* My column from January 18 of this year…
Gov. J.B. Pritzker regularly deflects questions about House Speaker Michael Madigan’s future by saying he wants to let the investigative process work.
But during an interview with me to mark his one-year anniversary in office, the governor pointed to his reaction after Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park, was indicted, now-former Sen. Martin Sandoval’s, D-Chicago, Statehouse office was raided and now-former Rep. Luis Arroyo, D-Chicago, was arrested. In every instance, he said, he called on the legislators to step aside or resign.
When there’s “clear” evidence of targeting by criminal investigators, the governor said, “that’s the point at which folks should step aside.”
The questions aren’t new. During the sexual harassment scandals of 2018, candidate Pritzker was often asked if Madigan should relinquish at least one or both of his roles as House Speaker and state party chairman. He’d always defer, pretty much just like he’s done during the sweeping federal probe.
Pritzker’s latest answer, however, is more specific and allows him to set the bar for any showdown with Madigan, who surely seems to be on the federal government’s radar screen but for what nobody knows for sure. No crimes have yet been alleged. We know that some of his pals have been raided (including Mike McClain), but it’s still unclear what, exactly, the feds are looking at other than hiring Democratic cronies by the private company ComEd.
I do not see how there is less than “clear” evidence of targeting by criminal investigators right now.