* The Tribune writes about all the anti-Speaker Madigan ads this year…
While several other Democratic House candidates did not return calls seeking comment, a Madigan spokesman said the GOP is simply looking for a message to distract from controversial presidential nominee Donald Trump leading the ticket. Spokesman Steve Brown contended Republicans “will say anything” to shift the conversation.
“This has been done before, and it’s unclear what effect more spending will have,” Brown said. “They figured out, probably too late, that Rauner and Trump are two anchors around their candidates’ necks, and they are trying to unwrap those anchors.” […]
The Republican operative suggested the anti-Madigan strategy has negated any damage Trump has done. The GOP has labeled Madigan “the great equalizer,” saying he’s helped the GOP remain competitive during a presidential election year, which usually favors Democrats. […]
“When we started this, it was less about building unfavorables and more about letting people know who he is and how Springfield actually works,” said Pat Brady, former chairman of the Illinois Republican Party who launched a “Fire Madigan” campaign four years ago. “Now they are trying to take that and win seats with it, and I think they are going to have success.”
“It’s ‘Fire Madigan’ on steroids because they have the resources and the funding and a lot of very smart people running these campaigns. It’s a lot more well thought out and a stronger strategy than we’ve ever had,” Brady said. “We are in a state that has been dysfunctional for so long that they are looking for someone to blame, and the speaker is an easy target. If we can get across the point that a vote for an individual Democrat is a vote for Madigan, I think that’s very effective.”