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items tagged with Michael Madigan

What Happens When You Cross the Speaker
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2014-05-25 11:10:22

There’s an old Statehouse saying that House Speaker Michael Madigan cares mostly about two votes each Democratic legislator makes: one to re-elect him speaker, and the other for his chamber’s operating rules.

Some, such as Representative Elaine Nekritz, have gotten away with voting against Madigan’s rules. Nekritz explained to Madigan why she voted against them, and he was impressed with her thoughtfulness. She’s since moved up the ladder to become one of the House’s hardest-working members who also carries some major legislation.

But nobody ever gets away with voting against Madigan for speaker.


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Presidential Library Another Madigan Misfire
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2014-05-11 11:24:35

It’s been assumed all along that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s proposal to spend $100 million to help build Barack Obama’s presidential library was designed to put the Republicans on the spot and perhaps provoke an over-the-top or maybe even racial response, which would help gin up Democratic turnout a bit this November.

Obama has put the library’s location out to bid, so Madigan’s proposal is ostensibly meant to help Chicago attract what will likely be a pretty big tourist destination.

But politics is just about everything in Springfield these days. Democrats are hoping to crowd the November ballot with enough measures to excite their party base and get them out to vote. A constitutional amendment to forbid any voter discrimination along racial, ethnic, gender, etc. grounds was already approved for the ballot. A non-binding referendum on whether voters want to increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour is being prepared.

So this was mainly seen as another ploy to fire up the base.


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Speaker Has Become the Perfect Bogeyman
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2014-04-20 11:46:13

A poll taken for Rasmussen Reports earlier this month found that Governor Pat Quinn’s unfavorable rating was 55 percent.

That’s pretty darned bad, and perhaps the worst among the nation’s governors. But Quinn has nothing on Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

A new Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll found Madigan’s unfavorable rating to be an almost mind-boggling 65 percent.


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Botched Millionaire Tax Brings Benefits to Democrats
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2014-04-13 11:03:00

A long time ago I asked Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan why he never golfed at his golf-outing fundraisers.

Madigan explained that he was a terrible golfer. (He’s since improved, I’m told.) If people saw him embarrassing himself on the golf course, they might take a dimmer view of him as a leader.

He has applied this lesson to just about everything he does. He examines every angle before he acts. He hates mistakes and almost never acts impetuously.

For example, Madigan and his staff gather a few times a week to read through every bill and every amendment to those bills to look for flaws and hidden agendas or to discuss strategies. He always wants to be as prepared as possible.

As a result, he rarely fails.

But something else has been happening over the past year or so.

Madigan has become a media hound.


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Madigan Moves to the Left with an Eye on Election Day
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2014-04-06 11:56:20

Two worries are obviously driving driving much of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s personal legislative agenda this year: low Democratic turnout in an off-year election for an unpopular governor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s millions in campaign spending.

“If you’re an African American on the South Side, what motivates you to vote for [Governor] Pat Quinn when you wake up election morning?” was the blunt assessment of one longtime Madigan associate last week.

For example, Madigan signaled last week that despite his past reluctance to raise the minimum wage and his longtime alliance with the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (which is leading the charge against it), he’s not opposed. Calling the idea a matter of “fairness” and “equity,” Madigan told reporters last week: “I think you’ll find the opposition to raising the minimum wage comes from people that have done pretty well in America, and for some strange reason they don’t want others in America to participate in prosperity.”

Asked if he was referring to Rauner, Madigan asked: “Who?”


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