Question the timing all you want, but last week’s legal filing by Attorney General Lisa Madigan to stop paying state-employee wages without an official appropriation is long overdue and is completely consistent with a 2016 Illinois Supreme Court ruling and with her (and the governor’s) opposition to a lawsuit brought by social-service providers.

If I had to choose a word to describe the Democrats’ nominating speeches for House Speaker Michael Madigan’s re-election last week, it would be either “defensive” or “joyless.”

The speeches seemed directly aimed at Madigan’s toughest critics – and there are plenty of those out there. The nominators at times angrily justified their own votes for Madigan and their continued willingness to support him while under siege by a hostile kabillionaire governor and much of the state’s media. They literally cannot go anywhere without being asked about why they continue to back Madigan.

Governor Bruce Rauner was asked last month by a Chicago TV reporter if he planned to run for re-election. Rauner said he wasn’t focused on such things.

Three days later, Rauner contributed $50-million to his own campaign fund.

Top folks in the governor’s office said they didn’t quite understand last week why the Senate Democrats and the spokesperson for House Speaker Michael Madigan were so upset with them about canceling last Thursday’s leaders meeting to discuss ending the long Statehouse impasse and finishing up a budget.

On election night, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan started making his usual post-election calls to his Democratic members asking for their support for his re-election as speaker. But at least a couple said they’d like to sit down with him before providing a firm answer.

There’s been a lot of spin from the Illinois House Democrats about how Tuesday’s losses were not that big a deal. Don’t believe it.

Since his inauguration, Governor Bruce Rauner has consciously aped Washington, DC’s notoriously noxious battle to “win” the daily media spin cycle. Rauner has a set base of talking points based on tried and true poll-tested topics, and he rarely if ever deviates.

Republicans have been saying behind the scenes that they have put four Democratic state Senators “on the bubble”: Tom Cullerton in DuPage County, Melinda Bush in Lake County, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant in Will County, and Gary Forby in southern Illinois.

Whenever you see a statement from the Democratic Party of Illinois, you can be supremely confident that House Speaker Michael Madigan – the party’s longtime chair – approves of the sentiment.

And the same goes for the Illinois Republican Party and Governor Bruce Rauner, who accounts for 95 percent of the party’s total fundraising since January 1. No way will that party deliberately say anything that is contrary to the governor’s wishes.

“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.

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