Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Two totally different styles
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      About     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact Rich Miller
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Two totally different styles

Wednesday, Oct 30, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Let’s go back to the end of my Crain’s column from earlier this month, which compared and contrasted the leadership styles of House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, particularly as it relates to the ongoing corruption probe

When Sen. Ira Silverstein resigned his Senate Democratic leadership after allegations were made of sexual misconduct, and when Cullerton’s cousin was moved out of his Labor Committee chairmanship, the actions were portrayed as a “mutual decision.”

No way would a guy like Sandoval agree to such a “mutual decision.” And no way would Cullerton push him out under these circumstances.

Madigan’s top-down approach has caused him endless grief and even some federal lawsuits, but, for better or worse, I doubt he would have behaved like Cullerton in this [Sandoval] instance.

We saw that clearly play out this week when Madigan quickly started the process of kicking Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) out of office.

* We discussed this a bit yesterday

State Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said there are intricacies to each case, including the charges filed against Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park.

“There are issues dealing with whether or not the activity alleged directly relates to the legislature – like taking a bribe to pass a bill, something like that – as opposed to something that’s not related,” John Cullerton said.

Tom Cullerton was removed from his position the chairman of the Senate Labor Committee after he was charged with embezzling from the Teamsters union. He was made the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, a move that allowed him to keep a leadership stipend that comes on top of his base salary.

I think an argument could be made that the charges against Tom Cullerton did relate to the legislature. Would he have allegedly obtained that allegedly ghost-payroll job if he wasn’t a state Senator?

Look, I have always liked Tom. I thought he was a decent blue-collar legislator and I was pretty shocked at his indictment, as were plenty of others. But it is what it is. The Senate is the legislative branch, not the judicial branch, so things like due process don’t always translate from one to the other.

* Meanwhile

State Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park — who has been accused in a federal indictment of being a ghost payroller for the Teamsters — has been in attendance for veto session this week. But state Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago, has not shown up for session. Sandoval’s offices and home were raided last month as FBI agents sought evidence of kickbacks in exchange for official actions — as well as information related to five Illinois Department of Transportation employees and several lobbyists. Sandoval, who was a key figure in passing the capital bill, has not been charged.

As part of his bail, Rep. Arroyo was ordered not to have any contact with anyone involved with his case, including the unnamed Senator he allegedly attempted to bribe. As long as that Senator is in Springfield, Arroyo can’t show up without risking a violation. Like he would show up anyway, but you get the idea.


  1. - Ok - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    That’s totally unfair to Tom Cullerton, Rich. I mean, it’s not like he had two or three Ghost payroll jobs.

    It was just one. Who doesn’t have at least one?

  2. - Just Me - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:06 am:

    Arroyo is just going to either (1) re-appoint himself, and since the House can’t kick someone out twice for the same crime he’ll continue to get his taxpayer funded salary/benefits, (2) appoint his wife, or (3) appoint his son.

    We should end the practice of allowing mid-term appointments and do the same as the U.S. House and call special elections.

  3. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:27 am:

    === I think an argument could be made that the charges against Tom Cullerton did relate to the legislature. Would he have allegedly obtained that allegedly ghost-payroll job if he wasn’t a state Senator? ===

    And.. and an argument could be made that a ghost payroll union job is really just bribes disguised as a paycheck in exchange for for being very favorable to the union.

  4. - Keyrock - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:36 am:

    Just Me has a point. Is there any process for removing a criminally charged party committeeman?

  5. - Paddyrollingstone - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 10:37 am:

    “And.. and an argument could be made that a ghost payroll union job is really just bribes disguised as a paycheck in exchange for for being very favorable to the union.”

    My problem with this logic was that he was going to be pro-union 100% anyway. It would be like Wayne LaPierre getting elected to the legislature and the ISRA having to give him a no show job. I mean, the guy is on your side right?

  6. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 11:00 am:

    @Paddyrollingstone: Absolutely — he would be pro-union regardless — but… arguably, he might be motivated to introduce and push through pro-union legislation that he otherwise might not, which would be very different than just voting on reasonable pro-union bills already introduced.

  7. - Tired - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 11:18 am:

    Is being on a union payroll while chairing the Senate Labor committee a conflict? It sure doesn’t pass the smell test.

  8. - Todd - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 12:42 pm:

    so how is Cullerton’s position different than these Senators and reps who are lawyers of counsel to law firms where they are “rain makers” and such? I don’t think many of them spend time in a court room. . .

  9. - Former Candidate on the Ballot - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    I am troubled by the Senate Presidents logic that “whether or not the activity alleged directly relates to the legislature” for action to be taken. For one, I agree with you Rich that these indictments DO relate to be a legislator. However, based upon the Senate Presidents logic, think of how many chargeable offenses that are unbecoming of a Senator but are not directly related to the legislator he may choose to ignore - Domestics, Alcohol, Illegal substance, solicitation, etc. etc.

  10. - Perrid - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 2:44 pm:

    Todd, tons of lawyers don’t work in court rooms, their work goes a lot beyond that. If I remember correctly part of this was outright fraud, Tom Cullerton got paid for working a full day for the Teamsters while he was in Springfield all day working as a legislator. Literally being for work he did not do.

  11. - Powdered Whig - Wednesday, Oct 30, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    === so how is Cullerton’s position different than these Senators and reps who are lawyers of counsel to law firms where they are “rain makers” and such? ===

    Two things:

    1. They actually show up to work or they don’t get paid.

    2. Federal law makes ghost-payrolling at a union illegal. If a law firm wants to pay you for little to no work, its not illegal - its simply on the law firm.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally abruptly aborts reelection bid without explanation
* Question of the day
* It’s just a bill
* Protect Illinois Hospitality – Vote No On House Bill 5345
* You gotta be kidding me
* Showcasing The Retailers Who Make Illinois Work
* Moody’s revises Illinois outlook from stable to positive (Updated)
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live coverage
* *** UPDATED x1 - Equality Illinois 'alarmed' over possible Harris appointment *** Personal PAC warns Democratic committeepersons about Sen. Napoleon Harris
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...







Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller