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Garcia’s Madigan problem

Friday, Jan 20, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* File this under “Innocent until mentioned in somebody else’s indictment for a meeting about a completely different topic”

Mayoral challenger Jesús “Chuy” Garcia is an unidentified member of Congress referenced in federal court filings detailing an alleged scheme by then-Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to appoint one of Garcia’s political associates to a lucrative position on Commonwealth Edison’s board of directors, the Tribune has learned. […]

Ochoa is expected to testify in the ComEd Four case about a meeting he tried to set up with a U.S. congressman and Madigan in February 2019, more than a year after Madigan allegedly agreed to lean on ComEd to put Ochoa on the board, according to a prosecution filing last week. The purpose of the meeting was to talk about a political action committee that the congressman and Ochoa had recently started, but Madigan apparently thought Ochoa was upset over the board appointment taking so long.

That being said, most of the Chicago news media didn’t really play up Garcia’s years-long ties to Madigan, but that is rapidly coming to an end now that Mayor Lightfoot has made it an issue in the campaign.

* Garcia campaign

“Rep. García has never been asked to provide any information to federal investigators about this matter, and has no knowledge of it other than what he has read in news sources following the announcement of the ComEd plea agreement. He has no information to provide, as he was completely unaware of the misconduct alleged in those cases,” the statement said. “Rep. García is not involved in this or any related investigation in any manner.”

…Adding… I’m told the meeting never actually happened.

       

28 Comments »
  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 3:54 pm:

    Icarus, flying too close to the sun…

    Being a Member of Congress with a lil shop that can take care of things, legally, ethically, that’s a nice gig.

    The closer you get to the heat to soar, to spread one’s wings, the wax melts…


  2. - Montrose - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 3:57 pm:

    The statement made by Garcia’s campaign may be true, but if Lightfoot can get the Madigan connection to stick in people’s minds, that’s really bad for Chuy.

    It’s not necessarily good for Lightfoot, but it can create an opening for Johnson.


  3. - New Day - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:04 pm:

    Juan Ochoa is Chuy’s guy. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone paying any attention whatsoever. And yea, if you’re expecting some higher standard or radical break from old school from Chuy, I wouldn’t hold my breath.


  4. - Shytown - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:04 pm:

    Garcia was one part of a political twosome with Madigan. It’s surprising that most Chicago media have given him a complete pass on this relationship.


  5. - Future - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:09 pm:

    Reporting has been it was Gutierrez. Oops


  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:10 pm:

    ===Reporting has been it was Gutierrez===

    No. That was a different meeting. This is new.


  7. - JP Altgeld - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:12 pm:

    Drip, drip, drip…


  8. - Jessica - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:13 pm:

    Wasn’t Mayor Rahm Emanuel was also advocating with Comed/Exelon that Ochoa be appointed to Comed’s Board?


  9. - JP Altgeld - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:16 pm:

    To my knowledge, Rahm Emanuel is not a candidate for Mayor of Chicago at this time (though he would win without a runoff if he gets on the next NRT-ORD flight).


  10. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:17 pm:

    It would be quite ironic if Madigan oppo helps Democrat Mayor Lightfoot. Republicans tried it for years and got nowhere.


  11. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:18 pm:

    ===Republicans tried it for years and got nowhere===

    Worked in a Dem primary against then-Rep. Zalewski (wasn’t everything, but still).


  12. - Old time Independent - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:19 pm:

    Chuy will be back in Congress after these commercials coming will paint him as Madigans right hand man in DC.


  13. - Lake Villa Township Dem PC - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:23 pm:

    Exactly what was levied at Preckwinkle for being connected with Ed Burke, is Chicago in a better place with Lightfoot as mayor over Preckwinkle?


  14. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:25 pm:

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/criminal-justice/ct-comed-bribery-probe-jay-doherty-texts-mayor-lightfoot-20210930-y53gl3ypknf5ppxpfuwnlfpkay-story.html

    Remember this? Cynicism, pure cynicism.


  15. - Rudy’s teeth - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:37 pm:

    Michael Madigan pleaded not guilty to federal racketeering and bribery charges and Congressman Chuy García from the 4th District should never appear in the same sentence.


  16. - Future - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:38 pm:

    Thank you. My bad


  17. - Back to the Future - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:48 pm:

    Mayor Lori did bring Madigan up during the debate last night while doing a quick rerun of her Crypto Crook commercial.
    I do like Chuy, but the Mayor clearly won that first debate. She was well prepared and gave clear responsive answers.
    IMHO both Alderpersons Sophia King and Roderick Sawyer also stood out above the group.
    Not a good time for Congressman Garcia to have Madigan around your neck.


  18. - Rent free - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:49 pm:

    I thought the ” but madigan” cries were over.i guess when cornered you do anything to survive.


  19. - Steve - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:59 pm:

    Garcia hasn’t been indicted even though he has interacted with Madigan and Danny Solis (like many other politicians). It’s up to Chicago voters if they think Garcia is tarnished. I’m skeptical of polls the last several years. If Garcia gets out his vote: he should do very well, unless there is some evidence that comes to light which would change many minds. I view this as a wait and see.


  20. - Been There - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 5:15 pm:

    ===If Garcia gets out his vote: he should do very well,====
    The problem for Chuy is that a lot of GOTV is made up of SEIU and CTU members. They are with Johnson for this round.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 5:17 pm:

    ===The problem for Chuy is that a lot of GOTV is made up of SEIU and CTU members. They are with Johnson for this round.===

    Garcia has Local 150, no?


  22. - Been There - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 5:23 pm:

    ===Garcia has Local 150, no?===
    Yes but they don’t have as many boots on the ground. If the rest of the trades were all in they would outmatch. Also, many of 150 members live in the burbs. But of course their money is probably more important now a days anyway.


  23. - Chito - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 5:23 pm:

    Ochoa is Gutiérrez’s guy who he shoved on Chuy. Don’t forget that Juan Ochoa ran against Chuy’s organization twice, once when Juan Rangel (UNO) as candidate and then himself as candidate.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 5:27 pm:

    ===But of course their money is probably more important now a days anyway.===

    Yep. Exactly. For this race…


  25. - Been There - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 5:29 pm:

    ====Yes but they don’t have as many boots on the ground. If the rest of the trades were all in they would outmatch.=====
    Adding I don’t know where IBEW 134 lines up. They have the best field crew. The carpenters are a close second and they stayed with Lori along with the Plumbers.


  26. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 5:36 pm:

    This biggest problem I see with Garcia is that so far he’s had zero tv presence. Lightfoot, Vallas, and Wilson are all over.

    I get that he’s probably holding back for the runoff, but come on, the idea of a LL/Vallas runoff is horrifying.


  27. - Shytown - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 5:36 pm:

    chuy’s peeps are out in full force here trying to deflect. must be worried. lol


  28. - Stuck in Celliniland - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 5:40 pm:

    I would think the Sam Berkman-Fried/FTX problem might be a greater problem for Chuy than the “Madigan problem.”


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