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Talk is cheap

Monday, Jan 7, 2019

* Late December Tribune story

llinois House Speaker Michael Madigan will begin airing a TV ad in the new year, weeks before fellow Democrat Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker is inaugurated, according to a memo distributed to lawmakers.

The 30-second spot paid for by Madigan’s campaign fund is unusual in that it won’t run in advance of a state election. Instead, it’s meant to “set the tone for our efforts to create a better Illinois and move beyond the failures of Bruce Rauner and the extreme agenda of Donald Trump,” the memo reads.

“The contents are based on new polling conducted following the November election,” it reads. “This is a first step in an ongoing process of promoting our Democratic agenda.”

The commercial doesn’t mention the incoming governor but features Madigan briefly.

The ad includes a brief shot of President Donald Trump’s Chicago tower and highlights Democrats’ push for affordable health care, a key campaign point for the party in last month’s midterm congressional races.

* The ad also includes a pledge to make “the wealthiest pay their fair share so we can get a break,” which appears to be a reference to the graduated income tax proposal

* The response by the usual “Because… Madigan!” crowd was predictable…

* Kristen McQueary: Watch the new Madigan ad with a heap of skepticism: Plenty of Illinois taxpayers don’t believe that the Democrats, who have controlled the state legislature since 2003, are on their side. They see the Democrats as the party that has neglected an alarmingly underfunded pension system while other states, also dominated by Democrats, have taken action. They see them as the same party that routinely passes unbalanced budgets, squeezing resources for the state’s most vulnerable citizens since long before Rauner took office in 2015.

* Illinois News Network: Madigan’s “On Your Side” Ad Panned as Tone Deaf: After seeing the ad on ABC 7 Chicago’s airwaves, Orland Hills resident Susan Greve posted to the TV station’s Facebook page “Just saw your Mike Madigan commercial about how Illinois Democrats are for Illinois citizens? REALLY? Mad Mike Madigan? Come on ABC!” Oak Lawn resident Marjean Hawkins replied she “nearly spit out my coffee” after viewing the ad. Kristen Wiley, who is organizing a “Middle Class March” outside of Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker’s inauguration in Springfield next week said the ad is out of touch. “Making Madigan the last shot in this ad is completely tone deaf to people who believe in term limits, and would like to see him out of office,” Wiley said. “That was completely off-putting. Democrats know that 45,000 residents left Illinois last year, and that number will grow this year if they can’t keep their hands out of our pockets.”

* News-Gazette editorial: Madigan’s rehabilitation campaign: The only Democratic officeholder featured in the spot is Madigan (the only Republican is Trump), who closes with this line: “In the fights that lie ahead, Democrats are on your side.” But those efforts apparently don’t include stabilizing Illinois’ economy, its horribly out of balance budget or fixing the government pension mess, but instead focus on a Madigan favorite: ensuring the wealthy “pay their fair share, so we can get a break,” as a narrator says. If only it was that easy.

I don’t know if there’s any real money behind the ad, but it got some tongues wagging, so whatevs.

It’s not a horrible ad and it probably won’t do any damage (I mean, how much lower can his approval ratings go?), but I doubt it does any real good. The best way to rehabilitate his image would be to work cooperatively over the next four years with his members, the new governor, the Senate President and the Republicans to actually solve the problems this state is facing.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments »
  1. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:07 am:

    Will the wealthy clients of Madigan and Getzendanner be among those finally paying their fair share?


  2. - OneMan - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:09 am:

    I kind of saw it as…

    progressive, you like progressive? I can be progressive.

    Looking forward to the new version that has is voice at the end say “I didn’t really know Ed Burke”


  3. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    ===The best way to rehabilitate his image would be to work cooperatively over the next four years with his members, the new governor, the Senate President and the Republicans to actually solve the problems this state is facing.===

    This. ^^^. +1. Ditto. All day. Well said.


  4. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    I like the ad and am glad Madigan did one. It’s a wonderful thing to know that right wing heads are proverbially exploding, after Rauner and the GOP wagered so much on attacking Madigan and got crushed. There is a big element of phony outrage with certain people. Illinois state income taxes have been low for decades. The Madigan haters have benefited for decades, while making good or great money in Illinois.


  5. - Steve - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    It’s a professional ad. It’s kind of funny though. Who’s been blocking the Democratic party agenda in this state? Mike Madigan? Ed Burke?


  6. - Annonin' - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    It is amusing to watch Katrina, the IPI whack jobs and the fading CN-G whine and declare they are still right even though voters shut them down in a big way. Always fun to watch print and print like folks knock something — they don’t have a piece of.


  7. - OneMan - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    The Madigan haters have benefited for decades, while making good or great money in Illinois

    Yes as both a delegate to the convention that created the 1970 constitution and as the longest-serving lawmaker in Springfield he has worked tirelessly to make the Illinois tax system fairer… (I can’t even type that with a straight face)

    Did he just wake up after the election and discover that Illinois had a flat tax? That the property tax system is unfair to people in some parts of this state.

    If making the tax system fairer is such a priority why didn’t it appear on my ballot in November? It wouldn’t have anything to do with perhaps making sure it didn’t impact the race for governor, would it?

    Mike Madigan the progressive who put a minimum wage increase on the ballot and then failed to bring it up for a vote.

    I would suggest you enjoy the rose-colored glasses while you can.


  8. - Norseman - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:47 am:

    === … won’t do any damage (I mean, how much lower can his approval ratings go?), but I doubt it does any real good. ===

    Agree.

    This seems to pour cold water all over my tinfoil hat prediction that he is going to depart shortly after trouncing Rauner. Oh well!


  9. - Stumpy's bunker - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:52 am:

    Compare this with the messaging we got from the present governor & his fellow-traveler GOP’s that drank the Kool-Aid. Huge swaths of surprised Illinoisans no longer find themselves targeted as “the problem”.


  10. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:54 am:

    Even if you think the message is a little disingenuous, it’s smart politics. It’s a big marker to his members.


  11. - Truth Squad - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    His approval ratings were low before anyone had ever heard of Bruce Rauner. It’s because people have watched him run state government, the economy, jobs, schools, and you name it into the ground over the past 20 years. One TV ad isn’t going to fix that kind of legacy.


  12. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:57 am:

    “Yes as both a delegate to the convention that created the 1970 constitution and as the longest-serving lawmaker in Springfield he has worked tirelessly to make the Illinois tax system fairer… (I can’t even type that with a straight face)”

    That’s my point. Thanks for helping me make it. There’s a large element of phony outrage from people who’ve paid low taxes and made good or great money in Illinois, being big-time newspaper writers/on editorial boards, private equity people, etc. That’s in part because of Madigan and the flat tax.

    “I would suggest you enjoy the rose-colored glasses while you can.”

    After having been disappointed by past progressive tax failures, I think I’ve become more realistic about how hard it is to get a progressive income tax in Illinois. Quite frankly, no one is more realistic than I am, okay? Believe me.


  13. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 10:59 am:

    I look forward to hearing more fresh ideas from this young go-getter.


  14. - anon2 - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:01 am:

    K. McQueary blames Madigan for the big unfunded pension liability. Anyone want to bet that she will also be critical of any plan that actually pays down that debt?


  15. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    Grandson, you keep beating the drum about supposed low state income taxes. What about sales taxes? What about property taxes? What about the overall tax burden?? What about gas taxes?


  16. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:19 am:

    ==“In the fights that lie ahead, Democrats are on your side.”==

    Is that what Madigan said? I watched it twice and thought he was saying, “In the fights inside my head, Democrats are on your side.”

    Was Mike mumbling or is my hearing going?


  17. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:23 am:

    The WGN Morning News led off with the Burke indictment in detail, then the newscast cut away to Madigan’s “Democrats are on your side” commercial. Saw that happen on the 10 pm news on CBS 2 the earlier evening.

    Just reporting.


  18. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:26 am:

    “Grandson, you keep beating the drum about supposed low state income taxes.”

    There is nothing “suppposed” about it. State income taxes have been low for decades, compared with most neighboring states.

    Since this thread is about Madigan, he has had no control of local taxes. Republicans and Rauner would have blamed him for local taxes, too, because they thought he was the perfect scapegoat. What’s Blame Madigan 60.0 going to look like?


  19. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:31 am:

    I don’t see how it matters if his statewide approval numbers are low. I don’t live in his district, I don’t get to take my disapproval into the voting booth.


  20. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    Grandson, obviously you don’t care to look at the big picture and the overall tax burden for having the honor of living in Illinois. Want to compare the taxes I listed to neighboring states? Of course you don’t


  21. - Duopoly - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    I’m not a Dem but Madigan earned this one. He and his team were smart and disciplined while Rauner kept throwing non-stop lies and insults at them for years. He didn’t engage the unapologetic father of lies Rauner and let him self-immolate. Now he’s answering the charges on his own terms.


  22. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    “Grandson, obviously you don’t care to look at the big picture and the overall tax burden for having the honor of living in Illinois. Want to compare the taxes I listed to neighboring states? Of course you don’t”

    Illinois is one of the most regressively taxed states in the country. The state and local tax burden hits the lowest and middle incomes the hardest. The wealthiest have the smallest share of this tax burden. That has to change, but as we know, it’s real hard to do, and as this thread says, talk is cheap.

    But seeing Madigan in the ad was great, just because he triumphed so spectacularly over Rauner, the Trib types and the anti-tax/anti-union people. These are the people who have done great in Illinois but are chronic professional weepers and victims. If it was truly as bad as some make it out to be, some or many of the weepers would have left Illinois a long time ago.


  23. - Deadbeat Conservative - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    =What about sales taxes?= IL services sales tax is the lowest at Zero percent.


  24. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:26 pm:

    ===Plenty of Illinois taxpayers don’t believe that the Democrats, who have controlled the state legislature since 2003, are on their side===

    Apparently that is less than the 54.5% who voted for Pritzker. Or they also don’t believe that the Republicans are on their side.

    ===It’s not a horrible ad and it probably won’t do any damage (I mean, how much lower can his approval ratings go?), but I doubt it does any real good===

    Unless the strategy is to tie the Madigan brand to the graduated tax to support it on its face while sinking it in practice.


  25. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:35 pm:

    Grandson, you can be thrilled beyond belief for the Madigan win, all the while watching the state of Illinois crumble. Don’t cheer too loud, or too long.

    You will wake up one of these days and wonder what the hell happened.


  26. - low level - Tuesday, Jan 8, 19 @ 6:58 am:

    McQuery- “Democrats did nothing on pensions”

    Hey Kristen, check out SB1, Conference Committee Report #1, passed House and Senate, Tuesday Dec 3, 2013. It was lead by Democrats who also worked w the GOP.

    It was ruled unconstitutional by the IL Supreme Court. Unanimously.

    (I mean, I know your preference for devestating hurricanes and all that supposedly fix things but this one is pretty clear)


  27. - Jake - Tuesday, Jan 8, 19 @ 8:33 am:

    With Mike Madigan on my side truth and ethics don’t stand a chance.


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