Navigating the “pros and the cons of the Madigan legacy” could be the greatest challenge, said Chris Mooney, a professor of state politics at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Mooney views Welch’s Madigan-related challenges in two ways.
On the one hand, “people will hold Madigan up as the standard in terms of electoral success,” Mooney said.
Welch will be judged on how well he can emulate that political prowess — but escape “the negative side of Madigan, the toxic work environment of the Statehouse.
“I mean it’s been toxic for as long as I’ve been around and certainly long before that, and a lot of that is fueled by hyper partisanship,” the UIC professor said. “And a lot of it flowed from Mike Madigan’s personality — very close to the vest, very uptight, very, you know, very paranoid, you know, not friendly, he’s on everybody’s case.”
If he had created a toxic work environment for most of his members and was unfriendly to them and always on their case, he wouldn’t have been Speaker for a kabillion years. Just sayin…
The cartoon version of Mike Madigan will long outlive Mike Madigan.
Edgar said former Gov. Bruce Rauner, a fellow Republican whose stubbornness to compromise led to a two-year budget standoff with Madigan and other Democrats in the General Assembly, should shoulder more of the blame for the state’s latest budget problems. Those problems include a $3.9 billion shortfall in the current fiscal year.
And regarding Madigan’s role in the pension debt, Edgar said: “The pensions were screwed up before Mike Madigan and I came to Springfield. I don’t think he led the charge to make the pensions bad. … I don’t think you can blame him for it any more than anyone else in Springfield.”
When asked whether Madigan was corrupt, Edgar responded that he will be amazed if Madigan is indicted in the ComEd scandal.
“It depends on your definition of corruption,” Edgar said. “Did he do anything Illegal? … Madigan was always very careful.”
Keep in mind that Edgar has been out of power for 22 years.