* My Crain’s Chicago Business column…
On paper, at least, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton appear pretty similar.
They’ve both served in the General Assembly since the 1970s, they’re Chicago Democrats from political families and are White Sox fans with season tickets. Cullerton is the godfather of Madigan’s only son.
But they don’t wield their power the same way.
Over the years, Madigan has been far more top-down than Cullerton. His nickname isn’t the “Velvet Hammer” for nothing. Madigan’s longtime chief of staff, Tim Mapes, was given more power than any of the speaker’s elected members. Madigan’s staff constantly tries to micromanage House Democrats. Cullerton’s staff is much more deferential.
Cullerton is more of a delegator. He gently defers to his members, even devolving some power to them this year with a committee rules restructuring.
The column eventually gets to what I think is behind Cullerton’s refusal to move Sen. Martin Sandoval out of his Transportation Committee chairmanship, so go read the rest before commenting, please.
* Editorial: Pritzker’s right, remove transportation chair
* Editorial: Before spending on roads, bridges, Sandoval must go
* Senator under scrutiny by feds exerted muscle on tollway’s contract with campaign donor
* Silence on Sandoval? Illinois lawmaker’s reaction is priceless: BRADLEY: “Okay, let’s go outside. You don’t want to talk about a senator who has received search warrants?”