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*** UPDATED x2 *** Because… Madigan!

Thursday, Oct 6, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* First independent expenditure TV ad by the Ken Griffin-funded Citizens for Judicial Fairness PAC

Script

Tired of corrupt Madigan cronies getting rich while your costs go up? Madigan’s machine is trying to put Mary Kay O’Brien and Elizabeth Rochford on the Supreme Court. Mary Kay O’Brien was one of the deciding votes to keep Madigan speaker and Rochford’s loyalty got her a sweetheart appointment that made her rich off taxpayers. The Madigan machine’s last hope is electing O’Brien and Rochford to the Supreme Court. End Madigan’s corrupt gravy train. Say no to Mary Kay O’Brien and Elizabeth Rochford.

* Second independent expenditure TV ad by the Ken Griffin-funded Citizens for Judicial Fairness PAC

Script

Tired of corrupt Madigan cronies getting rich while your costs go up? Meet Elizabeth Rochford, a key ally of Mike Mackin. Rochford got appointed to a sweetheart judgeship and got rich off our tax dollars. Now Madigan’s machine is funding her campaign for the Supreme Court. A vote for Rochford is a vote for Madigan.

But there’s a better choice. Mark Curran is an outsider who has fought partisan bosses in both parties. Curran doesn’t owe Madigan for anything. Vote Mark Curran for Supreme Court

* From Lara Cooper at the Rochford campaign…

This is nothing more than a desperate attack by Mark Curran’s right wing extremist allies to deflect attention away from their unqualified, dangerous, and anti-choice candidate. They know that when voters learn that Mark Curran has never been a judge, has been rated ‘not recommended’ by the Illinois State Bar Association, and holds extreme anti-abortion positions and fringe election fraud conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, they’ll vote for Judge Elizabeth Rochford who’s been a judge for a decade and is rated ‘highly recommended’ by the Illinois State Bar Association. Their blatant lies won’t be able to change the fact that Mark Curran is not qualified to serve on our state’s highest court

The ad buyer is listed as Matchstick Media, a media production and buying firm, that also did ads against Curran in the primary and handled the ads against Justice Tom Kilbride and Appellate Justice Judy Cates in 2020.

*** UPDATE 1 *** With a hat tip to a commenter, the Senate Republicans are running a Because… Madigan! ad in the Metro East against appointed Sen. Kris Tharp

Script

This is the real story on Kris Tharp. Kris Tharp wasn’t elected by the voters. He was hand-picked in a backroom deal and bankrolled by the Chicago political machine. You know, those good old boys, the corrupt might Madigans, who could care less about the Metro East. Tharp’s buddies wrote the book on political corruption. And now he owes everything to them. Who’s Kris Tharp gonna listen to, them or us?

*** UPDATE 2 *** ILGOP…

The ILGOP today unveiled CleanUpILCourts.com, highlighting the Madigan Machine’s historic influence on our judicial system and their latest attempts to stack the bench with two of their very own.

Judge Mary K. O’Brien is the ultimate Madigan insider and her deep ties to the Madigan Machine are well known. O’Brien was appointed as an Appellate Court Justice during her final year in the Illinois General Assembly after voting with Madigan 93.6% of the time. She also “Helped Madigan Regain The Speakership,” and received over $200,000 in political contributions from political groups led by Madigan. O’Brien’s record on the bench is even more concerning, having overturned the convictions of numerous violent criminals.

Judge Elizabeth Rochford is funded by many of the same trial lawyers that bankrolled indicted Speaker Mike Madigan and his judicial cronies for years - receiving nearly $600,000 from them. Further, Rochford donated $1,500 to indicted Chicago Alderman and political machine boss Ed Burke, after he was indicted on corruption charges. When asked, Rochford called Burke a “longtime friend of our family.” Rochford has donated a total of $15,350 to Burke since 1999. She’s also used her connections to lower her property taxes under the same property tax appeals system that made Madigan millions of dollars.

“Illinois voters deserve to know the truth. The Madigan Machine has had far too much influence on our judicial election process for far too long,” said Illinois Republican Party Executive Director Shaun McCabe. “Justice Mary K. O’Brien and Judge Elizabeth Rochford are no exception. Instead of electing two more Madigan Machine retreads to our state’s highest court, it’s well past time Illinois voters made a clean break with the Madigan Machine and its ‘politics-as-usual’ process for electing our judges.”

When voters learn the truth about O’Brien and Rochford’s Madigan Machine ties and troubling records, unsurprisingly they oppose them by wide margins.

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57 Comments
  1. - Steve - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:28 am:

    This might be an effective ad this campaign season. Being tied to Madigan recently isn’t a plus.


  2. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:31 am:

    So every circuit court judge — including Republicans — gets rich off taxpayers?


  3. - lollinois - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:40 am:

    – This might be an effective ad this campaign season. Being tied to Madigan recently isn’t a plus. –

    This same comment could have been posted in 2020, 2018, 2016, 2014, 2012, ….


  4. - West Wing - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:40 am:

    It’s the GOP judicial playbook that defeated Justice Tom Kilbride: tie candidates to someone with 10 percent favorability.


  5. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:41 am:

    How many millions did it take to come up with…Madigan?


  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:41 am:

    ===this campaign season. Being tied to Madigan recently isn’t a plus.===

    Now do Abortion.

    “To be honest, even though they may rule on cases that could force a child to carry a pregnancy to term, I need to vote against Madigan”

    If Madigan is your decider this cycle, you were never going to vote for a Dem anyway.

    These are base ads to gin up the “converted”


  7. - We’ll See - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:44 am:

    Not sure how effective the ad will be as folk’s who’ve crossed the because Madigan rubicon weren’t voting for democrats anyway - Madigan was yesterday and Dobbs is today.


  8. - Roman - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:45 am:

    More Madigan. Interesting that they’re not going the law-and-order route (at least not yet) and tying the Dem candidates to the SAFE-T Act. That would be a more natural line of attack in a judicial race. The Madigan stuff might be stale, but we can assume it’s testing better in the polling.


  9. - TJ - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:47 am:

    I like how the ILGOP is bringing up the Madigan boogeyman now even though that scare tactic barely worked even when he was still in power.


  10. - watchful eye - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:51 am:

    Madigan stuff aside–a horrible ad. Too busy and too many messages. Maybe Z and Griffin should get out of the politics biz. They aren’t very good at it.


  11. - Annonin' - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:51 am:

    Gotta love Griffie, his money and the out of towners putting this stuff out. Remember Jim Nowlan , the 2020 frontman, has departed. No word on reasons. Another question if if the committee pulls out the Confessed Congressman Ray LaHood to blast away. Some might recall LaHood joining the Griffie gaggle after his Trump/Barr get out jail free card and a DOJ gag order. He blasted Kilbridge in ads. Should be fun.


  12. - Highland IL - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:52 am:

    Madigan is being used in a state senate race in Madison County against Kris Tharp. People are going to start forgetting who Madigan is after a while.


  13. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:56 am:

    –but we can assume it’s testing better in the polling.–

    Can we? I’m not seeing a ground game that is demonstrating republican strategists have a good record of making decisions based on empirical evidence.


  14. - Lurker - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:57 am:

    I know you did not ask to rank, but I over accommodate. F+

    The + is because they state it is Madigan’s last hope, which I hopefully interpret as we can move past inefficiently arguing about “because Madigan”


  15. - Concerned Observer - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 9:58 am:

    I just want to point out that this is ‘Because Madigan’ *81* here on the ol’ Capitol fax.

    That says one of two things. Either it’s working, or it’s old and tired. And looking at the results….


  16. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:01 am:

    This time (unlike the Fair Tax), the Griffin PAC/side is late to the messaging game. There have been pro-O’Brien/Rochford ads on TV for a while now. Same with the workers rights amendment. The opposition is late to the game in that one too (haven’t seen any TV ads yet).


  17. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:02 am:

    ===It’s the GOP judicial playbook that defeated Justice Tom Kilbride: tie candidates to someone with 10 percent favorability.===

    That was yesterday.

    Today, Republican judges are seemingly intent to make decisions on women’s health.

    If Madigan ads are what sway you, you were already not voting for Dems or womens’ health


  18. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:04 am:

    Madigan was yesterday…
    40-plus years in leadership that ended less than 2 years ago, he was chair of the state Dems. He currently is the head of the 13th ward Dems, he controls $ 6 million in committee cash, and he raised the majority of the funds that are still in the Democratic Party of Illinois committee and Democratic Majority committee. Oh, and his “ComEd Four” corruption trial will be in and out of the news for years.


  19. - Chris - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:10 am:

    “could care less”

    Indeed, they could care less. So they got part of it right, for sure.


  20. - Demoralized - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:11 am:

    The Republicans don’t ever seem to have any sort of message other than Because . . . Madigan. That’s their “go to.” It hasn’t worked in the past and it won’t work now.


  21. - Rabid - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:23 am:

    Madigan is on in the quadcity too


  22. - Boomer remover - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:27 am:

    Madigan is to them repubs,what russia is to them democrats. Always an angle


  23. - One hand //ing - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:52 am:

    ===It’s the GOP judicial playbook that defeated Justice Tom Kilbride: tie candidates to someone with 10 percent favorability.===

    You mean the same playbook that ended with Kilbride getting 56%. MKO and Rochford don’t need 60, and are running in much more favorable districts. It’s an entirely different ballgame.


  24. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:53 am:

    “Madigan is to them repubs,what russia is to them democrats.”

    A corrupt, unemployed old man vs a reckless nuclear superpower. I’m not saying you’re wrong, just doesn’t seem like much of a comparison.


  25. - Whatever - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:54 am:

    I think Madigan will selectively be remembered for years and I don’t blame any member of the GOP for blaming Madigan for the ills of this state. His antics were romantized for years even by Rich himself. He built this state and the machinery for himself.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:55 am:

    ===2 years ago===

    Dobbs was less than 4 months ago.

    If one wants children to be forced to carry a pregnancy to term “because Madigan”… the lack of actual caring for womens’ health was never on the table for those voters.

    It’s actually a sad tell, an embarrassing tell, a pathetic tell…

    … that a man off the stage for nearly two years can sway one, when in those two years there are things that effect one’s mom, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin, or friend

    “I voted for the judge who wasn’t, I guess, linked to Madigan, so sorry that women now fear they may face carrying a pregnancy from a rapist. I’m just so worried about Madigan.”

    ===trial will be in and out of the news for years.===

    Whew, hope you didn’t hyperventilate, lol

    Then how is it Republicans can’t win statewide, control either chamber of the GA, and could likely face a 5-2 ILSC minority status there?

    “Because Madigan”?


  27. - JS Mill - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 10:57 am:

    To the update…

    =highlighting the Madigan Machine’s historic influence on our judicial system=

    Snore… I am sure that this stirs someones juices, maybe the ilgop is auditioning for more out of state donations from billionaire disrupter Griffie. But it has never been very effective.

    I don’t see “stack the court” either. You have a not-a-judge Qanoner vs. an actual judge.


  28. - Roadrager - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:03 am:

    Kenny, I thought you were done wasting money in our fair state. What’s wrong, Ron DeSantis isn’t letting you cut to the front of the line fast enough?


  29. - twowaystreet - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:06 am:

    ==People are going to start forgetting who Madigan is after a while.==

    I’d actually be curious to see polling on how many voters aren’t aware that Madigan is no longer speaker. Not that I think a lot of people don’t know, but, also, it wouldn’t surprise me if a good chunk, who don’t live and breath state politics, still think he is Speaker.


  30. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:10 am:

    Because Madigan…doesn’t change the facts. Mark Curran has never been a judge, Curran is not recommended by the Illinois Bar, Curran’s extreme views include anti-abortion positions and election fraud theories. If elected, Curran would allow his world view to impact decisions from the bench.

    Non compos mentis.


  31. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:16 am:

    The sole purpose of these ads is to spend down Griff’s remaining $5.5 million and for the TV consultants and other campaign grifters to get their ample cuts.

    If the law didn’t require otherwise, they’d just put the whole balance left in the account in their pockets. Gotta go through the motions to get paid.


  32. - Boomer remover - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:28 am:

    A corrupt, unemployed old man vs a reckless nuclear superpower. I’m not saying you’re wrong, just doesn’t seem like much of a comparison.

    Wasn’t comparing them.point was repubs try to blame everything democratic on madigan while the democrats try to blame everything republican on russia
    ..oh btw they have nukes but hardly a superpower…crumbling decaying country hanging on by old world fears


  33. - low level - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:34 am:

    Yes, Mary K. O’Brien became the 60th vote that returned Madigan to the speakership after defeating mopey, dopey Steve Spangler who really was known for having, ahem, evolved views on women in the workplace./s


  34. - We’ll See - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:36 am:

    The IGOP tagging two highly qualified women as “ retreads” is great way to attract those independent gal voters. /s


  35. - Nuke The Whales - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:45 am:

    The party that gave us Lloyd A. Karmeier and State Farm has launched a clean up the courts website. Cool.


  36. - Flying Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:53 am:

    Madigan should get royalties from the GOP.

    Dudes retired and facing the feds yet the GOP still trying to make him relevant, in a negative way.

    Seriously, when you got nothin’ have the stones to just admit it.


  37. - P. - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:54 am:

    Dems should have been laying into Curran for a month or more. Time to start Thinking Big guys. Guy could be used as an anchor for the entire GOP because he’s such a crank. As Lightning McQueen says, “We’re burning daylight.”


  38. - PublicServant - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:57 am:

    === Madigan was yesterday and Dobbs is today. ===

    This.

    But it’s nice to see that Madigan still resides, rent-free, in ILGOP and Ken’s minds.


  39. - low level - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 11:59 am:

    ==, it wouldn’t surprise me if a good chunk, who don’t live and breath state politics, still think he is Speaker.==

    Um, maybe but not only does the average voter not know who but most couldnt’t tell you what a “Speaker” is or does.


  40. - low level - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 12:01 pm:

    Sorry, should be “not know who Madigan is but most couldnt’t tell you what a “Speaker” is or does”


  41. - Hahaha - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 12:14 pm:

    I think it’s funny that commenters think the GOP uses Madigan simply because of wishful thinking as if it is not polling that shows that it’s the most effective hit. You notice how the Dems who used it in primaries this last spring against fellow Dems pulled off some big upsets? Tying politicians to one of the most corrupt and destructive political figures in the history of this country is not rocket science. And despite the sentiment seen here, when money has been behind that message - it’s shown to to be a winner. It’s just rare that the GOP has the money to go toe to toe with Dems up and down the ballot except for select races.


  42. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 12:24 pm:

    ===I think it’s funny that commenters think the GOP uses Madigan simply because of wishful thinking as if it is not polling that shows that it’s the most effective hit.===

    I think you’re tattling on yourself, LOL

    Wrong on abortion, supporters of an insurrection, peddlers of conspiracy theories, overt racist thinking… they all poll terrible, and the GOP is on the wrong side of it… so… “Madigan”?

    lol

    ===You notice how the Dems who used it in primaries this last spring against fellow Dems pulled off some big upsets?===

    That was before Hobbs and abortion.

    If you choose anti-Madigan over womens’ health, that won’t poll too well, it appears.

    ===And despite the sentiment seen here, when money has been behind that message - it’s shown to to be a winner.===

    Now do Kansas and Abortion protection

    You have no clue how abortion may play out here, but “Red Kansas” made clear abortion as a measure is… a winner.

    ===It’s just rare that the GOP===

    Rauner was 4 years ago.

    The GOP caucuses had $50 million at their disposal if there were “no $@&#% problems”… at one point.

    Your disingenuous memory is noted.


  43. - TJ - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 12:31 pm:

    How is anybody in here seriously arguing that Madigan ads work when the ILGOP is locked out of statewide offices and has only a negligible minority in Springfield?

    Gonna need some sort of proof that this type of claimed association does literally anything for anyone except for the most hardcore of GOP voters that already weren’t voting for anyone with a D by their name regardless.


  44. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 12:36 pm:

    == commenters think the GOP uses Madigan simply because of wishful thinking as if it is not polling that shows that it’s the most effective hit.==

    ==it’s shown to to be a winner==

    If it’s the most effective hit the GOP has, that’s bad news for the GOP. Yes, it is effective, but for a shrinking pool of voters. It has not proven to be much of a winner overall as evidenced by the Dems holding all state-wide elected offices and super-majorities in the House and Senate. The one political victory that can be cited is the Kilbride loss, but even that, as mentioned above, was a higher bar for retention (60%) and Kilbride got close at 56%.


  45. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===His antics were romantized for years even by Rich himself.===

    His “antics” ?? If election day had weather like today, he’d have to campaign workers out early, taking advantage of the great weather. GOP Leader Tom Cross? He’d take advantage of the great weather … to get in 9 holes of golf.

    His “antics” involved a LOT of hard work.


  46. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 12:45 pm:

    ==Tying politicians to one of the most corrupt and destructive political figures in the history of this country==

    In America we have a presumption of innocence. You don’t get to declare him corrupt years before the trial even begins.


  47. - low level - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 12:49 pm:

    ==His antics were romantized for years even by Rich himself.==

    Say what? Thats why Madigan told people not to talk to Rich, right?


  48. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 1:00 pm:

    ===His antics were romantized for years even by Rich himself.===

    Don’t be one who confuses “The Godfather”, “Goodfellas” or “A Bronx Tale” as films romanticizing anything too… those films are tragedies with either comedic or dramatic content to get the audience to like characters, but the brutality and bad exist.

    Even *I* had respect for the working of the organization to win, but I never forgot how they kept folks in line, what it meant to be in that group, and the ruthlessness that existed, at times taking down former allies for even the slightest slight.

    That’s over now. Dismantled in a way it’s not replicated, likely never to be replicated again.

    I’ve equated Madigan angst with people who still believe (in a warped way) Chicago is still of an Al Capone wasteland of corruption.

    Michael Corelone was never the hero or the character one thought was best, Michael was more mentally ill than Santino, Michael just maximized where Sonny was too brazen.

    No one romanticized, it was/is, speaking only for me, an understanding of how to win elections, methods and techniques, but at what cost in the end?


  49. - low level - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 1:11 pm:

    And yet for all that ruthlessness and effectiveness, they (DPI under Madigan) never could elect a governor or, indeed, a statewide candidate they really liked. In fact, their favorites often never made it out of the primary (Burns for Gov; McCarthy for SoS).


  50. - Hahaha - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 1:27 pm:

    OW - this is the winner for the GOP, and abortion may be the winner for the Dems. They are not mutually exclusive. My point was that commenters are wrong when they believe GOP does the Madigan thing because of wishful thinking - it simply is the most effective message they have paired with money behind it.


  51. - low level - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 1:27 pm:

    *A certain Attorney General being the exception to the above


  52. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 1:33 pm:

    === this is the winner for the GOP===

    What exactly has been won?

    At one point it was touted to keep Rodney Davis in Congress, welp, he’s gone.

    At one point it was touted as taking out Kilbride, welp, the Court might flip 5-2.

    At one point it was touted as winning the Fair Tax vote, welp, Griffin left anyway, and the ILGOP, the Caucuses, the statewide slate is “broke and broken”

    What exactly makes it a winner?

    I’m not laughing with you… k…

    Not with you, because…

    === it simply is the most effective message they have paired with money behind it.===

    … you thought highlights the loser positions that make the ILGOP such outcasts;

    ==Wrong on abortion, supporters of an insurrection, peddlers of conspiracy theories, overt racist thinking… they all poll terrible, and the GOP is on the wrong side of it===

    At some point, being owned by holding poor positions and losing seats, no statewide…

    … I ask again, what… winner?


  53. - MisterJayEm - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 1:55 pm:

    “I think it’s funny that commenters think the GOP uses Madigan simply because of wishful thinking as if it is not polling that shows that it’s the most effective hit.”

    The impotence of “but Madigan” is demonstrated by the trivial GOP’s role in state government.

    If it really is “the most effective hit,” the GOP is in serious trouble.

    – MrJM


  54. - Hahaha - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 2:15 pm:

    OW - Thank you for highlighting some of the individual races/candidates that recently won high profile contests that featured Madigan prominently + had sufficient GOP money. You made my point for me.

    Regarding your listing of unpopular positions Republicans hold, you’re arguing with yourself. I’m not talking about that. Reading comprehension is important.


  55. - low level - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 2:47 pm:

    ==Reading comprehension is important.==.

    What about Madigan being gone could you not comprehend?


  56. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 2:47 pm:

    === that recently won===

    Davis recently lost, not won… money not well spent in the end.

    Kilbride’s seat, the “other seat”… they may flip 5-2, how you claim this as me “making your point”? If anything, the political calculation now looks utterly foolish, making a new map possible.

    Finally, if you’re point was having the GOP piggy bank leave for Florida anyway, how do you think that helps, LOL

    You are utterly clueless to how devastating “but Madigan has been

    What statewide seats have been won? Any chamber flip?

    === Regarding your listing of unpopular positions Republicans hold, you’re arguing with yourself. I’m not talking about that.===

    When you’re ready to join everyone in the “today” and realize how foolish it is your thinking I made your points for you, what exactly is a winner if the ILSC goes 5-2, no GOP statewides, including no senators, 14-3 congressional seat count, super-minority status in the GA

    I dunno, maybe that HaHaHa is on you, you just don’t know it?


  57. - Central Ill - Thursday, Oct 6, 22 @ 8:50 pm:

    The timing of my nominal 2022 state Illinois income tax rebate postcard is interesting to say the least- got mine in Springfield toda. Why are we wasting taxpayer dollars a month before an election to tell me I might get $100? Curious


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