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Question of the day

Tuesday, Jun 12, 2018

* The setup

The crumbling of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s inner circle amid one ethics scandal after another is the most serious threat to the longest-serving state House Speaker’s power, according to a longtime observer.

Madigan’s longtime chief of staff was fired [last] week. A leading ally in the House was demoted. Another is retiring. And there are calls for independent investigations into the speaker’s office from within his own caucus. […]

University of Illinois at Springfield politics professor emeritus Kent Redfield has been following Illinois politics since 1975. […]

“This is a much more serious threat to the Speaker’s power and his longevity than anytime in my memory,” Redfield said.

* The Question: On a scale of one to five, with five being the most threatening, how would you rate this #MeToo threat to Madigan’s power and longevity? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

find bike trails

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:18 pm:

    I rated it a 5. This is one of perhaps the only things that could bring him down and I don’t think he really understands it, making it all the more dangerous for him. For his sake, and for Ben Joravsky’s sake, I hope he asks his daughters for advice and then follows through.

  2. - Downstate - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    I rated it a five. From what we have seen with Lang and Mapes, Madigan taking this immediate action to try and limit his own personal damage has only reinforced with those in the movement that he is not really willing to change the culture, which would start with true independent investigation into claims. He is still hoping that by diffusing these incidents immediately, that this will blow over.

  3. - m - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    Rated it a 4. The first thing that I think could believably take him out, but not yet. Could be a 5 if more come forward.

  4. - The Captain - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:22 pm:

    I went with a 3. I mean, it didn’t even really take out Decremer so I’m having a hard time rating it a 5 on the Madigan scale.

  5. - Real - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:25 pm:

    I rated a 3. Madigan can help himself by stepping down as Dem Party chairmen and remaining Speaker. The longer he tries to hang on to both roles the harder it will be for him to survive this.

  6. - Perrid - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:26 pm:

    2. That might be overly optimistic, people are angry and Madigan is in charge of the party, “The buck stops here” and all that, but right now I just don’t see any reason that he should be thrown out. Tie the harassment or even direct knowledge of the harassment to him and that’ll shoot up, but until then it smells like a witch hunt. I think a lot of the 5’s are wishful thinkers, they (like most Republicans) want Madigan gone and will use any excuse to push for it. Add that to angry people (mostly women, and they’re angry for good reason) who want someone (or everyone it seems like) to burn in effigy, well then my 2 might be too low but I have to hope cooler heads prevail.

  7. - "Old Timer Dem" - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    I rate it a 3. Madigan will survive this coming election and will be renominated Speaker unless there are forthcoming allegations against his Alderman. I don’t think that is going to happen.

  8. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    47 is right. If I could have rated this a 10 I would have. Madigan’s days are numbered and he is unlikely to be Speaker when the new ILGA convenes in 2019.

  9. - Colin O'Scopy - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:31 pm:

    It’s no secret that Madigan doesn’t want to leave, especially under a cloud. However, this is the first time in his entire 35-year run that he may be susceptible to others wanting him to leave.

    He is looking every bit of his 76 years, and less and less like the “all power Wizard of Oz”.

  10. - Perrid - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:32 pm:

    “Madigan taking this immediate action to try and limit his own personal damage has only reinforced with those in the movement that he is not really willing to change the culture”

    Really? You think him not waiting on proof before punishing people is making the angry mob more angry? That’s a unique way of looking at it…

  11. - James Knell - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    I used to see Madigan as a right-leaning Democrat. After he stood up to Rauner, I started thinking of him as a “senior statesman”. I’m ranking this a “2″ because Michael Madigan hasn’t been accused of harassing anyone. “Me too” is being used as a weapon to try to get rid of someone one the electoral process won’t get rid of. Mapes should have been beyond bad jokes, but there are no pornstars or Harvey Weinstein physical accusations here. I guess it will come down to if elected Dems think his state-wide unpopularity is rubbing off on them.

  12. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    Rated it a 4, and only held off on the last tick because I question if you mean “Does this definitely force him into retirement?” If that’s the question, then no, no it doesn’t. But I think it’s going to reduce his power in a significant way. It already has.

  13. - DuPage - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    I think he might retire after Rauner is defeated, not before.

  14. - BlueDogDem - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:36 pm:

    Three. I have an order of pork rinds saying he steps down entirely come next Feb

  15. - Iggy - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:37 pm:

    went with a 2… the dude is Teflon, nothing ever sticks. only reason why its not a 1 is because he lost some key inner circle members. I believe the machine will keep on humming even with the guise of a new paint job. No one ever dies in Springfield, they just become less visible.

  16. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:37 pm:

    Rated it a 2, I just don’t think it’s going to end up sticking. That’s not saying it shouldn’t, I just don’t think it will unless more comes down.

  17. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:38 pm:

    If Pritzker wins Madigan will find a way retire after about a year. Rauner wins Madigan will pull every power button to stay.

  18. - anon2 - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    It doesn’t force him into retirement, but it makes his continued tenure less comfortable than it used to be when he had Mapes, Lang and Curie to rely upon. Madigan likes predictability and control, so he can’t be as happy as he used to be when the job just meant beating Republicans again.

  19. - dbk - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    Rated it a “4″ - I’m not an insider, don’t know the parties involved, so can only look at big picture stuff.

    But: (1) As is becoming more apparent nearly daily, the Dems in the House are organized in antediluvian fashion; (2) This movement is bigger than the IL House, or IL itself; (3) JB, if elected, will need new leadership in the House; (4)It’s time for MJM to withdraw with some dignity from IL’s political stage - if he doesn’t, his withdrawal will be both forced and undignified - i.e., a “5″ as in “five-alarm”.

  20. - LakeviewJ - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:45 pm:

    I say 5. Despite the lack of open rebellion in the caucus, the true loyalists are ever dwindling. It can’t last forever.

    For example, Lang was replaced on JCAR and the Ethics Commission by Greg Harris and Art Turner, respectively. The ever growing portfolio of those two indicates how thin the bench of trusted HDems is.

    When BFC is gone and assuming Tabares moves to the City Council, there won’t really be any women in the caucus that are meaningfully close to the Speaker.

  21. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:45 pm:

    I gave it a 4 because now it’s out of his control and all that’s left is the unknowns.

    The hay is in the barn; it’s a question now if more women come forward alleging harassment or abuse of power.

    A couple of more pressers the likes of Hampton/Cassidy/Garrett and every Democrat will be forced to demand he resign in an attempt to save the ticket in November. He can’t stand up to that.

  22. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    –For his sake, and for Ben Joravsky’s sake,–

    Ah yes, the Indispensable Man Theory.

    Just imagine what Chicago’s finances would have been like if the business community — largely Republican — hadn’t backed Daley to the hilt all those decades.

  23. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:49 pm:

    ===Ah yes, the Indispensable Man Theory.===

    Lol. Love him or hate him, the man wins elections. That doesn’t make him indispensable, but it doesn’t hurt.

    You can have all of the best ideas to improve the world, but none of them matter if you can’t win elections.

  24. - A guy - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:50 pm:

    Weird to think about rating this. For me, it was either 1 or 5. I’m not sure there’s anything in between. He either skates or this ruins him.

    I picked 5, because he has no control over it any more. A very unfamiliar thing to him. Until the last month or so, I may have picked 1, because he had it squashed.

    A lady from his own office came forward. There were already going to be more, but this lady liberated different levels of people to come forward and I’m nearly certain they will.

    His own internal staff changed this from a 1 to a 5 for me. That was a game changer. Just can’t imagine any scenario in between.

  25. - Frank talks - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:50 pm:

    Rated a 3, power and longevity are two separate issues.

    He will still maintain his over arching “power” because of his incredibly vast network of campaign workers, folks he moved into positions, former staffers who are who they are because of him, places that got funding because of him, the folks he knows all the secrets on.

    His longevity is what’s at stake. He hasn’t kept up with the times. he just got social media activated this year. He and his top staff are reacting as if this is back in the day when friendly reporters helped create a message instead of blogs, podcasts and the social media universe creating the dialogue.

  26. - Occam - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:51 pm:

    1. He doesn’t stand accused of wrong-doing personally and, more importantly, there is NO ONE in the party that’s going to press the matter. The consequences of going after Caesar, and failing, would be fatal (figuratively speaking). Its much safer to stand in the background and pretend you’re sympathetic to the #metoo mob.

  27. - Anon - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:51 pm:

    3. It’s a problem, but he still wields immense power and, essentially, controls his own destiny.

  28. - A guy - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:52 pm:

    This thing could cost his party the majority. Then there’s no question.

  29. - Not from Illinois - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    I rated this a 5. #MeToo is tasked with taking down the Patriarchy, the institution of men that controls our society. What is sometimes forgotten, is that patriarchy is not only defined as men, but old men. It’s time for the baby boomers to step aside. Their legacy is a culture of corruption, political devicivness, greed, unsustainability, and in the case of IL, borrowing $250B from future generations.

    Mike Madigan is not unique, many people created the same path, including Sheldon Silver (NY) and Theresa Paiva-Weed (RI). It’s time for these people to retire.

  30. - MOON - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:58 pm:


    I think his comment best summarizes my opinion regarding this matter.

  31. - jacketpotato - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 2:59 pm:

    I rated a 2. He’s smart enough to get out in front of this and survive. If there are more bad #metoo press conferences that might end it. Although I have a feeling Proft and everyone that’s got a grudge is looking for more smoking guns.

    “you come at the king, you’d best not miss.”

  32. - Flat Bed Ford - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:04 pm:

    Old dog/new tricks. Don’t think MJM can keep it ll together moving forward in a sustainable way. His trusted operatives are being neutered one by one. Who would want to step into his inner circle at this point?

  33. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:05 pm:

    3. Many would privately wish he were gone, and he is obviously way behind the curve on this. But he is Madigan, and he has dirt on whoever would try to unseat him. And, no one has hinted of any direct personal scandal against him of a #MeToo nature, and he is known to be a gentleman in all of his dealings with both sexes, which helps his cause.

  34. - Contract Disputin' - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:05 pm:

    4. I find it hard to square those who say he’s not taking it seriously with the fact that he showed Mapes the door. That’s a pretty radical sea change — plus new chief of staff a breath of fresh air, plus a likely female party head (if anyone thinks that group of five women will nominate a male, they’re smoking something).

    But it could still be too little too late. Hence the 4.

  35. - Anon0091 - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:07 pm:

    Agree with 47th Ward that it’s a 5. Until last week, nobody could have foreseen Mapes going from all-powerful to gone in hours. Nobody is beyond the power of this wave.

  36. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:07 pm:

    I rate it a 5. He seems to have a blind spot where MeToo is concerned, probably based on his age. If anything else comes out, Pritzker will have to ask him to step down. And @The Captain, Shaw is still getting work because he works his behind off and has access to a ton of members, both Ds and Rs.

  37. - IKR - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:08 pm:

    It is not parliament and he can’t be ousted. There’s not a no-confidence vote. Ives may smell blood in the water but Madigan will not volunteer to give up under a Rauner administration and give GOP a campaign slogan “We ousted Madigan; vote for us.” Not gonna happen folks. Enjoy your speculation and conjecture. Also, for those of you that long to rekindle your 1960s protests in the current era, I regret to inform you that #metoo# in the Illinois Legislature probably has the same amount of staying power as last week’s flash mob, despite everyone’s best intentions.

  38. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:12 pm:

    I’ll say three. It’s too early to condemn or absolve Madigan at this point.

  39. - Alex Ander - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:12 pm:

    2. this is still Illinois

  40. - DeseDemDose - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:14 pm:

    The speaker has not harassed or been accused of harassing a soul.Keep it simple.He may be smarter than all of us put together. Nothing to see here and move along kids.

  41. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:17 pm:

    1. What seems like a 5 today often evolves into a 1 tomorrow.

  42. - Colin O'Scopy - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:19 pm:

    The fact that we are even debating the question to this poll shows that Madigan is losing his grip on the House. This was unthinkable 3 months ago.

    Don’t confuse this with Speaker Madigan’s longing to protect his “legacy”. For good or bad, his legacy was sealed a long time ago. This tempest will be the lead in any story about him going forward anyway. It’s how the story ends is the open question.

    But in the end, what motivated Mr. Madigan 35 years ago motivates him today: the 13th Ward, the law practice, and at the top of the list, and most importantly, the Dem majority/Speakership from which all good things flow.

    By the way, I voted 5. This issue is bigger than him, as others rightly noted above.

  43. - Weems - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:24 pm:

    Put a 3 because I think it’ll still require another woman or two from within the speaker’s operation to come forward. (Not saying that’s right, saying that’s what I think itll take). I’m not privy enough to the inside baseball to know if there is more to come — but hard to believe we’ve seen the end.

  44. - Responsa - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:25 pm:

    4. However, I think his weakness goes far beyond “Me Too” right now which is what makes it extra dangerous for him. To be sure, the Me Too aspects have highlighted and brought to the fore for the general public and media the manner n which his shop has apparently been run for a while now –with him protected and kept in the dark on a number of issues. As a result, he simply no longer looks as “in charge” or like he is the indispensable political genius pulling all the strings and pushing all the levers. Granted, the general public can’t remove him from either of his lofty perches, but their involvement can (and I think will) induce others in the party and the state legislature to do so.

  45. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    –I regret to inform you that #metoo# in the Illinois Legislature probably has the same amount of staying power as last week’s flash mob, despite everyone’s best intentions.–

    Didn’t Mapes go down in last week’s flash mob?

    He’d been with Madigan for more than 30 years, and he was tossed three hours after the Garrett press conference.

    30+ years, three hours.

    I think Madigan sees the danger a little more clearly than you do. But your eyes must be closed.

  46. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    Madigan is between two pillars, pitched, and ready to fall upon him. One is Longevity. Too long in power, with many ‘sins’ to account for, and the day is nigh. Pillar Two is MeToo. It has grown mightily over night, and the shadow it casts pitches Madigan in a lonesome and foreboding mien. Yes, the “Shadow Knows”.

  47. - Annonin - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    Pick a 1 cause the other guys’ #’s are 13 and John Anthony — oh wait is that a number?

  48. - Actual Red - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    I rate this a three.
    These scandals force people out when the people that the accused is beholden to call for it. Look at Al Franken - he stepped down when other Senate Dems called for it. He can’t work or win reelection if he’s a pariah in his caucus, so he bailed. Now compare that to Trump - not beholden to anyone but his base, who would probably back him through any scandal.

    Madigan is in an interesting position. His caucus is beholden to him, but he relies on them too to maintain power. No rep wants to be the first one to call for his head, because if they don’t get enough support to finish the job they’re screwed. That said, if someone does kick it off and others follow, he might be in trouble. Whether that happens probably depends on what else comes out.

  49. - Pieroge tirebiter - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:34 pm:

    Rate it 2. Age and treachery beats Youth and exuberance hands down every time.

  50. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:35 pm:

    it’s bad now. it will get worse with adverts. he loves the party. does he love it enough to know how much he is hurting it?

  51. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:39 pm:

    oh and I think 5.

  52. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:44 pm:

    I rated it a 3, it is a real threat to Madigan. The outcome will depend on whether or not he is personally accused and whether he understands the genuine need to clean up his operation.

    Several have noted that he has not personally been accused of harassment. He is the leader and this happened on his watch, it is still his responsibility. Maybe he can adapt to the times and make the needed changes, empowering a new group of leaders. If he does not he is toast.

    He needs to go, if Pritzker wins I think he walks away. I hope.

  53. - Downstate - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:46 pm:

    2. I wish it was a 5, But almost without exception, Madigan’s control of the levers is always underestimated.
    “Lucy can’t pull the football away from this Charlie Brown again!”

  54. - anon2 - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:53 pm:

    === It’s time for the Baby Boomers to step aside. ===
    Madigan is not a Boomer. He was born in 1942, four year before the Boom got started. As long as you’re blaming Boomers for the state’s troubles, George Ryan (b. 1934) doesn’t qualify, and neither does Big Jim Thompson (b. 1936) or BF Curie.

  55. - I Miss Bentohs - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:56 pm:

    I gave a two same as this person:
    2. this is still Illinois

    I would then add, and Dems are still wimps when it comes to Madigan

  56. - Colin O'Scopy - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 3:58 pm:

    If Pritzker starts to slip in the polls, and can point to Madigan for the slippage, I suspect Pritzker will be leading the calls for the Speaker to hang it up. I don’t think the Speaker will do that, but it will sure make those legislators looking for a new benefactor to give Jay a looksy.

  57. - ETown60120 - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:02 pm:

    I think a 3. He has been in office for over 35yrs, unless Democratic members start to ask for him to step down, he will be fine. Remember he controls the caucus with money $ troops.

  58. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:08 pm:

    1. For the same reason the Access Hollywood interview didn’t hurt Trump. Most people don’t care.

  59. - Yooper in Diaspora - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:12 pm:

    3 just because I have no idea. It helps that Madigan’s new chief of staff is coming forth with belatedly needed reforms. But do many in Illinois even follow the drama playing out in the state House? Those who don’t already dislike Madigan, and who want to alter the climate allowing sexual harassment, will probably ally themselves with the reform proposals and push for more. Replacing Madigan would seem to need more than this–an alternative energy source (a candidate Democrats seek in his place)–not just evidence that Madigan is only now acknowledging need for addressing a climate permissive of sexual harassment.

  60. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:12 pm:

    –Only a 2 because the Chicago media is outright scared of Madigan’s reprisal.–

    How would that scary “reprisal” against the Chicago media manifest itself? What would it look like?

    I don’t have a clue as to what you’re trying to say.

  61. - Gooner - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:15 pm:

    4. It is happening too often, and there were already people on the left and right who wanted him gone.

    The problem Democrats have is that nobody except maybe Durbin has the courage to stand up to him.

    He may hang out, but only because people are more afraid of him than they are of the consequences of allowing him to remain in power.

  62. - Six degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:16 pm:

    ===He is the leader and this happened on his watch===

    Some would say it happened on his sun dial. /s

  63. - Not It - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:16 pm:

    It is high because Madigan doesn’t understand the trouble he in, nor how this problem violates a Democratic Party principle of equality and fairness.

  64. - Responsa - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:18 pm:

    ==Chicago media is outright scared of Madigan’s reprisal==

    Please forward any known photos of Carol Marin hiding under her chair and Mary Ann, pale and quaking in a corner behind the drapes.

  65. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:18 pm:

    I am rating a 3. Madigan is scared and acting impulsively by firing top aides without proof of anything. Being so quick to let go of your people makes me believe that he is scared. It also gives women who are not so honest the idea to perhaps make up false allegations/accusations. However I think he will come out of this alive.

  66. - Honeybadger - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:22 pm:

    Rated it a 4. While there are plenty of Dem’s who love him and rightfully so, he has stood up to Rauner and there have been a lot of pretty progressive bills that have passed into law, I think there are just as many who feel it is getting to be the right time to retire.

  67. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:24 pm:

    1 — His members would have to rise up and I don’t see them having the courage to do so.

  68. - Hype - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:29 pm:

    Blah, Blah, Blah. Big to do over nothing. The perps have been destroyed and now it is time to move on.

  69. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:29 pm:

    I just don’t know. I wonder if Madigan had thought about using this as the excuse to get off the boat. I think he cares enough about his organization to prepare for the departure so I guess we could gage the number by signs of preparation. I don’t think any outside force could bring him down. I think he’ll chose his own time. So 1 or 5 if Madigan chooses it

  70. - freely - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:39 pm:

    I gave it a 2. Madigan has weathered far worse than this. He knows people are gunning for him and he knows how to ride this kind of stuff out.

  71. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:45 pm:

    –I gave it a 2. Madigan has weathered far worse than this.–

    For example?

  72. - City Guy - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:57 pm:

    I gave it a 3. I think the complaints are serious and need to be treated with respect. But we aren’t talking about Bill Cosby/Harvey Weinstein type behavior by the politicians. Yes he should have done more, but to me it is no where close to the child abuse scandal at Chicago Public Schools.

  73. - freely - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:58 pm:

    Madigan has been speaker since 1983, seen it all. Bruce Rauner is basically like a little gnat to Madigan even though he has spent millions on a PR campaign against Madigan, challenging his candidates backed by millions of dollars, and, and, and, and, and. I really don’t think this bothers him. I think people want him to bother him but that’s not the same thing.

  74. - freely - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 4:59 pm:

    Correction. I meant to say I think people want this to bother Madigan but that’s not the same thing as it bothering him.

  75. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 5:00 pm:

    ^ I suppose there was that one time with Madigan peeling rubber, and Chuck Goudie in hot pursuit.

  76. - Colin O'Scopy - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 5:01 pm:

    =For example?=

    The only thing I can recall was the FBI investigation of political use of state assets, like office space in Evergreen Park, I think, and use of political staff on state time.

    He had good legal counsel, documented everything, and ultimately it went away. But it was a close shave, I believe.

  77. - freely - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 5:11 pm:

    Everyone to Madigan is expendable - except Madigan. I’ll bet it didn’t bother him at all asking Mapes to resign. Mapes probably wasn’t surprised about it either. He just went.

  78. - Captain Obvious - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 5:17 pm:

    1. If it was going to take him out, he would be to quote the Eagles, “Already Gone.”

  79. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 5:37 pm:

    Some thoughtful, and also delightfully snarky comments here. I’m feeling good about my 4 “one shoe left to drop” vote after seeing MJM’s mouthpiece finally crawling out from wherever he’s been hiding for a week to spew total nonsense. Heck of a job.

  80. - wondering - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 5:43 pm:

    A 2, he did not engage in the behavior and with the exception of Rauner guilt by association is rejected by most people.

  81. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 5:46 pm:


    I keep thinking of the play “Boss”, and how Daley steadily maintained that he still lived in the same modest bungalow, went to mass twice a day, and never took a dime.

    The walls kept creeping in as corruption scandals toppled those around Richard J Daley. And yet: he never took a dime, he still lived in that same bungalow, and he died in office.

    Madigan kept his inner circle even smaller than Daley, weeding out the risk. I wonder what folks thought when McPike and others close to Madigan left? This can’t be the first changing of the guard in 37 years.

    IThe walls might close in a bit for awhile, but I think that Madigan will most likely retire on his own terms after the next map, but who knows? Certainly his power will wane a bit presuming JB wins. A Democratic governor seeps some power from Madigan, as we saw with Blago and a lesser degree Quinn.

  82. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 6:09 pm:

    It takes a sobering event to wake up the caucus members, almost a “near death experience”. Between Silverstein and Lang, with a dash of Mapes, they have a “come to Jesus moment” here, where they can go on record supporting the new reforms, which all look like sensible ideas anyway, and they’ll move forward together, keeping an eye on each other from here on out.

    Madigan decides when Madigan leaves. Although I’ve long thought holding the Speakership and Party chairmanship in the same hands was a recipe for trouble. Had Lisa run for Governor Mike would have had to give up one or the other, at least. The caucus itself would have demanded it.

    My take on Madigan’s “sin”: he’s spent too much time getting and keeping power, and not enough putting it fully to use to move a progressive agenda forward when there was opportunity. Keeping and consolidating a majority is great, but not the goal in and of itself. There has to be some -use- to which that is put, or it makes no sense.

    He’s an incrementalist and times may be moving too fast now for that to be a safe strategy any more. He’s going to have to really show he’s consistently backing the reforms and the women from here on out, if he wants the caucus strong.

  83. - Dr. M - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 6:31 pm:

    I voted 2, but I lean toward 2.5. I agree with others that this both hurts Madigan more than he realizes and also that guilt by association won’t bring him down.

    Incidentally, I’m currently reading “Boss” by Mike Royko and here’s how he describes the culture of Springfield back in the 1930s, a good 40 years before Madigan’s reign.

    “Daley shied away from the many pleasures of Springfield during his eleven years as a state legislator. The women, a harem of state employees, were known as ‘the monkey girls, because they hang on to their jobs with their tails.’” (Royko 1971, pg. 52)

    I wonder how Royko would respond to assertions that Madigan “created” this culture. Perpetuated it, sure, but he’s not alone in preserving the patriarchy. One could even argue that change is finally underway because the Illinois General Assembly, especially the Democratic caucus, is comprised of so many women and POC and the culture is already shifting to permit people to speak out. That culture shift happened under Madigan’s watch and now it’s beginning to accelerate under Madigan’s watch. Should it have happened earlier? Absolutely. But could it have? Probably not much - just ask Anita Hill and Monica Lewinsky.

  84. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 6:54 pm:

    – Had Lisa run for Governor Mike would have had to give up one or the other, at least. The caucus itself would have demanded it.–

    Did you miss that time where she said she didn’t run for governor because he wouldn’t step aside as speaker?

  85. - TKMH - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 7:21 pm:

    “To the women who have spoken up about sexual harassment and assault in recent days, to the women who have spoken up in past years, to the women who may choose to never speak up but carry the burden of their own stories privately — I believe you.” -JB Pritzker

    If a few more scandals break, and do so under a Gov. Pritzker, it ramps up to 5. Until then, a 2-3.

    The Illinois Democratic Party establishment needs a solid guarantee that Pritzker money will quickly replace Madigan money if the latter were to disappear with the Speaker’s retirement. Waiting until January 2019 will be the first step.

  86. - Veil of Ignorance - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 7:50 pm:

    4. It’ll certainly expedite his departure, but i don’t yet see the Speaker being forced to step down near term. He’ll still dictate or have considerable control on the timing provided more stories don’t materialize or this specific issue is elevated more during in the gubernatorial campaigns.

  87. - Then who? - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 8:23 pm:

    Rated it a 2. I read most of these comments and the one thing I came away with is if not him then who? Say what you want about Madigan, he knows how to win and all of these folks who thought they were expendable now know that the velvet hammer comes down when it needs to. These problems highlight the need for reform and will allow for changes that should have happened eons ago. I figure he leaves on his own terms and I hope like hell that there’s someone who can take the helm and keep Illinois a Democratic state. While there are those who think they are ready for the chair - they aren’t —=not one of them!

  88. - SSL - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 8:27 pm:

    I went with 3, but if it was anyone but Madigan this would likely be over by now. One more egregious example and it’s probably all over even for Mike.

    His insatiable appetite for power is frightening. He can’t be sleeping very well right now. After 35 years the closets must be full of skeletons.

  89. - Angel's Sword - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 9:02 pm:

    2. Madigan has navigated far more complicated and challenging situations, but this is a different type of challenge from the ones he usually faces. Changing social norms have been the downfall of many an elder statesman in our democracy. That’s why I gave it a 2. Any normal political plot or maneuver would be a 0.

    I still expect Madigan to right the ship relatively quickly. He’s Madigan, after all. I’m sure he understands there needs to be changes, and I think there’s very little chance of him personally getting caught up in any allegations since he has such a quiet and unassuming presence. I can’t really imagine him getting caught up in Lou Lang style allegations, for example. He’s played hardball politics but I think he’s always had other people to play ‘bad cop’ for him, so to speak.

  90. - Been There - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 9:03 pm:

    ===A couple of more pressers the likes of Hampton/Cassidy/Garrett and every Democrat will be forced to demand he resign in an attempt to save the ticket in November. He can’t stand up to that. ====
    While I agree there will be demands that he resigns I don’t think every Dem is ready yet to go over to the Pritzker side of the money train yet. Don’t forget that the unions do not want to see Madigan go and for good reason. And he is the general of the army which is mostly made up of union members. Say what you want that they will be there anyway but that is not true. It takes top down leadership to run campaigns and us Dems will be shooting ourselves in the foot at this time in the race to have him gone. Afterward I would agree.
    While the unions backed Pritzker in the primary it was mostly because they knew they could not afford both the Gov race and all the GA races. But they only went for that because they thought at the time Madigan would always offset JB.

  91. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 9:06 pm:

    “I don’t think he really understands it, making it all the more dangerous for him.”

    I gave it a FOUR because of this.

    – MrJM

  92. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 9:09 pm:

    I voted. I gave it a “3”


    Three isn’t bad, unless you think like me that 1 and 2 are long gone and won’t be coming back.

    All of a sudden, that 3 doesn’t sound that benign anymore.

  93. - Super Anon - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 10:21 pm:

    I rate it a 3. If Pritzker wins Madigan survives. If Rauner wins Madigan is in very serious trouble.

  94. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 10:47 pm:

    SA, you may have it backwards.

  95. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 10:52 pm:

    –If Pritzker wins Madigan survives. If Rauner wins Madigan is in very serious trouble.–

    What Rich said. You have it backwards.

  96. - MikeD - Tuesday, Jun 12, 18 @ 11:27 pm:

    It could be the closest MM will come to the “end,” but it could just as easily be much ado about nothing in terms of his power

  97. - Not a Billionaire - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 6:25 am:

    It’s a five because he used to control the money. The money he controls is not his and peanuts compared to Pritzgers. He controlled by fear not love. Rauner money changed the gop and Pritzgers got a whole lot more if it.

  98. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 8:27 am:

    Because Madigan doesn’t seem to recognize the nature and severity of this threat to his power and longevity, this moment reminds me of Dan Rostenkowski’s downfall.

    “Danny’s problem was he played precisely under the rules of the city of Chicago. Now, those aren’t the same rules that any other place in the country lives by, but in Chicago they were totally legal, and Danny got a screwing.” — Gerald Ford

    “Only a few decades ago, none of this would have been happening. That’s because the rules changed. Most of the things he was nailed for would have been legal and common or, at worst, nickel-dime offenses when he began his career” — Mike Royko

    Until Madigan both understands the #MeToo issue — and demonstrates an understanding of it — this will remain the most serious professional threat of his career.

    – MrJM

  99. - Lunchbox - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:08 am:

    I rated this a 4. I think for it to be a 5, there needs to be a real challenger waiting in the wings, and to my knowledge, that person isn’t there yet. Pritzker has the money but doesn’t (yet) have the power.

  100. - OldIllini - Wednesday, Jun 13, 18 @ 9:12 am:

    I gave it a 3. Average of 2 for “Teflon” and 4 for ==Who would want to step into his inner circle at this point?==

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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