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Because… Madigan!

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018

* From an Illinois Review article on a weekend event hosted by the United Southland Republican Women

Theories among Republicans at the luncheon included the leak about the [Cook County Inspector General’s report on JB Pritzker’s alleged property tax scheme] being made because Speaker Mike Madigan is setting Pritzker up to be elected as governor. But the person that will really end up running the state will be Juliana Stratton - a Madigan puppet - betraying Pritzker and sealing his rule of the state’s Executive Branch, Legislative Branch and Judicial Branch.

I’ve heard more than one Republican suggest this, so the conspiracy theory is not as off the wall as you might think. It’s almost undoubtedly wrong, but there’s absolutely no question that Madigan will benefit from a scandal-weakened Pritzker.

A billionaire governor who is popular with his party’s progressive legislative wing would really put Madigan on the spot. He’s been running interference for business groups for years on stuff like the minimum wage, rent control, etc. His entire legislative agenda has always been built around the political needs of his most politically vulnerable incumbents, and those folks by definition represent at least potentially GOP-leaning areas. Going full-bore lefty on everything isn’t something he’s ever done or has wanted to do. He picks his spots carefully.

So, when partisan Republicans constantly blast Gov. Pritzker (if he wins, of course) for being a “criminal,” that’ll play right into Madigan’s hands. Pritzker really needs to get this behind him.

Also, just as an FYI, Juliana Stratton is a House Democrat who was elected with strong Madigan support, but she’s nobody’s puppet.

* Meanwhile, as we all know, Madigan has his own issues that he’ll have to deal with in the upcoming session. And his most vulnerable incumbent, Rep. Natalie Phelps Finnie (D-Elizabethtown), just publicly ran away from him

“I’ve been dumbfounded. It is nonsense and ridiculous,” Phelps Finnie said. “Madigan has been there too long. We all agree on that.”

So, yeah, Pritzker could be weakened by this property tax thingy, but Madigan’s name is so toxic that he’s becoming less able to protect his members. And as we’ve already discussed today, politics is basically a protection racket.

* Related…

* Landlords for rent control? You heard that right

* Jim Nowlan: Madigan has shut down democracy

- Posted by Rich Miller        

29 Comments
  1. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 11:59 am:

    Is this ‘Juliana as Governor’ conspiracy theory supposed to somehow make voting for Bruce more appealing?

    ‘Cause it ain’t working.

    – MrJM


  2. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===so the conspiracy theory is not as off the wall as you might think===

    No, it’s exactly as off the wall as I think it is. Look, despite the IG report, Pritzker has done nothing wrong nor criminal, so that line of rhetoric needs to stop. If you call your political enemies “criminal” over stuff like this, you minimize actual criminality and you destroy any chance of cooperation. This needs to stop.

    Second, and more importantly, I think it would be more likely for Pritzker to challenge Madigan than the other way around. And I say that as a fan of Madigan, but he’s nearing the end of the line and everybody knows it. One last map, a map that Pritzker has said he won’t sign, stands between them. I can see a battle looming but Madigan isn’t as powerful as he once was, so the conspiracy mongers ought to dial it back and stick to the decaf for a while.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:05 pm:

    ===So, when partisan Republicans constantly blast Gov. Pritzker (if he wins, of course) for being a “criminal,” that’ll play right into Madigan’s hands. Pritzker really needs to get this behind him.===

    “We found no research on JB’s background to worry about. Nothing to blow back on him.”

    Or…

    “It’s just property taxes. Ignore it. It doesn’t matter”

    Gross malpractice either way.

    They coulda paid this $334K three to four times over since the report hit.

    Not ONE person on that Crew thought…

    “Let’s pay the $330K or whatever. We’re spending that every 36 hours.”

    This is wounding Pritzker.

    Y’all are not helping. Get ahead of this, like you should’ve in…

    February, March, April… September…

    Is this how a Pritzker Administration will be run?


  4. - Roman - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:07 pm:

    == Going full-bore lefty on everything isn’t something (Madigan has) ever done or has wanted to do. ==

    Agreed. Might Pritzker be the same way?

    Until he decided to run for governor, he was considered a Rahm/Daley/Clinton-style pro-business Dem. He moved left to protect his flank in the primary and has mostly stayed there in the General in order to fire up the Dem base against an opponent he thought (incorrectly, it turns out) would run as a centrist.

    Maybe he governs more towards the middle.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:09 pm:

    “JB Pritzker… from his tax plan to his property taxes… It doesn’t matter… to him”


  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:12 pm:

    ===I think it would be more likely for Pritzker to challenge Madigan than the other way around===

    I agree. And that’s just one more reason why a weakened JBP is good for MJM.


  7. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:15 pm:

    Nice to know the intent to defraud Cook County taxpayers of $330 K is in no way criminal. Potential mail fraud is no big deal apparently

    You might have missed it, but the Democrats have been calling President Trump a criminal for the past two years yet we have no completed Special counsel report or indictment.

    We can just forget about an IG report in to JB’s taxes and a potential federal investigation, there is nothing to see her move along


  8. - Perrid - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:24 pm:

    OW, I’m probably just cranky, but is it really that hard to address the actual issue(s) in the post instead of screaming about how bad JB’s campaign has handled the PR around it? How his team made it look, or failed to make it look, should matter much less to you than what actually happened, regardless of spin.

    To the post, I thought a Rauner appointee made the leak, which knocks down the whole house of cards. I agree Madigan probaly would have done it, and is probably satisfied with it though.

    As for JB not signing the map, I think he said he would veto a map that wasn’t “truly independent.” Define that, please.


  9. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:25 pm:

    You’re such a troll. I can’t wait for you to go away after the election when your paychecks stop.


  10. - Otto Madic - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:26 pm:

    Knowing Juliana Stratton professionally, I’d say that if she ends up being the one really running the state, that would be a great thing. And she wouldn’t be a puppet.

    Madigan’s power is based on people believing he is the all-powerful puppet master, and the Republican obsession with him only fuels that belief. He may end up more powerful after this election because the GOP attacks.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:30 pm:

    ===…but is it really that hard to address the actual issue(s) in the post instead of screaming about how bad JB’s campaign has handled the PR around it? How his team made it look, or failed to make it look, should matter much less to you than what actually happened, regardless of spin.===

    Yeah… about that…

    ===So, when partisan Republicans constantly blast Gov. Pritzker (if he wins, of course) for being a “criminal,” that’ll play right into Madigan’s hands. Pritzker really needs to get this behind him.===

    Short-sided thinking… is what got Pritzker in this pickle in the first place.

    I just wanna know, if Pritzker wins, should I expect these kind of responses to things when they coulda been avoided.

    It’s a pattern. It’s not isolated, or a one time thing.

    Blago tapes, offshore accounts, progressive tax rates, toilets… if that Crew can’t handle things and allow things to not only fester, but get worse… I’d like to know now.

    Yeah, it’s that important.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:31 pm:

    ===I thought a Rauner appointee made the leak, which knocks down the whole house of cards.===

    “Suggested” in reporting, not a fact.

    Pritzker still didn’t pay the $334K… that’s not partisan spin..,


  13. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:35 pm:

    I’m not following here.

    1. If JB wins, the property tax shenanigans will be behind him, barring indictment.

    2. If he were to be indicted, he would not be a “weakened” governor, but a soon-to-be “former” governor, via impeachment or resignation. No one can take that heat.

    Anyone have any examples that this sort of property tax dodge has ever resulted in criminal indictments? I’ve tried all sorts of google word combos in recent days and have yet to come across one.

    An anecdote: down the street from me, there was a commercial property owner who somehow was making a buck keeping his storefronts unleasable and empty for 20 years.

    The village chased him in the civil courts, but he out-lawyered them and just kept transferring between different LLCs, muddying the waters.

    No one ever went after him criminally, even after one of his brick facades collapsed and nearly killed a dude.

    He finally died, I heard, and his former storefronts are now repaired and leased. But however he was making a buck on the empty building dodge, he did it for 20 years and no one laid a glove on him.


  14. - Driving a car - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:46 pm:

    MisterJayEm you are one of my favorite commenters on here so I feel it responsible to let you know you don’t have to sign the end of the comment because we can all see the name above the post


  15. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:51 pm:

    In response to the “Landlords for rent control” link, here’s my opinion:

    First, a disclosure: I am a landlord, primarily in lower income areas.

    House Bill 2430 is palatable. Certain areas of Chicago have experienced rapid gentrification and affect long time local renters negatively. Senate Bill 3512 is damaging to housing interests in Illinois. Pegging rent increases to inflation is not necessarily fair, especially in times when expenses are rising faster than inflation. Or if you want to upgrade a building that needs upgrading. If you can’t adjust to market rents, you’ll see dis-investment and in the long run and slums apartment buildings appear. Constraints on the apartment market create scarcity and the opposite desired effect may occur.


  16. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:52 pm:

    I still don’t understand why the toilets are a big deal. It wasn’t illegal. It wasn’t even underhanded. A money person working for the trust fund found a way to save $300,000. Does anyone here deliberately skip deductions they can legally take?


  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 12:59 pm:

    ===A money person working for the trust fund found a way to save $300,000.===

    … which in turn… because why would you avoid pitfalls in a campaign when you can self inflict wounds… is in a report described as a “Scheme to Defraud”

    So.. while one might think “no big woop”… others have an easy club now with an etching on that club that reads “Scheme to Defraud”

    It woulda been so much easier had JB “paid the $2.00”

    “A money person working for the trust fund found a way to save $300,000. ”

    Someone either missed the oppo on their candidate, or someone found this, and just plum ignored the politics… the politics… to it.


  18. - Truthteller - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 1:03 pm:

    If Madigan were simply looking for a weak Governor, he wouldn’t have selected a candidate who signs checks with an auto-pen.
    And if he’d wanted to weaken him, he’d have leaked the information after the election. Why take a chance on derailing a train barreling to the station?
    I think the three day weekend wasn’t enough time off for some folks here.


  19. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 1:31 pm:

    “I feel it responsible to let you know you don’t have to sign the end of the comment because we can all see the name above the post”

    The signature isn’t there for you.

    – MrJM


  20. - Archpundit - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 1:41 pm:

    Well, according to Bruce, JB might be going to jail over it so everyone has to take it seriously. I mean, Bruce took time out from packing, well overseeing the packing of his suitcases, for Italy to let us know this.


  21. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 1:42 pm:

    ==I still don’t understand why the toilets are a big deal. ==

    I take OW’s view on this that the real damage is what it says about his political instincts/PR management skills.


  22. - Archpundit - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 1:45 pm:

    ====I take OW’s view on this that the real damage is what it says about his political instincts/PR management skills.

    Agreed here–it’s an incredibly dumb problem to not have taken care of early on, but for the election itself it isn’t going to matter given the hole Bruce keeps on digging. That said, it could demonstrate a weakness for handling these things.


  23. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 1:45 pm:

    Madigan has no issue specific agenda. He wants power and money. JB’s tax plan would drop property taxes and increase income tax. Now it will be hard for him to push that agenda with a straight face. Property taxes are how Madigan makes money.

    Madigan is toxic. Phelps Finnie is better than her opponent, but will lose because she will vote for Madigan for speaker.

    Madigan would lose a statewide election to Trump. Think about it.


  24. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 1:50 pm:

    “I take OW’s view on this that the real damage is what it says about his political instincts/PR management skills.”

    No team can afford an own goal.

    – MrJM


  25. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    ===Why take a chance on derailing a train barreling to the station?===

    I don’t think and I never said that MJM leaked the info. Doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t serve his purposes.


  26. - MOON - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    PATRIOT

    You are misinformed.
    A cut in real estate taxes does not mean there will be a change in the assessment level which is what tax attorneys such as Madigan appeal.


  27. - walker - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    Paranoia and delusional thinking often spread and flourish, the last month before election day.


  28. - Ole' Nelson - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 3:36 pm:

    Jim Nowlan isn’t wrong about the speaker, but for the most part, he has let Rauner off the hook in his editorials during Rauner’s disastrous term. Mr. Nowlan is a bright guy and likely understands that Rauner would have zero respect for him as a lifelong member of the political class and recipient of a substantial state pension. While I would agree with him on this article, I have consistently been disappointed by his seeming lack of courage to take Rauner to task on his destruction of social services, attempted attacks on the Illinois pension system, and his strangling of universities. His words would carry more weight if he did, but then I guess Jim figures he has his pension locked in so everyone in the system behind him is on their own. What a disappointment in an otherwise solid journalist.


  29. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 10, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    “Madigan’s name is so toxic that he’s becoming less able to protect his members.”

    Has 4 years of Rauner’s ruining Madigan’s name via TV campaign ads paid off for Rauner? Nope!


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