Sunday, August 26, 2012
Illinois GOP Assail Madigan
The Illinois Republican Party’s calls for voters to “fire” powerful House Democrat Michael Madigan are heating up ahead of the November election, but whether the campaign will work remains to be seen, one observer says. “Mike Madigan is a very durable politician. He’s very smart, and people have come at him before and tried to make him an issue and haven’t succeeded,” said David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
The Republican Party, the minority in the Legislature, is trying to capitalize on low approval ratings for state lawmakers in general to attract votes in November. Even if the GOP don't gain control of the Legislature, they might gain seats. The key, Republican strategists believe, is linking all Democrats to Madigan, a powerful longtime Chicago lawmaker known to most Illinois voters. “What this is is Republicans in Illinois saying that a vote for a Democrat in the Illinois House is a vote for Mike Madigan. If the Republicans can take control of the House, Madigan is out as speaker,” Yepsen said.
Republican leaders are asking the federal government to investigate thousands of dollars in donations from a union to a Madigan-controlled campaign fund leading up to Friday’s do-nothing special legislative session on pension reform. It was quid pro quo to kill reform efforts, the GOP charges. “Mike Madigan might as well hang a ‘for sale’ sign from the dome of the state capitol,” Illinois GOP chairman Pat Brady said in a news release last week. “This clearly does not pass the smell test, and it merits investigation by federal authorities.”
Madigan spokesman Steve Brown called the GOP’s efforts “a swing and a miss.” Brown noted that Republicans killed the pension bill before the House even convened. “They’ve done this for 25 years, and it’s gotten them nowhere."
You can read Jamey's full report at: http://watchdog.org/51092/il-madigan-spokesman-says-gops-smear-efforts-a-swing-and-a-miss/
In the pic: State House Speaker Mike Madigan