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items tagged with Michael Madigan

Governor Needs to Learn to Deal with Madigan
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2015-07-26 11:11:32

Last week, Governor Bruce Rauner declared to reporters that if it weren’t for House Speaker Michael Madigan, the budget impasse would’ve been resolved.

And perhaps if the sky were green, then grass would be blue.

For starters, what the governor said is dubious. In the absence of Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and his liberal Democratic caucus wouldn’t have gone along with the harshly anti-union aspects of Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda” in exchange for a budget deal and tax hike, as the governor is demanding.

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Mailer Shows Off Rauner’s Political Muscle
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2015-07-19 11:24:05

House Speaker Michael Madigan told reporters earlier this month that he’d had a “frank discussion” with Governor Bruce Rauner, “and I gave him good, solid advice.”

Word is that advice had two parts.

First, the governor needs to find a way to get himself out of this long overtime-session, no-state-budget mess.

Second, if the governor thinks he can get himself out of this mess by somehow breaking the speaker’s will, he’s mistaken.

But the governor isn’t giving up. In fact, he’s doubled down.

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The Dueling Realities of the Budget Stalemate
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2015-07-13 15:56:58

After staring at my computer screen for more than an hour, I realized that my goal of providing a succinct and thoughtful analysis of what happened on a very weird day last week in Illinois government was impossible.

Instead, we’re going to have to take this in pieces.

The court case. C.J. Baricevic was one of the lawyers representing a host of unions in their successful St. Clair County lawsuit to force the state to pay its employees without a budget. The victory Thursday came just two days after a Cook County judge ruled that paying employees without an official state budget was a clear and total violation of the Illinois Constitution.

Why was St. Clair County’s ruling so different?

Well, Baricevic happens to be the son of the county’s chief judge, John Baricevic, who was once the county-board chair and is regarded as one of the most powerful Democrats in the region. The younger Baricevic is the local Democratic choice for Congress against freshman Republican U.S. Representative Mike Bost. According to Ballotpedia, the judge in Thursday’s case also appears to be up for retention next year in the heavily unionized county.

Hey, I’m not saying nothing bad about no judges. I visit that fine county every now and then. I’m even told the judge in the case isn’t the type to be sensitive to such pressures. “He’s just a pro-labor guy at heart,” explained one area politico, who added that I was “reading too much” into the local political angle.

I’m just saying.

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Dueling Messages Reveal Ploy to Work Against Madigan
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2015-06-28 14:27:09

House Speaker Michael Madigan likes to send “messages.” He doesn’t often explain what those messages are, but last week’s surprising defeat of a bill to give the Chicago Public Schools a 40-day extension on its $634-million pension payment due June 30 was most surely a message to somebody.

Despite his spokesperson saying the day before that Madigan was “prepared to be supportive,” it’s clear that Madigan did not work to pass the bill, which was being pushed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. His staff did not urge members to vote for it before or during the roll call.

Madigan himself said he did not ask Republicans for a specific number of votes for a structured roll call, which is another indication that he wasn’t ready to move the ball forward.

Madigan’s deputy majority leader, Lou Lang, presided over the proceeding. A newspaper reported that Lang voted “no” so he could file a motion to reconsider that would keep it alive. Okay, but if you watch the roll call, Lang pushed his red button right after the voting opened, which probably sent a strong signal to the rank and file.

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Rauner Ad Leaves Daylight for Deals
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2015-06-21 11:05:51

Governor Bruce Rauner’s much-anticipated TV ad isn’t as over-the-top negative as many thought it would be.

“Exactly,” was the response from a Rauner official I spoke with after watching the ad and making the above observation about its somewhat muted tone.

“There’s plenty of time for that if it’s necessary,” the official added.

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