* From his district office director…
To Whom it May Concern:
Earlier today, State Rep. Scott Drury outlined the repercussions he has thus far faced for representing his district and not voting for Michael J. Madigan for Speaker of the House. Rep. Drury believes that only by shining a light on the use of fear and punishment to drive decisions in Illinois government can needed change come about.
* Here’s the press release…
Stating that the only way to reform the fundamental flaws in Illinois government is to expose them, earlier today, State Representative Scott Drury (D-Highwood) outlined the repercussions he has thus far experienced for heeding the will of his constituents and not voting for Michael J. Madigan for Speaker of the House. According to Drury, the repercussions are an overt warning to his colleagues – “choose to represent your district at your own risk.”
Ranging from petty to poor policy, the punishments began almost immediately after Drury cast his vote. Indeed, the next day, Democratic House staff handed out on the House floor a gift bag to members of the Democratic caucus. Inside was an engraved desk clock. Drury did not get one.
That small act was only the beginning. Since then, Drury became the only third-term representative, outside of legislative leaders, to be bypassed for a House committee chairmanship. Further, Drury, a former federal prosecutor, not only lost his vice-chairmanship on the House Judiciary-Criminal Committee, but was removed from the committee altogether. Drury received no explanation for his removal.
In drawing attention to the retribution he has faced, Drury made clear that this is not about him but about shining a light on the very real use of fear and punishment in Illinois government to drive important decisions. “No elected official should fear being punished for representing his or her district, and no one should remain silent when it happens,” said Drury. “History is littered with the awful consequences that follow from people remaining silent, when speaking up and taking action is the proper course.”
He voted against the Speaker then he voted against the House rules and now he’s complaining that he didn’t get a clock and wasn’t appointed chairman of a committee.
What did he expect?
*** UPDATE *** From an e-mail to his constituents entitled “The retribution has begun”…
Thank you for the overwhelming support with respect to my decision to not vote for Michael J. Madigan for Speaker of the House. As expected, the retribution has begun. Here are some examples:
I did not receive a committee chairmanship (I am the only third-term representative without a chairmanship);
My Vice-Chairmanship position on the Judiciary-Criminal Committee was taken away;
I have been removed from the Judiciary-Criminal Committee;
In a petty maneuver, the day after the Speaker vote, Speaker Madigan’s staff provided Democratic caucus members with an engraved clock as a gift — I did not receive one.
WHY THIS MATTERS
The actions described above are intended to make members fearful of “stepping out of line.” This leads to decision-making based on self-interest, not public interest. For instance, I recently learned a colleague felt compelled to vote for Mr. Madigan for Speaker out of fear of losing a chairmanship position and the $10,000 stipend that comes with it.
THE SPRINGFIELD REACTION
The disparity between the feedback I have received from real people versus “Springfield types” has truly been amazing. While the public has universally applauded my recent actions, Springfield has resorted to grade-school intimidation techniques — such as name-calling. Springfield has also criticized me for not “going along, to get along.” History has shown that this old way of doing business leads to dismal results.
We will keep you posted on this issue and our other efforts to reform Illinois. As always, thank you for the privilege of allowing me to represent you.