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Because… Madigan!

Thursday, Nov 12, 2020

* Rep. Steve Reick…

On Tuesday, Speaker of the House Mike Madigan’s Chief of Staff announced that the fall veto session has been canceled due to concerns over COVID-19 and proximity to the upcoming holidays. In response to the announcement, State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) issued the following statement:

“No one is discounting the severity of COVID-19, especially now that we are in the midst of a second wave. However, we were able to meet safely in May and, with proper precautions, we can meet safely now. We have a top-notch Springfield staff that pulled together a safe environment in May that included testing, mask mandates, an abundance of hand sanitizer, and more than enough room to practice social distancing. Not one legislator contracted COVID-19 during our session in May, so we know full well the staff is capable of pulling this off.

“I can’t help but wonder if the cancelation has more to do with political unrest within the House Democratic caucus than it has to do with health and safety. I certainly hope that’s not the case, because it would be a great injustice if Speaker Madigan has placed his political problems ahead of our ability to do the people’s work during a scheduled veto session. We have a multi-billion dollar budget hole to fill and we need to be in session in order to have a voice in crafting a solution. In addition, I mentioned in a recent letter to the Governor that we need to return to Springfield so we can hit the reset button on our COVID-19 response and work together on a better plan.”

* Rep. Grant did more than just wonder…

On Tuesday, Speaker of the House Mike Madigan’s Chief of Staff announced that the fall veto session is canceled due to concerns over COVID-19 and proximity to the upcoming holidays. In response to the announcement, State Representative Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) issued the following statement:

“I question the motivation behind this cancelation. We were able to meet safely in May in an environment that included testing, mask mandates, regular use of hand sanitizer, and more than ample room to practice social distancing. No one from the House, Senate or staff contracted COVID-19 during our session in May, so we know staff is capable of putting adequate safety precautions in place. Congress is meeting and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be.

“The people of Illinois are counting on us to do our jobs, and since we know we can safely meet, I must wonder if the cancelation is more about Madigan’s growing unpopularity within his caucus and the Governor’s disinterest in engaging with the legislature than it is about our health. We have to get back to Springfield and legislators must be allowed to have a voice in future COVID-19 decisions. This cancelation sends a bad message to Illinoisans who want their voices heard through their elected representative to the House.”

* And the Tribune editorial board just came right out and said it

Rather than bring lawmakers back to the capital where face-to-face interactions could intensify conversations to oust him; rather than deal with a major budget shortfall, a pension crisis or a timely Legislative Black Caucus agenda that includes criminal justice reform; rather than pass overdue ethics legislation that would put the ComEd investigation in the spotlight; Madigan canceled veto session altogether. Let Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who recently joined others in calling for Madigan’s ouster as state party chair, struggle with the budget and pension headaches himself. Make him wear the jacket. This is about that too.

…Adding… Rep. Halpin is the second House Democrat to disclose a COVID-19 diagnosis this week. Subscribers know that Rep. Deb Conroy also contracted the virus

State Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, is recovering from COVID-19 after five days of enduring chills and fever.

Halpin said his test result came back positive on Monday, but he believes he contracted coronavirus from a family friend on Oct. 31.

“I’m feeling better now, but I had woken up on Election Day in the middle of the night with fever and chills,” Halpin said. “At that point, I made the decision to contact the doctor. For about five days or so, I was in a lot of pain with a headache and fever. I never had any trouble breathing, but it was definitely a miserable five days. After that, I started feeling better with less fatigue.”

But, yeah, it’s all Madigan.

* Meanwhile…

Chicago Unions’ Statement on Partnering with Speaker Madigan to Strengthen Worker Power in Illinois

The unions of Chicago’s labor movement, including the Chicago Federation of Labor, released the following statement supporting Speaker Madigan and partnering with him to strengthen worker power in Illinois:

“As the electoral dust settles and we look toward the next legislative session, the Chicago labor movement is excited and energized to bolster worker power and protections through state legislation. Our best chance to do so is in partnership with House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, a staunch defender of working people. Speaker Madigan has steadfastly advanced workers’ rights, resulting in some of the strongest prevailing wage, collective bargaining, gender pay equity, minimum wage, and worker safety laws in the country. He also spent four years valiantly defending the rights of union members from former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s reckless ideological attacks. Given the choice, Speaker Madigan held the line for working people and we thank him.

“There was a time, not that long ago, when Illinois was heading down the same political path as our Great Lakes neighbors— Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio — where Democrats and labor were shut out of power, and right-to-work-for-less became the law. If it were not for Speaker Madigan, working people would have been marginalized and their voices silenced like those in neighboring states.

“Instead of political in-fighting, we encourage everyone to focus their energy on finding ways to support the workers who are sacrificing so much right now, especially Illinois’ public employees who have risked their own health and safety to keep Illinois running during this pandemic.”

    Bob Reiter, Chicago Federation of Labor
    Don Villar, Chicago Federation of Labor
    Rosetta Daylie, CBTU
    James Connolly, Chicago Laborers’ District Council
    Jesse M. Rios, AFGE
    Sam Cicinelli, Automobile Mechanics’ Local 701
    James F. Coyne, Plumbers Local 130
    Donald Finn, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134
    James M. Gardiner, Iron Workers District Council of Chicago & Vicinity
    Terrence J. Hancock, Teamsters Local 731 and Teamsters Joint Council 25
    Brian Hickey, IUOE Local 399
    Mack I. Julion, National Association of Letter Carriers - Branch #11 Chicago
    Thomas Balanoff, SEIU Illinois State Council
    Gregory Kelley, SEIU Healthcare
    Karen Kent, UNITE HERE Local 1
    Ronald D. McInroy, UAW Region 4
    William W. Niesman, IBEW Local 9
    Robert O’Toole, UFCW Local 1546
    Gary Perinar, Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters
    Jesse Sharkey, Chicago Teachers Union
    John Spiros, Jr., International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council #14
    Raymond Suggs, Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 73
    James M. Sweeney, IUOE Local 150
    James T. Tracy, Chicago Fire Fighters Local 2

The Illinois AFL-CIO issued a similar statement on Tuesday.

* Hannah Meisel

Republicans opened the door to voting for a Democrat for House Speaker in January if it meant ousting Madigan — instead of casting their usual ceremonial votes for the House Minority Leader.

State Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) last week survived a well-funded Democratic challenger in a race targeted by Madigan’s political organization.

“I’m willing to do whatever it takes to turn the state around,” Batinick said. “For me, the one “no: vote is the vote for Speaker Madigan. Beyond that, I would be willing to engage in conversations and negotiations.”

State Rep. Mike Marron (R-Fithian) said he wouldn’t even mind ending up with a speaker politically to the left of Madigan.

“I’d be happy to take the risk of a more progressive member getting in charge just to have a fair fight in the arena of ideas,” Marron said.

Rather than seeking GOP support for a candidate against Madigan (which could easily turn off a whole lot of Democrats), the easier way to do this is to simply deprive the House Speaker of 60 votes. The House rules require “the affirmative vote of a majority of those elected.” If enough Democrats vote “Present,” then he can’t get to 60. They can then try to coalesce around someone else later.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Exit 59 - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 10:05 am:

    They could just hold session outside. (Snark)

  2. - Wow - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 10:06 am:

    Sen Prez Harmon must be infuriated.

  3. - Ok - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 10:06 am:

    As representative Grant should know, the last thing we need in Springfield is another [infected] member of the [Eastern Bloc] caucus

  4. - Norseman - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 10:07 am:

    A nice post in Ireland sounds good Mr. Speaker. I know a guy, who knows a guy who can speak to the President-elect.

  5. - Publius - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 10:12 am:

    Regarding trading Madigan for someone more pregressive. Be careful what you wish for becuase you might get it.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 10:15 am:

    Both can be 100% true…

    The legislature can’t meet because of Covid.

    Madigan may not want everyone to meet until he has his 60.

    All of that can be terribly infuriating to governing and adult measures needed during these difficult times.

    === Rather than seeking GOP support for a candidate against Madigan (which could easily turn off a whole lot of Democrats), the easier way to do this is to simply deprive the House Speaker of 60 votes.===

    It’s the way that it’s shown itself to be most effective.

    To my own thoughts, deeper.

    I can’t help that Demmer and the lame duck Wehrli can’t see see how to make change, it explains in better detail why Demmer is activity and not actually about any achievement.

  7. - City Zen - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 10:20 am:

    “The unions of Chicago’s labor movement, including the Chicago Federation of Labor”

    I’m confused. Doesn’t CFL represent the unions of Chicago’s labor movement? Why the separate call out?

    Again, 24 union leaders listed, only one female.

  8. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 10:26 am:

    “just to have a fair fight in the arena of ideas”

    What’s stopping Republicans from doing that now? Attacking Madigan is a cop out, so the ILGOP could avoid policy ideas. Do they really want to talk about slashing the poor, sick, schools and state workforce, and unanimously protecting the richest at all costs? Let’s have those convo’s.

  9. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    Speaker Madigan has done a lot over the decades to support organized labor, but the real calculation is whether or not with Speaker Madigan removed as Speaker, Party Chair, etc, there would be any consequences from organized labor.

    If Madigan is ousted, he’s ousted. Then what? Organized labor is done supporting the political party that has best represented their interests in this state for decades?

    Political parties aren’t ever one individual. Ever. Speaker Madigan isn’t even known to ‘go it alone.’ His talent has been being at the front when everyone goes together.

  10. - depressed in politics - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    ive said this privately for a few days now. A public HGOP caucus position, all in for anyone but Madigan as speaker, including AS-M, Mary Flowers, LaShawn Ford, literally anybody else.

  11. - Louis G Atsaves - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    So it is all the fault of Republicans now? Mr. Madigan has been unfairly demonized. Poor baby. With the position comes criticism.

    If all the Republicans had voted for Madigan for Speaker in the past and fell into line with his agenda, then the State of Illinois would have no fiscal or non-fiscal problems to solve. Fairy tales can come true to paraphrase an old Sinatra crooner song. Not always Mr. Sinatra.

    How many Republicans voted for Madigan during the last few times the Speaker of the House position came up for a vote?

    How many Democrats voted for Madigan during the last few times the Speaker of the House position came up for a vote?

    Grow a spine Democrats. Explain the position you take when you cast your ballot. Either reelect him or elect someone else.

  12. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 11:03 am:

    “Republicans opened the door to voting for a Democrat for House Speaker in January if it meant ousting Madigan … .”

    1997 Lee Daniels called, wants credit for the idea. Had the 1996 election resulted in a 59-59 split, Daniels was going to nominate Ralph Capparelli (D-Kingdom of Stephens) and all 59 GOP members were going to vote for Capparelli. At least, that was the plan. However, Madigan got a 60-58 majority.

  13. - people caring loudly - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 11:14 am:

    “His talent has been being at the front when everyone goes together.” Interesting point, Candy. How do you think that happens? Certainly not because he’s skilled at bringing groups together to hash out their issues on bills and find common ground where possible.

  14. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 11:27 am:

    No nuance needed - Dem GA supermajority is allowing the GA to shirk its duty. The need is great, with both a fiscal and health crisis begging for solutions. Every other organization and Board has had to reinvent itself and how it meets due to COVID. It is a shame that Springfield can’t do the same.

  15. - 62468 - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 11:42 am:

    House GOP should consider nominating and then all voting for a Latino/Latina member of House Dems for position of speaker. Where is the Latino/Latina agenda right now from the Illinois Democrats anyway?

    What other subgroups of House Dem caucus feel forsaken by this speaker? Who might accept a nomination for speaker? House GOP should all support another Democrat for speaker or vote present with never-Madigan Dems.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 11:47 am:

    All these parlor games to get someone other than Madigan…

    … the goal of the exercise is to deny Madigan 60.

    If you’re too concerned to the steps to try to achieve it without grasping what Madigan “himself” *is* doing… getting 60.

    If Demmer was ever serious, and he’s been about activity, and failing to help Wehrli, Demmer woulda been trying to cobble 60 “no” votes, not try to think he’s achieving anything close to removal of Madigan.

    It’s 60.

    The rest is a fun game of “try this”

  17. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 11:55 am:

    A repeat of the 1977 Senate leader election? Strap in Jesse White!

  18. - Annonin' - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 11:56 am:

    Mr/Ms OW:
    Who besides Demmer’s family would think Demmer is up to the job? Word is helped craft the exit pay hike for PAWS awhile back.

  19. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 12:03 pm:

    - Annonin‘ -

    My friend, not so formal… I need no “Mr.”


    === Who besides Demmer’s family would think Demmer is up to the job?===

    After Durkin wanted to “take over” questioning and basically orchestrate what Demmer shoulda been able to do, I learned lots. Durkin felt he needed to take matters in his own hands instead of trusting Demmer.

    The time wasted, and I’m fine with committee, and what they are tasked, even trying to figure out how they can do the job while an investigation continues, the time wasted to make it a political thing and Wehrli *still* lost, and Demmer was no closer in his way…

    Activity - Achievement… Coach Wooden wasn’t wrong.

    Be well, - Annonin’ -

    “Just OW”

  20. - Strange Bedfellow - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 12:24 pm:

    The play of the year is Durkin delivering Madigan the GOP votes to keep him Speaker in exchange for some significant mapping concessions. Minds around Illinois, including Rich’s, would be blown.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 12:28 pm:

    === Durkin delivering Madigan the GOP votes===

    Durkin once chaired a committee with Madigan as Speaker.

    It’d be a full circle kinda thing.

    Durkin is also trying to bring back old funding sources, old hands to help with monies and thoughts, it would be mind blowing to that rebuild too.

    Maybe McCombie and the coup conspirators can help Madigan, I’m sure they’re looking for friendlier faces as of late(?)

  22. - Frank talks - Thursday, Nov 12, 20 @ 1:28 pm:

    Careful what happens when you think you’re smarter than the Speaker. Lee Daniels and the party decided they were smart when they had majority and got rid of straight ticket voting, figuring to gain in roads into Chicago. Instead it allowed the Speaker to start fracturing and picking up GOP suburban seats. Been increasing majority since.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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