* Speaker Madigan’s approval rating is about the same as Rod Blagojevich’s was near the end of his rule. So, dealing with questions about Madigan can be tricky for House Democrats.
Here’s an exchange between Democratic state Rep. Sam Yingling and his Republican opponent Rod Drobinski at the Daily Herald…
Drobinski criticized Yingling’s support of veteran House Speaker Michael Madigan.
“His second vote every session, after he votes for Mike Madigan to be speaker of the House, is for the rules that give Mike Madigan the power to cause any bill to die in committee,” Drobinski said.
Yingling said he’s thought about his votes for Madigan as speaker and would consider another Democratic choice.
However, he added, he wouldn’t vote for a Republican if no Democrat challenged Madigan to lead the House.
A dodge, for sure, but not a bad one.
* Democratic Rep. Fred Crespo professed his independence and agreed with his Republican challenger Katy Dolan Baumer on leader term limits…
Crespo responded that he’s been anything but a Madigan puppet during his decade in the state legislature. He counts among his supporters the Republican mayors of Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg and Hanover Park.
“I’m proud to say that I have a lot of Republican friends and have gotten support from Republican elected officials,” he said. “Unlike Chicago, in the suburbs your success is going to be closely connected to your ability to work with the other side.”
But Baumer said there is a need for new ideas and leadership in the House, and only a push for term limits on the position of speaker may bring that about. She said it’s unfair that one person from one part of Chicago has controlled the direction of so many state issues for so long. […]
Crespo declined to say whether he would back Madigan for another term as speaker, but said he supported fellow Democratic state Rep. Jack Franks’ proposal to create term limits for the position.
His most important criteria for House leader is who is best able to bring together a diverse and potentially divided Democratic caucus, he said.
“At the end of the day, I’m taking direction from the people of the 44th District, not the speaker,” Crespo added.
* Rep. Skoog said he’d be independent and then clammed up…
Q: Would state Rep. Andy Skoog, D-La Salle, and his GOP rival, Jerry Long, of Streator, vote to retain Michael Madigan as House speaker?
A: Long, along with virtually every Republican, has vowed to vote against Madigan.
In an Oct. 13, 2015, interview — two days after Skoog’s candidacy for state representative became publicly known — The Times asked him whether he would vote for Madigan as speaker. Skoog, who had yet to be appointed as longtime Rep. Frank Mautino’s replacement, didn’t answer the question directly. Rather, he said he would stand up to Madigan, Gov. Bruce Rauner or any other politician in defending the interests of the 76th House District. His response was published in the Wednesday, Oct. 14, print edition. Skoog has not answered such questions since.
* And Rep. John Bradley turned the Madigan question into a Rauner question…
Severin’s primary attack in this campaign has been that Bradley’s loyalties are to Madigan and Chicago Democrats and not Southern Illinois.
To that, Bradley said, “I would point out that folks that aren’t in leadership in both parties are receiving the same criticisms and I think there’s a tendency in politics, particularly in this very, very ugly campaign season for those kinds of assertions, whether they be true or not, to be made.” Bradley said he has never taken a vote “to the determinant of our area.”
In this election cycle, Bradley said he has been “the victim of a lot of questionable advertising against me.” As for the attack ads he’s running against his opponent, Bradley said those ads are fair. It’s only the ones being run against him that he finds unfair.
Bradley refused to answer specific policy questions related to the attack ads he’s running against Severin. He would only repeat in regards to specific policy questions related to the ads that he thinks they are fair. For example, the ad that states “Dave Severin’s biggest supporter wants to let 25 percent of the state’s prisoners loose into our communities” is a reference to Rauner’s bipartisan efforts to reduce the prison population. But Bradley refused to answer a question about whether he could support any type of prison reforms being proposed by the commission that Rauner created. […]
Bradley also said he worked with Rauner in his first months in office to solve the shortfall in the fiscal year 2015 budget when the temporary income tax increase partially reset to a lower level. But Bradley said that bipartisan spirit eroded shortly after that because Rauner took cuts too far and began picking winners and losers. Bradley said some of the losers were John A. Logan College, SIU and the Hardin County Work Camp. “So the wheels just kind of fell off after that,” he said of Democratic leaders’ ability to work with Rauner to solve the budget.