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“I want them to be a little scared of me,” says “Maximum Mike” of state legislators

Thursday, Feb 24, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Beth Hunsdorfer scored and then conducted and then wrote up one heck of an interview with the new LIG

Michael McCuskey assumed his role of legislative inspector general this week, bringing 32 years of judicial experience to the position charged with investigating lawmaker misconduct.

“I want them to be a little scared of me,” McCuskey, in an interview, said of the lawmakers who appointed him on Feb. 17. […]

He’s known for handing down tough sentences for criminal defendants, earning him the nickname “Maximum Mike.” […]

He once appeared on a radio show and called the University of Illinois president and other administrators “gutless” for their handling of a student protest of an appearance of then-Gov. Bruce Rauner. […]

McCuskey drew national attention when he presided over the case of six students suspended for a brawl at a football game in Decatur. A civil rights lawsuit was filed by an organization headed by Rev. Jesse Jackson. McCuskey, who worked as a high school teacher and coach before he went to law school, upheld the students’ suspension.

You really gotta wonder what the Democratic caucuses are thinking about their votes right about now. /s

       

37 Comments
  1. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:00 am:

    Michael Madigan: The Velvet Hammer.

    Michael McCuskey (not to be confused with Michael McCaskey): Hammer Mike.


  2. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:01 am:

    It just shows that the GOP opposition to him was kneejerk and uninformed. He seems more aggressive than the last LIG, who was GOP.


  3. - Paddyrollingstone - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:03 am:

    I don’t think such comments are productive. “Speak softly . . . “, etc.


  4. - Pizza Man - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:07 am:

    Good for ‘Maximum Mike’: let’s bring some law and order in the state legislature. Enough is enough.

    Moving forward, our legislators will be more cautious and responsible. It’s not party time when in Springfield. You are elected to serve the people of our great state.


  5. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:09 am:

    Does the LIG office have any teeth though?

    Wasn’t that why the last holder of that office left?

    But more to the choice of this particular person;

    “I want them to be a little scared of me”

    Not many things in this world are black and white, but the deliberate choice in leadership styles between fear and respect, is one of them.

    Fear is never a long-term success.


  6. - Hannibal Lecter - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:10 am:

    === Moving forward, our legislators will be more cautious and responsible. It’s not party time when in Springfield. You are elected to serve the people of our great state. ===

    LOL. Have you met some of the members of the GA?


  7. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:11 am:

    ===It’s not party time when in Springfield===

    The bluenoses have arrived.


  8. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:16 am:

    “Moving forward, our legislators will be more cautious and responsible. It’s not party time when in Springfield. You are elected to serve the people of our great state.”

    Some first rate pearl clutching right there.


  9. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:17 am:

    So, “laid down the law” on some high school kids, and got tough on a radio show.

    Pardon me while I contain my shudder.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:18 am:

    “Everyone’s gotta watch everybody else. Since the players are looking to beat the casino, the dealers are watching the players. The box men are watching the dealers. The floor men are watching the box men. The pit bosses are watching the floor men. The shift bosses are watching the pit bosses. The casino manager is watching the shift bosses. I’m watching the casino manager. And the eye-in-the-sky is watching us all.“

    Just sayin…


  11. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:20 am:

    They should give him a badge and a big hat lol


  12. - New Englander - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:21 am:

    Meh.

    Rev. Jackson had a valid argument that zero tolerance makes zero sense … but he picked a lousy example in Decatur. That was a full-blown brawl by hooligans. Not surprised MM upheld it. It was total chaos.


  13. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:26 am:

    Maximum Mike how cute. I would prefer a judge with a little compassion and not let’s go maximum as a default. However when dealing with elected officials perhaps the maximum might be a good starting point


  14. - Amalia - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:27 am:

    what they are thinking…balance?


  15. - Galway Bay - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:28 am:

    He’s a White Sox fan.


  16. - Correcting - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:28 am:

    Maximum Mike
    Making Politicians Afraid Again

    Sounds like a good thing.


  17. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:31 am:

    How long before the realization that the authority of the LIG is a mirage compared to that of a fed judge?


  18. - anon2 - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:36 am:

    So long as his enforcement is bipartisan, it should be welcomed.


  19. - Nameless - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:41 am:

    =Not many things in this world are black and white, but the deliberate choice in leadership styles between fear and respect, is one of them.

    Fear is never a long-term success.=

    LIG’s job isn’t to manage or lead, his job is to investigate and punish. Fear is a fine motivator in this case.


  20. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:42 am:

    “They should give him a badge and a big hat lol”

    Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges.


  21. - Baloneymous - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:45 am:

    ===It’s not party time when in Springfield===

    That you Carhart Bruce? gonna bring back those video cameras at the bars and restaurants?


  22. - Homebody - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:46 am:

    @New Englander: ==Rev. Jackson had a valid argument that zero tolerance makes zero sense … but he picked a lousy example in Decatur. That was a full-blown brawl by hooligans. Not surprised MM upheld it. It was total chaos.==

    I’m not familiar with this incident, but presumably the court merely upheld the school’s decision. Even if Jackson was 100% correct (which I am inclined to agree with, when it comes to zero tolerance policies in schools), it is also 100% correct that schools have tons of authority/power over kids at school events or on school property.

    A court could completely disagree with the school’s handling of a situation, but it would be completely the right legal decision to uphold it.


  23. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:55 am:

    “his job is to investigate and punish”

    In a town where success is based upon relationships forged he might well be reminded there will be many more eyes on him than he has for everyone else.


  24. - Huh? - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:56 am:

    “I want them to be a little scared of me”

    First, you have to set the rules. Second, you have to enforce the rules and do something that will scare them. Third, repeat 2.

    Otherwise, it’s so much hot air. What’s the line? Money talks, BS walks.


  25. - John Lopez - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:58 am:

    === “I want them to be a little scared of me.” ===

    On day like today, that might be something Russia’s Vladimir Putin would say, not the new LIG.

    Why couldn’t he have stuck to something like, “There’s a new sheriff in town!” or something like that.


  26. - Steve Rogers - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 11:02 am:

    Seems strange that most Republicans voted no on a “law and order” man.


  27. - duck duck goose - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 11:03 am:

    I’m not sure that the honorable Maximum Mike has his head wrapped around the job. An inspector general’s job is, generally, to review complaints to determine whether a violation has occurred. He’s not a prosecutor–he’s a bureaucrat.


  28. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 11:06 am:

    == Fear is a fine motivator in this case. ==

    And there’s the disconnect, which inevitably leads that chosen route to also turn into to a lack of respect.

    There’s a mile of daylight in between wanting to be feared, and being feared.

    Unless something has changed from the last holder of that office, there’s no follow through he can actually accomplish that will land with any teeth.

    People tend to not be scared of you, if you can’t do anything to them. I’m sure the dog barking at my car wants my car to fear it. No amount of the dog wanting that will make it happen.

    He’s setting himself up for failure, and one of his own creation. Right now, he’s immediately positioned himself to be someone difficult to work with for any larger goals.

    Respect, on the other hand, would be the path to work with a legislature to change the operational functioning of the office he holds.

    I already don’t take him seriously, much less see any reason at all for anyone to fear him.


  29. - Video works both ways - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 11:10 am:

    Rev. Jackson didn’t know there were cameras at the field recording the event.


  30. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 11:15 am:

    They call him Judge, his last name is Dredd


  31. - Bruce( no not him) - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 11:21 am:

    “I want them to be a little scared of me.”
    Go for a lot scared. Maybe it will help.


  32. - Amalia - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 11:31 am:

    He’s a White Sox fan…cool…..


  33. - Regular democrat - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 11:42 am:

    To OW. Cant let anyone skim the skim


  34. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 11:50 am:

    - Regular democrat -

    “Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that the money we’re robbing is being robbed? That somebody’s robbing from us?”

    :)

    To the post,

    I commented with that first “quote” due in part…

    … what is the defined role of LIG?

    That is not a snarky ask, nor do I mean it rhetorically.

    Look at the quote;

    ===“I want them to be a little scared of me,” McCuskey, in an interview, said of the lawmakers who appointed him on Feb. 17.===

    To be clear, I have no beef with “toughness” to the office, what is concerning is this idea… is the afraid part about a want to find misconduct to punish, is it about investigating to find the facts and make it better, is it about “cleaning house”, context or depth to facts “un-factored” to a conclusion?

    Until I can figure it out… it’s like watching a casino… you figure everyone is crooked, out to “get”, out to hustle… and until such time one can claim it’s all cleaned up… the eye in the sky is watching us all.


  35. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 12:20 pm:

    I like Max Mike so far, doesn’t hurt to have someone give those elitists a little bit of humble pie.


  36. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 3:57 pm:

    Would prefer “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Think we got talk tough and carry a toothpick.

    My sister and brother-in-law were in the football stands in Decatur. Calling it a brawl understates how dangerous it was. Lost respect for Jesse Jackson during that protest.


  37. - Mister Whipple - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 5:28 pm:

    Lots of talk about his judicial experience. But the LIG is an investigative agency. Someone else does the “judging” when the LIG brings a case. So how much police work/investigatory cases has the judge been involved with?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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