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Another conspiracy theorist heard from

Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013

* House GOP Leader Tom Cross has taken major heat from big business ever since he couldn’t convince a majority of his caucus to vote for the House’s pension reform bill. So, deflection is a must, and concocting a conspiracy theory would fit the bill

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Cross was brief and direct Wednesday when a reporter asked him if he believes Madigan and Cullerton have been working together to keep pension reform from happening.

“Yes,” Cross said.



Asked if it might have something to do with Madigan’s daughter, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, considering a bid for the governor’s office, Cross again simply answered “yes.”

Pushed for an explanation, Cross said “The two most powerful guys in the state of Illinois can get anything done. They passed a tax increase in the middle of the night; highest tax increase in the history of the state. Two guys that passed a pension holiday in the mid-2000s without blinking an eye can’t get this done? Seriously.”

Look, both chambers have passed bills. Madigan, Cross, Leader Radogno, big business and the Tribune all say they want the House bill to become law. And they all publicly have agreed that they don’t want anything to do with Cullerton’s bill. So, if Madigan is involved in a conspiracy, then so are the Republicans and big business and the Tribune.

Cullerton won’t pass the House bill, not because of a grand conspiracy to pass nothing, but because he has 40 mostly liberal members who don’t want anything to do with the House’s bill and because he has staked his entire reputation on a constitutional interpretation that rules out Madigan’s bill.

All this stuff is pretty obvious to people who are close to the issue and who don’t wear tinfoil hats or aren’t pushing some partisan political angle.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    Rich, you have a wrong link for wearing tin foil hats, here’s the right one:

  2. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 2:37 pm:

    === Cullerton won’t pass the House bill… because he has 40 mostly liberal members who don’t want anything to do with the House’s bill and because he has staked his entire reputation on a constitutional interpretation that rules out Madigan’s bill. ===

    But why won’t Madigan call Cullerton’s bill for a vote as Cullerton called Madigan’s?

    And why is Madigan digging in and taking the “my way or the highway” approach when there are legitimate concerns about his bill?

    It sounds like Cross may well be off on this one in regards to collusion.

    Even so, something doesn’t add up here.

    Madigan can count votes and he knows Cullerton’s bill has them while his doesn’t. So why take such a hard-line stance?

  3. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 2:38 pm:


    you are on target with your comments.

  4. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 2:40 pm:

    How exactly does MJM getting pounded in the state’s largest newspaper every day and looking like a criminal ducking Chuck Goudie on the highest-rated TV news show help Lisa Madigan?

  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 2:40 pm:

    ===And why is Madigan digging in and taking the “my way or the highway” approach when there are legitimate concerns about his bill?===

    Um, how long have you watched Springfield?

    Do you never remember MJM announcing “The House has concluded its business” and adjourning without giving time for the Senate to respond?

    C’mon, man. That’s his entire MO. He waits out the other side. Sometimes, he waits a long time.

    As far as not calling Cullerton’s bill, he has his reasons, including his very strong belief (shared by Cross and the Tribune) that the Cullerton bill doesn’t save nearly enough money.

    This ain’t rocket science, man.

  6. - siriusly - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 2:44 pm:

    Among thinking people - you lose a lot of credibility when you say stuff like that.

  7. - siriusly - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 2:45 pm:

    I meant Cross, not you Rich.

  8. - Easy - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 2:47 pm:

    …and the government isn’t listening to your phone calls or reading your email.

  9. - Mason born - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 2:47 pm:

    There goes Cross making sure that no one gives a flying rip about the Republican Caucaus by making them all look like a bunch of whiny Alex Jones want to be’s.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 2:49 pm:

    Sounds like “Two-Putt” had one too many Hot Dogs at the Halfway House at Medinah again.

    ===So, if Madigan is involved in a conspiracy, then so are the Republicans and big business and the Tribune.===

    “Never thought of that”, replied Cross, waiting to tee off on the 10th Hole….

  11. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 2:49 pm:

    Yeah Rich, but he is holding the entire State and its finances hostage to his thought processes and solutions and this is just plain wrong, bordering on pathologically so…why can’t he be called out on it?

  12. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 2:50 pm:

    Mr. Irrelevant has spoken. Thus, what he says is irrelevant. As Rich likes to say, “move along.”

  13. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 3:00 pm:

    If anything, MJM’s position has taken a lot of heat off of Quinn in regards to pensions, while making Lisa Madigan answer questions about her father.

    That helps her, how?

    And I guess Cullerton is just a cabana-boy to Madigan in this scenario.

  14. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 3:00 pm:

    Wait, how many votes did Cross find in his caucus for SB1 again? A better question for Cross is whether he can find any more HGOPers to step up this time.

  15. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 3:00 pm:

    ==the government isn’t listening to your phone calls==

    They aren’t. They are seeing who you called and for how long. Big difference, but still extremely intrusive. See David Simon for a history lesson:

  16. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 3:02 pm:

    All that is missing is Jo Galloway to “strenuously” object to this conspriacy being folly;


    Cap Fax Commenters: Leader Galloway, it sounds like a tin-foil hat conspiracy.

    Galloway: I object!

    Cap Fax Commenters: No, it sounds like a real Tin-Foil, 5-alarm conspiracy.

    Galloway: No, no! I strenuously object to that!

    Cap Fax Commenters: Well, if you strenuously object …


    This is folly, if you follow just the politics of this.

  17. - too obvious - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 3:06 pm:

    Tom Cross failing to get even half his caucus to vote for pension reform must be part of the conspiracy too.

    The mere thought of this goof possibly being the state’s next top law enforcement officer is terrifying. Fortunately pigs would have to fly and I don’t see that happening.

  18. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 3:17 pm:

    Rich, thanks.

    I’ve been watching Springfield longer than most Illinoisans, but less than the many here bearing witness for 25+ years.

    I understand that waiting your opponent out is a tactic, but apparently mistunderstand the level of risk he is willing to accept.

    I also do not see the benefit of the Speaker’s maneuvering today on this. At some point, you force the other side to dig in and refuse to compromise as well. “Do unto others” eventually kicks in with even most the polite and patient people.

    It appears we may have crossed that line today with Madigan gutting Cullerton’s bill and basically calling him out like this.

    Then again, perhaps my thinking has been influenced too much by others on this site suggesting “half a loaf now” is better than none at all :).

    It just seems odd to push for a whole loaf right now and risk damaging the party you have worked so hard to build up over the years if you wind up with none at all.

    It will be fascinating to see how this plays out.

  19. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 3:23 pm:

    “C’mon, man. That’s his entire MO. He waits out the other side. Sometimes, he waits a long time.”

    This is the same guy who lambasted Henry Bayer for stall tactics.

  20. - Jim - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 3:31 pm:

    Rich, congrats on your mind reading. But I beg to differ slightly. Cross was right on the money when he said Cullerton and Madigan can do anything they want to do. We know that because they’ve repeatedly done it in the past.
    As far as the conspiracy goes, I’m not sure I find that explanation credible. But political advantage has always been Madigan’s and Cullerton’s No. 1 priority. If they see a political advantage in forestalling a pension deal, they’d do it in a heartbeat. I don’t know what that advantage might be. I don’t see one. But I’m not a strategist of M&C’s caliber.

  21. - Phenomynous - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 3:33 pm:

    Cullerton Bill + Madigan Cost Shift = Enough Savings?

    If it does save enough money and then Cullerton language is ruled unconstitutional; does the cost shift stay? And if it does, do Quinn, Madigan or Cullerton really care? Will the cost shift be pension reform enough? Especially, considering the pension ramp is slowing to a much more manageable rate?

  22. - Filmmaker Professor - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 3:40 pm:

    Of course Madigan’s bill saves more money; it is a complete and total screw job on state employees. Does anyone pay attention to the fact that both bills are straight up benefit cuts and additional charges for state employees. there’s no shared sacrifice whatsoever.

    And yet, despite all the insults hurled at us greedy state workers, the unions actually agreed to go along with Cullerton’s bill, even though it very clearly cuts benefits. so stop the crap talk about unions refusing to give up anything. They have offered. so where is the equal compromise from any other parties?

  23. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 4:25 pm:

    so whats the conspiracy on Cross not getting his members to vote for pension reform? Is it because a majority of his members support the Cullerton bill?

    Or is he just an incompetent man rambling about a conspiracy?

  24. - JoeNitro - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 4:27 pm:

    Seeing as every day without a solution pounds another nail into the states financial coffin, would Madigan allow this to go on just to reinforce the “police powers” argument when it hits the ISC?

  25. - Sam E. - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 4:41 pm:

    If this wasn’t about ego and power trips, the House would take SB2404, add a few elements of SB1 and make them severable for constitutional purposes, then pass it back to the House and call it a day.

  26. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 5:10 pm:

    No matter what MJM and Senator Cullerton are doing, Cross isn’t helping his brand any sounding like he’s wearing the tin foil hat.

  27. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 5:17 pm:

    But Sam………

    That won’t satisfy the blood lust of the pension snatchers. At this point I just hope they pass something so we can start suing them already and move onto the real solutions that others have repeatedly stated on this site.

  28. - Farker - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 5:18 pm:

    The above is me….

  29. - JoeNitro - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 5:28 pm:

    I think Mikey thinks that it’s about 6 to 12 months too early to start the ball rolling. The state isn’t quite in bad enough shape yet. Let’s face it if you’re going to the ISC to claim poverty, you damn well better be poor enough to convince them.

  30. - Willie - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 5:33 pm:

    Tom Cross has less than zero credibility on pension reform. After two years of talking big on pensions he couldn’t deliver a majority of his caucus for the bill. And what little influence he had over his caucus has dwindled to next to nothing sense he floated his AG trial balloon.

    The clerk working the newsstand on the first floor of the Capitol Building has as much say in the pension debate as Tom Cross does.

  31. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 5:33 pm:

    Jim, don’t be daft. Tax hikes and pension holidays to spend more money are liberal things. Therefore easyish. Whacking retirees ain’t liberal. Far from it. Therefore difficult.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 5:39 pm:


    The “Willy” contingent seem to agree with me …

    Where were all these “Willy” people when I was a kid? lol

  33. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 5:40 pm:

    Hailing outside my window…take cover all, be careful everyone!

  34. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 5:49 pm:

    Willy, stay safe up there. We look forward to your insight.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 5:52 pm:

    Thanks - Norseman -. appreciate the thoughts, Yorkville had a rotation cloud, we have hail and siren went off 20 min ago, just got an “all clear” from that alert…Plainfield had a rotation too.

  36. - Newsclown - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 5:54 pm:

    It’s in Republicans’ interest, now that their votes are needed, to keep the stalemate going so as to rile the voters and point to the ineffectual Dems, saying: “WE could fix this if WE had a majority”.

    They of course were just as complicit, even more so; Edgar signed off on that ridiculous balloon mortgage idea for the pensions.

  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 6:39 pm:

    All clear in Oswego, “T-Storm” watch till 9, All in Cook, DuPage and Will Counties, be safe out there.

    To the Post,

    What I think really troubles me is the Fact that Cross is willing to buy into this Conspiracy, however, Cross must be disingenous because no Leader, Irrelevent or not, would believe what he is saying …unless being so marginalized requires Dopey excuses, as Rich pointed out so well.

    Could “Two-Putts” …”Bar for accepted leadership” … be ANY lower? Yikes?

    I am not mad, or even disappointed …I am just feeling sad.

  38. - One to the Dome - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 7:52 pm:

    When will Cross stop the whining and become helpful is the real question? The comments about him delivering his side are dead on. After all, how many more seats can House Repubs lose before people stop taking him as a leader?

  39. - Hawkeytown - Wednesday, Jun 12, 13 @ 9:44 pm:

    If only Cross could come up with substantive ideas as well as he can whine about Madigan.

  40. - Quizzical - Thursday, Jun 13, 13 @ 12:02 am:

    I call upon all citizens of Illinois to oppose this terrible conspiracy. Now watch this shot.

  41. - Not in the Know - Thursday, Jun 13, 13 @ 7:21 am:

    Collar of accountability …..therein lies the real problem.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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