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Deposition apparently fails to find “dirt” on Madigan

Friday, Sep 14, 2018

* Tina Sfondeles at the Sun-Times

The speaker spoke for nearly five hours on Thursday, but didn’t provide any “smoking gun.”

That’s the way the plaintiff suing state House Speaker Mike Madigan described the deposition Madigan gave, saying the powerful Southwest Side Democrat denied putting up two sham candidates in his own legislative race and accused Gov. Bruce Rauner of putting his own plant in the race.

The deposition began at 11 a.m. and ended around 4:30 p.m., according to Jason Gonzales, who filed the federal lawsuit against Madigan.

Gonzales argues in the suit that Madigan put up two “sham” candidates with Latino names to try to split the Hispanic vote in the March 2016 primary. Madigan beat Gonzales 65.2 percent to 27.1 percent. […]

“He pretty much played the denial game. He basically said he didn’t know anything or that he doesn’t remember. He said he had no involvement with the two sham candidates,” Gonzales said. “It’s to be expected. We didn’t expect that he would hand us his own smoking gun.”

They didn’t expect to find anything?

* That’s not what Gonzales appeared to say in an e-mail to Blair Hull

On August 9, 2017, Plaintiff emailed Mr. Hull saying that it was good to see him and that “[w]e can’t get rid of Madigan without you.” On October 6, 2017, Plaintiff sent Mr. Hull an email with the subject line, “Remaining Invoice for Legal Fees – Anthony Peraica,” in which he said, “I appreciate you supporting me in this and now that the case is moving forward with discovery, I think we have a great shot at finding even more dirt on MJM.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 9:39 am:

    –The speaker spoke for nearly five hours on Thursday,…–

    I guess the 8th Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment doesn’t apply to civil proceedings.

    Peraica and Gonzo are into some freaky-deaky masochism to enthusiastically pursue that kind of torture for such a Micky Mouse lawsuit.

  2. - Retired Educator - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 9:40 am:

    This has always seemed like a put up job. Does every candidate who loses get to file a frivolous legal action. Gonzales here is a news flash, You lost big, move on.

  3. - Perrid - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 9:43 am:

    Not sure the two statements are contradictory Rich. Saying Gonzales didn’t expect Madigan to incriminate himself does not mean Gonzales didn’t/doesn’t expect to find dirt somewhere during the suit.

  4. - Saluki - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 9:47 am:

    Madigan, for all his warts, is not a fox that will ever be caught by traps he sees coming. Madigan, if he doesn’t go on his own terms, will go from something totally unforeseen.

  5. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 9:57 am:

    What does Gozalas hope to win? Money? Do the race over?

  6. - TominChicago - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 9:59 am:

    This case is truly frivolous and is only alive because of Judge Kennelly’s gargantuan ego. The case Kennelly relied on to deny the motion to dismiss expressly held that the use of sham candidates is unconstituional only if their appearance on the ballot could have changed the outcome of the election. Madigan won the race with 61% of the vote.

  7. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 9:59 am:

    “Yeah, a buffer. The Family had a lot of buffers”.

  8. - Perrid - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 10:09 am:

    @Stuntman Bob’s Brother, I hear you, but at the same time that’s like saying a lack of evidence IS evidence.

  9. - jim - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 10:11 am:

    just because Madigan didn’t claim to know anything about anything doesn’t make him a credible witness.
    how many people on this site think he was truthfully testifying?

  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 10:12 am:

    ===…that’s like saying a lack of evidence IS evidence.===

    … or truth is not truth? Ugh.

    After five hours, if they came up with nothing, then they are no better than US Attorney Fitzgerald or anyone that everyone complains “they need to find”…

    … ok… what is there to find?

  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 10:15 am:

    ===…he was truthfully testifying?===

    You can prove he’s not?

    I don’t get it. You’d think all the law and order types wanting to get Madigan would be more concerned about following the law to get Madigan.

    “No, lets figure out how to get him, rule of law or not”


    It’s the reason EVERYONE has a right to an attorney. Our rule of law, here in a civil deposition, you may or may not like a result you crave, but if you want a result, rule of law or not… what are you really saying?

  12. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 10:20 am:


    So I’m perfectly clear.

    I don not want to live in a Banana Republic where it’s common to drag political opponents into any court, with hopes of kangaroo judgements to quench anyone’s thirst for political payback disguised as “justice”.


  13. - ChrisB - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 10:27 am:

    —how many people on this site think he was truthfully testifying?—

    I do. Otherwise, he’d be held in contempt.

    I used to work with expert witnesses. They were all smart enough to see the traps being set up, and veer away from them. I presume Madigan did exactly that.

    Depositions are all about asking the right questions the right way, and it sounds like the plaintiffs didn’t.

  14. - @misterjayem - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 11:16 am:

    “how many people on this site think he was truthfully testifying?”

    Of course he was.

    Madigan has seen too many people hanged for lying and denying under oath to put his head in that noose. (And his political operation is organized precisely to avoid the necessity of any untruthful testimony.)

    – MrJM

  15. - RNUG - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 11:30 am:

    == how many people on this site think he was truthfully testifying? ==

    I believe he answered the exact questions honestly. Like -ChrisB- said, they may not have asked the right questions.

    MJM is at the point where he doesn’t have to issue orders for his wishes to become true. He may suspect others took actions to help him, but he probably doesn’t *know* for a fact he could testify to.

    It’s all about plausible deniability.

  16. - Jocko - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    ==how many people on this site think he was truthfully testifying?==

    He put his hand on the bible, swore to tell the truth, and remained on the stand for 5 hours. Do you want to dunk him in a Salem lake to make sure?

  17. - RNUG - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 11:37 am:

    One other thought about MJM.

    He may well he the last of a breed. The acceptable range of political actions and rules have changed over the years of his tenure. So far, he has been good at adapting and being careful to stay on the legal side. But the gray areas have gotten a lot narrower. I’m not sure someone starting out today could achieve the same level of power and influence.

  18. - TominChicago - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 12:01 pm:

    Actually RNUG, I think recent US S. Ct. cases have made the gray areas even wider from a legal perspective. It’s decision in the Skilling pretty much gutted the honest service fraud offense and in McDonnell, it made bribery an almost impossible crime to prove except for idiots like Blago.

    Now, I think your point is valid from a political perspective. It will be harder and harder for someone in the future to gather that much singular power.

  19. - DeseDemDose - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 12:13 pm:

    Speaker Madigan always stays 3 to 4 moves ahead of his many opponents and has always been a friend and respectd the workingman. He has made mincemeat out of Rauner since day one.

  20. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 12:22 pm:


    In more than twenty-five years, I have never seen a Bible used in an Illinois courthouse to administer an oath.

  21. - A Jack - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 12:46 pm:

    I fail to see what Blair Hull gets out of all this. Supposedly Hull backed Gonzales because he didn’t think Madigan is a team player. Yet Hull is tarnishing his own reputation with this mickey-mouse lawsuit.

    Hull had a reputation for being a Democrat, but now he appears to be about as much of a Democrat as Diana Rauner.

  22. - Deadbeat Conservative - Friday, Sep 14, 18 @ 1:35 pm:

    ==What does Gozalas hope to win? Money? Do the race over? ==

    A job at the Illinois Policy Institute.

  23. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Sep 17, 18 @ 12:12 pm:

    ==A job at the Illinois Policy Institute.==

    I’m sure IPI always needs someone to wear the giant foam rubber Madigan head.

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