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Aren’t we missing something here?

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* Daily Herald

New Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch’s leadership team, which he announced Thursday, does not have enough suburban representation and includes too many Michael Madigan loyalists, says Democratic state Rep. Kathleen Willis of Addison.

The team also does not include any of the women who ran for House Speaker — Willis, Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego and Rep. Ann Williams of Chicago, she noted.

Neither Willis nor Rep. Fred Crespo, a Democrat from Hoffman Estates, was retained by Welch in House leadership.

Suburban representation will include only Reps. Natalie Manley of Joliet and Robyn Gabel of Evanston, plus Rep. Deb Conroy of Villa Park in one of six new positions of caucus whip, which do not pay leadership stipends.

Um, the new House Speaker (remember him?) is from the suburbs.

Rep. Marcus Evans’ district has a big chunk of suburbia. Also, there’s Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez. Last time I checked, Cicero was in the suburbs. [Rep. Mary Flowers’ district also includes a chunk of suburbia.]

* Meanwhile, here’s Rep. Stephanie Kifowit’s take

“I assumed people would be appreciative and supportive,” she told me earlier this week. “In reality, what I found was my candidacy was not taken seriously.”

I’d say that sentiment could bring an emotional kind of exhaustion to anyone who already was physically tired. But after getting a few days of solid shut-eye following all of last week’s drama, Kifowit, a Marine veteran who does not back down from adversity, insists there are no sour grapes. […]

Even though there’s plenty of speculation that Welch, a Madigan supporter, may be strongly influenced by the former speaker, Kifowit sees that as “a fallacy.” Because he’s in the spotlight and under the gun to turn things around, “I am hopeful,” she said, “he will be independent and tread his own course.”

The good news is that with a strong movement away from the Chicago-machine-style politics that kept him in power too long, “there will never be another Mike Madigan,” she predicted.

…Adding… Rep. Kifowit just told me that despite what Rep. Willis may have implied…

I did not ask Speaker Welch for a leadership position. I am excited to work with him and his new leadership team for the betterment of Illinois. I know there is a lot of work that we all need to do and I have the utmost confidence in the Speaker and his leadership team during these difficult times.

* Related…

* Power shifts from city stronghold to west suburbs

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - PublicServant - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 9:47 am:

    The Herald is just echoing the GOP talking point going forward of “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

  2. - Broom - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 9:47 am:

    Willis was a huge reason why Welch happened and now she’s complaining?

  3. - JG from PG - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 9:51 am:

    the suburbs could have bargained for representation. they folded and gave Welch the power. sit down and accept this.

  4. - Roman - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 9:51 am:

    == “Every single one of them started out as a Madigan loyalist” ==

    I spit out my coffee when I read that quote from Willis. Physician, heal thyself.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 9:52 am:

    If others are ignoring that not ONE of the Four Tops is from Chicago, but still want the discussion to be about Chicago vs. the Suburbs vs. “Downstate”…

    To ignore how things have changed (McConchie from Brady, Harmon from Cullerton) the discussion isn’t about the actual charges, it’s a want to a discussion of keeping traditional divisions active like this premise too.

    So… “the suburbs are not heard”… as suburban McConchie replacing central Illinois Brady, and suburban Harmon replaced “She-Caw-Go” Cullerton… now suburban Welch replaces “She-Caw-Go machine leader” Madigan… and now the senior Four Top leader, suburban Durkin sees his three other leaders representing the same region.

    But, let’s make sure we look past what these 3 changes in leadership says to regional power… it’s the suburbs taking the lead in the legislature.

  6. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 9:55 am:

    The Great Boogeyman that has haunted this state, drove residents out, levied draconian taxes, and the cause for all our ills, is gone.

    Yet some already want to nitpick the new guy’s leadership team?

    Either the old guy wasn’t the dark Sith, as so often depicted, or you’re going to belly ache either way.


  7. - Westie - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 9:59 am:

    I think it’s interesting that DR took a leadership slot over KW after she and UWF villified her this summer over the housing bill. I remember this same forum trashing DR for being a rook and attacking leadership and ultimately killing her bill. Guess that is rewarded these days.

  8. - Frumpy White Guy - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 10:03 am:

    My heartfelt condolences to Representative Willis in the loss of her campaign for Speaker. Elections have consequences and one can only imagine how difficult is to loose as badly as she did.

  9. - puh-leese - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 10:04 am:

    This is white privilege on full display. Let’s pretend the black and Latinx members who live in or represent the suburbs are shills for the city and Madigan loyalists, but the white people who represent the suburbs are true suburban representatives. Although it’s not as “black and white” as that because she isn’t angry guys like Mike Zalewski or Bob Rita or Antony DeLuca weren’t named to leadership. She completely ignores Hernandez, Deby Martin, Flowers and other women who represent the suburbs. She should have said what she meant — she is mad more white suburban women aren’t in the leadership team.

  10. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 10:05 am:

    How about we try to do some good for the people of Illinois during a pandemic and economic disaster? Can we try that instead of trying to create trouble in the caucus?

  11. - Mama - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 10:14 am:

    Are the new power heads good or bad for the unions? The workers?

  12. - Lynn - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 10:32 am:

    The point might be that there should be more Collar County representation. Democrats are terrible about that.

  13. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 10:36 am:

    I think this is the old ways for better or worse. Rep. Willis turned against Madigan when he needed her the most. Now, she loses power. It is what it is.

  14. - "Old Timer Dem" - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 10:39 am:

    There will never be another like him? That’s what they said when DaleyI died in 1977. Never say never.

  15. - Pizza Man - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 10:56 am:

    “Watcha talkin’ bout Willis?”

    While it’s courageous what Rep. Kathleen Willis did of not supporting the previous speaker while on MJM’s leadership, it is understandable and likely that the current speaker would not have wanted her to be on his team.

    Now was MJM stunned by Willis? Of course and that began the MJM titanic to begin to sink.

    MJM never recuperated after Rep. Willis spoke out and released her presser.

  16. - GOP Rebuilder - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 10:57 am:

    Re: Welch being “from the suburbs”.

    I think the point was less “suburbs” more “collar counties”. West Cook Co is considered an extension of Chicago in a way that North or SW Cook is not.

    And I think she has a point. Collars are where the population is building. You’re losing a big perspective if you don’t consider these areas in leadership meetings.

  17. - Fav Human - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 11:06 am:

    You’re losing a big perspective if you don’t consider these areas in leadership meetings.

    Please. Most of those areas are land locked, as are the inner suburbs.

    So there is plenty of representation. Just not her.

    Maybe she is having second thoughts :)))))

  18. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 11:08 am:

    === West Cook Co is considered an extension of Chicago===


    Quibbling. Just saying.

  19. - A Guy - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 11:12 am:

    So Oak Park, Western Springs, Cicero, part of Hinsdale, Berwyn…all extensions of Chicago? That might surpise some people who live in those places.

  20. - NotRich - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 11:18 am:

    Leader Flowers goes all the way out to WILLOW SPRINGS.. Someone buy Rep Willis a rand McNally map please..

  21. - zatoichi - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 11:21 am:

    There is always going to be some woulda, shoulda, coulda, why didn’ta, claim of unfairness/lack of balance. These are the people who put themselves out there and got people to vote for them. Don’t like the outcome? Put together some other options.

  22. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 11:22 am:

    - puh-leese - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 10:04 am:

    Nailed it.

  23. - JS Mill - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 11:26 am:

    =Flowers and other women who represent the suburbs.=

    Umm, no. WHile her district might extend into the suburbs, she does not represent them. I don’t know if she has even visited some areas.

    What OW and A Guy said +1.b Those areas A Guy listed trend republican to some degree

    To the post- sour grapes mutch Willis?

  24. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 11:34 am:

    ===She should have said what she meant ===

    At the very least, the Daily Herald should’ve poked some holes in what she said. But that might require a tiny amount of effort.

  25. - Huh? - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 11:37 am:

    “the new House Speaker … is from the suburbs”

    But not my suburbs. /s

  26. - GOP Rebuilder - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 11:38 am:

    Not enough collar county representation is the point. But I get the power breakdown.

    On Western Cook - The far western cook is more like NW Cook and S Cook. But the near west cook is more like Chicago - but splitting hairs on close proximity cities in a huge state is pointless. My issue was less that fight - it was representation in the collar counties on his leadership team. I think it is not balanced with a lot of the collars that democrats should pay more attention to.

  27. - JS Mill - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 11:48 am:

    =Leader Flowers goes all the way out to WILLOW SPRINGS.. Someone buy Rep Willis a rand McNally map please..=

    Her district does. She does not.

  28. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 12:02 pm:

    ===Not enough collar county representation is the point===

    Then say it.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 12:03 pm:

    === Not enough collar county representation is the point.===

    … and yet McConchie and Durkin.


    I know it’s not “Dem” representation, but again… “quibbling”

    They ain’t She-Caw-Go.

  30. - sewer thoughts - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 12:15 pm:

    “Gabel was one of 19 lawmakers to pledge not to back Madigan for leader, “but she had been a very strong Madigan loyalist before that,” Willis said.”

    This is the pot calling the kettle black but it is a copper kettle.

  31. - Northsider - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 12:16 pm:

    Also, the Daily Herald has a particularly insular perspective on just what constitutes “the suburbs.” Too.

  32. - Phineas Gurley - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 12:19 pm:

    I’ll pile on, because the suburban comment was so ridiculous I can’t get it out of my head.

    In addition to the points mentioned above, Reps. Manley, Conroy, and Walsh are all from the collar counties as well. By my count, 6 of the 18 members of House Dem leadership LIVE in the suburbs and 8 of the 18 represent districts with suburban territory.

    But let’s just take people’s residence. 33% is roughly equivalent to the suburbs’ share of the state population, but it is HIGH relative to the suburbs’ share of the Democratic caucus as a whole.

  33. - Frank talks - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 12:49 pm:

    I guess Rep Conroy doesn’t count? Also isn’t most of Willis district in Cook County?

  34. - puh-leese - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 1:10 pm:

    === JS Mill - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 11:26 am:

    =Flowers and other women who represent the suburbs.=

    Umm, no. WHile her district might extend into the suburbs, she does not represent them. I don’t know if she has even visited some areas. ==

    This is exasperating and I feel sorry this is how you think. You presume a black legislator who has been around for decades and has a primary nearly every cycle the last decade hasn’t visited her entire district? Completely insulting and ignorant.

    I personally saw her at events in Indian Head Park and Facebook shows me she was in LaGrange Park and Willow Springs.

  35. - Father Ted - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 4:18 pm:

    I often have a hard time taking the Daily Herald seriously. The effort is there, but when they have breathless headlines lamenting that only 1% of Illinois has been vaccinated (when we’re not even finished with Phase 1A), they’re asking for it.

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