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Madigan: “I’m not a target of anything”

Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019

* This is the same basic playbook Madigan used during the #MeToo scandals. Eject the accused, promise a change in state laws and conduct a review of what went wrong

After a closed-door House Democrats caucus meeting Monday afternoon, Madigan handed out a written statement saying Arroyo had agreed to step down from his committee chairmanship, but he said he agreed with Durkin that Arroyo should resign immediately or face disciplinary proceedings.

“I urge Representative Arroyo to resign from the House of Representatives, effective immediately,” Madigan said in the statement. “If he refuses, I will take the necessary steps to begin the process to remove him from office.”

Madigan, who has served as speaker for all but two years since 1983, also said he plans to call in “stakeholders and experts” to re-examine the state’s ethics and lobbying laws, but he said he didn’t know why it isn’t already illegal in Illinois for the owner of a lobbying firm to serve as a lawmaker.

“I don’t know the answer to that question. That’s the type of thing that should be addressed by this group that we’re going to convene,” he said to a group of reporters Monday in the Capitol.

Legislators shouldn’t be lobbying local governments. They also shouldn’t be selling red light cams to local governments. And, a case could very well be made that they shouldn’t be involved in local zoning matters or even property tax appeals.

* Madigan also said this

“I’m not a target of anything,” Madigan said.

…Adding… I should’ve put this story here

Amid an ongoing flurry of federal investigative activity pertaining to state government, a bipartisan group of lawmakers called during a Statehouse news conference Monday for the creation of a task force to recommend greater ethical safeguards.

“We’re not here to be the judge and the jury at all, we are here to start a conversation,” Rep. Tony McCombie, a Savanna Republican, said. ”… We need the people who put us in office to be able to rely on us and trust us, and today, they can’t do that.”

McCombie is sponsoring House Joint Resolution 87, which would create a bipartisan task force to examine state ethics laws and how to better improve and enforce them. […]

Maurice West, a Rockford Democrat who has been in office since January, agreed with his Republican colleagues.

“This issue should not be a partisan issue. Matter of fact, it should not even be a bipartisan issue, this should be a moral issue,” West said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:27 am:

    “I’m not a crook.” — Ricard M. Nixon, November 17, 1973

    – MrJM

  2. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:28 am:

    Good zinger .

  3. - Steve - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:30 am:

    Madigan put the best face on this he could. Yes, Illinois could use some ethics reforms. But, for him to say he’s not a target of anything is misleading. Madigan hasn’t been charged with anything. But, his name is near the beginning of the Danny Solis’ search warrant. Madigan’s name also appears in other search warrants. So, it would appear he’s on the FBI radar.

  4. - Paul Powell's Shoebox - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:31 am:

    Madigan’s Richard Nixon I am not a crook moment. Yeah Mike because people who are not targets of anything have guys wearing Fed wires coming into their office and are mentioned in subpoenas

  5. - Bruce( no not him) - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:31 am:

    “Why, yes, I am under investigation”. Said no defendant, ever.

  6. - CookR - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:31 am:

    Elected officials should not be representing anyone, individuals or corporations, in their legal proceedings with government. It is selling political favor.

  7. - Steve - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:34 am:

    - CookR -

    You have excellent ideas on where ethics reform should start.

  8. - OneMan - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:35 am:

    Just imagine the legal bills if he was a target (or a Sears for that matter).

  9. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:35 am:

    “re-examine the state’s ethics and lobbying laws”

    classic deflection move on MJM’s part. It isn’t his caucus that has a problem, rather it is the ethics laws that are at issue.

  10. - R A T - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:36 am:

    And the Republican in Illinois are somehow less electable? Sad. But true.

  11. - Perrid - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:39 am:

    Uh, Donnie, you want him to pass laws or ethics rules that only apply to his caucus?

  12. - ElmwoodparkCircle - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:41 am:

    Bwahhh…I don’t believe this guy at all.

  13. - Billy Sunday - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:46 am:

    “I’m not a target”:According to the Sun-Times…

    Mike Madigan’s troubles a boon to lawyers — legal bills exceed $1.5 million

  14. - CookR - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:47 am:

    ====he didn’t know why it isn’t already illegal in Illinois for the owner of a lobbying firm to serve as a lawmaker.====

    Didn’t the Speaker have a say in what laws were passed in the last 40 or so years?

  15. - Bogey Golfer - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:50 am:

    Deny, divert, discredit.

  16. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:51 am:

    Individual 1 said the same thing but he is hiding behind a DOJ memo.

  17. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    “Target” is a technical term meaning the government has decided it is likely to charge a case. The future defendant is often informed of the target designation at that point.

    Madigan didn’t say he’s not a subject of the investigation.

  18. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    Banning elected officials from lobbying at the federal, state, or local level is a no-brainer. I think a bigger part of ethics is just being a good person and having a sense of morality. The Democratic party in Illinois needs to do a better job of vetting candidates. A lot of these officials being investigated have had considerable red flags.

  19. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    Would the husband of the Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court ever roll on MJM?

    Does he need to given that MJM might be on one (or more) of the over 62,000 phone calls of his the feds have recordings of?

  20. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    I’ll believe that Madigan is implicated by the ongoing federal investigation only when there is a public filing. Until then, I presume he will skate past the carnage.

  21. - ZC - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    Madigan is one of the last “old Daley” pols, and I think Mike Rokyo nailed that moral code years ago:

    “Thou shall not steal, but thou shall not blow the whistle on anyone who does.”

  22. - ZC - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 10:17 am:

    Man do I miss Wordslinger right now.

    What would he be writing about this whole sordid mess, I wonder.

  23. - Chris - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 10:23 am:

    “ this should be a moral issue”


  24. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    We don’t need a task force. We already know what the problems are. Ban legislators from also being lobbyists, and a longer waiting period to become a lobbyist after leaving the General Assembly.

  25. - Practical Politics - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    “misterjayem” for the win.

    More billable hours for Madigan’s lawyers.

  26. - Practical Politics - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    Elected officials ought not be permitted to moonlight as lobbyists. Illinois really seems to be antediluvian in not having such a prohibition in place.

    How much did former Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios earn by lobbying for video gaming?

  27. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    I think certain bans make sense for legislators-particularly lobbying.

    However, these bans can get overly broad and hinder the quality of professionals who choose to become part time legislators. Remember that the framers of the IL Constitution specifically made the position part time so that you could get a diverse subset of the population to participate in government. Not everyone is a billionaire like Pritzker or Rauner. Some people have to work for a living to support their families.

  28. - SSL - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 10:34 am:

    While you’re at it Mike, how about no law firm where a partner holds elected office can appeal real estate taxes? Madigan is a walking conflict of interest.

  29. - fs - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    == We don’t need a task force. We already know what the problems are. Ban legislators from also being lobbyists, and a longer waiting period to become a lobbyist after leaving the General Assembly.==

    Perhaps we need a task force to look into whether we need a formal task force.

  30. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 10:57 am:

    Public officials should not be allowed to work as lobbyists (or whatever other fancy term they use, such as “Vice-President of Public Engagement”). Second, as we get into this “episode” think we need to have the same discussion being had about local public safety pension funds, townships, and school districts - consolidation.

    McCook is small enough that, absent this investigation, it flies under the radar (before this, when was the last time the Trib sent a reporter to cover a McCook village meeting?). McCook is 2 square miles, has 224 residents as of 2017, yet is served by 3 school districts. It seems McCook exists to control zoning, have its own police department, and a really nice “upscale dining establishment mixed with a classic social club.”

  31. - the Patriot - Tuesday, Oct 29, 19 @ 12:26 pm:

    Lather, Rinse, Repeat…

    Why are we even discussing this, other than the Capitol and all of us here are now part of the cyle.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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* What's the holdup, HFS?
* Putting Rep. Ford into context
* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Madigan claims "feedback is positive" from members, says "I have no plans to resign"
* Yesterday's stories

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