Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » 2018 gubernatorial candidates Biss and Kennedy join numerous others in calling on Madigan to resign
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2018 gubernatorial candidates Biss and Kennedy join numerous others in calling on Madigan to resign

Tuesday, Aug 11, 2020

* Lots of progressive names on this list. Mostly unsurprising. But, as subscribers know, state central committee member Peter Janko had been keeping his powder dry on this topic even though he did not vote for Madigan’s reelection. See anyone else who surprises you?

We come from across Illinois; from Bloomington to Rockford and from Carbondale to Chicago. We are or were elected officials, Democratic Party officials, or Democratic candidates. We represent the socioeconomic and geographic diversity that is the true strength of the Democratic Party of Illinois, and today we echo the call for new leadership for our party and for the Illinois House.

We’re each brought to this point by different circumstances, but are united around a simple belief: Illinois Democrats are in dire need of new leadership.

We’re not commenting here on guilt or innocence in the legal sense. This is about the ability to lead our party as we enter the most important election in living memory, and to lead the House as we encounter the most difficult challenges Illinois government has faced in decades.

We survived the Rauner administration, we’re making our way through this pandemic, and our hope for rebuilding this state lies in the Fair Tax amendment and our candidates up and down the ballot. It has become clear due to the ongoing corruption scandal that Michael Madigan’s leadership is threatening Illinois Democrats’ ability to achieve these goals.

Illinois Democrats are strong. We support the brave women in the General Assembly who called for new leadership before we did. We know when this anchor is lifted, our people and our ideas will rebuild our state. We urge Michael Madigan to do right by the people of Illinois and step down from his roles as Speaker and as Chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois.


Florence Appell, DuPage County Precinct Committeeperson

Nathan Arroyave, Winnebago County Democrats Young Dems Chair

Daniel Biss, former State Senator and State Representative

Erica Bray-Parker, Wheaton City Council member and DuPage County Precinct Committeeperson

Muriel Briel, Plainfield Township Democrats Vice Chair and former IL-16 congressional candidate

Jennifer Carrillo, Bloomington City Council Member

Lynn Casey-Maher, Winfield Township Democratic Organization Chair

Sharon Chung, McLean County Board Member

Jody Coss, Stephenson County Precinct Committeeperson and former 17th District State Central Committeewoman candidate

Jeff Crabill, Bloomington City Council Member

Sara Dady, former IL-16 congressional candidate

Julie Emig, Bloomington City Council Member

Michelle Gerritsen, DeKalb County Democrats Treasurer

Aaron Goldstein, former Chicago 33rd Ward Committeeperson and Attorney General candidate

Patrick Gordon, Elgin Township Democrats Secretary

Pamela Gronemeyer, former 13th District State Central Committeewoman candidate

Maria Hadden, 49th Chicago Ward Alder

Joshua Hartke, former Champaign County Board Member

Peter Janko, 14th District State Central Committeeman

Elizabeth Johnston, McLean County Board Member

Chris Kennedy, former candidate for Governor

Ed Klein, Stephenson County Precinct Committeeperson and former 17th District State Central Committeeman candidate

Germaine Light, Vermillion County Democrats Vice Chair and Democratic nominee for Vermillion County Board

Melissa Lindberg, former 5th District State Central Committeewoman candidate

Elizabeth Lindquist, Roscoe Township Trustee, Winnebago County Dems Exec Board Township Rep, Democratic nominee for Winnebago County Board

Neill Mohammad, candidate for DeKalb County Board, former IL-16 congressional candidate

Myrna Molina, Kane County Board Member

Lucy Moog, Chicago 43rd Ward Democratic Committeeperson

Alicia Morales, Joliet Junior College Trustee

Maggie O’Keefe, Chicago 40th Ward Democratic Committeeperson

David Orr, former Cook County Clerk, 49th Ward Chicago Alder, and Chicago Mayor

Ross Outten, former 5th District State Central Committeeman candidate

Peggy Pissarreck, Wheeling Township Democratic Organization Exec Committee

Angela Price, Blackberry Township Democrats Treasurer

Jason Rausch, Plainfield Park District Trustee

Beth Rice, Will County Board Member

Jennica Roennenburg, Stephenson County Precinct Committeeperson

Craig Roman, DeKalb County Board Member

Sheila Simon, former Lieutenant Governor

Logan Smith, McLean County Board Member

Alison Squires, Sugar Grove Township Trustee, Sugar Grove Township Democrats Secretary

Lisa Stich, Stephenson County Precinct Committeeperson

Gary Tomlinson, Election Judge Coordinator, Democratic Party of DuPage County

Marian Tomlinson, Former Chair, Democratic Party of Milton Township

Carl Utt, Stephenson County Precinct Committeeperson

Andre Vasquez, 40th Ward Chicago Alder

Rachel Ventura, Will County Board Member, former IL-11 congressional candidate

Arti Walker-Peddakotla, Oak Park Trustee

Shayna Watchinski, McLean County Board Member

JJ Wett, DeKalb County Democrats Vice Chair

Laurie Wollrab, McLean County Board Member

Maggie Wunderly, former Naperville Township Democrats Chair and 11th District State Central Committeewoman candidate

Walt Zlotow, former Chair, Democratic Party of Milton Township

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Pawar Lost - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 9:38 am:

    No Matt Martin nor Ameya Pawar?

  2. - AD - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 9:39 am:

    Sheila Simon. Just because I hadn’t heard the name for a while, but she is a former Lieutenant Governor so it carries some weight.

  3. - Socially DIstant Watcher - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 9:44 am:

    What’s an “alder”?

    Also, it’s no surprise that Rod’s former lawyer doesn’t like Madigan.

  4. - Powdered Whig - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 9:45 am:

    What do these Democrats hope to accomplish by doing this? MJM is not going to resign, and issuing this public letter is simply going to drum up more negative media coverage for Democrats. This may make them feel good, but I don’t see how this helps Democrats in November.

  5. - The Other Rich Hill - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 9:46 am:

    No real surprises in the list.. more surprised by who is missing..

    Not a lot of actual voting members on the list - missing state central committee members, Cook County and Chicago committeemen/women, State Reps, etc.

    Mostly “formers” and “vice-chairs” or others not actually in charge of anything.

  6. - Moe Berg - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 9:46 am:

    Kennedy: Still mad he sought and didn’t get the speaker’s support.

    Biss: Still looking for relevance in IL politics after declaring “electing J.B. Pritzker governor is literally the worst thing we could possibly do”, losing and sinking like a stone.

  7. - SouthSide Markie - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 9:49 am:

    Two ward commmitteepersons and a Chicago Alderman. Otherwise, it’s a bunch of precinct captains and a group of former and current candidates and lower level party officials. If I’m the Speaker, I’m looking at this and saying, “Is this the best you can do?”

  8. - Victor Kingston - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 9:51 am:

    Is “Former Candidate” the saddest title to use on something? I mean I guess it’s different for Kennedy and Biss who were on the big stage. But, why is “I got whomped” a thing that should make me care about your opinion?

  9. - Tawk - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 9:54 am:

    Where’s Pawar?

  10. - Powdered Whig - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 9:56 am:

    === Where’s Pawar? ===

    Who cares?

  11. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 9:58 am:

    No real surprises…happy to see David Orr still fighting the good fight! Also happy to see DeKalb getting some representation.

    I do agree with the above comment doubting that the Speaker will be impressed by this list. He knows what network keeps him in power…and this ain’t it. Sad to say, but that’s also why the Democratic organizations in the above-listed counties are so weak.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 10:03 am:

    Not a Dem.

    Looking from the outside, lots of sizzle by numbers, not many numbers by significant weighted vote of the state central committee or 15+ HDems looking for a change too.

    Any constitutional officers want to chime in on this… outside the governor?

    At some point, it looks like a bunch of folks yelling across at Madigan or “others” and possibly losing sight of the raw political which is winning elections.

    If this is your party, gotta figure out where y’all stand… or just get behind the Arroyo Rule and batten down the hatches.

    If the National noise wasn’t so noisy with the presidential issues of ethics… and what new voters are going to be swayed with “Madigan”?

    Good luck.

  13. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 10:08 am:

    Josh Hartke is Chuck Hartke’s kid, right? Chuck was in House Leadership under MJM once upon a time. But I don’t think there was ever a lot of love between them.

  14. - City Zen - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 10:14 am:

    ==Where’s Pawar?==

    He’s trying to annex every drop of water in the Great Lakes.

    Surprised Biss hasn’t found a progressive niche to settle into. There’s plenty to go around.

  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 10:15 am:

    Wow. Those are some household names who, Wait, nevermind.

  16. - Cook county thinker - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 10:16 am:

    These individuals working together might not have the votes to remove Mike Madigan but it is significant that they’re willing to go on record and not support him before an election. You can’t beat something with nothing. If they want Mike Madigan gone as Speaker, who exactly is tossing their name into the ring ? Who’s announced that they are running for Chairman of the party ?

  17. - sorry state - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 10:17 am:

    A bunch of people Madigan didn’t support writing a letter calling for him to step down. Color me shocked.

  18. - Say It - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 10:18 am:

    Josh Hartke is the kind of guy who owns a surveying business, gets paid to do the surveying work for a wind farm development, and then complains non-stop about the wind farm itself.

    Not exactly a heavy hitter . . . . . .

  19. - Oak Park Lib - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 10:19 am:

    Where is Fritz Kaegi ?

  20. - Justin - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 10:24 am:

    I am also onboard for the resignation of Michael Madigan from both his Speaker role and his ILDems Chair role.

  21. - Fav human - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 10:24 am:

    == Where’s Pawar? ===

    Who cares?

    A lot of people who he’ll be asking for votes if he ever runs again.

  22. - the Patriot - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 10:42 am:

    ==What do these Democrats hope to accomplish by doing this?==

    Maintain some integrity. No , he is not resigning because Madigan only cares about his power and he is committed to burning the party and State down around him.

    Keep in mind, most democrats, including the entire IL democrat congressional delegation wanted to remove the President for far less.

    Republican refused to step up and call out George Ryan and have paid for it ever since.

  23. - Ginhouse Tommy - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    If he is not forced to resign and will have to be forced, when it comes time to elect a new Speaker, elect someone else who is not hand picked by MJM. The last thing he wants to be is irrevelent.

  24. - OneMan - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    This may make them feel good, but I don’t see how this helps Democrats in November.

    Because that is what it is all about. Not about what is the right thing to do overall, but what is the best thing for the election.

    Is that because of the huge threat that the Republicans are here in Illinois? That without MJM you are going to have a Republican majority?
    Them drawing the map?

  25. - Downstate - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 10:53 am:

    downstate at 10:40 is not me.

  26. - Ginhouse Tommy - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 11:03 am:

    The word should be irrelevant.

  27. - NorthsideNoMore - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 11:13 am:

    The Kennedy guy, one would think there was relationship there ?

  28. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 11:17 am:

    Madigan is being attacked by Smurfs. Blue but small.

  29. - anon - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 11:19 am:

    Josh is not Chuck Hartke’s kid, and Chuck had a very positive and warm relationship with the Speaker.

  30. - Powdered Whig - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 11:28 am:

    === Because that is what it is all about. Not about what is the right thing to do overall, but what is the best thing for the election. ===

    I think this is all about the progressives wanting a power shift in the party. This isn’t about doing the right thing. Madigan has not been charged with anything, and I suspect that he will not based on the facts available to me. ComEd had every incentive to go along with the Feds and “admit to a bribery scheme” in order to take a lessser hit for their company. Madigan has insisted he has done nothing wrong and there is no public evidence that he has. In most cases, progressives err on the side of innocent until proven guilty but they have spearheaded the efforts to convict him in the Court of public opinion.

  31. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 11:28 am:

    Illinois Democrats are led by official A (Mike Madigan), who engaged in a pay to play arrangement that Com Ed has admitted netted the company 150 million dollars and JB Pritzker, who Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard determined engaged in a scheme to defraud taxpayers of $330,000.

    Why do you suppose more Illinois Democrats don’t care about restoring faith in Illinois government?

  32. - Sayitaintso - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 11:28 am:

    Madigan: (feet up on desk)..”That all you got??” (Takes bite of apple)

  33. - Amalia - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 11:35 am:

    Goldstein formerly of 33rd ward. Late.

  34. - Rahm's Middle Finger - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 12:11 pm:

    There were like 10 Aldermen who sent out their own press release. Weird to see them not included.

  35. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 12:18 pm:

    == Why do you suppose more Illinois Democrats don’t care about restoring faith in Illinois government?==

    I suppose it’s because after all of the economic damage that your good buddy Bruce Rauner caused here, faith in Illinois government has nowhere to go but up.

  36. - Pundent - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 12:27 pm:

    =Why do you suppose more Illinois Democrats don’t care about restoring faith in Illinois government?=

    Because the people in this state have seen the alternative and as a result Republicans don’t hold a single state-wide office. And their chief spokesperson is a guy that wants to put fishing ahead of public health and as a party they’re more interested in eliminating vote by mail. But that’s just a guess.

  37. - 44th - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 12:28 pm:

    How do you actually remove him as speaker? I assume his colleagues can call a vote.

  38. - James - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 12:48 pm:

    =Where is Fritz Kaegi?=

    Cook County Assessor Kaegi is trying to pass state legislation requiring mandatory income disclosure that affects property owners who are not even appealing their assessments. This was successfully opposed by business groups last year.

    Plus Kaegi, not exactly yet a household name, runs for re-election in 2 years for a position where he is likely to see significant primary opposition.

    Even if he would prefer a new Speaker, I assume he’s not commenting on Speaker Madigan because he will need help passing his legislation and does not want to prematurely enable a well-funded primary opponent.

    By contrast, David Orr, many of whose top personnel were hired by Kaegi after the County Clerk’s office merged with the Recorder of Deeds, is now retired. He can safely speak his mind.

  39. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 1:21 pm:

    ==Sheila Simon. Just because I hadn’t heard the name for a while, but she is a former Lieutenant Governor so it carries some weight.==

    It would be awesome to hear Sheila put her request for Madigan’s resignation into song. On her banjo.

    Speaking of Sheila, unless I missed it anyone know where Pat Quinn stands on whether Madigan should stay or go?

  40. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 1:28 pm:

    ===anyone know where Pat Quinn stands===

  41. - WH Mess - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 2:01 pm:

    Meh. Good reporters would look at the list of State Committee members — in addition to Ronen and Janko. Iris? Robin? Lauren? That would be news. This other list, not so much.

  42. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 2:02 pm:

    === Iris? Robin? Lauren? That would be news.===

    Iris already did.

  43. - WH Mess - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 3:04 pm:

    Thanks, missed that.

  44. - Oak Park Lib - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 3:12 pm:

    James - thanks for the update and insight. This is why we read CF.

  45. - Waguespacked - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 3:47 pm:

    No Scott Waguespack or Chuy Garcia? Will Guzzardi? Carlos Rosa? Jeannette Taylor? CTU must really owe Madigan and Madigan must owe CTU.

  46. - GregN - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 4:05 pm:

    Big names, small names, no names. So what? They’re doing what US Senate/House republicans have have refused to do with their leader who is even more corrupt than Madigan. And more dangerous too.
    Good on them.

  47. - bear3 - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 4:22 pm:

    Appreciate opinion that you must stand by for your future. Words vs actions vs politics vs your supporters vs leading vs evaluating. Should think before you act as no position “B”. And the man is still in power and not shedding evidence to convict. Maybe wannabes not want to beat the short candle before it blows out!

  48. - pete4illinois - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 8:31 am:

    == Is “Former Candidate” the saddest title to use on something? ==

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
    — Theodore Roosevelt —

    - - - -

    Would you be happier if no one ever had the courage to do what too few do, step forward to challenge the status quo against overwhelming odds in an effort to help improve the lives of ordinary people against overwhelming odds?

  49. - David Soll - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 11:19 am:

    This twice democratic candidate for Winnebago County Board, eight year precinct committeeman and 3rd vice-chair Winnebago Democratic Party, and campaign manager for Randall Olsen, Democratic candidate for Congress (IL 16th) 2014, and current super volunteer for Pete Janko (SCC 14th) and Art Bardsley (elected delegate for Bernie Sanders) also signs on with this letter.

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