After Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan appeared in all but actual name in ComEd's deferred federal-prosecution agreement, Representative Terra Costa Howard (D-Glen Ellyn) was one of the first Democratic state Representatives to call on him to resign without the qualifying “if he did it” language. And the freshman Democratic legislator has been breaking pretty much all precedent the past month or so by putting significant campaign money where her mouth is.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin is a former prosecutor, and that outlook on life has never really left him. He's not big on a lot of criminal-justice reforms, even standing up to his party's president to oppose the early prison-release of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. He was staunchly opposed to legalizing cannabis. I'm sure that House Speaker Michael Madigan's highly-public legal troubles grate on Durkin to no end, as they would on almost any former prosecutor.

It's well-known that the Illinois House Republicans (along with pretty much all Illinois Republicans) are using House Speaker Michael Madigan's bad reputation to bludgeon their Democratic opponents. Speaker Madigan has been enormously unpopular in Illinois. It's probably worse now because he's been in the news so much during the long federal investigation into ComEd and the company's resulting deferred-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney in Chicago.

During both the impeachment proceedings against Governor Rod Blagojevich and the disciplinary proceedings that led to the expulsion of State Representative Derrick Smith (D-Chicago), the Illinois House was able to call witnesses. But because of ongoing federal investigations in both instances, the U.S. Attorney limited what some of those witnesses could be asked. Governor Blagojevich had been charged with multiple felonies and Representative Smith had been caught on audio accepting a cash bribe.

There's been much gnashing of teeth since the state announced that just 21 social-equity applicants had qualified for regional lotteries that will award 75 cannabis-dispensary store licenses. The 21 winning entities submitted well over 300 applications for those 75 licenses, which has forced a tie-breaking round.

When Governor JB Pritzker announced the state COVID-19 "mitigation" plan for the Metro East on August 16, he said it was done in conjunction "with local officials in the Metro East region and across the border in St Louis." Last week, though, the governor admitted the cross-border arrangement to try to contain the virus's spread was a "mistake." Man, was it ever.

The late Jim Thompson was just 40 years old when he was first elected governor of Illinois in 1976. Rod Blagojevich was called a youthful politician, but he was 45 on the day he was elected governor. Jim Edgar was 44 in November of 1990. After serving 14 years as governor, longer than anyone else in Illinois history, Thompson was still just 54 years old the day he left office.

Tuesday, August 11, was probably the best day, professionally, that Governor JB Pritzker has had in quite a while. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules has been a source of legislative frustration for the governor all year. He didn't quite seem to grasp how best to work its process-dominated membership, and he was handed a major defeat back in May when JCAR members in both parties turned thumbs-down on a sweeping plan to impose fines and even jail time on violators of Governor Pritzker's COVID-19 executive orders.

"I need to be able to look myself in the mirror every day," was how Representative Terra Costa Howard (D-Glen Ellyn) explained to me recently why she decided to call for House Speaker Michael Madigan's resignation. "More importantly," the freshman suburban Democrat said, "I had to look at my daughters and remind them what it means to do what's right."

The calls were mostly brief and to the point, recipients said. House Speaker Michael Madigan just wanted to know where his members stood last week after two of his members demanded he step aside as House Speaker and Democratic Party of Illinois chairman. Did they agree with their fellow Democratic state Representatives Terra Costa Howard and Stephanie Kifowit that he should resign? he asked.

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