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Watch the Dems dance

Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

* Center Square

A new report reveals federal agents sought information about longtime Illinois House Speaker and Democratic Party of Illinois Chairman Michael Madigan as part of a broader probe into ComEd’s lobbying practices. […]

State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, said the latest revelations seem to “continue a long-standing tradition in Illinois of what looks like public corruption.”

“This is disturbing especially when coming on the heels of the capital bill, which a lot of us supported, which we all think is a good thing for the state of Illinois, coming on negotiations when it comes out of the energy bill when we see the largest utility in the state of Illinois is named in this,” Butler said. “I think it’s troubling.” […]

“I hope my Democrat colleagues are asking some serious questions to the Speaker as to what’s going on,” Butler said. “We’re going to have an opportunity to see if there are any answers come veto session.”

State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, said she doesn’t spend much time with party leadership.

“I don’t get into the fray with all that,” Scherer said. “I come here, I do my job, I go home and I don’t get into all those upper levels and I’m fine not being up there, quite frankly.”

Asked if she still has confidence in Madigan, she said “for right now, I’m just going with the flow and we’ll see how everything pans out.”

“I believe in following the law. I follow the law and I like to see that everyone does,” she said.

Watching the House and Senate Democrats dance around these questions could be a full-time job during veto session, which starts in six days.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

50 Comments
  1. - Levois J - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:23 am:

    Dance indeed!


  2. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:25 am:

    Look at the SJR article on the road plan. We promise we aren’t stealing the money. But with all the same people at IDOT how can we trust them?


  3. - Steve - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:27 am:

    State Rep. Sue Scherer supports Speaker Madigan until she doesn’t. After all, without the support of people like Sue: Mike Madigan wouldn’t be Speaker.


  4. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:27 am:

    “for right now, I’m just going with the flow and we’ll see how everything pans out”

    Correct answer. Let’s see where the evidence takes us.

    House Democrats should do the right thing. If evidence turns up that Madigan engaged in something illegal, they should do what’s necessary and possible, for the public trust. They were elected to do just what they did this past legislative session: put a graduated income tax on the ballot, protect women’s reproductive rights, raise the minimum wage, etc., not to engage in or excuse corruption.


  5. - Alrighty then - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:27 am:

    I usually respect Tim Butler, but “my Democrat colleagues”? DEMOCRATIC colleagues, Tim, unless you’re doing the usual Republican put-down, which is completely unnecessary in this case.


  6. - Perrid - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:29 am:

    Is there any reason to link the investigation to the capital bill(s)? Or is Butler just swinging to swing and hoping no one thinks twice?
    Snark aside, that was an actual question, I don’t know if there’s more than speculation out yet.


  7. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:34 am:

    MJM has been captain of the Dem ship for 35 plus years. Loyal Dem’s that enjoyed the ride should go down with the captain, but most will find the “courage” to do the right thing and get off just as his empire collapses.


  8. - Say what? - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:37 am:

    Rep. Scherer has been helped across the finish line repeatedly by the party. Their general mode of operation is to hide her until it is over.


  9. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:37 am:

    -Is there any reason to link the investigation to the capital bill(s)-

    Asphalt is apparently involved. Shocking, I know.


  10. - the Edge - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:42 am:

    Based on JB’s stating Sandoval should step down and to retract his Tollway Authority appointment, and the fact that he can’t be bought, the capital bill is more above reproach that any other State capital bill in recent years.


  11. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:45 am:

    It can’t be above reproach until we know who those IDOT officials are.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:46 am:

    This is *exactly* what happens when the decision is to politicize ongoing investigations instead of following a protocol that all understand when we have law enforcement involvement.

    Now, if you misunderstand me here, it will be on you, so I’ll try to spell it out;

    We have an indicted state senator.

    We have a state senator who has had his offices, including the state house office raided by federal agents.

    We have the speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, who the federal agents have looked within another raid for information on him, according to news reports.

    The politics “demand” the heat by the opposing party, *especially* if in all THREE, there seems to be different circumstances, today, and different levels, today, within the legal processes.

    My whole walking around the barn here begins and ends, for me… in process.

    How President Cullerton has decided to move forward is looking like a loyal passive leader, passive to his caucus, but it opens the discussion to “how much is too much to allow”.

    To the Speaker?

    Mr. Butler, right now is screaming into the wind, as $130+ million and a movie only made Madigan stronger. Now? Now there’s a reality of at least an interest into documents pertaining to the Speaker, so what’s really different than Rauner calling Madigan “corrupt” in ad after ad? That Madigan *is* at least of an interest?

    If 2018 showed anything, was it “Madigan Fatigue”?

    The biggest mistake is not holding the powder to when it may matter; Madigan gets raided or indicted.

    The dancing is probably where Rep. Scherer is at, but that won’t stop the questions or the pointed political, that’s the ball game.

    I’d sweat out the Dems, especially the House Dems, get them as Rep. Scherer stated; what will take you to do what.

    One indicted, one the focus of ongoing criminal investigationS, the third a person the agents sought records in a specific raid.

    We’ll see if the GOP overplays it’s hand. Trump on the ballot will then make those so eager to make it about corruption targets for the question “Do you support President Trump?”.

    Politics is funny that way.


  13. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:49 am:

    All this ComEd lobbyist drama has me reminiscing on the Mike Jacobs - Kyle McCarter ComEd rate hike kerfuffle in 2011. Utility companies are usually supposed to be pretty boring.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:50 am:

    - Donnie Elgin -

    “Do you think Trump is corrupt?“

    The politics of playing the music for Dems to dance will open that discussion to more curiosity too.

    Politics is funny that way.


  15. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:52 am:

    Didn’t Denny Jacobs Mike’s dad become a lobbyist?
    OW is right the democrats will be luck because of Trump….


  16. - Sayitaintso - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:53 am:

    “And the fact he can’t be bought….”. Way too soon to make that statement. Politicians can be ‘bought” in different ways.
    Maybe some pols can’t be bought, but they are open to the proposition they can be leased for a period of time.


  17. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:55 am:

    This is why it is better to be feared than loved.


  18. - SpfdNewb - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 9:57 am:

    This corruption issue is everywhere, not just in Illinois. No one is getting away clean from this. If I was an elected official, I would give the canned response of, “I am not willing to speak on an active investigation and will wait for the outcome before commenting.” Is it boring/a dodge, yes. But in the United States of America, everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law; not presumed guilty until proven innocent in the court of public opinion.


  19. - Annonin - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:09 am:

    While everyone stipulates Rep. Butler is a genius and destined to lead the GOPies somewhere he might want to review the WBEZ’s slightly less mumbo jumbo journalism which noted City Club was ask for documents concerning 10-20 people. Maybe Butler is sure names like GovJunk or other GOPies aren’t on the list.
    BTW wonder why Butler gave way to Rep. Spain at the JB presser? Very bold.


  20. - Nagidam - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    Dear Democratic elected official:

    “I believe in the constitution therefore I believe that people are innocent until proven guilty.”

    “The ongoing investigations certainly are troubling and indeed I am troubled by them.”

    “I will withhold judgement and comment for now as the investigations play out.”

    “There could come a time if indictments are handed down that I would ask the accused, for the sake of moving Illinois forward, to step aside from any leadership position…including potentially Speaker Madigan.”


  21. - Nagidam - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    Maybe Rich, in a show of bi-partisanship, should title a post “Watch the R’s dance” and ask about Trump to all the Republicans.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    ===“I hope my Democrat colleagues…===

    The *best* way to make this a partisan thing is to remind open-minded Democrats that you have utter contempt for their party, no matter the situation.

    Not too magnificent. Maybe in that 51st state this flies…

    Mr. Butler is exactly why holding power or incremental responses for three situations makes sense.

    The only thing missing is She-Caw-Go angst.


  23. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:00 am:

    Nagidam, nice try deflecting to another issue, but this is a state politics blog.


  24. - LoyalVirus - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:06 am:

    Sue Scherer gonna Sue Scherer


  25. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:10 am:

    Eastern Bloc has been quiet?


  26. - Nagidam - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:12 am:

    @Just Me 2

    ===Nagidam, nice try deflecting to another issue, but this is a state politics blog.===

    You right…Trump will have absolutely no affect on state politics and the corresponding elections. Please accept my humble apologies.


  27. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:20 am:

    Dear Democratic elected official (or candidates fro President)

    “I believe in the constitution therefore I believe that people are innocent until proven guilty.”

    “The ongoing investigations certainly are troubling and indeed I am troubled by them.”

    “I will withhold judgement and comment for now as the investigations play out.”

    Doesn’t see accurate if you are talking about alleged corruption in Washington DC by President Trump.

    Interesting quote from a lyle over a year ago from Governron Rauner:

    “We’ve been dominated by a political machine out of Chicago that is corrupt, that has caused us really high taxes, cronyism, patronage and a government that really hasn’t been working for you. It’s been working for the insiders inside the government,” Rauner said.

    Rauner previously worked with both parties to get term limits on a ballot by acquiring 600,000 signatures, but said Madigan filed a lawsuit and the courts decided the General Assembly is the only group that could put that item on the ballot.

    https://www.nwherald.com/2018/07/18/rauner-campaigns-to-raise-support-for-term-limits/a8ogn2h/


  28. - watchdog - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:20 am:

    Sue Scherer doesn’t make a move without the OK of Madigan staffers or Madigan. She was plucked out of nowhere with no political experience to run for an open Dem seat in 2012, and has been molded to be a loyal Madigan soldier. She was able to barely win her 1st primary through numerous negative personal attacks Madigan shot at her 2 opponents. 2 years later, Scherer almost lost again to a primary opponent with no money, but a lot of social media savvy. Even though Scherer’s socially conservative votes (anti-choice; no on same sex marriage; no on pot legalization), no Dem has primaried her since & the GOP can’t win this District.


  29. - Flat Bed Ford - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:47 am:

    Please. Political malpractice to let all the corruption-FBI raids-MeToo issues fade from the headlines. If this was Republicans in this spotlight do you think Madigan would just sit back and do nothing?


  30. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    === should title a post “Watch the R’s dance”===

    I basically did that yesterday with Rodney.


  31. - Labour - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:28 pm:

    Question: lets assume ComEd did hire lobbyists that did absolutely no work. Its a privately held company, yes? That’s their business, not the government’s.

    That said, it’s definitely time for MJM to go. Only The HDem caucus has it in their power to make that happen. Those reps from safe seats who raise their own cash would have to lead the way. All former staffers and lobsters need not worry. MJM’s replacement would be a loyalist or at least someone w all the pluses and none of the negatives that Madigan has.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:31 pm:

    === Only The HDem caucus has it in their power to make that happen.===

    Reminds me of the Daniels attempted Coup. That was before a Tom Cross played golf on Election Day, but still HGOP history has a Coup or two.


  33. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:34 pm:

    By her voting record…I wouda sworn she was a Republican.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:35 pm:

    === I basically did that yesterday with Rodney.===

    Same folks, some eerily quiet yesterday.

    Why?

    === Political malpractice to let all the .. issues fade from the headlines.===

    … and yet, with $130 million and a movie about Madigan, the Speaker is at his strongest with the gavel… ever.

    Makes ya think.


  35. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:37 pm:

    ===Its a privately held company, yes?===

    It’s a subsidiary of a publicly traded company.


  36. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:39 pm:

    - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    === should title a post “Watch the R’s dance”===

    I basically did that yesterday with Rodney.

    Both Davis and Scherer danced…poorly…maybe we’ll see them on Dancing with the Stars?…after they leave office?…What a pair…Dance…Away.


  37. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    No work jobs can be classified as bribes. Then the charge would be bribing an elected official.


  38. - DD - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    Knowing how deeply ComEd enmeshed themselves in the Capitol, the Rs better be really careful. ComEd has never confined their reach to Democrats. During FEJA, all caucuses were part of the effort over the objections of certain members. As I recall, Batnick was quite incensed over the bill and spoke passionately from the floor. This is a Springfield problem. Not a D problem.


  39. - Flat Bed Ford - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 1:07 pm:

    It’s amazing what politicians wiring up against other pols, windows and doors papered over in Chicago City Hall, search warrants served all over the state including an office within the Capitol can do to public mindset. It is true that the Speaker has never been stronger. It is also true that the feds have never been this active either. Will the Speaker dodge all federal trouble? Time will tell. Did that $130 million help expose Springfield & Madigan and their shady ways? Absolutely.


  40. - BloomingDale Billy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 1:45 pm:

    Oswego Willy….dont kill the messenger, this is long overdue. Maybe Da Speaker will be going into jail as Blago is coming out? Wouldnt that be ironic? HA


  41. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 1:50 pm:

    === this is long overdue===

    What’s long overdue?

    === Maybe Da Speaker will be going into jail as Blago is coming out?===

    Your mouth breathing is heard. lol. Yikes.

    === It is also true that the feds have never been this active either.===

    Do you know where this ends? I don’t.

    === Did that $130 million help expose Springfield & Madigan and their shady ways? Absolutely.===

    I don’t recall Sandoval in those ads, do you?

    LOL

    To be so thirsty for conviction before trial… I feel bad for you… for you both.


  42. - Flat Bed Ford - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 1:59 pm:

    =I do(n)t recall Sandoval in those ads, do you?=

    Can’t see the forest through the trees? Defending status quo in state government by obfuscation and deflection away from corruption is straight out of the Madigan playbook. Tactic has been worn thin from overuse in Illinois.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    === Defending status quo===

    Rauner ran that campaign after asking for people to allow him to quit.

    Madigan now has more HDems then he has… ever. The SDems are still 40 strong, all 8 statewide offices, constitutionals, senators… Dems.

    So… you still wanna tell me about … what was it…

    “Defending status quo”

    LOL

    Is that you Bruce Rauner?


  44. - Flat Bed Ford - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    Nothing but more obfuscation and deflection OW. Feds ain’t doing the fed thing because they’re bored. They are doing their thing in Illinois because every time they flip over a rock slimy political critters go scurrying about. Yes. Democrats own all the levels in state government. They also own all the problems that comes with that.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    === every time===

    Granted this is an unprecedented investigation, but “every time”… hmm.

    === Democrats own all the levels in state government===

    … voters put them there. Rauner tried to run on “status quo, corruption”… then tried to quit. Rauner failed at quitting too, how ironic.

    So… you’re upset… “because democracy”

    LOL


  46. - Annonin - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 3:33 pm:

    Speakin’ of GovJunk he was spotted flying coach from NYC to CHI on Monday. Did he blow that much ?
    Should Capt Fax start a Go Fund Me drive to help the poor guy out?


  47. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 3:53 pm:

    === “We’ve been dominated by a political machine out of Chicago that is corrupt, that has caused us really high taxes, cronyism, patronage and a government that really hasn’t been working for you. It’s been working for the insiders inside the government,” Rauner said.===

    Narrator: Bruce and Diana Rauner clouted their denied, Winnetka-living daughter using “Democrat” help to corruptly deny a worthy child from an education at Payton Prep.

    === Rauner previously worked with both parties to get term limits on a ballot by acquiring 600,000 signatures, but said Madigan filed a lawsuit and the courts decided the General Assembly is the only group that could put that item on the ballot.===

    Rauner spent millions to get all those names in to a database but couldn’t find an attorney to get the language right.

    Bruce Rauner failed again.

    - Lucky Pierre -,

    Bruce Rauner is a quitter. Strike that, Bruce Rauner failed at quitting too.

    Voters chose these Democrats. Rauner failed in that too.

    Rauner made Madigan more powerful, Rauner imploded the ILGOP, Rauner lost be the largest margin for an incumbent Republican Governor in 100 years… 16 points… again, after failing to even quit correctly.

    LOL

    Why do you still support a quitter and a failure to governing?


  48. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    No matter what happens to Madigan, what is the ILGOP platform? What is the party offering to voters? Madigan seems to be doing the ILGOP a favor by sticking around. As long as the party can keep attacking him, it can avoid talking about policies.


  49. - Downstate - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 4:54 pm:

    Rich, if you know, how many of your commentators are from 39.85 Latitude or further South or further North? I assume you do not know. Could you ask your readers?


  50. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 4:58 pm:

    Why - Downstate -

    I’m curious…


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