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Dealing with “the Madigan question”

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ill Annoyed - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 11:36 am:

    Terri Bryant’s opponent dodged the question when asked at a recent debate at SIU as well. Why not just come out and say that you are beholden to vote for Madigan for Speaker because you take his campaign cash and staff and that if you say you won’t support him that he’ll pull your resources like he did to Dennis Ahern? Just come out and say it…say it and you’ll all feel better.

  2. - Old Shepherd - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 11:44 am:

    Terri Bryant dodged the question when asked at a recent debate at SIU as well. Why not just come out and say that you are beholden to vote for Rauner’s agenda because you take his campaign cash and staff and that if you say you won’t support him that he’ll pull your resources like he did to Sam McCann? Just come out and say it…say it and you’ll all feel better.

  3. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 11:44 am:

    Beats talking about the $8 billion deficit in the FY17 deficit, passed by bipartisan majorities in the GA and signed by the governor.

    Or the tripling of the backlog of unpaid bills since Jan. 2015 projected for the end of FY17.

  4. - Earnest - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 11:55 am:

    To the extent the conversation is about Madigan, Raunerites win. It’s a strong issue. They also win because they don’t have to articulate how either Rauner’s actions or vision for the state will impact the people in their districts.

  5. - illini - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    Rep Bradley nailed it. Yet my member of the GA has continued to vote “to the detriment of his district” fairly regularly, or has simply refused to vote at all. And he is running unopposed !!!!

  6. - Joe M - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 12:00 pm:

    At a talk given by one Democratic state representative, he stated, that he may not agree with Madiagn on everything, but Madigan is the main force that is keeping us from Rauner’s anti-union turnaround agenda. Without Madigan, Rauner gets his way.

  7. - Jocko - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 1:01 pm:

    Bradley hits the nail on the head with “…Rauner took cuts too far and began picking winners and losers.”

    Rauner wants to keep this about personalities because he’ll lose on the issues.

  8. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 1:03 pm:

    “‘Madigan’? What’s a ‘Madigan’?”

    – MrJM

  9. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 1:23 pm:

    I won’t allow ugly partisanship by either Madigan or Rauner to prevent me from voting for what is best for our commonalities.

  10. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 2:32 pm:

    ==Bradley said he has never taken a vote “to the determinant of our area.”==

    So the House also has a math whiz.

  11. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 2:37 pm:

    There is going to come a time, and it will be sooner rather than later, in the next couple of years when all of the things said about Madigan and the legislators he controls will come back to haunt the ILGOP.

    So far, the ILGOP has followed Rauner’s directives in lock step fashion and to a degree not seen in the Illinois House.

    Democratic legislators, and especially house members, will remember all of this and will be relentless in their attacks. Rauner is setting the ILGOP up for this and I think it is the next election cycle when it happens.

  12. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 2:40 pm:

    Madigan is to Democrats what Trump is to Republicans?

  13. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 3:49 pm:

    Have to agree with JS Mill, every GOP member of the GA, should get on their knees every night and pray Rauner remains Gov forever (or as long as they serve).

    There will come a day, when Rauner and his money gets bored and moves on and GOP members will run for cover and beg the angel of death passes them over when they don’t have Rauner’s money to defend theme selves.

  14. - Mama Retired - Tuesday, Sep 27, 16 @ 8:40 pm:

    Rauner’s goal is to take control of the entire IL government.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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