Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x4 - Cassidy explains - Madigan responds - Mendoza, Bustos and Ammons issue statement - Sen. Bush echoes demand *** Rep. Cassidy wants independent probe into “culture that appears to pervade the organizations led by Speaker Madigan”
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** UPDATED x4 - Cassidy explains - Madigan responds - Mendoza, Bustos and Ammons issue statement - Sen. Bush echoes demand *** Rep. Cassidy wants independent probe into “culture that appears to pervade the organizations led by Speaker Madigan”

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018

*** UPDATE 3 *** Speaker Madigan’s statement…

“I spoke with Kelly Cassidy today. I told her I will cooperate fully and I will ask independent counsel Kelly Smith-Haley to assist.”

*** UPDATE 4 *** I checked in with Rep. Cassidy via text about her chat with Speaker Madigan today. “I spoke briefly to him as a professional courtesy that I was releasing the statement,” she wrote.

What did Madigan say? “He asked me how to accomplish the independence, and indicated he would be willing to cooperate.”

Also: “He never mentioned the firm or the attorney.”

[ *** End Of Updates *** ]

* Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago)…

“The slow and steady drip of accusations and dismissals has turned into an endless cycle of lather, rinse, repeat, highlighting the culture of harassment in the legislature and political campaigns.

I am calling for an independent investigation into this culture that appears to pervade the organizations led by Speaker Madigan. Because of the unique interconnectedness of his Capitol and political operations, the investigation must not be hampered by organizational boundaries. The investigator(s) should not be Democratic elected officials, individuals or firms with pre-existing ties to the Speaker and should have demonstrated experience with investigations of this nature.

We must get to the bottom of this with confidence in the independence of the investigator. We need to force the very real culture change required to truly show that #timesup.”

*** UPDATE 1 *** Tribune

“We need a real, independent law firm, not someone that is hired by the chair of the party, and that’s what’s happened,” said Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake. “Whether or not they are wonderful people, it doesn’t matter. They’ve been hired by him. If you are going to do a true independent council, a true independent group, they have to be people that are clearly independent from the head of the (Democratic Party of Illinois).”

Bush said she did not believe the chair of the Democratic Party should serve as speaker of the House or president of the Senate. Bush stopped short of calling for Madigan to step down from his chairmanship of the party, but said “I think it’s something he should seriously consider, however, for the good of the party going forward.”

“I think there is an incestuous relationship that occurs there that is not healthy,” Bush said.

Asked about the calls for Madigan to step down as head of the party, Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said “that’s not going to happen.” He pointed to comments Madigan made last week following calls to resign by Democratic Rep. Scott Drury, a frequent critic of Madigan who is running for attorney general.

* Meanwhile…



*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release…

Today, Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and State Representative Carol Ammons issued the following joint statement regarding the sexual harassment panel they are in the process of developing:

“We agreed to serve on this panel because it is clear that institutionalized systems have perpetuated sexism, sexual harassment, and inequality in our state’s political system. We thank the women who have come forward with their experiences for their bravery and courage.

“We recognize the importance and benefit to everyone when women are in positions of influential leadership and are active in all levels of our political system, from campaign staff to candidate. All women should be able to engage, achieve and excel in the workplace without fear of being excluded, harassed, discriminated, or retaliated against. It shouldn’t matter whether you work in a restaurant, a factory, a board room, a state capitol or a political campaign.

“When any woman finds herself being sexually harassed, resources should be readily available for her to seek justice and hold the perpetrators accountable. Survivors of sexual harassment must feel that their claims will be taken seriously, addressed promptly and that they can report incidents without fear of retribution. The culture of the ‘good old boy’ network is not changing fast enough and our panel will seek to accelerate the change of that culture.

“Since the hashtag MeToo caught fire in 2017, we have seen a flood of sexual harassment victims come forward. This is a problem on all levels of government and in all parties. The only significant and sustaining solution will be to change the dynamics and composition of leadership in politics.

“We have begun discussions about how to structure this panel and define its mission to include the voices of women around Illinois and make recommendations. At its core, in order for this panel to be effective in presenting legitimate findings and effective solutions, it must be completely independent. We take this responsibility seriously and, in the coming days, we will be publicly outlining the scope of the panel’s goals and our timeline after we have the opportunity to discuss the most effective path forward as a team.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

50 Comments
  1. - Come on man! - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    -The investigator(s) should not be Democratic elected officials, individuals or firms with pre-existing ties to the Speaker and should have demonstrated experience with investigations of this nature.-

    This maybe the hardest part.


  2. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    Time for him to resign and slink away.


  3. - Fax Machine - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    It would have got really interesting if someone had got on rhe ballot against him for State Central Committeeman.

    Amazing that no one in the District smelled blood in the water and the one giy who did file turned in less than 200 sigs.


  4. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    Kelly Cassidy for Speaker.


  5. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    I can just imagine the mobs storming the Speaker’s office with “Probe the Culture” signs.


  6. - Abraham Obama - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    ==Kelly Cassidy for Speaker==

    Bold move! That’s a smart play.


  7. - Anonymrs - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    I second the nomination of Rep. Cassidy for Speaker.


  8. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    That’s a direct shot from a Dem. rep. — and, I’m guessing, a future candidate for speaker.

    Still, if you’re going to take that shot, you should be prepared to say exactly what you’re calling for.

    Who, exactly, has the authority (derived from where?) to conduct an “independent” investigation of a “culture” across governmental staff and political organizations? Who’s paying for it?

    Stay tuned.


  9. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    Kudos to Kelly. She has been steadfast in this and I expect her to continue leading the charge. She doesn’t need Madigan so is perfectly positioned to take him on, but not in a Drury posturing way. She wants to see change because it’s the right thing to do.


  10. - NoGifts - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:48 am:

    Investigations into “culture?” Are we going to start a rating system for cultures of each representative’s office? And for the political organizations? Annual cultural reviews for those who don’t pass the culture test? I’m all for investigating crimes. I’m not so hot on investigating cultures.


  11. - King Louis XVI - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:49 am:

    When Cassidy faced her first primary in 2012, she was happy to embrace Madigan and take Democratic Majority money and cash from MJM allies directed to her campaign to hold her seat. Hypocrite.


  12. - Downstate - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:49 am:

    This is where it get’s interesting….
    So the speaker in less than a week fires a current staff member and former staff member from his organization. Can he really spurn the call for an independent investigation? It only offers his opponents the chance to ask what he’s hiding.

    JB campaign better be ready to answer the question, “Do you favor an independent probe?”


  13. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:51 am:

    Madigan should appoint Cassidy to lead the investigation. Empower her to compel testimony from his team, urge them to cooperate and hold hearings. She is independent enough to look into the various Democratic Party operations that report to Madigan.

    If Madigan wants to put this behind him, something like this needs to happen. She asked for the ball. I say give it to her and let her run with it.


  14. - MOON - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:52 am:

    Cassidy’s request is whats known as CYA.


  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:54 am:

    At issue Who knew what & when ? Oh there is the people who have their feelings hurt or skills challenged component that is getting thrown into the mix. This is the definition of “a hot mess” and not going away anytime soon.


  16. - Anon - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:54 am:

    Cassidy has some guts.


  17. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    Daniel Biss’s talking points would seem more credible if they were coming from someone who hadn’t endorsed him.

    Harrassment, abuse and bullying aren’t limited to one campaign or one party. Ask anyone who has been around politics any amount of time at all. Ask Marisa Adam. Ask Republicans.

    Turning this into a bunch of talking points is a disservice.


  18. - Downstate - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    47th Ward,
    Love the idea! Let her name a Republican as co-chair, and they can get started!


  19. - King Louis XVI - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:57 am:

    –Madigan should appoint Cassidy to lead the investigation.–

    Cassidy would be disqualified by Cassidy’s own criteria, which includes taking Madigan campaign money.


  20. - PJ - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:57 am:

    === she was happy to embrace Madigan and take Democratic Majority money===

    Good point. She really should have used her crystal ball to predict that sexual harassment allegations would emerge 6 years later and refuse the money in 2012.


  21. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 12:09 pm:

    –Cassidy’s request is whats known as CYA.–

    Unless she puts some meat on the bones of whatever it is she’s requesting, I’d say that’s correct. A political action, not a real goo-goo one.


  22. - Just Me - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 12:14 pm:

    The Attorney General is best suited to perform an independent probe into the Speaker and his organizations.


  23. - Iggy - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 12:24 pm:

    =The Attorney General is best suited to perform an independent probe into the Speaker and his organizations.=

    please please please tell me you are speaking with snark. Because if that is snark, well done my friend.

    if that was sincerity, all hope is lost.


  24. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 12:30 pm:

    ==Kelly Cassidy for Speaker==

    I don’t know if I would go that far, but this is a perfect opportunity for Cassidy, Ammons, Gordon-Booth, et al to push Madigan out the door. He’s made it clear he isn’t retiring any time soon, and every dem in this state that isn’t on DPI or House of Reps payroll knows Madigan has become a Jurassic-era Pelosi type of millstone that hurts dems running for office in Illinois much more than he helps. If the IL Dem party is ever going to move past the 1980’s, it’s going to be without Madigan at the top of the food chain. This is the best and probably last opportunity they are going to get to force him out, sans Pritzker getting the nomination and bankrolling a parallel organization to DPI (which probably won’t happen, given JB’s prevaricating whenever the speakers name is mentioned).

    After years of representatives anonymously complaining about being treated like mushrooms, here’s their chance to change the dynamic. Hope they don’t blow it.


  25. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 12:40 pm:

    Republicans are licking their chops because once Madiganis gone, there will be nobody left to protect the targets.


  26. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 12:40 pm:

    It should be noted that the Constitution does not require a party line vote on speaker.


  27. - waiter - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 12:46 pm:

    Cassidy could have offered some idea how to would conduct an investigation. I am sure she, Biss and Drury could have come up with something.

    When do they start asking how many staffers they’ve disrespected or made cry in the corner? Or are those conversations not relevant to changing the culture?

    Glass houses, ladies and gentlemen.


  28. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    “Cassidy’s request is whats known as CYA”

    Why? She doesn’t have a general election race and not much of one in the primary so she doesn’t neeed CYA? That’s not what this is about by any stretch. She has shown repeatedly that she wants to see real change down there.


  29. - Centennial - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    I think Waiter is spot on. You need clean hands in this climate if you’re going to toss bombs around. Neither Cassidy or Biss do. Will it come back to bite them? I don’t know, but it’s a dangerous game to play with your career.


  30. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 12:58 pm:

    — culture of harassment—

    Oy. I’ve opposed bills in committees that Cassidy was a member of and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

    In a republican controlled House, how many bills impacting LGBT issues, women reproductive rights, and criminal justice reforms would pass?


  31. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 1:10 pm:

    This all just a bunch of hot air until someone credible announces they will challenge Madigan for speaker.


  32. - low level - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    “In a Republican controlled House”…

    Not only nothing on the issues anon mentioned, but the last time we had GOP House we got : parental notification, Chief Illiniwek, control of Chicago schools handed to Mayor of said city (elected school board anyone?) among other measures…

    A real progressive agenda in other words…/s


  33. - Make a statement - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 1:20 pm:

    Kelly “Jerry McGuire” Cassidy


  34. - Olivia Pope - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 1:21 pm:

    —-Because of the unique interconnectedness—-
    Speaking of interconnectedness should a legislator vote present on bills relating to issues pushed by their roommates or their boss, if they hold outside employment?


  35. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 1:45 pm:

    @Anonymous 12:58 & low level:
    A Republican house is more likely the longer MJM sycophants keep propping him up forever like the corpse in Weekend at Bernie’s.

    Madigan is a political liability who cost Dems House seats in a 2016 Dem wave election and would have drowned Susana Mendoza’s campaign but for Leslie Munger’s team waiting too long to run ads.

    Madigan needs to go for the sake of the Democratic Party and progressive politics.

    That the House Dem women’s caucus can’t co-sign this Cassidy statement shows me the caucus was nothing but a MJM CYA project and not interested in actually making the Dem Party better for women. Such a shame.

    And I don’t want to hear MJM apologists with innuendo about the GOP caucus having harasser skeletons in the closet too and I don’t need to be reminded that the GOP political agenda is worse for me as a woman. That is what I expect from the GOP, especially one headed by a creep like Trump.

    I expect Dems to do and be better to women. I am not convinced this will happen as long as MJM controls the party.


  36. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 1:48 pm:

    “Oy. I’ve opposed bills in committees that Cassidy was a member of and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.”

    So she was tough and you call it bullying? I think you’re mixing apples and grapefruit.


  37. - LoyalVirus - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 1:54 pm:

    Is one of the people commenting here Dan Proft in disguise? What Cassidy is doing is what’s called ‘the right thing’. Taking MJM money when one is starting out as a legislator and personally witnessing & reacting to the often toxic nature of his inner circle are not mutually exclusive. Cassidy isn’t a lawyer, but is someone with integrity who will ensure that whomever gets charged (lucky them!) with the investigation truly is free of ties to Madigan or the party or the other party- it is possible, you know. As for funding an independent investigation? Not going to pretend I know how these things work, but imagining there are plenty of folks willing to fund it- anonymously or named.


  38. - mama - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 2:16 pm:

    “It should be noted that the Constitution does not require a party line vote on speaker. ”

    That darn old pesky Constitution.


  39. - King Louis XVI - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 3:00 pm:

    –Taking MJM money when one is starting out as a legislator … –

    Cassidy has been taking Madigan’s help in her 2018 primary petition fight against an opponent who challenged her petitions.


  40. - Been There - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 3:11 pm:

    ===Madigan is a political liability who cost Dems House seats in a 2016 Dem wave election===
    He lost the Bradley, Franks (who moved on), Cloonen and Skoogs seats. And picked up Katie Stuarts district. Pretty sure all those lost seats happened in areas that Trump did well in and not where the Dem wave was happening.


  41. - Etown - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 3:57 pm:

    Step down? Come on he believes he is too important to the General Assembly. He can’t imagine how Illinois government could actually function without him.

    He is becoming a joke


  42. - Commonsense in Illinois - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 4:08 pm:

    While I don’t disagree with someone investigating, Ms. Bush suggests that the person should not be selected by Mr. Madigan, or paid for by Mr. Madigan or DPI. So, who should appoint and who should pay?

    Oh, I know…this is a job for the Attorney Gene…oh wait.

    So again, who appoints and who pays?


  43. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 4:12 pm:

    –“We need a real, independent law firm, not someone that is hired by the chair of the party, and that’s what’s happened,” said Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake.–

    If you’re going to throw this stuff out there, will you make an effort to tighten it down?

    Who, with what authority, hired by whom?


  44. - PJ - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 4:24 pm:

    ==Cassidy has been taking Madigan’s help in her 2018 primary petition fight against an opponent who challenged her petitions.==

    Once again, before these allegations. And was she supposed to hire her own personal lawyer to defend against a nuisance petition challenge?


  45. - Too Much to Handle - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 4:50 pm:

    === A Republican house is more likely the longer MJM sycophants keep propping him up forever like the corpse in Weekend at Bernie’s.

    Madigan needs to go for the sake of the Democratic Party and progressive politics. ===

    What basis do you have for saying that because I don’t actually think you know what you are talking about. The 2016 election was about Trump, plain and simple. Look at some of the places that the Dems lost seats - all downstate districts where Trump performed well. People like John Bradley significantly overperformed Hillary Clinton. Do you honestly believe that a more “progressive” candidate would have have a better result in these places?


  46. - Valerie F. Leonard - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 5:00 pm:

    The reported culture of sexual harassment and limited opportunity for women in Springfield goes way beyond any one person or party. While having Speaker Madigan step down from leadership in the House or with the Democratic Party may solve a political problem for some and give a great optic for others, it will take way more than his stepping down to improve the culture. There are 59 state senators and 119 representatives, the majority of which are men. How many of our other male legislators, Democrats and Republicans alike, keep this culture going? How many of their staffers? How many of their campaign workers?

    After we’re done in Springfield, what about our federal government? What about Cook County? What about the City? I don’t agree with many of Madigan’s approaches. If I were closer to the situation down in Springfield, I may or may not see things differently. At this point, I think, before anyone calls for Madigan’s ouster, the practices of the Governor, the Legislature, the Judicial Branch, their staffs and political campaigns need to be reviewed systematically, with a rigorous and standardized approach and set of sanctions. Anything less, in my opinion, is politics as usual.


  47. - E Pluribus Unum - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 5:30 pm:

    Who cares about Madigan? Nobody out here. Women, in this arena it’s time for you to show some courage here too in the face of the person who funded much/all of your campaigns (along with your male counterparts) and now wants to dictate how this is going to go for you too. Seriously, get going and run fast and hard. It’s all political theatre so he and his cronies can survive to ruin our state another day. Get him out. Do the entire state a favor. And while you’re at it, kick out all the Chicago Machine men - Burke, Berrios, O’Connor, Lang, Lipinski, D’Amico and more. #timesupmadigan #timesupchicagomachine


  48. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 5:35 pm:

    E Pluribus Unum, this isn’t Facebook. FYI.


  49. - low level - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 5:45 pm:

    re: “Culture”
    Rep. Conroy is satisfied her concerns were addressed?

    Re: GOP house
    I really love these people who are either new to Illinois or have forgotten how HDems were able to win 60 and then 62 seats w a Repub map… who think Illinois has always been rock solid blue.


  50. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 6:20 pm:

    ” Look at some of the places that the Dems lost seats - all downstate districts where Trump performed well.” Explain this fact to BVR who claims that he elected these legislators and that Trump had no coat tails.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Tribune asked 16 mayoral candidates to release tax returns, 6 complied
* A rough idea of what they're looking at
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Rauner was wrong about "record levels" of unionization
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Stava-Murray updates
* Pritzker's inauguration ball tix will benefit Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic and Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation
* Rauner claims he's been too busy to reflect on his term
* Pritzker's day in DC
* *** UPDATED x3 - Morrison wants emergency meeting of ILGOP - McConnaughay explains - Schneider responds *** Rauner says he tried to drop out of race after primary
* Feds re-raid Ald. Burke's office
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller