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*** UPDATED x1 *** Three different ways of looking at the same situation

Wednesday, Dec 4, 2019

* Letter to the editor from Alaina Hampton’s former spokesperson Lorna Brett

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan could stand in the middle of Michigan Avenue and shoot someone, and the Democrats of Illinois would still support him. Like President Donald Trump, his vengefulness against anyone who dares cross him is legendary. I am most disappointed in the female leadership of the party. With the entire country’s support for the #MeToo movement behind them, they still cross their legs. Profiles in courage, they are not. When Alaina Hampton needed an advocate, “they” had to bring in someone from out of state — me — to help her because of fear of retribution. Hats off to Chicago Tribune for continuing to cover this story and stand up for women and clean government.

* Letter to the editor from Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago)

In its Nov. 22 editorial, the Tribune called on lawmakers to challenge House Speaker Michael Madigan for his response to the #MeToo scandal in the statehouse. It’s true that most politicians won’t call out the speaker for publicly promising to end sexual harassment in politics while his friends apparently arranged a payout of $30,000 for the harasser he formerly employed.

Madigan’s spokesman says the speaker knew nothing about the payoffs. This denial strains credulity. The Tribune shouldn’t scold legislators for failing to ask the speaker what he knew and when he knew it. Questions are challenges, and politicians who challenge the speaker face retribution. Political contributions might dry up, worthy legislation might not advance, and challengers might be put up to run for your seat.

The #MeToo movement has given a voice to women who may be justifiably afraid to speak up. Our legislators and leaders need encouragement, support and, most important, protection from Mike Madigan.

* And this is something I already posted from Rep. Deb Conroy (D-Elmurst)

This is just unbelievable coming from McQueary. She criticizes the women’s caucus every chance she gets when in reality we have spent our time doing the difficult work to change a culture and not chasing headlines.


*** UPDATE *** From Rep. Conroy…

Rich, I have lived through my own issue, faced it head on and tried to move forward in private. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to do so. I have been trusted by many victims who have also wanted to keep their stories confidential. I have honored their wishes by working behind the scenes to find a resolution to their satisfaction. My respect for any victim of bullying or sexual abuse of any kind will always be my guide. Each victim deserves all of our respect in how they chose to handle their story, either in public or in private. So many people, including myself, have not only had to face the fear of our own story but on top of that have been shamed and bullied by others who believe that they have the right to judge us. We must support and respect each other. Every individual’s story public or private has moved us to where we are today. Changing a culture is hard although there is more work to be done we are making progress.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Commisar Gritty - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 11:51 am:

    Hurricane McQueary, a hypocrite?!

    *record skips*

  2. - btowntruthfromforgottonia - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    Conroy shouldn’t be surprised about anything Katrina of the Tribune says.

  3. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 11:57 am:

    I think there is some credence to the idea that Madigan can do things, and his members will say next to nothing that if a member did it, they would be subject to much harsher criticism.

    While the progress should be complemented, it seems that some of those who facilitated that environment in the first place have not faced any consequences.

  4. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    One nit: Lorna Brett isn’t an attorney. She is, according to her bio on HuffPost, “a feminist political activist” (who unsuccessfully ran for Alderman of the 1st Ward twenty years ago).

  5. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    There is some truth to the notion that the female members of the D House Caucus have been oddly silent at times.

    When Rep. Kelly Cassity was being bullied by Tim Mapes, among others, for having the courage to call out the good ole boy system to the Speaker personally, her female brethren was silent.

    Rich warned the D leadership that Cassity would bite back, and to her tremendous credit, she did. On her own, with zero help. So there is that . . . . . .

  6. - anon2 - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    So there aren’t many profiles in courage in the Democratic women’s caucus. Just like every other caucus. Sen. Martinez is certainly outspoken in her letter, however.

  7. - JoeMaddon - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    **Sen. Martinez is certainly outspoken in her letter, however.**

    True. And I’ll take it. But I don’t remember her saying a word until she was running for an office that she didn’t get slated for, and was supporting a candidate that Madigan wasn’t supporting.

  8. - low level - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    Not only did Brett run for alderman in Chicago 20 years ago but iirc she was living in Chicago not that long ago. Brought in from out of state is a bit rich but whatever.

  9. - A State Employee Guy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    He got away with less of a punishment than he deserved. This has been the latest installment of Stories Of Powerful Men, v. 29371719394863829

  10. - Amalia - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 1:45 pm:

    Re Senator Martinez and Madigan….Joe Maddon, you clearly have not been listening to the Senator though the years.

  11. - The Captain - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 1:46 pm:

    Lorna Brett ran in the 32nd ward, not the 1st.

    Also, she came and advocated on behalf of a victim. She criticized others for failing to do so, a valid criticism. Attacking her for having recently been a Chicagoan seems … well let’s diplomatically call it weird.

  12. - JoanP - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 2:12 pm:

    Brett’s been living in NYC for quite a while.

    I have to say, though, that her comment about having to bring someone in from out of state is nonsensical. Alaina Hampton’s actual lawyer was Shelly Kulwin, a Chicago lawyer.

  13. - Eyeroll - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 2:21 pm:

    If this didn’t have anything to do with Madigan it wouldn’t have been made such a big deal.

  14. - silenced - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    Saying the House Democratic women sat silent is a complete fabrication of the truth. This notion they had to scream Hampton’s name from the rafters or line up to support her specifically is to presume that all women are so weak that we need to think the same. You can support victims without public statements or publicly nailing people to the wall. The House women did more to change the wnvrimoemnt and culture in Springfield and for all people than anyone else. To continuously publicly bash them for advocating for all instead of just one is short sided and flat wrong.

  15. - Hypocrisy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    Where are the letters calling out the house republican women over Long or Sandack or Anthony or Sauer or etc etc.

  16. - Commisar Gritty - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 3:07 pm:


    How do I like a comment on capfax forums?

  17. - don the legend - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 3:34 pm:

    ==If this didn’t have anything to do with Madigan it wouldn’t have been made such a big deal. ==

    But it did have to do with Madigan. So there’s that.

  18. - Latina - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 4:01 pm:

    @Silenced. Really want us to believe that??? All the women Democrat or Republican including Iris Martinez failed including the Rep.from Naperville.

  19. - Artemis - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 4:12 pm:

    All the women who came forward publicly as part of the #metoo movement deserve credit for being the catalysts for change, in Springfield and beyond. Their voices were heard, they were compelling, and they inspired action. However, rather than working collaboratively with women leaders, Ms. Brett prefers shallow tweets and making negative statements in the media about women who’ve done real work to change the Capitol environment in response to the #metoo movement. The failure to recognize this - instead consistently and deliberately undermining these women - is a classic example of the “queen bee” archetype which serves only to keep us all from moving forward. The House Dem women, specifically, have taken many unprecedented steps to improve their own work environment. They facilitated a comprehensive independent investigation of their own caucus - and ensured it was publicly released. They spearheaded an innovative professional training module about respect in the workplace for members and staff. They worked to professionalize their work environment by implementing significant change in human resources practices and protocols. They hosted listening tours to ensure woman working in and around the Capitol were heard, whether or not they chose to make their experiences public. Ms. Brett appears to have no interest in any of the above, as it doesn’t fit her divisive narrative or political agenda. We still have a long way to go to ensure our workplaces are safe, healthy and respectful. We’d get a lot further a lot faster if we worked together to make it happen rather than tearing each other down.

  20. - Rebels - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 4:24 pm:

    Artemis nailed it

    To claim Democratic women sat by and did nothing shows how little Ms Brett actually knows about the capital and what’s been done. You’d think she’d spend a little time educating herself before attempting to defame and disparage the women who have actually done the work. It must be hard to see down here when you ride a horse that high.

    Oh, and to the “crossed legs” comment — had any man written that, Mr Brett would be screaming for an apology. It’s not ok simply because she’s a women.

  21. - Rebels - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 4:25 pm:

    I meant “ It’s not ok simply because she’s claiming to support women.

  22. - Adelaide - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 5:00 pm:

    Sauer was an up and coming R; Long held a critical seat; Sandack was a floor leader, etc. The R’s dropped them all once their misdeeds became known. Not so on the D side… they talk a lot, they passed bills, but they haven’t held their lead predator accountable.

  23. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 5:07 pm:

    === dropped them all once their misdeeds became known===


    We still don’t publicly or officially know (redacted police report cited) why Sandack resigned, not forced out.

    So, there’s that…

  24. - Flat Bed Ford - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 5:27 pm:

    =We still don’t publicly or officially know (redacted police report cited) why Sandack resigned, not forced out.=

    But out he is.

    So, there’s that…

    Now do Madigan spending Millions in legal fees and settlements all while he remains the Speaker.

  25. - rewind - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 5:33 pm:

    Former Rep Dwight Kay very publicly attacked a staffer on the House floor and the House Republicans did nothing. They even supported his re-elected efforts. Where was the outrage at the House Republicans for their lack of accountability

  26. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 4, 19 @ 5:58 pm:

    === But out he is.===


    My point wading in here is Sandack surprised *everyone* by resigning, heck, Capitol Fax is how many even knew he resigned.

    There was no pressure by colleagues or anything of a reflective time.

    It’s like comparing “apples to owls”.

    That’s the lone point I’m shining a light on here.

  27. - Paul - Thursday, Dec 5, 19 @ 7:31 am:

    It is clear that Rep Conroy and her friends are promoting the Women’s caucus; that’s fine. However, There was a bipartisan taskforce lead by Leader Curie that laid the groundwork to change things. Rep Cassidy speaking up was pivotal to empowering individuals to speak up. There were meetings scheduled with the Speaker prior to the formation of the Women’s Caucus that was beneficial too. However, the fact of the matter is now men (collectively not just the Speaker) have been put on notice that their behavior is not acceptable - and this is the significant change. Out with the old, Sandack, Anthony, Lang, Silverstein and in with more respectful legislators. There has been a change, it is apparent to those that are there.

  28. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Dec 5, 19 @ 8:52 am:

    This is why Lorna Brett could not cut it in Chicago.

    She’s supposed to be representing Alaina Hampton, but Brett always has her own agenda.

    Hampton just settled the suit against Madigan, Hampton agreed to a resolution that included no admission of wrongdoing by Madigan or his committees.

    Yet Brett compares Madigan to a murderer or Donald Trump, Who is facing impeachment?

    Lorna Brett is all about Lorna Brett.

    It seems like Brett’s criticism has something to do with her stinging defeat by Ted Matlak for alderman in 1999.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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