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Question of the day

Friday, Feb 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* A couple of tweets…

* The Question: How do you think things have gone in Illinois government and politics since Michael J. Madigan stepped down as House Speaker and state party chair?

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  1. - Sterling - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 3:17 pm:

    He’s gone? Based on what I see in ILGOP press releases the Madigan reign is still alive and well

  2. - Arsenal - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 3:22 pm:

    It’s almost impossible to assess a post-MJM status quo for Illinois outside the context of COVID. COVID, it apparently needs to be said, has been horrific for the entire country, and things are necessarily worse with it in our lives than they would be if it wasn’t.

    Having cleared my throat, though, I think the things that state government can control are better, and if I wasn’t always a Madigan defender, I certainly wasn’t one of his harshest critics. I think it’s better for there to not be a single, dominant power base, but rather multiple power bases jockeying for influence. Let ambition trump ambition.

  3. - New Day - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 3:23 pm:

    In government, great. In politics, the state party is a S-show. There was a chance to build a real party but that was blown when the State Central elected someone who couldn’t raise money. So it’s not worse than when Madigan was around but was absolutely a blown opportunity.

  4. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 3:24 pm:

    Probably less discipline for Dems, but overall life goes on. I think 2022 would have been a difficult cycle for Illinois Dems regardless of Madigan

  5. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 3:34 pm:

    Fine. The power vacuum created by his ouster is slowly being filled. He was an overrated strategist legislatively speaking. Things could be better. Things could be worse. I’m just glad he’s gone.

  6. - low level - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 3:41 pm:

    About the same. Welch has been able to keep his caucus unified, which is to his credit.

    Can anyone really point to anything and say such and such would be different if Madigan were still around?

  7. - Pundent - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 3:43 pm:

    I used to caution what will the ILGOP do once Madigan is gone and things are more or less the same. Well that day has come. Speaker Welch has proven to be an effective leader with the occasional misstep as to be expected. Any chance for relevance by the ILGOP was squandered as they doubled down on Eastern Bloc craziness. All proving that much like the dog that catches the car the GOP wouldn’t know what to do when Madigan finally stepped aside. Which is probably why, unlike the Democrats, they don’t want to let go of him.

  8. - Mr K - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 3:44 pm:

    All I know is that Rauner was forced out before Madigan.

    That, in itself, is (for me, at least) the biggest victory ever.

    The rest is gravy.

  9. - Lurker - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 3:47 pm:

    From everything the Republicans say, I thought Madigan was still around.
    From everything the Democrats say, I though Rauner was still around.
    Am I wrong?

  10. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 3:54 pm:

    While happy for the most part to have MJM in our past, I did miss him the day JCAR delivered zero democratic votes for a sitting democratic governor on an issue of public safety. That new reality does not bode well for the future.

  11. - Hannibal Lecter - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 3:58 pm:

    Dumpster fire

  12. - Wensicia - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 4:00 pm:

    I don’t too many people missed him, except for the few Republicans holding on to the name.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 4:07 pm:

    ===How do you think things have gone in Illinois government and politics since Michael J. Madigan stepped down as House Speaker and state party chair?===

    Welch consolidated power quickly, effectively, and has control of the caucus and the Chamber… in a quiet, efficient transition.

    The state party was an utter joke, Chairman Kelly is hilariously not anything but a figurehead and Pritzker cut the cash (so it seems) while Harmon, Welch, and Labor are sidelined… dunno if the state party situation is any better or even the same.

  14. - Hannibal Lecter - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 4:17 pm:

    Behind the scenes, there are representatives yearning for the structure and organization that Madigan brought to the table on both the governmental and political side. On the government side, Welch has kept many seasoned veterans in place to run the show. While not running as smoothly as it previously had, the show proverbially goes on. On the political side, however, any semblance of normalcy or effectiveness is just a charade.

    This will be an extremely tough year for the House Democrats electorally. Things to consider:

    1. This is a remap year where the Democrats will have the advantage of having drawn the map. This should help them a little bit.

    2. This is also a midterm election year where the Democrats have an increasingly unpopular President in the White House. This should hurt the House Dems quite a bit.

    3. House members have generally been allowed to do whatever they want in terms of policy decisions. This has led to some Democrats voting against their districts. We will see how this plays out at the ballot box. I predict several Dems will lose because of this.

    4. The House Dems’ political organization is a shell of itself. There will be no field operation to speak of outside of local political organizations. Madigan had professional precinct workers that can go into almost any district and be effective. This isn’t the case anymore and I am not sure that the staff they have in place can overcome this deficiency. This is complete rebuilding mode.

    5. A lot of representatives are having to fend for themselves this cycle. While Welch has generally done a good job of fundraising, he doesn’t have the other resources at his disposal to help at the level that Madigan was able to help. Also, I wonder how representatives will take it when they aren’t getting petition help when the Speaker is out getting signatures for his wife to be on the ballot for judge. I understand that Lisa always got assistance from MJM when she was in the Senate and then AG, but MJM never left his members in the lurch.

    Like I said, these are just my observations. Maybe I will be proven wrong, but until that happens, I don’t expect things to go very well.

  15. - Baloneymous - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 4:30 pm:

    I’m sure some would say Madigan had the House more organized and run more smoothly, but I haven’t really noticed a huge change. That’s probably more with the staffers and lobbyists. I’m just glad he’s finally gone so we can all move on from the distractions he caused being around way too long. And yea when the same person is in charge for so long, it can cause complacency and lead to resistance to change once they do leave.

    As for the state party chair, I’ve wished for 20 years he would step down and let someone really run the party like it should be. But that hasn’t happened, yet, and honestly after 25+ years I wonder if it really matters.

  16. - Been There - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 5:02 pm:

    I think it’s too early to say definitely but overall I think Chris is doing a good job. The chess game of this 102nd GA is ongoing. It will be interesting to look back and see how everything shakes out between Chris, Harmon and Pritzker

  17. - Poor Miller - Friday, Feb 25, 22 @ 5:13 pm:

    Madigan is arguably the most misunderstood figure in the history of Illinios politics. He figured out the existing system to solidify and protect the party’s majority. Being so successful forced his enemies to mischaracterize him and ultimately led to his being a political liability. He was a man of his word and was fiercely loyal. He prized loyalty in return, which was his undoing. Thrown under the bus by own members.
    This question should be revisited after midterms.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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