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Drury points to early GOP help for Madigan as Speaker election looms

Wednesday, Dec 28, 2016

* Madeleine Doubek at Reboot

There actually have been rumors and some reports that a Democratic alternative or two to Madigan will be offered up when lawmakers reconvene for the 100th General Assembly Jan. 11.

One of the names bandied about is state Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook. After all, Rauner likes to offer her up as his only example of someone he claims once agreed with him about something, though no journalists ever witnessed this.

So is Nekritz, Madigan’s assistant majority leader, going to run for Speaker? Uh, no.

For the record, I asked her and she answered, “I am not considering running for Speaker. If the Republicans choose to nominate me, it will be another of their political games that is a distraction from our effort to resolve the State’s budget impasse.”

Other names have been mentioned but no one should expect Speaker-for-Life Madigan to fall by the wayside. He’s still a master tactician and a masterful fundraiser and, in case you just crawled out from your bomb shelter, he’s still doing a pretty good job of stymying Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner at every turn. Some Democrats eagerly will tell you that’s what they’re for and nothing is more important. Madigan himself might be one of them.

* Madeleine didn’t talk to Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood), who’s been floating his own name. Not coincidentally, Rep. Drury sent this to his e-mail list today…

Friends:

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. Rather than talk about the dismal state of the State, I want to share an interesting historical fact about Speaker Michael Madigan’s rise to his current position.

The Madigan Interview - Aug. 10, 2009

In August 2009, Speaker Madigan sat for an extended interview about the late Richard J. Daley. (See below for source citation.) During the interview, Speaker Madigan discussed his early days in Illinois politics.

The 1975 Election for Speaker of the House

In January 1975, Democrats held a majority in the Illinois House. Nevertheless, they could not elect a Speaker on their own due to a split within the party. Thus, according to Madigan — who was not running for Speaker at that time — it took some Republican votes to elect the Democratic Speaker. Further, according to Madigan, it required Mayor Daley to change who he supported for the position. It seems that this chain of events helped shape Illinois history. According to Speaker Madigan:

    “So when the mayor shifted his support to Redmond [for Speaker] he carried me along. I was not in the room, but I presume there was a deal when the mayor told Redmond, ‘Okay, we’re going to support you, but we want Madigan as an assistant leader [in the House].’”

The Irony

It seems that the 1975 election for Speaker of the House resulted in Madigan obtaining his first leadership position in the Illinois House of Representatives. Ironically, it took Republican votes to make this happen.

As always, thank you for the privilege of allowing me to represent you. Happy Holidays.

–Scott

There will be no Chicago mayor cutting a deal for Drury, but that’s a fascinating little e-mail.

His source material is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

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