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Madigan: “You’d better be strong or you’re going to be gone”

Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015

* Mark Brown read through a 2009 University of Illinois at Chicago interview with House Speaker Michael Madigan

Madigan said he keeps the mass card from the funeral of [the late Mayor Richard J. Daley’s] late wife, Eleanor “Sis” Daley, bearing a photo of the couple, mounted on his desks in Springfield and his Chicago law office.

“So, when I’m sitting there and trying to make a tough decision, I’ll look over at him and just ask myself, ‘What would he do?’ It’s very helpful,” Madigan said.

* More

Asked by Remini if Richard J. Daley was a “boss,” Madigan said:

“Absolutely, he was a boss. He should be. He had to be a boss. Everywhere in life, everywhere in the world, there has to be bosses,” said Madigan, whose own strong but deft ruling style long ago earned him the nickname the Velvet Hammer.

* And my favorite line

“In my life, I live in a lot of situations where you’d better be strong or you’re going to be gone.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Triple fat - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:12 am:

    and Rauner thinks he’s winning?

  2. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:14 am:

    After reading Brown’s column, I read the Madigan history and some of the others on the UIC website.

    I found Tom Donovan’s very interesting. That dude had a lot of power. Six weeks on the job, then Daley tapped him for patronage chief, pre-Shakman. As time went on, he accumulated more power.

    Burke’s, too, especially about his old neighborhood and the riots after the MLK murder, when he was a young beat cop.

    I didn’t know they raised the bridges on the Chicago River to keep the rioters out of the Loop, just like they did during the German Beer Riots.

    Adlai’s is very good. Rosty has some interesting nuggets, although very scattered. I got the impression he was loaded during both interview sessions, one at Erie Cafe, the other at Gene and Georgetetti.

    No real Daley opponents interviewed, which is a shame. But it’s definitely worth s look.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:15 am:

    To the Post,

    Two great takeaways for me include;

    ===But the speaker didn’t just leave it at that, instead going on to add: “You know, in government, you’ve got to make decisions. Somebody’s going to be happy. Somebody’s not going to be happy. In politics day to day, you try not to make enemies. You try not to make people not happy. But then, as you go along, from time to time, you have to say, ‘Here, this is the line. I know you don’t like it, but this is the line. This is where we’re going to go.’”===

    Governor Edgar figured this out, and in turn, reciprocated by having the same negotiating “base” allowing both men to understand each other after a less than perfect start.

    If you can’t speak the same language, you can’t communicate.

    The next paragraph in the Brown column addresses this too.


    ===In a story that Rauner might want to note, Madigan spoke with admiration of how Daley went out of his way to pick a political fight over education funding with then-Gov. Dan Walker — a fight that made no sense to Madigan until he realized it was all for the purposes of setting up the governor for defeat in the next election.===

    RTW? Prevailing Wage? “Fair Share”? How about the whole package… known affectionately as… the “Turnaround Agenda?

    The deals and compromise points exist if the governor wants to stay away from where MJM thinks he can be him at the ballot box. Rauner isn’t the only one playing the long game of 2016 and possibly 2018, if this all continues.

    MJM is setting up the GOP GA, because, well, he can. A governor having the back of his party might know that. Unwittingly, Rauner is helping.

    Richard J Daley picked the fight. Rauner is more than willing to be the antagonist.

    This made me chuckle;

    ===Remini asked Madigan if he would consider donating his own papers to the university when he retires.

    “I might burn all of my stuff,” Madigan said with a laugh.===

  4. - Louis G Atsaves - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:16 am:

    Old school politician demonstrating his longevity and power in Illinois. And this is meant as a compliment.

  5. - Centennial - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:24 am:

    This. Is. Awesome.

    My favorite line is from the article though… where MJM says he couldn’t figure out why RJD was picking a political fight over education funding with Dan Walker — until he realized RJD was setting him up for the next election.

    Patience and chess playing is the key to longevity. Not ‘winning’ the day.

  6. - anon - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:32 am:

    And some of you think Rauner is not strong???

    Uh, okay.

  7. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:35 am:

    This is interesting on multi-levels. The playbook being used is from that of a man who passed away in 1978, after being refined over 50 years prior to that. That’s 80+ years of a philosophy. An argument could be made that some things have changed since then. At any rate, fascinating to be sure.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:36 am:

    - anon -,

    The Governor has no “Turnaround Agenda”, no state budget, a possible Union lockout on the horizon, and his spokesperson didn’t deny National Guard troops may be called up to do the work of Union workers not working in the state agencies.

    Is that… strong?

  9. - downstate commissioner - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:36 am:

    “And some of you think Rauner is not strong???”

    Uh, no- we don’t think he knows what he is doing…and Madigan does.

  10. - Concerned - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:37 am:

    Two current players being “strong.” The one we like is “strong” and a “leader”, while the other is “stubborn” and “unwilling to compromise”. Which is which seems to depend largely on which side of the fence the assessor resides.

    It is a rare fish that knows he is wet.

  11. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:39 am:

    Cent, there is a hilarious Walker story in Adlai’s history.

    Adlai was running for Senate in 1970 to fill out the remainder of tne recently deceased Dirksen’s term. Walker, the “reformer,” was a co-chair of the campaign, along with a Machine guy.

    Adlai was watching returns on election night with Richard. J. All of a sudden, Walker pops up on TV, claiming victory for Adlai and giving a speech! He stole the winner’s thunder.

    Adlai recalled Richard J. said, “He’s running for governor.”

    He added that Walker stole all his campaign’s voter data and used it for his governor’s run.

  12. - Triple fat - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:41 am:

    Here is the true power behind Daley’s time in office. He was a benevolent boss to the people. The governor is only benevolent to the monied class. Not much traction to be gained there, eh?

  13. - Concerned - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:45 am:

    Benevolent boss? LOL.

  14. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:45 am:

    Triple Fat — Daley was a benevolent boss — to some of the people.

  15. - just a taxpayer - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:50 am:

    Triple fat -
    Rauner is winning. State spending is down, not up, as the dems want. Like it or not, state spending has effectively been cut!

  16. - Wondering - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    Yeah, Madigan knows exactly what he’s doing, or dare I say done. Help run this entire state into the ground. Yeah, but let’s trust he can/will fix it.

    Benevolent boss…gimme a break.

  17. - New guy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:54 am:

    The Governor is digging his own grave. Everyday that passes he is closer to the end. One term I give him. He only knows how to talk in front of cameras and no idea on compromise and governing.

  18. - Apocalypse Now - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:54 am:

    = He was a benevolent boss to the people.= Ask those people in the minorities areas about his “benevolence”. He was benevolent to those he know would keep him in power. The rest of the people he really didn’t give a damn.

  19. - Triple fat - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:55 am:

    Really operating without a budget because you can’t undo years of collective bargaining laws and negotiations is winning. I believe the term is failing with a capital F..

  20. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:56 am:

    ===Rauner is winning. State spending is down, not up, as the dems want. Like it or not, state spending has effectively been cut!===

    I’m guessing this is… snark?

    ===The playbook being used is from that of a man who passed away in 1978, after being refined over 50 years prior to that. That’s 80+ years of a philosophy. An argument could be made that some things have changed since then.===

    Oh, I agree, 100%. But, why do people refer back to “The Prince” or “The Art of War” so often, and, I’ll grant you, my math is spotty at times, but I think both “The Prince” and “The Art of War”, the political blueprints still used today… they are over 80 years old.

    My point? Some playbooks work abd work and work… because the logic of the political play is sound. Changing the actors in the equation isn’t changing the math that will play out when the same plot and story lines continue to be the playing field.

    Other than that, spot on!

  21. - William - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:57 am:

    You can be strong and wrong.

  22. - just a taxpayer - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:59 am:

    Madigan’s 28 years of “leadership” into the finincial train-wreck that is Illinois - is the best argument for term limits anyone could make.

    Madigan’s one man, one party rule has brought us where we are. And you dems can’t blame Bush!

  23. - Anon1 - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:00 am:

    Good stuff. Kudos to Mark Brown for digging this up. In the last week Brown has done real solid “what-makes-him-tick” columns on both Madigan and Cullerton. Compare his work to the once reliable Kristen McQueary’s knee-jerk and lazy “It’s time to stand up to Madigan” column that ran Sunday. The Trib has rock solid beat reporters in Springfield, but the Sun-Times columnists run circles around their counterparts at the Tower.

  24. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:01 am:

    Pretty interesting and insightful read

  25. - Concerned - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:02 am:

    William - very true. Those on the right - other than Willy - think Madigan is strong and wrong. Those on the left think Rauner is strong and wrong.

  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:03 am:

    ===Madigan’s one man, one party rule has brought us where we are. And you dems can’t blame Bush!===

    Yeah, except when Thompson, Edgar, Ryan, were governors, and President Phillip controlled the state Senate, and Speaker Daniels had the gavel… other than ALL that…

    Another victim heard from.

    ===You can be strong and wrong.===

    This would be swell on the “Fire Madigan, 2.0″ line of merchandise. I mean, for $100 million, ya haveta have a new tag line.

  27. - New guy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:04 am:

    Does anyone have the link to this website of RJD at UIC? I would love to read it. I can not find it.

  28. - Triple fat - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:05 am:

    The high rise housing was considered progressive in the day. Hindsight is always 20/20. And yeah he helped those who elected him… Wow I think that is how the business of politics is done…

  29. - Hard Wood Floor - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:06 am:

    Among the most interesting and inexplicable media angles to develop under the Rauner administration is all of a sudden the Sun Times staff have become sycophants and hagiographers of Speaker Madigan.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:06 am:

    - Concerned -, I’m a pragmatist. I can count. I know what the obvious is, and what going to work.

    Madigan gives the parameters of trying to get 60 (now 71), and what can be accomplished. It’s math. Whose math is “wrong” when understanding what can get to the magic numbers.

    Being practical and pragmatic is also good politics.

    With respect.

  31. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:07 am:

    Richard J. died in 1976, not 1978.

    Lot of “old playbooks” still in use. Constitution comes to mind. Ten Commandments.

  32. - fed up - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:07 am:

    The days of Madigan’s unfettered power and dems unlimited over spending are over. Madigan and his dems have all but killed the goose that lays the golden eggs. Time they wake up and smell the coffee….

  33. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    it’s really also very sweet that MJM keeps the pix of Daley and Sis on both of his desks. it’s sentimental, not just about the power thing. MJM is very close to his wife, as Daley was, both women who care/d about culture. I like this story about MJM.

  34. - Centennial - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    @WORD @ 9:39 am

    Ha! Never heard that one! I love stories like that. I think I was born in the wrong political era. Folks just don’t play the game with that level of finesse anymore.

  35. - Sam Weinberg - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:17 am:

    In case anybody hasn’t yet checked it out, I heartily recommend Rakove’s “We Don’t Want Nobody Nobody Sent.” It’s an oral history of old man Daley’s reign.

    Copies aren’t easy to find, but really entertaining.

  36. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:20 am:

    What would Daley do?

  37. - Striketoo - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:20 am:

    An equally interesting story in today’s Sun-Times quotes Chicago’s City Treasurer Kurt Summers as saying the city should consider building new Olympic-sized swimming pools at Chicago public schools. Question. Given the city’s financial situation: Is he insane?

  38. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:21 am:

    ===Compare his work to the once reliable Kristen McQueary’s knee-jerk and lazy “It’s time to stand up to Madigan” column that ran Sunday.===

    To defend @EditBoardChick, she is doing what Her bosses want abd require to be in the Tribune Editorial Board. It’s her job.

    The fact that her current job flies directly in the face of what she allegedly learned being the self-proclaimed “Chick” all those years covering the “Statehouse”, is probably the saddest down-spiral of “shill-ness” in the Rauner Renaissance. Simple.

  39. - a drop in - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    Boil down any political primer to “plan to win the next election”. We will see who wins in 16 and 18.

  40. - anon - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:24 am:

    How has dem rule for essentially forever turned out for the city of Chicago?

    How has MJM’s rule for Illinois turned out?

    It is one thing to be arrogant and brash when you succeed, quite another when you are an utter failure.

  41. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:27 am:

    ===Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:56 am:===

    And yet New York was somehow able to finally bury Boss Tweed. lol.

  42. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:29 am:

    ===This would be swell on the “Fire Madigan, 2.0″ line of merchandise. I mean, for $100 million, ya haveta have a new tag line.===

    Nah Willy. That tagline still works. The big difference is now they can put some equity into it.

  43. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:31 am:

    - A Guy -,

    Did I miss where “Richard J” went away?

    Are you comparing… What ARE you comparing… ?

  44. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:31 am:

    Is it just me, or does this sound like it could be a line from Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow?

    Don’t go to bed with no price on your head…
    Don’t roll the dice if you can’t pay the price…
    Don’t do me dirt or you’re gonna get hurt…
    Ain’t gonna fight with no thief in the night…

    You’d better be strong, or you’re gonna be gone…

    Was Madigan a big Baretta fan back in the day?

  45. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:33 am:

    ===Nah Willy. That tagline still works. The big difference is now they can put some equity into it.===

    Curious, do you run the “Fire Madigan, 2.0″ Ads before or after the news reports of National Guard troops taking over state agencies.

    I’d run them after, like a lazy rebuttal, but at $100 million, before and after works I guess.

  46. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:35 am:

    Sling, only you would call the 10 Commandments a playbook.

    Just can’t get you from there to here.

  47. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:46 am:

    We’ll see who’s playbook works. Rauner keeps revising his. The only constant is that he has seemingly unlimited money to spend trashing all but his supplicants.

  48. - Georg Sande - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:48 am:

    More crazy from this echo chamber … no, this group of back-slappers!

    This fluff piece from the Sponsor about his former employer and friend is timely news how? No, it’s meant only to bolster the leader of Illinois’ status quo disaster. Had this been about something timely it may have included Illinois’ dismal economy. Perhaps a mention of Illinois’ inordinately high unemployment rate. Or maybe a mention of its alarming out-migration would have earned some space.

    But pay no attention to reality my weak-kneed star gazing followers, instead let’s talk about how awesome the Velvet Hammer is! You know, the guy who’s driven the state aground. The dude regularly derided elsewhere but roundly applauded and honored here … but only by the back-slappers. Is that because it’s the only place left to do so?

  49. - The Historian - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:51 am:

    Here’s a link to the full list for everyone:
    A good many of them are quite brief by oral history standards, just 16-17 pages. If folks are unaware of the really superb similar work being done by Mark DePue et al. at ALPL, especially on the Thompson and Edgar years, do look at their page too:

  50. - Dave Fako - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:53 am:

    This is another great read on the Chicao political organization - it basically is a history of the Chicago Democratic organization starting with Mayor Cermak and leading to Mayor Washington’s election in 1983, only 1 year before I entered politics. It was a required book I had to read in Dr. Kevin McKeogh’s political class at NIU (circa 1985?).

  51. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:55 am:

    Woof, the Whinos are out today.

  52. - Concerned - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:55 am:

    Norse - they both have tons of money, no? What’s new is MJM has an opponent with at least equal money. Doesn’t mean Rauner will win, but he has the money to stay in the game.

  53. - Concerned - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 10:57 am:

    Wordslinger, I thought demeaning language toward other posters was against the rules of the site?

  54. - Concerned - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:04 am:

    This is the guy who posts under the moniker “Concerned” but the prior posts in this chain are not mine. Seems someone else has adopted that moniker, too.

  55. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    ===…instead let’s talk about how awesome the Velvet Hammer is! You know, the guy who’s driven the state aground.===

    - Georg Sande -,

    Your continued willfull ignorance that Madigan, himself, personally, is responsible for your victimhood knows no bounds.

    At least your comments are longer, but writing “longer”, doesn’t make it right, or “better”

  56. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:07 am:

    Rich, we now know mjm has the mass card w the pic of the daleys on his desks. What similar inspirational photo does rauner have on his desks? I am thinking a photo of himself, w gov rich snyder (r-mich), gov scott walker (r-wis), gov john kasich (r-oh), and former gov mitch daniels (r-ind), under a big
    ALEC banner “RIGHT TO WORK”.

  57. - Concerned citizen - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:07 am:

    Sorry, original Concerned, I’m new and wasn’t aware of your use of the name.

  58. - Concerned citizen - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    Langhorne - at least those guys have won elections this century.

  59. - Concerned - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    Concerned Citizen–no problem. I think we are all concerned!

  60. - Centennial - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    This post… and accompanying links… have ruined my goals of productivity for the day.

  61. - horse w/ no name - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:01 pm:

    When you have an better understanding of Madigan as a human being, and what he considers his life’s work as a lawmaker, it’s all the more difficult to figure out why Rauner thinks he has a chance in hell of destabilizing him.

  62. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:21 pm:

    The govs in the hypothetical photo are the role models rauner wants to surpass. If walker wants to cut higher ed 20%, rauner will go 30%. Bust the unions. freeze taxes. And so on. Rauner isnt concerned about what is doable in illinois, this is the equivalent of an exclusive dart league.

  63. - anon - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:30 pm:

    horse, maybe because he was elected to do it and it needs to be done. Just sayin’!!!

  64. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:43 pm:

    @ Anon,

    Dispell yourself that Rauner was elected ‘to do something’. He was elected because Quinn (at the time) was so unpopular. If Rauner had shown his true stripes during the campaign (RTW, Runaground Agenda etc) he would have never won. Never.

  65. - anon - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:46 pm:

    How Ironic, same could be said about BHO, a guy you most likely voted for. Except in his case, it was much more extreme.

    Rauner won, he said Illinois desperately needed change(it does) and he is working to change this crapfest. Sorry you don’t get that!

  66. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:52 pm:

    ==He was a benevolent boss to the people==

    He was a benevolent boss to his people. Not the people. ==His== people.

  67. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:54 pm:

    ==what he considers his life’s work as a lawmaker==

    With the point we are at after his many years in leadership, how would he judge his life’s work?

    We may have to wait for the movie of the week.

  68. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 12:54 pm:

    @ Anon,

    This is about Rauner. If he had to lie about his goals to get the office, was it really worth it?

    And please…outline how he’s trying to ‘fix’ things? Through free motorcycle training classes, while slashing autism funding?

    Or hiding all of his high cost payroll among other offices so the public doesn’t know the real cost of his office?

    Or how about locking out the public from his daily calendar, forcing a FOIA (that he denied) so that we don’t know who he’s meeting with (on the public $$ mind you).

    Yeah…he’s really shaking it up.

  69. - Triple fat - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 1:01 pm:

    Anon too bad his people were not the monied class right? I mean we all know how the trickle down economics work no? Those who have pee on those who don’t. The funny thing under the Mayor business made out just fine… But so did Unions and the people they represent.

  70. - Concerned citizen - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 1:21 pm:

    Hello, Triple. To me, the economic situation is that a government needs lots of the population to have decent jobs (private sector jobs), in order to fund all the programs we’d all like to have. Lately, Illinois has lost too many of those jobs, which means that the cost of governing is spread over fewer people.

    Reversing this trend is important, and is what Rauner’s pro-business initiatives are all about. Perhaps these ideas won’t work; maybe they won’t result in more working people in Illinois. But, as Rich has pointed out, Madigan has offered nothing in this area as an alternative.

  71. - cez - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 1:30 pm:

    Little known fact: Many of the superlatives listed in “The Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials…were actually originally praises given Mike Madigan by friends and enemies alike.i.e..Time stops for no one…except him!

  72. - anon - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 1:34 pm:

    Triple fat and Ironic don’t get it. And, as the old saying goes, those who don’t get it, don’t get that they don’t get it.

    How is the pension situation in the city? How about all that long term borrowing to pay for everyday expenses. How about that pension situation in the state, that is a doozy, right Ironic? How about that national debt the 20-30-40 somethings are gonna be handed, thanks to the guy you voted for prez.

    Yep, the dems are knocking it out of the park!!

  73. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 1:57 pm:


    I know I shouldn’t but I will address your nonsense post about the national debt and it being all the President’s fault. That shows your partisan bent and inability to have a serious conversation so the rest of what you said can be taken with a grain of salt.

    As for the pensions, I think the people that don’t accept the facts are the ones that don’t get it. What are the facts? The pensions have to be paid. Period. So, what shall we do? Figure out how to pay for them.

    I think I’d look in the mirror if I were you if you want to see somebody who doesn’t get it. There’s a big read sign on your face that says it.

  74. - Concerned citizen - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:04 pm:

    Demoralized - I think your point about serious discussion applies to many of the regular posters here. It appears many are here to win and demean, not discuss.

  75. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:08 pm:

    ===I think your point about serious discussion applies to many of the regular posters here. It appears many are here to win and demean, not discuss.===

    You were welcomed. Now a drive-by demeaning the community?

  76. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:22 pm:

    C’mon Willy. That’s overshooting the runway a bit. There are a lot of good commenters here. Some great ones (I begrudgingly put you in that category because of our frequent ‘honest’ disagreements) A handful of putzes usually get what they have coming.

    Con Cit, Demo’s one of the great ones too. Hear him out. He can take a punch, but he can deliver one too. Stay on the high end of the canvas and duke it out. Rauner gets a rough ride here, some deserved, some not. The temperature is a little higher now than usual. Hang around, be honest, be constructive and don’t take things too personally. Identify kooks and ignore them. There’s plenty of good stuff to be mined.

  77. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:34 pm:

    - A Guy -, I appreciate your kind words. No one has taken more slings and arrows for Rauner than you, including Rauner himself. That’s what this plscd is about.

    - A Guy -, it wasn’t me with the disparaging remark, I grabbed it, and responded. That’s all.

    You are right, this place does a good job keeping tabs on each other, and Rich runs a great shop.

  78. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:50 pm:

    @- anon - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 1:34 pm:

    “How about that pension situation in the state, that is a doozy, right Ironic?”

    It sure is, now that your fearless leader Raunerhood insisted the tax increase sunset. Pat Quinn made EVERY pension payment, and was paying down the debt AND paying down the backlog of vendor bills.

    Now though, even your own ‘hero’ Gov put forth a budget that was over $3 BILLION out of whack. Boy it sure was a great idea to let that tax sunset no?

    Maybe you should get inside. I think you have heat stroke, and that’s made your inability to grasp facts a reality.

  79. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:53 pm:

    You have to be out of your mind to think that the marginal, at best, actions for “job creation” at the state government level have any thing to do with the decisions of where capital goes.

    Chicago is the fourth largest metro economy on Planet Earth.

    Why? Because of the marginal actions of state government?

    That’s insane.

  80. - anon - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 5:02 pm:

    Ironic, please tell us the amount of outstanding bills at 12/31?

    The tax increase sunset on 12/31/14. Bruce Rauner had nothing to do with that. Maybe it shouldn’t have been scheduled to sunset.

    How much money was raised in the 4 years of the 67% income tax increase? How much was paid to the pension obligation?

  81. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 5:24 pm:

    @ Anon,

    I’m not here to do your homework.

    1. Bruce had ‘everything’ to do with the sunset. He BEGGED the legislature to allow it to sunset, rather than work with Quinn to keep it in force. Bruce even went further and stated that the tax increase was not necessary, and that cuts would suffice to balance the budget.

    Clearly, that’s not the case.

    2. All of the money raised from the increase went to paying down bills and making the pension obligation.

    3. Learn to use Google. Each one of your answers can be found quickly with a few keystrokes.

  82. - Concerned - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 5:28 pm:

    anon-Rauner demanded that the rollback be allowed to happen as scheduled. Told the Dems they would be regarded as corrupt if they extended it. The Dems acquiesced to Rauner;s demand.

    And yes, the tax increase did permit the pension to be funded while that increase was in place, unlike the pension holidays that had become an annual habit.

  83. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 5:28 pm:

    @ Anon,

    As a favor, as your GoogleFu skills are lacking, I typed in the extremely tricky

    “illinois payment backlog december 31 2014″

    Magically, this came up :

    You can find all of your requested info there. It’s all in black and white. Read it all over.

  84. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 5:45 pm:

    Concerned, I’m only aware of 2 pension holidays, those being FY’s 06 and 07. I define “holiday” as legislative action to reduce contributions below levels established in statute.

  85. - Triple fat - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 5:50 pm:

    Having worked in HR in a previous life my take on workers compensation is that there are some unscrupulous people that game the system… Even under lax rules in place during my previous life 1988 - 2001 people with legitimate claims were denied because they didn’t assert their rights or fully understand the system. You do know that WC was instituted to lessen business losses by not allowing injured workers, or those killed by their injury to sue their employers in a court of law by a jury of their peers. Even when the scaled of judtice are tipped in their favor it is never enough for the monied elite. Speaker Madigan’s words on this issue are totally valid.

  86. - Concerned - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 5:51 pm:

    AA–that’s fair, though I define holiday as paying less than the amount required by actuarial requirements and promising to “ramp” up contributions later to make up for the holiday!

  87. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 8:16 pm:

    Concerned, fair enough but by that measure we are still on holiday.

  88. - Macoupin Minority - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 8:40 pm:

    All from the culture that brought us Blago.

  89. - Huh? - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 9:09 pm:

    “… trashing all but his supplicants.”

    He doesn’t trash his supplicants. He just stabs them in the back.

    To the post -
    Mr. Madigan sounds like a thinking man who learned valuable political lessons and knows when to apply them.

  90. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 7:03 am:

    Ironic, you spouted off what supposed “facts.” I just asked you back up your statements with numbers. You turn around and suggest I learn how to use Google and provide some link and tell me you not going to do the research.

    No wonder you dislike Rauner and love MJM. You provide the facts to support your statements. You didn’t and I asked for them. If you feel so certain your statements are in fact correct and not vague or untrue, support them with numbers.

  91. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 7:50 am:


    Is there was a point to your question about outstanding bills? Generally those who have little understanding of what the tax increase did bring up that topic. Those with any skills at math would know that the tax increase simply kept us afloat. It allowed for the pension payment to be fully made and it allowed for a lifeboat to prevent the backlog of bills from continuing to rise exponentially. That answer your question?

    And your whole “no wonder you dislike Rauner and love MGM” thing. Grow the heck up and stop acting like a child.

  92. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:09 am:

    Demo, just because you sit in a cubicle and post here all day doesn’t give you license to preach. So, you can’t provide the numbers either?? Congrats

  93. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:22 am:


    Ok. I’ll do your work for you. You might want to take a look at the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability’s website. They provide lots of information about state government finances. I can give you the link if you are unskilled at the art of internet searches.

    From the time of the initial increase in the tax rate through the expiration the total revenue generated was about $31 billion.

    Oh, and try to offer something constructive to the discussion. It will go a long way to people taking you seriously. And if you can’t take the back and forth of the discussion and want to stomp your feet when somebody challenges you, you had better go somewhere else.

  94. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:25 am:

    You know what, anon, I’ll even be a nice guy and give you the link. It’s on page 29.

  95. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 9:12 am:

    Just give the numbers Demo. If I am making the case that a baseball player has performed better the last 4 years than his peers and I give no data, it is just an unsubstantiated opinion. If people questioned me and all I said was go look up the stats, that is not their job, it is mine, if I want to back up my opinion.

    Thanks for giving me links to stuff that I could have found in a minute or 2 if interested, I didn’t make the claim, you guys did. I just questioned it. There, is that enough back and forth for you?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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