Anyone who paid the least bit of attention to Illinois politics over the last few years knew that Mike Madigan was corrupt. Indeed, Democrats connected to Madigan took surprise losses in 2020 in key house districts (House Democrats Net -1), a Supreme Court District (Kilbride retention defeat) and a high profile congressional race (Rodney Davis crushes Betsy Londrigan). A non-corrupt governor would’ve run for the hills rather than stand by Madigan’s side.
By early 2021, Madigan and his entire political machine had been under investigation for two years. Offices raided, indictments raining down. It was obvious who federal investigators were after. And beyond corruption, Illinois had been led for nearly 40 years by Madigan and it had never looked worse.
Yet, the day Madigan opted to step into the shadows, Madigan’s #1 supporter, Governor JB Pritzker, made sure everyone knew exactly how he felt about the now indicted Ex-Speaker.
Pritzker waxed poetic saying, “The people of Illinois have much to be grateful for thanks to his dedicated public service, and the many sacrifices he and his family made to make a difference in our lives.”
Questions for the Governor now:
• Nothing has changed between then and now except the rumors being confirmed - so does the governor still believe the people of Illinois should be grateful for Madigan’s service?
• When other candidates during the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial primary said Madigan should step down, Pritzker demurred. When it was obvious who federal investigators were after, some Democrats voiced that it was time their longtime leader retire. Pritzker never voiced that desire. And when many other Democrats took Madigan’s campaign cash, Pritzker actually gave Madigan over $10 million. Why does Pritzker have such a special affection for one of the most corrupt politicians in America?
The $10 million figure is accurate.
* The full Pritzker quote from the day Madigan resigned from the House…
“When you dedicate your career to public service, it’s your loved ones who make the biggest sacrifices – whether it’s because you’re away from home, working long hours or spending time with constituents,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Michael J. Madigan and his family dedicated countless hours to serving Illinois families, particularly during the Rauner years, when he served as the bulwark against constant cruelty to the most vulnerable.
Over his decades in office, he shepherded through some of the most consequential changes to our state: bringing about the legalization of gay marriage, fighting on the frontlines for workers’ rights, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, expanding access to voting and protecting women’s reproductive rights. The people of Illinois have much to be grateful for thanks to his dedicated public service, and the many sacrifices he and his family made to make a difference in our lives. I know how dearly he loves his wife Shirley, their children and grandchildren, and I hope that in this next chapter, his family can begin to make up for lost time.”