so HE left a message on his wife’s phone?

    Really? You mean to tell me that Jack or Andy or Gary or any of those guys don’t have Mapes cell number? And you mean to tell me Mapes can’t get hold of the Speaker when he needs to????

    Every time the governor’s defenders try and make a reasoned case for him (like Quiet Sage above), he says something unbelievable like that. Wow.

  25. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 2:56 pm:

    “Speaker Madigan hates phones, he refuses to carry one on him, or have a personal phone on the House Floor. All day long people will run around from pay phone to pay phone getting the Speaker’s messages.”

  26. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 3:03 pm:

    Why would MJM have a cell phone? You can’t death stare into a cell phone.

  27. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 3:09 pm:

    @Chicago Cynic,

    I’m guessing Pat Quinn called the Speaker at home and left a message with the wife there. That certainly seems a more logical scenario.

    The SJ-R article states that Madigan was invited to the meeting. That would mean he knew about the meeting beforehand.

    The SJ-R article also states that Madigan is out of state. Is he on vacation or raising money or what?

  28. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 3:11 pm:

    === Madigan doesn’t have a cell phone ===

    I’m sorry. What was that?

    I couldn’t hear you from the sound of my jaw hitting the floor.

    One of, if not the, most important person in politics in the 5th largest state in America does not have a cell phone?

    And they apparently do not make land lines where he was travelling? So he could not call in?

  29. - Pacman - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 3:23 pm:

    @Chicago Cynic 3:09 pm, Madigan is probably at an ALEC conference.

  30. - where's the speaker - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 3:23 pm:

    he’s in l.a. with the hawks, lets go hawks!

  31. - Knifefighter - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 3:25 pm:

    Madigan blows off meeting, gets huffy about being called about it. Miller blames Quinn.

    (Why not Cullerton too?)

  32. - Left Illinois Behind - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 3:36 pm:

    @Kinfefighter -

    I agree, Quinn may be weak and ineffective, but to solely blame him is pathetic. From what I see is complete total failure by all in a very consistent manner.

  33. - Captain Hawkeye Pierce - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 3:45 pm:

    As if Steve was going to be helpful in any way to that reporter.

  34. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 3:53 pm:

    The fight’s between Madigan and Cullerton. They have a long history. Only those two know what it will take to end it.

    Quinn’s not in the equation. I’m not sure any governor would be.

  35. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    Just to be clear, I’m not solely blaming Quinn (see my post from 201p). Just saying this was a stupid comment and that even if true, why would the governor want to come across in such a demeaning manner. That’s what staff is for.

  36. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 4:15 pm:

    Didn’t the Speaker say after the House adjourned on Friday say he was heading to the mansion to speak to the Governor? So what has changed in 4 days that would even prompt a meeting?

  37. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 4:17 pm:

    “Quinn’s not in the equation”

    But, but, but, it has to be Quinn’s fault. Rich says so. If he would just “lead”, and not be perceived as “weak”, then by golly eveyone would just do as Quinn says. Just ask the parrots that comment here.

  38. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 4:45 pm:

    I think it’s too bad Mr. Speaker doesn’t have a cell phone. With his vocabulary skills he would be a formidable opponent on Words With Friends. Who knows how far he could climb in Candy Crush Saga.
    Not to mention FaceTime.

  39. - Dude Abides - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 4:48 pm:

    I don’t see anything positive coming out of a meeting between the 3 men unless they still think they can pressure Cullerton into going along with their plan. I don’t think the Senate is going to move from their present position. Cullerton and the Senate are the only ones who have offered a compromise position so far and they were rebuffed. The House plan does not offer any savings right away because it will be tied up in court for a year and then odds are favorable that it will be struck down.
    Hopefully Madigan, who is looking out for the Corporate big wigs, will decide to retire soon. If he doesn’t there’s no quick solution to the problem coming our way any time soon.

  40. - Meanderthal - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 5:00 pm:

    Don’t we have any Attorney General of this state who might know where the Speaker is?

  41. - CJA - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 5:47 pm:

    Honestly, I have just given up.

  42. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 6:21 pm:

    Good god.

    The arrogance of Madigan and his “not having a phone.” I’m less angry with the failure of the pension bills than with the willful Luddite-ness of people expected to serve their constituents. It’s mind-boggling, arrogant, and beyond the pale.

  43. - The lazy analogizer - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 6:53 pm:

    What we’ve got here is a professional wrestling match between the heel (Madigan) and the face (Cullerton). The referee, of course, is Quinn, as effectual as always.

  44. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jun 4, 13 @ 9:16 pm:

    Madigan, come on.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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