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Question of the day

Monday, Feb 4, 2019

* From Amanda Vinicky’s “13 Revelations from House Speaker Michael Madigan’s Deposition”

Anyone seeking Madigan’s help getting a job needs to pass a test.

“You can understand that many people come to me asking for recommendations for employment, and I render recommendations for employment in both the private and the public sector, I do it in both. But there’s a test that people have to meet. They have to be, to my knowledge, they have to be honest hard-working people with integrity. And if they are, I’ll recommend to a potential employer the best of my knowledge and my experience with this person, this would be a good worker for your office, a good worker for your business whatever it may be,” Madigan said.

Peraica followed up to ask whether it’s a function Madigan enjoys.

“No,” Madigan said. […]

Peraica asked directly, “Does that test ever involve doing political work for you or any of your political committee?”

“The answer is no,” Madigan said.

Peraica followed up. “Do you condition job recommendations upon doing political work for you or your political committees?”

Again, Madigan was direct with his response.

“The answer is no,” he said.

* The Question: Do you believe Madigan’s last assertion? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please…

web polls

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Token Conservative - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:20 pm:

    Of course it does. But unless there’s documentation or a detailed layout of how it works, there’s no way to prove it.

  2. - Anonish - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:23 pm:

    Hold on, still laughing.

  3. - Montrose - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    I do think that Madigan will recommend someone even if they haven’t done political work for him, but I am sure that if you have done political work for him, you name will come up more often.

  4. - Anonish - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    He likely also considers political work for candidates he has interest in and in efforts allied with his interests.

  5. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    As the late Mayor Richard J. Daley responded to a question about whether he was steering city largesse to his friends and family, “Of course I help my friends and family. Who do you expect me to help, my enemies?”

    The answer is no.

  6. - NoGifts - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:28 pm:

    You could donate to the party instead of working. I wonder how he would know if you were hardworking if you never worked for him?

  7. - lakeside - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:28 pm:

    As Montrose said - of course political work isn’t a *requirement*, but certainly I’m sure the Speaker would be more likely to recommend someone he’s worked with more closely, say through political work.

    This isn’t the greatest lawyering I’ve every seen.

  8. - Perrid - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:28 pm:

    How literally do you want to interpret “condition”? I’d be surprised if he had never recommended someone who didn’t work for him. I’d be even more surprised if people who did work for him didn’t get recommended more. Some of that might even be honest; after all he would know more about people who worked for him. Anyway, I voted yes just because it’s possible.

  9. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:28 pm:

    The answer is no.

  10. - jimmydean - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:28 pm:

    but i thought madigan weas the good guy and rauner was the bad guy? what all the laughter and cynical remarks?

  11. - Sox Fan - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:29 pm:

    In my experience, a politician will never “require” someone to assist in campaigning, but there are other ways to gauge someone’s willingness to volunteer during elections.

  12. - Chicagonk - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:29 pm:

    I voted yes because I’m sure that Madigan has recommended people for jobs that haven’t directly worked for him (which is what Peraica’s question asked).

    My view on patronage is that I don’t mind as long as the candidates are qualified and don’t act like they are untouchable once they are hired.

  13. - Anon324 - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    Agree with Montrose. The question as posed asks if he only recommends people for jobs if they work for his campaign or committee first. If there is 1 person he has recommended for whom that is not the case, his answer is truthful.

  14. - Rutro - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:33 pm:

    Lazy dishonest. Hmmmmm, S&San, Metra, ComED, Honest hardworking, CPD, State’s Attorney, AG
    Hardworking dishonest, welcome to our ward organization.

  15. - SOIL M - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    I answered yes, he answered honestly based on bow this question was specifically worded. He does not condition them on Work for him, or his committees, there are,other factors as well. Such as donations, and credit for work for other candidates and or their committees, and not necessarily by the applicant themselves. So no,to this question, would be correct.
    He is a lawyer. He only answers what is asked. If you wanted more,info you should ask differently.

  16. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    I voted yes. I am sure he has former staff who burn out or aren’t that into the political side of things who he still recommends for government positions or otherwise.

  17. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:40 pm:

    Yes I believe him. Doesn’t mean he might not expect something at a later date and Montrose absolutely right

  18. - Bobby T - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:44 pm:

    “Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me.”

  19. - thunderspirit - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:46 pm:

    Oh, I believe Madigan doesn’t condition job recommendations upon doing political work for him or for his political committees.

    I also believe that isn’t what Peraica was trying to get out of him. But the question itself was asked and answered.

  20. - ArchPundit - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:49 pm:

    —–but i thought madigan weas the good guy and rauner was the bad guy? what all the laughter and cynical remarks?

    No, Madigan was the guy stopping the guy with horrible ideas. Many of us even quite explicitly stated we wanted to get back to complaining about Madigan as soon as the policy threats from Rauner were defeated.

    To the specific question–given most of what he does is political, he’s only going to have limited times he’s asked to recommend folks who aren’t involved in Democratic politics and particularly his organizations.

  21. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    I guess it depends upon other depositions taken and whether those answers verify Mr. Madigan.

    Right now I would take those answers provided with a grain of salt.

  22. - Century Club - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    I voted no, in the spirit of the question, but as others have pointed out, Peraica phrases the question so badly, Madigan’s answer isn’t wrong.

    Considering they were so gleeful to depose Madigan, you think they’d put some thought into some follow up questions.

  23. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    Still unclear on how Madigan knows the person is a “good worker.” Why would he do that for just anyone?

  24. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    ==I’ll recommend to a potential employer the best of my knowledge and my experience with this person==

    We learned nothing here. I think that is what most people do with recommendations. The better you know the person and their work, the stronger the recommendation.

  25. - Rutro - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    @archpundit, holy smokes.
    are you saying Madigan is batman, the hero we needed v. the one we deserved

  26. - Anon312 - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 2:59 pm:

    The Speaker recommended me for two positions in the 2000’s. One was an internship at a government office, the other a summer job at a law firm. Both times, I wrote him letters. He didn’t owe me anything. I’d never done any work for him or his organizations. There was no expectation (implicit or explicit) of future volunteering, donations, etc. He did me two solid favors with no strings whatsoever, and has never asked for any form of payback.

  27. - Rutro - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    @Anon312, you’re saying he did this out of pure altruism? Really? I’m impressed if you can honestly say that, but I’m guessing there was something there beyond the gratuitous capfax post.

  28. - Norseman - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:10 pm:

    “If it doesn’t make sense, it’s usually not true.”

    ― Judge Judy Sheindlin

  29. - cannon649 - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    MJM has been there a very long time. Might be a couple - the vast majority always conditions no

  30. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:29 pm:

    This isnt really fair - wouldnt Madigan have a good idea if someone is hardworking skilled and responsible based on their working for him? People get recommendation letters from professors, mentors, former employers, etc. All the time.

    Oh, right.. “Because Madigan”

  31. - don the legend - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:29 pm:

    Answered yes. After all he is under oath.

  32. - Whatever - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:33 pm:

    As others have noted, the question is limited to doing work for him or his committee, and it is simply incredible to say that he has never recommended someone who has done work for another Democrat, but not for Madigan.

  33. - Smitty Irving - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:35 pm:

    Michael Madigan is like Richard J. Daley - a well behaved law abiding man surrounded by lawbreakers …

  34. - Annonin' - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:37 pm:

    We voted “yes” because it is ..the truth. Mopes lie Peraica and your “no” votes probably don’t understand your ability to help people wanes if you send bums. FastTony’s mentors never “got it”

  35. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    I don’t believe almost anything Madigan says.

  36. - ArchPundit - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    ===are you saying Madigan is batman, the hero we needed v. the one we deserved

    LOL. He’s just the one we had. Not really a hero either, but who we had to work with. Kind like Booster Gold, but doesn’t talk.

  37. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    @BlueRoomStream reports via Twitter 3:39 PM–

    A federal judge has ordered lawyers to remove the deposition of House Speaker Michael Madigan from a publicly accessible court web site. This order stems from a federal lawsuit filed by Jason Gonzales.

  38. - Cubs in '16 - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:50 pm:

    MJM wrote me a letter of recommendation for a summer government internship in the late 80’s as a favor to a friend of a friend of a friend. He didn’t know me from Adam and still doesn’t. Having said that, I don’t know whether or not the person who actually asked him for the letter of recommendation had to repay the favor.

  39. - dbk - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    Voted “no,” but under the broadest possible interpretation of the question.

    Let’s just say that there’s some doubt in my mind about whether he’s recommended anyone who’s a Republican operative.

    That’s politics/political insider-ism. The fact that it’s coming out doesn’t mean that commenters here didn’t know the rules of the game.

  40. - Fantasma - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:53 pm:

    His current chief of staff never went out full time on a campaign and volunteered very seldomly. So that should speak for itself. Anyone saying otherwise knows little if nothing about his organization.

  41. - Altgelds Ghost - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:54 pm:

    Ed Moody is the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. No more needs to be said. Of course, the answer is “NO”

  42. - Not It - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:56 pm:

    Madigan doesn’t make the calls himself, he uses a buffer. I know this from personal experience.

  43. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 3:57 pm:

    ===ordered lawyers to remove the deposition==-

    They can remove it if they want, but we all have copies.

  44. - northsider (the original) - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 4:00 pm:

    Someday, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me.

  45. - BothSidesofhisMouth - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 4:14 pm:

    His current COS never worked any campaigns…she wouldn’t even take time off to volunteer at phone banks. And yet, there she is - and deservedly so.

  46. - What's in a name? - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 4:49 pm:

    If I thought the Speaker’s recommendation was important to me and what I wanted to do wouldn’t it make sense to do something to earn the recommendation? What’s important to the Speaker? Do a good job and earn a recommendation. I think its a stupid question (the deposition, not the QOTD.).

  47. - Anon - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 5:08 pm:

    I know this trick.

    Madigan will be your reference, but he has to know who you are. The easiest way for him to know who you are and that you’re hard working is to volunteer for his political operation.

    It’s not the only way, and I’m guessing he still doesn’t recommend — everybody — that has volunteered for him.

    Honest or not, it’d be hard to demonstrate he wasn’t honest.

  48. - nadia - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 5:18 pm:

    I voted yes, because he has very likely given job recommendations for people who had not done political work for him or one of his political committees, but since he knew them well enough he made the recommendation.

  49. - SSL - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 5:22 pm:

    Voted no. I don’t live in the world of make believe.

  50. - RNUG - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 5:26 pm:

    Yes,I believe MJM as the question is phrased and answered.

    But I’m also sure there is an unspoken / tacit understanding that somebody somewhere is cashing a chit or racking up a possible future IOU somewhere. Let’s be honest, that is how political organizations works, how the old boy’s (and girls) network works, and even alumni connections work.

    I had both boys and girls in my network of work associates. Even as non-political as I was when working, I had favors that people felt they owed me and also had people that felt I owed them something.

    And if you stop and think about it for a minute, that also applies to our personal lives. That’s just life.

  51. - VanillaMan - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 6:20 pm:

    The conspirators play it both ways - Madigan is corrupt and there’s no proof because he’s corrupt.

    There is no proof. Period.

  52. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 7:39 pm:

    Madigan’s answer to that last query ties him to Burke’s attempted strongarm of Burger King - it was clearly a Whopper.

  53. - Quizzical - Monday, Feb 4, 19 @ 8:18 pm:

    I believe him in the narrow sense that he’s never said, “if you walk the precincts, I’ll get you this job.” However, by all accounts, MJM is politically obsessive. He’s not out meeting people at yoga class or the local bar. During election cycles he’s keenly aware of who’s doing good work for his political organization. He cares about it 10 times more than the average baseball fan cares about their team. That’s how you get enough of his attention to get a ‘MJM thinks Joe would be a excellent hire” letter.

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