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*** UPDATED x1 *** Six House Dems plead with 19 Madigan opponents to “come together as a family”

Friday, Dec 11, 2020

* Tony Arnold at WBEZ

Citing concerns that their division over reelecting Michael Madigan as Illinois House Speaker is giving strength to their political opponents, six Illinois House Democrats are pleading with their 19 colleagues who have committed to not supporting Madigan to “come together as a family” and “unite for a common purpose.”

In a letter marked “Confidential” and obtained by WBEZ on Thursday, the group laid out a lengthy case that the Democratic caucus should unite in order to advance their own substantial agenda. That includes addressing systemic racism, a massive state budget hole caused by a stalled economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and even ethics reforms.

While the letter does not overtly call on any of the 19 lawmakers who oppose Madigan to flip back in favor of Madigan, the authors do appear to be challenging the 19 — urging them to talk with the Democrats who remain aligned with Madigan to come up with a solution. […]

They cite a recently-published Chicago Tribune editorial in which the newspaper’s editorial board advocates for Republicans — who hold a super minority of members in the House — to get behind a Democratic lawmaker who is not Madigan to be the next speaker. […]

The letter was signed by six Madigan-aligned state representatives: Michael Zalewski, D-Riverside, Frances Hurley, D-Chicago, John D’Amico, D-Chicago, Nick Smith, D-Chicago, Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, and Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island.

*** UPDATE *** The letter…

Dear Colleagues,
We write to you during unprecedented times for the House Democratic Caucus. Commonwealth Edison’s deferred prosecution agreement and subsequent indictments have understandably caused many of us to consider the future of our Caucus, who should lead us, and the type of transition process we all wish would occur in the coming months. Each of you has publicly, in your own way, acknowledged that these circumstances have led you to a position where you cannot place your faith in Mike Madigan to continue as House Speaker for the 102nd General Assembly. While many members of the Caucus do not agree with that conclusion, your personal process in reaching your decision deserves respect and recognition, both individually and collectively. You are our brothers and sisters, and we have no doubt through all of this, our Caucus will come out stronger on the other side.

We would be remiss if we didn’t also acknowledge the perilous state our Caucus finds itself in as we enter 2021. Illinois is facing a massive budget crisis, exacerbated by a decimated economy due to COVID-19 and the failure of the Fair Tax proposal. Our state’s congressional and legislative maps must be redrawn next Spring, a process that inevitably will be challenged by forces determined to undermine the racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity of this state by insisting that artificial constraints be placed upon our ability to best represent our constituents. The Black Caucus is asking us to address systemic racism, including the fundamental flaws within the criminal justice system, economic inequity, and policing reform. The Governor’s office and environmental groups are prepared to ask us to address an environmental package that will fundamentally change Illinois’ energy market and our approach to environmental justice for generations. Local property taxes continue to rise unabated, and taxpayers will continue to suffer as units of local government struggle to fund education, fire departments, and other necessary services. Ethics reforms to help rebuild faith in our state and local elected officials can’t be implemented until we reconvene. Not to mention the various issues of importance to local communities and the 177 members of the General Assembly. None of this is, nor should be, news to you. But saying it out loud demonstrates the enormity of what lies ahead.

On Sunday, December 6, the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board wrote the following:

    Illinois Republicans made minor gains in the November election in Illinois. They recently floated the idea of their House leader, Rep. Jim Durkin of Western Springs, courting Democrats for the January vote to be House speaker. That idea got torpedoed within hours. Democrats might not want to keep reporting to Madigan, but they won’t support a Republican to lead the House.

To be clear, the Editorial Board with a history of animosity toward core issues that our Caucus holds dear has openly called for the House Republican Caucus to intervene in our leadership election. The inherent danger in even considering that premise cannot be understated.

For any outside forces, specifically those with ideological bents against social services, persons of color, women, veterans, public education and labor to even broach the idea that our Caucus’ leadership should be decided by any other voices but our own is disturbing. It poses a risk to our constituents we individually and collectively work to protect. For four years, our caucus stood united as the single barrier between Bruce Rauner, the Republican caucuses, the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board, and others who fought to destroy our state and our values. Meanwhile, we are the Caucus that delivered on promises to allow our citizens to marry who they choose to love; guarantee equal pay for women; raise the minimum wage; repeal the death penalty; legalize and regulate cannabis; mandate corporations prioritize diversity on their boards; develop a first-of- its-kind mental health reporting system for firearm ownership; require disinvestment of State funds from countries such as the Sudan and Iran, and pass a comprehensive capital bill. United, we are capable of fundamentally good things.

The reason the Editorial Board felt it had license to even make the suggestion is because we aren’t united—neither publicly, nor privately. This kind of pressure will only increase in the coming weeks, and, left to fester, cause damage to our mission to serve our constituents best. There is so much on the line. The time is short. The stakes are high.

This letter isn’t meant to persuade you to question your decision, rather it is an invitation to come together as a family and show our opposition that we’re better than they assume. That we, the House Democratic Caucus, can once again unite for a common purpose. That we are more concerned about the collective fate of our state than our individual elections.

We very much hope you consider this in the spirit in which it was intended: a desire to start a dialogue, in the forum of an agreed upon choice, to achieve a path forward for us all. We look forward to hearing from you.

* Related…

* Rep. Ford explains the political arithmetic behind Black Caucus’ endorsement of Mike Madigan for IL House Speaker

- Posted by Rich Miller        

95 Comments
  1. - AD - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 7:07 am:

    This is the definition of Stockholm Syndrome.


  2. - The Dude - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 7:25 am:

    The whole if it isnt broke dont fix it mentality but democrats are in denial that its broken.

    The problem is Madigan has broke the system and become too big to fail. Thats not how it was supposed to be maintained.


  3. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 7:57 am:

    Many of the 19 are people who already hold themselves out as more important and better than their colleagues. There’s a reason the 19 isn’t full of legislative heavy hitters or political heavy hitters. They listen to no one but themselves and they’re scared of their own shadows. That’s not all of them, but most.


  4. - Swampy Corn - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 7:59 am:

    Let’s have fun on a Friday. There’s your list of compromise candidates. Solid lawmakers, mostly devoid of lightning rod issues (legislative or otherwise), loyal to the speaker, and asking for peace.

    How much do I believe this? Ask me in January.


  5. - Responsa - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:10 am:

    == There’s a reason the 19 isn’t full of legislative heavy hitters or political heavy hitters.==

    If I understand the point you are trying to make here: Maybe the 19 are outsiders because they do not like the way the “legislative heavy hitters” and the “political heavy hitters” have obtained and mis-used their power for so long and do not wish to support that going forward –both for the sake of their constituents and the sake of the state.


  6. - SpiDem - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:13 am:

    @Precinct Captain

    The 19 are many things, but scared of their own shadows is not one of them. Coming out in opposition to the most powerful political boss since the original Mayor Daley is the opposite of an act of cowardice.

    To coin an old Blago-era phrase, it required extreme testicular fortitude


  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:18 am:

    === Many of the 19 are people who already hold themselves out as more important and better than their colleagues. There’s a reason the 19 isn’t full of legislative heavy hitters or political heavy hitters. They listen to no one but themselves and they’re scared of their own shadows. That’s not all of them, but most.===

    That *may be* true

    That *may be* spin and/or hyperbole

    The thing is… without them… Madigan can’t reach 60

    The 19 can, indeed, be lightweights, yet, the 19 speaking as ONE voice, are heavyweights… and are dictating things like this letter and the Black Caucus making a move too.

    But, until the 19 speak as ONE… like this letter here… they’re 19 individuals with a commonality that *still* can’t make them speak as one.

    To the post,

    The peace makers / deal makers know, the time to find commonality is now, and unity will be critical going forward, and a caucus split in rough divides, uneasy to heal.

    “We’ll see”


  8. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:20 am:

    The Madigan name is a huge burden to Democrats. It is associated with the state’s deep problems. It is in spite of Madigan that the DPI is so successful here, meaning Madigan’s abysmal approval rating hasn’t hurt them very much. But the party’s image must improve. It needs a clean slate.

    On the other hand, Madigan stands up for people when push comes to shove. Plus, many who despise him have massive planks in their eyes, supporting Trump and with Rauner, and can’t judge any other politician, especially one selected by the Black Caucus (see current GOP assault on the presidential election). Madigan hasn’t been indicted either, yet.


  9. - pool boy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:28 am:

    Simply amazing. Term limits would make this a moot point. What do you think, Willy?


  10. - Frumpy White Guy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:31 am:

    Is 2022 going to be the new 1994?


  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:33 am:

    I do NOT favor legislative/elective term limits. That’s why we have elections.

    The chambers and caucuses can decide that leadership positions in the chambers are more than viable, the 4 caucuses should consider that, limiting the terms leaders can, well, lead.

    Those parameters work for me, - pool boy -

    Hope you’re well, happy Friday to ya.


  12. - James the Intolerant - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:38 am:

    I would say the 19 have more nerve than the 6. Our rep is one of the 6 and I am not surprised at all or proud to have her as my rep.


  13. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:39 am:

    Nothing sadder than when an individual/s refuse to accept it’s time to move on.


  14. - Wow - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:50 am:

    Love how the “19” had zero respect for the wishes of their brethren to keep the discussions between them. Ran to the press in less than 3 hours.


  15. - Techie - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:51 am:

    “urging them to talk with the Democrats who remain aligned with Madigan to come up with a solution”

    The solution is simple - agree that Madigan needs to go, even if the identity of the new speaker is unknown.

    Even if Madigan isn’t actually guilty of criminal offenses, nobody needs to be leading a state political party for so long, especially while contributing to great failures like the state’s finances. And his presence in leadership is more than a distraction, it’s a constant sour note in many voters’ mouths.


  16. - Rutro - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:53 am:

    I am severely disappointed my rep. is one of the 6. Why defend someone who’s right in the middle of a scandal? IMHO the fed’s have enough to get him and are just trying to make it a little stronger. Also, Zalewski, really, you should be hiding under a desk.


  17. - TNR - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:56 am:

    I can’t decide if this is part of a last ditch effort to save their guy, or the first effort by the loyalist to reach out to the rebels for a peaceful transition to the post-Madigan era. I’m guessing the former.


  18. - essentially working - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:58 am:

    “They listen to no one but themselves and they’re scared of their own shadows.” - Part of me wants to believe that maybe, just maybe, they are listening to their constituents.


  19. - pool boy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:58 am:

    In a perfect world elections work, but the reality is especially in state and local elections, many people run unopposed, so there is no choice.


  20. - Leave a Light On George - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:03 am:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuWkcKbBQkg


  21. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:04 am:

    This strategy looks a lot like 6 House Democrats drafting a letter begging 19 of their members to join them in their complicity.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:04 am:

    ===many people run unopposed===

    While nothing can be perfect in democracy, when either party (or a 3rd party) decides to not participate, that’s in line with voter apathy, it appears, when in the past getting voters to vote is tough enough, the parties need to do a better job recruiting and challenging the other side.

    While opposing, adamantly, term limits, I can look at fair maps as an opportunity to change the way elections go too.

    But, when looking at this post, these 6, the 19, the Black Caucus, diverse thinking is at least happening in that caucus(?)


  23. - Montrose - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:11 am:

    “Love how the “19” had zero respect for the wishes of their brethren to keep the discussions between them. Ran to the press in less than 3 hours.”

    Maybe because the 19 are tired everything happening in the dark. Maybe one of the reasons they are going to vote no on Madigan is because they are tired of business being done this way. Maybe the six should ask themselves why they didn’t want the public to see the letter.


  24. - Ok - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:12 am:

    Yep. Clearly going to work.

    Sign me up to join the Zalewski family. Can’t imagine any downside there.


  25. - walker - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:12 am:

    “”the 19 isn’t full of legislative heavy hitters or political heavy hitters”"

    @PC please take a breath.

    Some members of both of these factions have sponsored and managed the passing of major legislation. And seeing “political heavy hitters” can use different lenses than those of traditional Cook Co Dems. The power bases are shifting in the party, where many of these 19 are effective.


  26. - Ok - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:14 am:

    If “political heavy hitter” has historically been defined as closeness to Madigan, your statement seems more like a tautology.


  27. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:15 am:

    If the 19 stick together, Madigan can’t win. Someone else will be the new speaker. It’s true he’s been around quite a long time, but all political eras come to an end sometime.

    I say let’s thank him for what he did to oppose Rauner and wish him good luck. Seems like he will need it.


  28. - Chicagonk - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:17 am:

    Amazing Halpin wouldn’t come out and say he supports Mike Madigan, yet he signs a letter to the 19 that he has to have known would have been leaked. Not really thinking this one all the way through


  29. - walker - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:18 am:

    “”Ran to the press in less than 3 hours.”"

    And someone taped the Back Caucus “private” meeting with the Speaker, to give to the press. This is not beanbag.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:18 am:

    For the love of Pete…

    The number is 60

    If someone, even Madigan, can’t get 60, does it really matter how those opposing Madigan are “seen”

    What, are those who flip back (and name names if you think 1, 5, 8 are gonna flip, otherwise “stop”) all of a sudden “power brokers”?

    The number is 60. How you see the 73 (including MJM) individually doesn’t change the cobbling needed to 60.


  31. - OneMan - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:19 am:

    == Love how the “19” had zero respect for the wishes of their brethren to keep the discussions between them. Ran to the press in less than 3 hours. ==

    Yeah, no way it was one of the 6 who would come out publicly like this to signal that they were trying to ‘make peace’ and promote themselves in the meantime.


  32. - A Guy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:19 am:

    ==Ran to the press in less than 3 hours===

    Bet the under. Way under. Trade hours for minutes..and still bet the under.


  33. - The Iconoclast of Cook County - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:20 am:

    Anyone who votes for Mike Madigan for Speaker is responsible for Mike Madigan being Speaker. Some people might be bothered by that , some people aren’t. But, you can’t duck responsibility on the issue.


  34. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:27 am:

    “come together as a family”

    I would pay good money to watch the IL House Dems re-enact “Too Many Cooks”


  35. - thisjustinagain - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:31 am:

    Interesting how a group with only 1/3rd of the votes of the anti-Madigan-19 thinks they’re going to put the genie back in the bottle with calls for “unity”, when the first order of business should be Madigan’s ouster as speaker. The “Little 6″ need to unify over MJM’s removal, instead of issuing useless propaganda statements.


  36. - Anon - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:32 am:

    So, the 19 taking a principled stand in opposition to a leader under a deepening cloud of corruption is an affront to caucus unity, and the solution to the many crisis facing our state is to reelect said leader?


  37. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:34 am:

    Messaging - we can’t find anyone better than a 78-year-old leader who has had 49 years in the GA and is now clouded by a federal corruption scandal.


  38. - Southern Skeptic - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:34 am:

    I love the idea that this was a “Confidential” letter. And “come together as a family” couldn’t have been more mob-like had it been said by Tony Soprano himself. Good grief.


  39. - PublicServant - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:36 am:

    Families fight, but, in the end, they’ll work it out. Love how the partisans on the right are trying to stir the pot. Noted, expected and ignored as they should be.


  40. - Still Anon - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:38 am:

    I always love when themes of compromise and unity are used to mean you compromise and do what I want.


  41. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:39 am:

    Funding for this letter provided by
    “Friends of Michael J Madigan”


  42. - Arock - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:47 am:

    “and even ethics reforms.” Seriously, the man who is the antithesis to ethical behavior should once again be rewarded for such behavior? No, the bullying and corruption needs to be put behind us and if you lose some power in Springfield because of it than so be it. You weren’t elected to represent your party you were elected to represent the citizens of Illinois. Get over your egos and put him out to pasture.


  43. - lake county democrat - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:48 am:

    Want unity? Compromise on a consensus candidate.


  44. - Back to the Future - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:56 am:

    Reading the “confidential” letter and giving some thought to who signed it, it seems to me that this is the first step by these State Reps. at throwing the Speaker under the bus.


  45. - ddp76 - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:58 am:

    The only thing I’m certain of is the 19 are not getting an engraved clock.


  46. - 1st Ward - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:59 am:

    Generally curious if we are in the same place a month from now what occurs if no one budges? I’m assuming nothing can happen until a Speaker is elected (even if it ends up being the same one) or does the current Speaker’s term continue without a vote and legislative sessions re-convening. A little too early to think this way but what are the rules?


  47. - Rutro - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:01 am:

    Is Madigan behind this letter? Based on the signatures, it looks like it. Own up to it Mike.


  48. - Roman - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:03 am:

    At the risk of sounding like you-know-who, there are good people on both sides of this House Dem split.

    There’s no shame in showing personal or political loyalty to someone who has helped you. And it takes quite a bit of personal and political courage to publicly oppose someone in power.

    The question is how deep does this divide go. And if it is deep, when the end inevitably comes, does either camp cross the aisle to get to 60? That should never happen with a supermajority. But if there’s a lot of animosity, it might.


  49. - Techie - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:03 am:

    @1st Ward

    Someone, probably Rich, noted that the current Speaker is “retained” as speaker temporarily, but the only business they can conduct is to oversee the election of a new speaker. Nothing else can occur until a new speaker (even if it ends up being the same one) is elected.


  50. - Drake Mallard - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:04 am:

    “OK” cheap shot at Mike Z. JR. He has the stones to stand up against the mob.
    What does his family have to do with anything?


  51. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:06 am:

    =I’m assuming nothing can happen until a Speaker is elected=

    Correct - Rain Delay until a speaker is selected…

    “(House Rule 1) 1. Election of the Speaker. (a) At the first meeting of the House of each General Assembly, the Secretary of State shall convene the House at 12:00 noon, designate a Temporary Clerk of the House, and preside during the nomination and election of the Speaker… (c) No legislative measure may be considered and no committees may be appointed or meet before the election of the Speaker”


  52. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:15 am:

    This letter is a perfect example of the Madigan way: I know best, just sit down, shut up, and do what you’re told (and oh, yeah, I “respect” your input. Happy now?).


  53. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:15 am:

    - SpiDem - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:13 am:
    - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:18 am:
    - walker - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 9:12 am:

    Remember Stava-Murray raising bloody murder about her name on the electronic voting board? She was just wrong because she wouldn’t listen to anyone else. One of the Merriam-Webster’s definitions of listening is, “to hear something with thoughtful attention.” That’s not a skill ASM or most of the 19 possess. That’s why I said they’re scared of their own shadows. To stay on ASM, this is someone that through two elections was afraid to knock on the doors of her own constituents? Is door knocking a secret MJM plot? Or is it literally the bedrock of political campaigning for decades? Choose carefully, you might be scared of your own shadow.

    Let’s take Guzzardi. When the count was first reaching the range of jeopardy for MJM as Speaker, the Twitter Prince took to crow about the whip count. He went on and on about knowing how to count votes, then followed up and added that he was only talking about this particular matter. Why say that? Because his own legislative record demonstrates he doesn’t know how to count votes for his own bills. Yikes!

    Take Kifowit. Kudos to her for actually stepping up to the arena. Shame to the other 18. But let’s talk reality. She has said publicly she wants fundraising to be more collaborative. What does that mean? Doing exactly what candidates across America at every level hate: sitting in a room (or a cubicle if you’re in DC) and dialing for dollars. A major HDEM advantage is being able to do the community, neighborhood, and precinct side of campaigning without having to spend all your time dialing for dollars. Their counterparts in other states at the state legislative level are not so lucky. And believe it or not, there are multimillion dollar state legislative races all over America. Kifowit, how does this effect candidate recruitment when your pitch is, “Instead of being out in the community one-on-one, you’ll be in a room with one person, or maybe even by yourself, cold calling for money?” Someone like Kifowit might not even be in the legislature if that were the case. Take it one step further. Institutional money by and large does not want to go directly against incumbents. They love caucuses. They love money going through caucuses. Is Speaker Kifowit trying to grow her caucus going to have an unknown, basically random person as a candidate trying to dial for dollars with the realtors or gaming or retailers or asphalt or whatever interest? When the interests go through caucuses, on any side, they get cover when that caucus goes against incumbents of the other party.

    The point about the 19? They haven’t thought through a thing and despite all their self righteousness, they have no vision for the future, let alone a better one. In the end, the six are saying, “show us the vision.”

    And if the 19 can’t take someone criticizing them in blog comments, they’re even less capable than thought.


  54. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:22 am:

    ===To stay on ASM, this is someone that through two elections was afraid to knock on the doors of her own constituents?===

    She won both of those elections by being anti-Madigan.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:26 am:

    With great respect, - Precinct Captain -

    === The point about the 19? They haven’t thought through a thing and despite all their self righteousness, they have no vision for the future, let alone a better one. In the end, the six are saying, “show us the vision.”

    And if the 19 can’t take someone criticizing them in blog comments, they’re even less capable than thought.===

    Again, until you can show 1) Madigan can get to 60 by 2) peeling off *by name* at least 6 or more names…

    That’s the ball game now.


  56. - Is this the government we deserve? - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:31 am:

    19 almost entirely white suburban legislators decided to torpedo the existing leadership structure without even trying to seek the input of either the black or latino caucus before a redistricting year and an impending post-pandemic world that has disproportionately hurt minority communities. Blame Madigan, blame the 19. It is a sad state of affairs in the Illinois General Assembly. But what should we expect? Consolidated power has left us with no other options for strong leadership that much is clear. I pray we get our maps right and a budget without draconian cuts.


  57. - Annoyed - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:31 am:

    The “Progressive 19” may get rid of MJM but long term they will end up like the Tea Party.


  58. - SpiDem - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:31 am:

    @Precinct Captain

    My point was pretty clear and limited to your assertion that the 19 are afraid of their own shadow. I’m sorry, but contrary to your assertion, poor listening skills do not = being afraid of your own shadow.

    As far as your comment about the 19 not being able to take being criticized in blog comments….what are you even talking about? Are any of the 19 complaining about that?

    Maybe take a deep breath.


  59. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:35 am:

    === The “Progressive 19” may get rid of MJM but long term…===

    The goal of the exercise is to deny MJM

    With that, I get what - Precinct Captain - is writing, and even the letter…

    … but if ya can’t peel off any of the 19, it’s not going to matter.

    Again, the next step always has been figuring out who could be next, the first step has always been denying MJM… and the 19, albeit as an individualized collective, have made math “precarious” at best, unrealistic to 60 at most.


  60. - Annoyed - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:46 am:

    OW, according to Guzzardi the goal is to pass progressive goals like the fair tax, and yesterday old Will blamed MJM for the fair tax loss. And ASM ran on the fair tax in 2018. My point is they can block MJM but long term their policy goals will fail with this scorched earth approach just like the Tea Party. (Leaking the memo being a good example).

    And you like numbers…19 ain’t 60 so either all D’s get together to figure it out (memo request) or the R’s decide the Speaker.


  61. - SSL - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:47 am:

    Stay strong 19. We know what Illinois looks like with Speaker Madigan. Let’s find out what it looks like without him.


  62. - Levois J - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:47 am:

    I guess we’ve found a rabbit. Madigan might survive this for now.


  63. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:52 am:

    ===yesterday old Will blamed MJM for the fair tax loss===

    Too much coffee.


  64. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:54 am:

    === according to Guzzardi the goal===

    That may be his goal, but there’s no 19 signatures under what he or any of them want as a collective end game.

    They are a loose group of 19 that agree to vote against MJM, but it appears publicly as one voice have nothing to say outside that.

    === My point is they can block MJM but long term…===

    There is no long term, as a collective, as 19, as anything, frankly.

    That’s where this peeling off attempt by the 6 seems interesting to process “after” the 19 accomplish what they mathematically *can do* which is deny MJM.

    One step at a time. That’s all these 19 should be seeing or discussing. They are not one voice.

    === R’s decide the Speaker===

    That’s not happening.

    The 72 and Madigan will find their 60 for the caucus, right now it ain’t MJM


  65. - Rutro - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:55 am:

    Madigan raises the $ so we need him argument doesn’t hold up. Labor can’t go anywhere else. The next Billion $ Republican gov. canidate is coming. Also, the funny ting about the fundraising is watching how much of labors $ is going to bankroll the Com Ed defense, that should be going to their election efforts. It would be better spent feeding the hungry.
    Also, as an aside, how is Madigan fundraising, over the phone? Hire a lawyer to do it?
    I can’t imagine anyone in labor is excited to have a conversation about fundraising for Madigan (or anything else) even if its through a couple lawyers.


  66. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 11:01 am:

    The nifty part of this letter is that in order to draft it the 6 signatories seem to be under the impression that the House Democrats without Madigan are incapable of utilizing their super majority to govern in the interests of their constituents.

    From a messaging standpoint, it’s really interesting to see a party come down on a stance that is “too incompetent to do without Mike Madigan.”

    Madigan in of himself is so unpopular, retaining speakership or not, this becomes a license to primary any of the signatories who draft a letter claiming that there is no other option than to let Speaker Madigan retain every shred of his power till he wants to leave, or he dies in office.

    The 6 signatories clearly have little belief in their own abilities, or the abilities of their colleagues.


  67. - SaulGoodman - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 11:03 am:

    “That we are more concerned about the collective fate of our state than our individual elections.”

    MJM: “Let me tell you how much I can protect you in the remap”


  68. - Amalia - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 11:04 am:

    aw, don’t beat up on Precinct Captain. the Black Caucus proclaimed Madigan so it must be so.


  69. - Ginhouse Tommy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 11:16 am:

    That’s pretty weak. MJM must be desperate and he must know that the 19 aren’t going to flip. Isn’t MJM the guy who had one of his people tell Mr. Durkin that this doing what’s best for the state is getting old. Come together as one, man that’s lame. Sheesh.


  70. - Anon1 - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 11:22 am:

    While I am sure each of the 19 have their own specific reasons, my guess is that one thing they have in common is that they won’t be able to look themselves in the mirror if they vote for Madigan. Not everyone has the world view of a Madigoon, that the ends justify the means.


  71. - Third Reading - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 11:40 am:

    Did the 6 use the DPI discount postage rate to mail the letter?


  72. - ArchPundit - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 11:41 am:

    ====Love how the “19” had zero respect for the wishes of their brethren to keep the discussions between them. Ran to the press in less than 3 hours.

    Yes,keep the decisions out of the view of the public. Democracy thrives in darkness.

    It’s time of the DPI to become a modern political party. Madigan needs to go for that to happen.


  73. - ArchPundit - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 11:48 am:

    ====They haven’t thought through a thing and despite all their self righteousness, they have no vision for the future, let alone a better one.

    Less corruption is the biggest part of the vision. That’s better than the continued Madigan reign. Also, a modern political party that invites participation of all party members.

    You can also have caucus fundraising without Mike Madigan. He’s not a magical unicorn. The campaign finance system in Illinois encourages funneling of campaign cash through the caucuses whether Madigan is there or not.


  74. - From DaZoo - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 11:50 am:

    My take of the Black Caucus endorsement from the Rep Ford interview is they looked at who _currently_ is stepping forward with interest in being the next Speaker. Their view is the need to be one voice that votes _for_ the best candidate.

    The “19″ view is they can _not_, in good conscience, vote for Madigan. As others have pointed out, they are a bunch of individual voices. So if there were more than couple candidates the vote could be split lots of ways.

    There are a couple items to keep in mind. When something has been certain way for an extended period of time, it’s hard to look at change. To even come forward to say no to Madigan took a lot of effort for that one step. With Madigan keeping his name as a candidate, it will definitely take multiple rounds of conversations, caucusing, and floor votes before this is resolved.

    The next issue is if not Madigan, then who? A former colleague of mine gave me a piece of advice. You never want to be the person to replace a great person in a specific role, because you will always be compared the previous person. Regardless of what’s being revealed now, Madigan has an extensive legacy and it would take someone with a tremendous amount of self-confidence (or ego) to take the role now. And with Madigan still interested in being Speaker, no wonder there is a lack of potential candidates.

    For now, I’m taking this in as great theater. It will be very interesting how this will play out and how long.


  75. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 11:58 am:

    - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:26 am:
    With respect to you Oswego Willy, a careful reading of my comments over the past month will not find my personal endorsement or support of MJM as Speaker. I will note that even if I did do that, it gets the man no closer or farther to 60. The point that I have tried to make when is that the longer the 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 hold off on putting together a somewhat comprehensive plan and candidate for speaker, the harder it gets for them to get to 60 and the worse it is for the House Dems. They had more of an opportunity to help shape the terrain this is being played on and they blew it. Every day they waste to set their standard and vision for the future is a day MJM is working, futilely most likely and in most beliefs, to set his own standard and vision. At least for one large group of legislators, the Black Caucus, rather than help possibly shape the asks and set the standard, the 19 are now chasing something MJM helped set. Not a good look and not good political management. Rich has written and is correct that the anti-MJM crowd doesn’t actually need someone to deny MJM the speakership, but their own stated terms, that this isn’t about one individual, that it’s about a better future, a ‘New Illinois Way’ one might say, set a standard for themselves that they need to offer a vision. Where is it?

    - SpiDem - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:31 am:
    You might want to read her own words. She would not look like a fool if she listened to anyone. And it is a pattern that repeated itself in committee and with her run against Durbin. Listening, it’s a skill.
    https://capitolfax.com/stava-murray-letter-to-jessica-basham/


  76. - Chicagonk - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 12:01 pm:

    What the 6 don’t understand is that the Madigan noise from the feds isn’t going away. There will be more indictments and there will be more information released. This isn’t disappearing. The hard part is coming out against Madigan. Once you do that, why would you ever flip back?


  77. - lake county democrat - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 12:12 pm:

    Progressive 19? Aren’t they closer to the soccer mom/dad 19? Scott Morgan has struck me as anything but a DSA-type.


  78. - TKMH - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 12:17 pm:

    ==They haven’t thought through a thing and despite all their self righteousness, they have no vision for the future, let alone a better one. In the end, the six are saying, “show us the vision.” ==

    I think the better vision they’ve articulated is clear — an ILGA without Mike Madigan at the helm. It’s good enough for me and good enough for the vast majority of Democrats in Illinois, many of whom (myself included) vote for Democratic State Rep candidates *in spite* of Madigan.

    Listen, I get it. Madigan raises a lot of money. He kept the caucus (sans Dunkin) together in the face of Rauner’s intransigence. Neither of those excuses the fact that he embodies the very worst of Illinois politics and stands a chance of getting indicted. Apologies to Orwell, but seeing what’s in front of one’s own face indeed takes vigilance.

    Perhaps electing a “caretaker” Speaker and letting the HDems think succession through more clearly over the next 2 years.


  79. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 12:20 pm:

    These 6 MJM stans must think no one else on the entire dem caucus has the requisite intelligence. There’s a great sales pitch to voters: “We can’t get rid of Madigan because we’re all too dumb to figure out how being speaker works”. Good gravy man, if you have to admit no one in the caucus is capable of doing that job then maybe none of you should be there.


  80. - BeenThereDoneThat - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 12:30 pm:

    I wouldn’t bet against MJM but the ship has sailed and when the difficult votes that will come in the next GA shift votes keeping MJM as Speaker could be difficult to overcome in some suburban areas. And yes Zalewski should keep his head down.


  81. - PublicServant - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 12:58 pm:

    I think the 19 ought to be keeping one eye on the utility pole in back of their house /S


  82. - Loop Lady - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 1:06 pm:

    Oh puleeze…watching out for your own campaign coffers much? Raise your own money…


  83. - Etown - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:04 pm:

    Spot on Lester Holt Mustache. It’s really embarrassing to see these 6 say nobody else is capable of job.

    The House will survive and have a better chance to thrive as a body without the burden of MJM hanging over the proceedings in 2021. Hopefully the 19 and others are working on who they can present as a legitimate alternative to the selfish man who continues to think nobody is capable of running the show besides him.


  84. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:10 pm:

    =- TKMH - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 12:17 pm:=

    No Mike Madigan is not a vision. The anti-Sheldon Silver crowd was happy in NY when he left (after an arrest). They had no post-Silver vision, and nothing has changed.


  85. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:11 pm:

    - Etown - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:04 pm:

    Please state directly where the six said nobody else is capable of being Speaker but MJM.


  86. - Etown - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:22 pm:

    Just reading between the lines PC. You are doing a nice job of being a shill for MJM though I must say


  87. - low level - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:27 pm:

    Darn auto correct

    “hang” should be “hung”
    “Misguided” should be “might”

    Paragraph 1, Line 1: strike “hang” and replace it with “hung”
    Paragraph 3, Line 3: strike “misguided” and replace it with “might”

    (Since you love legislative powerhouses, I’ll use legislative language). ;)


  88. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:42 pm:

    - Etown - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:22 pm:

    Reading comprehension not your strong suit?


  89. - Southwest Sider - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:58 pm:

    One of those signors is my representative. I sent him an email the other day, expressing my opinion that he should vote against Madigan. Sad to see his name associated with that letter. Forget about unity, most of the voters want Madigan gone.


  90. - low level - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 3:06 pm:

    ==No post Silver vision and nothing has changed==

    Exactly why no one, or at least the loyalists, should worry. The same Democratic agenda will advance no matter who is Speaker. I do feel bad about this, having assisted w several races years ago (esp the 1996 comeback) but this apocalypse vision should someone else become speaker is kind of silly.


  91. - TKMH - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 3:16 pm:

    ==- Precinct Captain - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:10 pm: No Mike Madigan is not a vision.==

    It is a sufficient enough vision. We have a Democratic governor. The President of the Senate is a Democrat. The DPI, and more importantly the state of Illinois, will continue to operate if Madigan ceases to be Speaker.


  92. - Southwest Sider - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 3:16 pm:

    The fact only six signed that letter is light support. Thoughts OW?


  93. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 3:23 pm:

    === The fact only six signed that letter is light support.===

    It’s more than 5?

    I really don’t know what to make of it, as the Black Csucus is going one way, the 19 are going another way and these 6 are saying “Whadda want from us?”… let’s work this out together.

    I’m only surprised they put it on paper, but that might be part of the whole thing too.

    Really all I see.

    Hope that helps, be well.


  94. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 3:27 pm:

    - Precinct Captain -

    Sincerely, and very respectfully, bud.

    I stand by my comment as your points I understand, it’s a math game now;

    === The number is 60

    If someone, even Madigan, can’t get 60, does it really matter how those opposing Madigan are “seen”

    What, are those who flip back (and name names if you think 1, 5, 8 are gonna flip, otherwise “stop”) all of a sudden “power brokers”?

    The number is 60. How you see the 73 (including MJM) individually doesn’t change the cobbling needed to 60.===

    The rest is arguing outside… math.

    With respect, and I understand your retort.


  95. - 14th ward - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 3:33 pm:

    5 of the 6 are Chicago-land, where are the rest. Don’t believe the 19 want any deals but MJM to step down.It’s time for a change.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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