* Pearson at the Trib…
Embattled House Speaker Michael Madigan, his bid for reelection to the post in jeopardy, will appear Saturday at a “candidate’s forum” hosted by one of his most loyal constituencies — the House Black caucus.
With 19 of the projected 73 Democrats who will sit in the next session of the House opposing Madigan’s reelection — leaving him six short of approval — the move by the nation’s longest-serving speaker is aimed at both shoring up and demonstrating support from a highly active caucus of House Democrats.
So far, of the Black caucus’ 22 members, only Rep. Maurice West of Rockford has said he will not vote for Madigan’s reelection as speaker, a post the Southwest Side Democrat has held since 1983 with the exception of two years in the mid-1990s when Republicans controlled the chamber. […]
The Black caucus traditionally meets prior to the inauguration of a new legislature to elect a member for the House Democratic leadership team. But one caucus member said privately that the meeting’s role this year was expanded to include the speaker candidate’s forum as a way to provide Madigan with a formidable reelection endorsement.
Subscribers know more about that last sentence.
* Rachel Hinton at the Sun-Times…
Members of the House have until noon Friday to make their interest known to Rep. Camille Lilly, D-Chicago, who chairs the caucus, according to the release. The forum was first reported by Capitol Fax.
Steve Brown, a spokesman for the speaker, said Madigan plans to take part.
Lilly said it will be a private forum for the candidates.
“We wanted to open it up to those who are interested [in being speaker] and we wanted to make ourselves available,” Lilly said.
*** UPDATE 1 *** I meant to include this here and forgot. Pearson was interviewed by CNN about Madigan. Here’s one exchange…
Cillizza: Finish this sentence: “In January the next Speaker of the Illinois state House will be ________.” Now, explain.
Pearson: I don’t mean to weasel out here but this is very much an open question. In the past, there were heirs apparent to Madigan should he have stepped down. But Madigan has outlasted them. The women’s caucus is sizable and has now become a political force. The Black caucus in the House has always been influential. Progressives have become a larger factor in the chamber and they will want to be represented. Members of Madigan’s current leadership team want consideration.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release…
“The Illinois Legislative House Black Caucus will host a forum for all interested candidates for House Speaker on Saturday, December 5th. At noon today, we received the final list of interested candidates who wish to appear and present their leadership credentials to the caucus members. We are committed to a transparent and open process. We look forward to hearing from all those interested and providing an opportunity for the caucus members to make the best decision that represents our collective constituency and residents of Illinois. This is strictly a forum.” - Rep. Camille Lilly, Chair - Illinois Legislative House Black Caucus