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Because… Madigan!

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Background is here if you need it. CBS 2

Last week, sources confirmed in several reports that García is the unnamed congressman in the federal ComEd corruption case. Specifically, his name came up in connection with what federal prosecutors allege was a scheme by Madigan to get former Cook County Commissioner Juan Ochoa appointed to the ComEd board.

In connection with? C’mon.

* Sun-Times

The Chicago Sun-Times has learned Garcia’s name is mentioned in a recorded phone conversation between Madigan and his longtime confidant, Michael McClain, one of four people set to go on trial for the alleged scheme revolving around ComEd.

* ABC 7

The mayor also took swipes at Garcia after sources told ABC7 that Garcia was the unnamed member of Congress that was mentioned in court papers released last week in the Madigan corruption case.

* Greg Hinz is a voice of reason on this one

The disclosure, which even the Tribune said only “superficially” involved Garcia, is that Garcia is the unnamed “member of Congress” referenced in a recent federal filing in the pending corruption case against Madigan associate Mike McClain and others. Garcia’s name got mentioned by McClain in connection with a planned meeting in early 2019 on another matter. But McClain feared that a third person, former Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority chief Juan Ochoa, might ask about the status of Madigan’s effort to coerce ComEd into putting Ochoa on its board.

In fact, I’m told the meeting never occurred. I’ve seen no proof Garcia did anything to advance the Ochoa appointment, just as his campaign told the Tribune. As per previous reports by the Tribune and Crain’s, it was another former congressman, Luis Gutierrez, who, starting in 2017, really got Madigan involved in the board matter, along with former Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The other matter was a political action campaign that Garcia and Ochoa were putting together. As Greg said, the meeting never happened. And I don’t think the PAC ever even came to fruition. [Actually, it did. Click here.]

* Some reporters may be going over the top here in order to mete out a bit of “street justice” on Chuy after failing to connect some dots earlier. Garcia years ago cut a strategic deal with Madigan. Garcia had free rein to run Latino candidates against any “regular” Democrats he wanted and Madigan wouldn’t make any major moves against his candidates, as long as Garcia steered clear of the 13th Ward and the 22nd House District.

This is from February of 2018

A 28-year-old woman unsatisfied with the way in which House Speaker Michael Madigan handled her accusations of sexual harassment against a top aide is taking her complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“I firmly believe they thought that I was too loyal to ever come forward,” Alaina Hampton said Tuesday of Madigan and his allies.

Just two months later

Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, the one-time machine-fighting rebel who three years ago challenged Mayor Rahm Emanuel for re-election, but now is moving to Congress—assuming he defeats a Republican in November—endorsed state House Speaker Mike Madigan today for a new term as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party.

“As a progressive Democrat, it is my intention to support a state party chair who will work with me to advance our most fundamental goals,” Garcia said in a statement

* There’s also the schadenfreude angle. One of Garcia’s top guys worked to defeat state Rep. Mike Zalewski in the Democratic primary last year in part by bashing Z’s connections to Madigan. But now, the Madigan spin is going the other way.

       

22 Comments »
  1. - The Sky Is Blue - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 11:06 am:

    If anything: this shows that he has been under the microscope and he came up clean. Chuy plays it straight. Everybody has known that for a long time. This narrative just isn’t going to stick.


  2. - Roman - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 11:11 am:

    The Chicago media have completely blown this out of proportion. The panelists on “Chicago Week In Review” last Friday were acting like it was the Watergate break-in.

    Look, are there political ties between Madigan and Garcia? Of course — and they’re fair game. But a little perspective is in order. The other candidates have ties, too. Madigan’s alliance with CTU in the final years of his speakership was even tighter than his relationship with Chuy, so Brandon Johnson can’t cast stones. And is the mayor going to pretend like she never went to Madigan for help? How did her casino bill get out of the House?


  3. - Google Is Your Friend - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 11:23 am:

    - The Sky Is Blue - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 11:06 am:

    It’s going to stick as long as Chuy is off the air. He’s not driving the narrative, he’s being driven–and it’s not good.


  4. - Been There - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 11:24 am:

    ====And is the mayor going to pretend like she never went to Madigan for help? How did her casino bill get out of the House?====
    Well Madigan did say he was recusing himself on gaming issues so maybe not. And he didn’t vote for it. But I have a bridge to sell you though if you believe that.


  5. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 11:25 am:

    this is like the Burke moment last mayoral. Lightoot somehow thinks she can come in the final two, AND Vallas wants Chuy gone from the equation. things will get louder.


  6. - Regular democrat - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 11:27 am:

    As usual the voice of reason is Greg Hinz who actually does his homework. The others have really slacked off and it shows. Back in 2018 Madigan supported Garcia candidate for county commissioner and she won handily. So they have a non aggression pact and it helps get Garcia people elected. I m not sure its going to have much effect as election goes forward.


  7. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 11:32 am:

    Fairness and clarity in campaign statements - not a thing. Regarding the media - conflict, criticism and controversy (the 3 C’s) is SOP. Accuracy, maybe or maybe not. It depends on the employer, experience and competence of the journalist.


  8. - Shytown - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 11:49 am:

    Remember what happened to Mendoza in the mayor’s race four years ago when Burke’s office got raided and there were multiple front page stories and reports about the fact that she called him one of her mentors and he went to her wedding? Talk about a double standard with all the defending here of Garcia. If you run for mayor, I think we’ve learned that your affiliations with others matter, especially if you are named or unnamed in a federal indictment. And if you have a political “pact” with someone who’s under federal indictment, while nobody else in the race did, then you’re gonna be under the microscope. How is this different for him but nobody else?


  9. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 12:00 pm:

    ===while nobody else in the race did===

    Lightfoot refused to call for MJM’s resignation. Johnson’s CTU stayed strong with MJM right until the end. Gotta figure Vallas (pre-Quinn) had some relationship there.


  10. - natty lite - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 12:02 pm:

    Chuy has been running like he’s 10 points ahead this entire campaign. Very entitled and low energy. Where are the ideas? Brandon Johnson is at least putting forth a bold progressive agenda. It’s clear why most of the unions went with Johnson. I for one am shocked that this guy who has been cutting deals with the who’s who of Chicago machine politics to climb the ladder for the past 40 years isn’t an idealistic reformer.


  11. - Shytown - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 12:18 pm:

    Rich, I hear you, but I’m not sure we can call those pacts. Plus, Chuy publicly endorsed him and worked with him. A lot more there to put into an ad, and there will be an ad.


  12. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 12:23 pm:

    ===Chuy publicly endorsed him and worked with him===

    Yep. But this goofy story is just that. A big nothingburger.


  13. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 12:43 pm:

    Speaker Madigan and the reporter whose attention he controls.


  14. - Here for the laughs - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 12:54 pm:

    == It’s clear why most of the unions went with Johnson. ==
    Garcia has been endorsed by 14 unions.


  15. - Here for the laughs - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 1:01 pm:

    Chuy’s first ad finally hits the airwaves.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=80W2Vu-b2M0


  16. - Friendly Bob Adams - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 1:23 pm:

    Before “the 19″ came along, every Democrat in Illinois had some kind of relationship with Madigan. He ran the party, after all.

    So agree with Rich that this current situation is pretty weak tea.


  17. - move on - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 1:57 pm:

    ==Plus, Chuy publicly endorsed him and worked with him. ===

    EVERYONE WORKED WITH MADIGAN. He was the Speaker of the House. You had to work with him in some capacity. If you don’t recognize that you don’t understand government or politics.

    Lightfoot worked with him.
    Chuy worked with him.
    Dallas worked with him.

    There’s no one in government or democratic politics that didnt work with him at some point.

    Time to move on already.


  18. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 2:52 pm:

    If I may politely disagree, attacking Chuy’s deal with Madigan is not unfair politics, and not just blaming Madigan. Chuy has a leftover aura as an independent progressive from his Harold Washington days. The attack may be effective with some of the (older) Lakefront voters that Lori needs.


  19. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 3:03 pm:

    ===attacking Chuy’s deal with Madigan is not unfair politics===

    It is not unfair at all. Have at it. This story, however, is goofy.


  20. - Chito - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 3:32 pm:

    The story is a hit piece plain and simple. I liken it to what Comey did to Hillary. There was nothing there and they knew it, but they also know that most voters (and the opposition) will focus on “Chuy mentioned in Madigan investigation”. Shameful.


  21. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 3:33 pm:

    Reporters need to pull how many times Lightfoot met with Madigan or called him asking for his support of her legislative agenda. Didn’t she ask Madigan more than once to address the House Dem Caucus, and he obliged? As usual Lori’s motto is “do as I say, not as I do”. Just like the haircut……


  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 24, 23 @ 3:44 pm:

    To the post,

    I had commented that … “Chuy was like Icarus”… or to that effect, as Chuy continued (and continues) to rise and now that winging so close to the sun (MJM) could melt those wings, as the hubris felt that sun wouldn’t melt him, or pointedly hurt him.

    Thing is, as time passes, and days pass to things like this, what legs are here besides those using “because Madigan” biases in a 9 person field, while there’s no feel of a clear leader including Chuy.

    I was glad Rich made a sneaky smart point about Chuy and this feeling about being a member of congress is seen as “elevating”… Congress Critters as a collective aren’t at all popular, and how far has Chuy singled himself out as … elite?

    The Garcia Problem isn’t likely MJM but the problem will be the streets, wards, unions, community groups… and cash.

    It’s not like that campaign is running circles around anyone, but seems to be chasing it’s tail with distracting issues, but not a fatal situation to the goal.


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