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It has begun

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

* If you don’t answer their calls, you’re likely gonna get whacked

Many here often bemoan the loss of Southern Illinois clout under the dome that seems to have faded away with the passing of bygone powerhouse wheelers and dealers – names like Clyde Choate, Paul Powell, Ken Gray, John Gilbert and Bruce Richmond – who built political careers by bringing home the state and federal pork: interstates, institutions, schools, a lake and prisons.

But at the same time, the one local politician who has managed to amass the most influence in Springfield in decades also is the most vulnerable in 2016.

That’s because Rep. John Bradley has hitched his wagon to Madigan – gaining sought-after influence, but at a cost.

Now more than ever, Bradley is facing the high price of power.

Despite repeated attempts to reach him, Bradley declined to speak with The Southern Illinoisan for this story.

The article reports that the Republicans may have found an opponent to take on their top House target next year, Williamson County Commissioner Ron Ellis.

* And check out the quote from Bob Campbell, president of the Williamson County Retired Teachers’ Association

Campbell said he considers Bradley a friend, but still said, “I’m concerned that John’s viewpoints are often too much in line with that of the Speaker, and I don’t think that’s for the best interest of Southern Illinois.” Campbell surmised that Bradley has chosen this risky route because he has aspiration of higher office, which generally requires the backing of the party to win, particularly for a downstater with little name ID in the populous north.

The story, which the Southern Illinoisan put on its front page, is full of such quotes. Go check it out.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 1:11 pm:

    Always return the calls. At least then you know what’s coming.

    Woof, that’s quite a list of goo-goo statesmen from the SI, lol.

    Bradley, why can’t you be more like Paul Powell or Ken Gray?

  2. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 1:17 pm:

    Got to take care of the home front.

  3. - Billyjoe - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 1:18 pm:

    “I’m concerned that John’s viewpoints are often too much in line with that of the Speaker, and I don’t think that’s for the best interest of Southern Illinois.”

    My bro and I visited Giant City State Park and Lodge (south of Carbondale) last year. An older chap who runs the lodge told us Madigan’s blessing provided the funds for the property’s extensive refurbishment. Seems to me happy tourists would definitely be in Southern Illinois’ best interests.

  4. - Deep South - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 1:21 pm:

    New management at the Southern Illinois and they continue to mis-read local sentiment. Its rather comical at times. They’ve got a lot to learn.

    Despite the breathless tone of the article, Ron Ellis ain’t gonna replace John Bradley. Yes, times are a changin’ and Bradley needs to beef up his organization. But he should be safe in 2016.

    But then again, Obama took DuPage County last time around. Wonders never cease.

  5. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 1:23 pm:

    Consider yourself an underdog when your opponent is a multimillionaire who buys media like his retirement homes bought Ensure.

  6. - John A Logan - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 1:31 pm:

    As Rich as said many times, “you don’t lose because of what you do in Springfield, you lose because of what you don’t do back home.”

  7. - AFSCME if I care - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 1:41 pm:

    In this case, I think Rep. Bradley’s silence speaks volumes. I have also heard the same sentiments from many former supporters who turned sour after his vote on SB 1. I always thought that former Congressman Jerry Costello’s seat was John’s for the taking; he didn’t, the seat went Republican for the first time since WWII, and now whatever political future in Illinois that seemed more appealing to him at the time is in major jeopardy.

  8. - Snopes - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 1:43 pm:

    The reporter went to great lengths to make it appear Bradley is under siege.

    Yet, one of his biggest critics, a retired state pensioner, acknowledges that self-interest - not in the State’s fiscal health, but in his own self-interest.

    And they want to blame Madigan when it’s Rauner who wants to gut pensions.

    Of course, there’s lots of motivation for local GOP officials to try to help the Governor.

    Look how it helped guys like Don Tracy of Sfld, who funded radio portraying Rauner as being good for those depending on the state employees and retirees.

    Tracy is now head of the Illinois Gaming Board.
    Lots of opportunities to support a Governor who says he won’t be making political appointments.

  9. - A guy - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 1:56 pm:

    Might be a crack developing. If he’s feeling some heat, what do you think others are feeling? Too many have not had to worry much about the homefront for quite a while. That’s changed.

  10. - Very Fed Up - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 2:24 pm:

    It is not possible for someone who is reasonable and objective to say someone other than Mike Madigan has had a heavier hand causing mess this state finds itself. If someone in a swing district wants to hitch their success to Madigan it’s very fair game to remind voters every step of the way.

  11. - Umm like - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 2:38 pm:

    As a downstater I am very aware that we receive more tax money from the state than we pay. And why is that? Because farmers are nothing but takers. They get their own special tax assessments. They don’t think they have to pay any sales tax and they are the biggest welfare recipients er subsidies. The difference between a puppy and a farmer is that a puppy eventually stops whining.

  12. - sss - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 2:40 pm:

    If the Rauner game is a Southern strategy to focus like a laser on picking up all these southern seats in the hands of dems, he risks losing his moderate Republican seats in Cook, Lake, DuPage and Will.

    On the flip side, Bradley needs to give up his fantasy of being the next speaker.

  13. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 2:58 pm:

    SSS, suburban “GOP” seats have been in play for quite some time. You’ve, literally, never seen so many Dem officeholders in the suburbs as today.

    Downstate Dems have been an obvious GOP target for some time, too.

    That explains why Madigan and Cullerton delivered veto-proof majorities for conceal-carry plus majorities for same-sex marriage within a few months of each other.

    I doubt those two votes at virtually the same time were possible in any other state in the union. Tnat’s some pretty tall cotton.

  14. - Marty Funkhouser - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 4:23 pm:

    Under Lee Enterprises, The Southern Illinoisan has been a bad newspaper for a very long time. But Molly Parker is pretty good. Looks like a big mistake not returning that phone call.

  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 4:51 pm:

    ==I doubt those two votes at virtually the same time were possible in any other state in the union. ==

    If one of those votes was only done as a result of being ordered by a Federal Court to pass the legislation, as with concealed carry, I could easily see it being done in other States.

  16. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 5:44 pm:

    anon, you’re just whistling Dixie on c-c.

    It was, of course, possible to pass no law at all and let home rule jurisdictiions do tneir own thing, or pass a basic state law that still allowed for home rule, like in Chicago and Cook, or to pass a “may” law.

    Hawaii, Cali, NY, NJ, those still pass Supremes muster. The challenge to the ruling upholding the NY law couldn’t even get cert from the Supremes.

    But it didn’t go down that way, did it?

    The Illinois c-c law was a heavy veto-proof lift for Downstate Dems by Madigan and Cullerton. And a few months later, they passed SSM with virtually no GOP help at all.

    Show me the two leaders in any other state legislature in the union that could have pulled that off.

    That ain’t ironclad ideological control, that’s just mastering the art of the possible.

  17. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 6:05 pm:

    Anon, as an aside, since you brought up Illinois carry law being tossed, I recommend you google the essay by Judge Posner, who tossed it, on Chief Justice Roberts’ dissent in the SSM case.

    Posner, the hardest working man in law business, ignores the hysterical dissents by Scalia, Alito and Thomas, but baby, he beats Roberts like a rented mule.

    Is it too much to ask that this real conservative GOP judge get nominated to the Supreme Court and be allowed to “match wits” with the likes of Sen. Cruz at confirmation?

  18. - Jasper - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 6:18 pm:

    Ron Ellis? Holy &*^% someone is desperate. I have my doubts he can do anything beyond his current situation. A viable candidate would have beaten him in the last election…in over his head.

  19. - wrangler - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 6:37 pm:

    Anyone remember Ron Ellis when he ran against Larry Woolard. Ron was taken to the wood shed! Man has to know his limitations!

  20. - Not the A Team - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 7:14 pm:

    Bradley wants to succeed MJM as Speaker, and for that reason alone is going to be targeted. He deserves to be. Bruce and his friends will remake the House, irrespective of what passes or what doesn’t. In office or out of office, this man will use his millions to accomplish that. Time for some to plan their retirement from elected office.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 7:27 pm:

    - Not the A Team -,

    How sad. When Rauner tries to elect Democrats, it’s really about the money, not ideology.

    I’m embarrassed for you.

  22. - Not a southern fan - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 8:41 pm:

    That’s why I don’t rear the paper.

  23. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 10:13 pm:

    Not a southern, no visuals please.

  24. - Not the A Team - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 10:28 pm:

    Pressure building a little?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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