You know the fish is rotting when the only thing keeping the head on is the self-protestation of the most powerful man in the State that he has “not been charged with any crime.”
Today, Mike Madigan announced he is suspending his campaign to be re-elected Illinois Speaker of the House. Apparently, if I read the Crain’s blurb correctly, the House Democratic Caucus has been unable to find the 60 votes needed to reelect him and has suspended his campaign.
But he is not gone yet. He still plans to keep his seat on the legislature and pulls the strings on just about every other foreseeable candidate. Furthermore, his wording suggests that as the only viable candidate, he may retain the position even without a campaign.
But that’s not the worst of it. His power is not limited to any of his offices. He will continue to hand select the majority of Illinois lawmakers until his death, and even after that, his cronies and purchased allegiances will keep the wheels of his machine running for as long as the benefits and money keep flowing their way.
Donald Trump would have destroyed our Nation’s democracy, but he did not. In the end, he made a hell of a mess, but will leave Washington without spoils. The Constitution of the United States is a tough boss.
Mike Madigan on the other hand has been riding the Illinois Constitution to his advantage his entire career. He uses his position as State Finance Chair to enforce his political agenda. He has purchased the allegiance of major voting-blocks with taxpayer-funded promises. Large corporate and union donors have repaid his favors with a war chest that keeps detractors out of office and punishes those who fail to toe his line. He controls the legislature’s ethical investigations and ensures that they never point toward himself. And he has been instrumental in eliminating the two-party system in Illinois – a handicap of which my left-leaning friends fail to appreciate the significance. No one has been more successful in undermining democracy anywhere in the United States than Mike Madigan has been in Illinois.
It is time for a couple new bosses here in Illinois.