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Everybody needs to take a breath

Thursday, Jan 14, 2021

* Madigan packed up his Springfield apartment this week, and I’m hearing from his close associates that he doesn’t plan to keep his House seat. So maybe we can stop with this sort of speculation until we see some actual evidence…


* Mark Brown is right

Those who think Madigan will continue to call the shots in Springfield should be in for a surprise.

While Welch is a product of the Madigan school of politics, there’s no reason to think he will be the former speaker’s pawn once he settles into the job.

It would be helpful to Welch if Madigan, sworn in Wednesday for another term as state representative, would take his cue and retire in short order.

As long as Madigan is still in Springfield, that will make it more difficult for Welch to prove he’s carving his own path.

Also, Madigan mainly used the Democratic Party of Illinois as a postage discount machine for his House campaigns. The chairmanship saved the HDems hundreds of thousands of dollars per cycle in postage costs. He was never much interested in actual party building.

…Adding… Tribune

Black and Latino lawmakers who initially backed him for reelection moved swiftly to Welch when Madigan made an incorrect calculation earlier this week that no other member could line up the 60 votes required to win the gavel.

Um, perhaps the “incorrect calculation” was made by reporters who prematurely jumped to the wrong conclusion?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

37 Comments »
  1. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:08 am:

    As I said yesterday, for some Madigan will be pulling strings from the grave.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:09 am:

    === He was never much interested in actual party building.===

    This is an understatement.

    Barely had a presence on the intertubes, no sense of a functioning entity beyond a press release here and there. No belief of an overall umbrella or oversight of all things “state party”, heck, I felt his disinterest and hollowed state party apparatus was a mocking of the ILGOP that they struggled and existed and still were seemingly at levels of a paper Illinois Democratic Party footprint.

    I’m very interested in BOTH state parties now evolving and existing going forward. We’ll see.


  3. - Marie312 - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:09 am:

    I wonder if Jason Gonzalez, who sued Madigan over the last state rep race, will run for the seat…


  4. - Amalia - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:17 am:

    cheers to party building. much needed.


  5. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:20 am:

    Looks like objective Ben Bradley will have to editorialize about something else now.


  6. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:22 am:

    MJM will live, rent free, in the minds of many people long after he is gone from this earth. It may be his greatest accomplishment.


  7. - Essential State Employee - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:26 am:

    What will Steve Brown do? Will he become Welch’s spokesperson, stay with Madigan’s staff if he stays in House, or will he retire?


  8. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:31 am:

    Democrats party building from the starting point of a supermajority sounds like a nightmare for Republicans.


  9. - Regular democrat - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:32 am:

    My guess is Madigan resigns his seat turns it over to a.ptotege of Chuy and that basically completes the turnover of southwest side power. And Dats dat.


  10. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:32 am:

    ===turns it over to a.ptotege of Chuy ===

    Betting the same.


  11. - So_Ill - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:41 am:

    ==Amalia - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:17 am:

    cheers to party building. much needed.==

    Supermajorities in both statehouse chambers, 2/2 Democratic US senators, 13/18 Democratic US Reps, a Democrat Governor, Lt. Governor and 4/4 Democratic statewide constitutional office holders.

    Much needed? Really?


  12. - Nova - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:41 am:

    Agree that it is unlikely Welch would be Madigan’s instrument. He is a smart savvy politician who knew that his rise would be helped by working within the power structure (Madigan) than outside of it.


  13. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:46 am:

    “What will Steve Brown do”

    I hope they actually hire a full-time Comms person (who can coordinate the entire House Dems operation) instead of contracting it to someone who’s also representing other clients on the side.


  14. - Responsa - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:50 am:

    An effective and healthy two party system at all levels of government has always been ideal and necessary both as a way to better represent the complex and varying needs of the people, and to act as a healthy check and balance on excesses from all directions. What a wonderful thing it would be if both parties in Illinois understood this and could get their respective acts together in a new era of more productive and clean(er) state government. It should have become clear by now from recent events that genuine effort at restoring faith and trust in Illinois government is essential for the state’s survival. I am not holding my breath but am trying to be hopeful.


  15. - Been There - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:54 am:

    == =Those who think Madigan will continue to call the shots in Springfield should be in for a surprise===
    Not to denounce the power of the speakership but it was only one cog in his wheel. Just being speaker doesn’t give you that much power. Just ask those who have run the senate chamber. But he held sway by getting people elected. And up to now those stayed loyal to him. But it also wasn’t just state lawmakers he had influence over. He had the powerful ward base which helped or slayed those who ran for other offices especially in Cook County. That gave him access to jobs or contracts for him to help those that helped him. He had people working in every level of government not because he was speaker but because he helped those running those offices to get elected or they were afraid he might back someone against them. He was state party chair but as Rich noted that was mainly for perfuctionary reasons focused on the house dems and some congressional and Supreme Court races. But for years he was one of the main forces of the once feared Cook County Dems.
    Anyway, I agree he won’t stay long as a state rep. Even if it takes a day, a week, month or a couple he might just not show up until he appoints his successor. My guess is he hangs on to the strings to the ward and organization and it slowly winds down but doesn’t disappear much like the Daley’s and Bridgeport. But all this depends on which way the wind blows over at the federal building.


  16. - Paddyrollingstone - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:54 am:

    - So_Ill - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:41 am:

    ==Amalia - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:17 am:

    cheers to party building. much needed.==

    Supermajorities in both statehouse chambers, 2/2 Democratic US senators, 13/18 Democratic US Reps, a Democrat Governor, Lt. Governor and 4/4 Democratic statewide constitutional office holders.

    Much needed? Really?

    Amen.

    Deep Dem growth in formally tightly held GOP suburbs like Lake, DuPage, etc. Some of this would have happened anyway bc of demographics, Trump, etc., but I do believe that Madigan led the way in some of these places with state rep candidates who fit their districts.


  17. - Sure... - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 9:59 am:

    Take a deep breath while you read this. Madigan was involved in Illinois politics for nearly 50 years. 25% of the 200 years Illinois has been a state.


  18. - low level - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:01 am:

    == also representing other clients on the side.==

    Oh? He is?

    And there will be no pulling of any strings.


  19. - Earnest - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:07 am:

    Speaking of speculation, could someone please argue that everything that has happened is part of the secret plan to get his daughter Lisa elected Governor? I’m feeling nostalgic for the days when conspiracy theories didn’t threaten our democratic system of government.


  20. - GA Watcher - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:08 am:

    I just don’t buy all the talk about the new speaker being the puppet and the former speaker the puppeteer. I mean the following as an observation, not a criticism. I believe the Black Caucus will have more influence over Speaker Welch than Speaker Madigan would have.


  21. - West Side the Best Side - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:45 am:

    Don’t think he’ll be a puppeteer at all. More likly, “Congratulations, Mr. Speaker. If you have any questions or if I left any of my stuff in the office here’s my landline number at home. Once I figure out the answering machine I’ll call you back.”


  22. - ZC - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:15 am:

    A national reporter, meanwhile, described Welch as holding “a suburban district east of Chicago.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/illinois-democrats-oust-longest-serving
    -state-house-speaker-in-us-history/ar-BB1cJaev?ocid=anaheim-ntp-feeds&fbclid
    =IwAR3Ib4TfQfbdydQ6ok8tIbXS0KhwsWeOL0_X6xBFLaUOG9ro1m5ygYqyM0o


  23. - thoughts matter - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:17 am:

    I can see where being one of the many wouldn’t appeal to Madigan. If he feels it’s time to leave his seat, then I hope he enjoys this next chapter. I’ve never met the man, can’t say I agreed with everything he did, but he did get needed things accomplished.


  24. - Boone's is Back - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:19 am:

    lol love the putin/ medvedev comparison. It was being circulated a lot this week but kind of hilarious to see a report tweet it.


  25. - Roman - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:26 am:

    The media, like Jim Durkin, are going to need time to get over the loss of Mike Madigan. The withdrawal symptoms are likely to last for months — and for McQueary and Kass, the withdrawal symptoms will last a lifetime.


  26. - Essential State Employee - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:42 am:

    ==Um, perhaps the “incorrect calculation” was made by reporters who prematurely jumped to the wrong conclusion?==

    Was at least one of the reporters who made the incorrect calculation from Channel 20?


  27. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 11:54 am:

    =What a wonderful thing it would be if both parties in Illinois understood this and could get their respective acts together =

    You need to come to terms with reality.

    The democrats have super majorities in both chambers.

    They have their act together and have a message that appeals to the overwhelming majority of Illinois voters. Overwhelming. Remember, counties don’t vote, people do.

    Cook county has a population of 5.2 million whereas the largest county Bailey represents is Effingham population 34,000 and he only has a portion of that in his district.

    If the GOP wants to be relevant, represent the interests of more Illinois voters. They seem to be working on less.


  28. - Been There - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 12:09 pm:

    ====Just being speaker doesn’t give you that much power.====
    To correct myself in an earlier comment I should have mentioned except for his relationship with the unions especially the trades. They needed him and he needed them. Not only did they provide him contributions but they are the backbone of his organization with their foot soldiers and phone bankers etc.


  29. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 12:30 pm:

    Anyone else catch MJM and Bob Morgan talking to each other on the floor after the vote yesterday? No clue what they said, but it was smiles and laughs all around.

    MJM isn’t too broken up about leaving.


  30. - Payback - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    Mike Madigan is The Last Don, the last living remnant of the old Mayor Daley southside Irish political machine that has run Chicago for over one hundred years. Their base was Chicago neighborhoods where over 50% of the population worked for the city or county government: fathers who were firefighters and police, mothers who were teachers, or clerks at city hall. Like the Chicago Outfit, it took the federal authorities to put and end to Madigan and his embedded political system, whether it was good or bad.

    What I don’t like is the fact that the people of Chicago and the whole state of Illinois have to wait for twenty to thirty year intervals for the U.S. government to take any action against public corruption, whether it be Eliot Ness investigating Al Capone, the U.S. Attorney prosecuting Jon Burge, or the current ComEd investigation. What I really don’t like is the deliberate lack of action by the Illinois AGs office in investigating public corruption. There should be statewide grand juries for these types of charges, so we don’t have to wait around for the feds to make changes.


  31. - Been There - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===MJM isn’t too broken up about leaving.====
    If you think about it there are few people left that he could trust or even talk to as a friend. Mapes and McLain are gone and none of the legislators left are his old friends. It probably would have been tougher if he looked around the room and thought of all the people who he was going to miss. Short list probably.


  32. - West Sider - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 1:02 pm:

    I have never met MJM personally, but I have observed him closely in less guarded moments at a number of events over many years- it has long struck me that the Speaker is far more-and less than people give him credit for.

    Perhaps (if the fibies ever go away) he will write his memoirs- that would be fascinating.


  33. - levivotedforjudy - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 1:35 pm:

    Has the Lisa Madigan running for Secretary of State rumor started yet? Did I just start it?


  34. - dwnstatelib - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 2:25 pm:

    Not interested in party building? Is there anything Republican in Illinois anymore?

    Every constitutional office (D), huge Senate and House Majority…what else does the party want?


  35. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 2:35 pm:

    ===s there anything Republican in Illinois anymore?===

    And that’s because of the state party? Please.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 2:42 pm:

    To this and all the victory laps;

    === Supermajorities in both statehouse chambers, 2/2 Democratic US senators, 13/18 Democratic US Reps, a Democrat Governor, Lt. Governor and 4/4 Democratic statewide constitutional office holders.

    Much needed? Really?===

    I dunno, I look at how the Raunerites and the Raunerite State Party vilified Madigan, made him toxic enough to the Supreme Court seat and wonder has a state party been able to consolidate all the good, not just Madigan, the Democratic Party has been doing collectively, be the way to rally a party that now lost all its footing downstate, maybe there was a way to stave off two decades of bad press with a clear footprint.

    As a Republican who had to first come to terms with Oberweis continually trying to make the former state party self-destruct with poor vision, and seeing the Raunerite State Party purge for an agenda, looking at the DPI, from the outside, it wasn’t all that great to the Dem Brand letting Madigan be the face and the message while not having an functioning state party or structure away from him.


  37. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 2:53 pm:

    ==If you think about it there are few people left that he could trust or even talk to as a friend.==

    That’s a really good point. And how many of his members and staff were intimidated by him? Even if it was a respectful kind of intimidation, that can make for a pretty alienating work place.


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