* Kristen McQueary spent some time going through lobbyist expenditure reports and then wrote about several legislators who had meals with Mike McClain…
His lobbyist expenditure reports show a long list of regular breakfast, lunch, drink and dinner companions at Springfield bars and restaurants. Honestly, he should have put up a sleeping cot at Saputo’s or Sangamo Club and skipped the walk to his hotel each night. Would have been more efficient.
He actually had an apartment in town. But, she’s right, he was out and about every day. And he was one of those people who refused to allow anyone else to pick up a tab. Wait staff would always side with him because he brought in so much business. The only exception was Speaker Madigan, who almost never allows anyone to buy his meals.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with lobbyists taking lawmakers to dinner. It’s what they do.
But the trail of relationship-building shows why all of Springfield suffered a wave of nausea when the Tribune first reported that the feds had raided McClain’s house and recorded his phone conversations. It’s why so many players in Springfield are tiptoeing along the marble corridors of the Capitol and nibbling their fingernails.
McClain was Madigan’s guy. That gave McClain power. It gave him access. He knew everybody. He worked with everybody.
It must be isolating to be McClain now. Because nobody wants to be linked to Mr. Everybody.
* Press release excerpt from the Illinois Democratic Women and Chicago NOW….
It is time to shine a bright light on why Mike McClain had so much political power in Springfield. McClain emailed two of the most senior officials in state government referencing rape and a coverup as well as ghost payrolling without fear of any negative consequence. McClain’s email is further evidence of unscrupulous behavior in our state capital which harms women and everyone who calls Illinois home. The women of Illinois will no longer tolerate this kind of abuse of power within our political system. McClain’s actions and those who have enabled him put our state’s future at risk. The time is up on this toxic culture in Springfield.
* From Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) on yesterday’s collateral damage…
John Sullivan is one of the very best legislators that I have ever had the privilege to serve with in the legislature. What he brought to the Senate and then as director of Ag was a true public service mindset and a desire to do right. As a farmer – legislator, he brought a unique perspective that made a difference for the people he represented and for the State of Illinois. John was the perfect person for the governor to choose as his Ag Department Director. His leaving that office is a loss for the state.
* WBEZ: Pritzker’s Agriculture Secretary Resigns In Fallout From ‘Rape In Champaign’ Email
* Sun-Times: Pritzker’s agriculture chief ousted over ‘rape’ email he now says he ‘simply did not read’ in its entirety
* WGN: Pritzker’s Dept. of Agriculture director out following email scandal
* AP: Ag chief resigns over email controversy
* Tribune: Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s agriculture chief resigns over his handling of ‘rape in Champaign’ email, governor’s office says
* Capitol News Illinois: Sullivan resigns as ag director at governor’s request
* Center Square: Pritzker fires Illinois Ag Director who knew of 2012 ‘rape in Champaign’ email
* Telegraph: Elik wants Bristow to comment on 2012 email