* Rep. Stava-Murray told me yesterday that she had prepared a line of questioning for Speaker Madigan today that would be tough…
“Everyone’s yelling at her,” I was told. “She just said ‘very angry questions were being asked of the other three yesterday and nobody yelled at them.’” Decent point. Even so, she apparently didn’t exactly rally the caucus to her side.
*** UPDATE *** WCIA’s Mark Maxwell had this react from Rep. Mary Flowers…
“That was so out of place for her to put that on the Speaker,” Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago) told reporters Sunday night. “And I’m not making any excuses for him. But he didn’t bring racism into Springfield, where the worst race riot has been years ago.”
“Before the speaker was born, we had systemic racism,” Flowers said. “We had 400 years of slavery, so we won’t go there. And I think everybody [has] a little bias in them. But everyone is trying to evolve to do the right thing.”
If Stava-Murray’s attack was designed to weaken Madigan’s alliance with the Black Caucus, Flowers’ comments show it may have only strengthened it. The legislature is in the middle of a thorny debate about police reform measures, and several members, including Flowers, value Madigan’s experience as a negotiator who can muster the votes to pass difficult legislation.
“He’s a hard working man,” Flowers said. “Negotiating with various entities across this state is heavy lifting, and I would not want to be driving with an inexperienced driver that may run this state further off the track.”
* Hannah Meisel caught up to another Black Caucus member…
Stava-Murray’s heated exchange with the Speaker didn’t sit well with Black Caucus members in the room.
“The Black Caucus is fully capable of advocating for itself and Black issues,” State Rep. André Thapedi (D-Chicago) told NPR Illiinois. “We don’t need anyone to do that for us.”