“Do you think he knows what he’s doing?” asked a top Republican last week about House Speaker Michael Madigan’s high-profile role at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

To understand the effect that Governor Bruce Rauner has had on the Illinois Republican Party, you need to go back a few years.

Right off the bat, I should say that I think the so-called “stopgap budget” signed into law on June 30 was a good idea. People and organizations that rely on state government desperately needed a break from the all-out legislative war between the two ideologically entrenched parties.

Governor Bruce Rauner has been touring Illinois to talk about his new “messaging.” He’s quite excited about his “messaging” plans, telling one reporter that if he could do anything differently about his tenure so far, it would be to improve the way he gets his message out to voters.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan rose to give his customary year-end speech after the chamber had concluded its legislative business last week and pointed his finger right at Governor Bruce Rauner.

Illinoisans are furious about the way their government has been running (or, more accurately, not running). They’re looking for solutions, and some are grasping at anything within reach.

Few people thought that Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration could keep state operations running for a year without an actual state budget.

The Democrats got a bit of good news along with a load of bad news in a recent Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll. The news is particularly problematic for anyone who can be credibly connected to House Speaker Michael Madigan, whom voters overwhelming blame for the ongoing state-budget stalemate.

Near the top of any list of Illinois government’s many problems is that House Speaker Michael Madigan has made a decades-long game out of messing with the minds and agendas of our governors.

After what happened last week, it’s more clear than ever that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has no fear of what Governor Bruce Rauner could do to his members this fall. And Madigan has even less fear of what his members could do to him.

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