Bleating hearts need to stand up to Madigan

Opinion: Columns

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By Jack Crowe

We have a gubernatorial primary on our hands, contested in both Republican and Democrat parties. Why is it that I have nothing on my mind except Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Mike Madigan?

At 75 years old, Madigan is still running the tables. We are even asking him to root out a pervasive culture of sexual harassment in Springfield and deep in his own political organization. If he were Al Franken, he would have been shown the door. But he's Mike Madigan.

In political circles everyone is afraid to peep because he has more lives than any cat or Hollywood Dracula. Even politically active and enlightened liberal Oak Parkers dare not state the words: It's time for Madigan to go.

Hiding abusive husbands on his payroll, Madigan is "shocked, shocked I tell you" to learn that there is a culture in Springfield that smells of rampant sexism. And after a short apology, he promises to now become Mike Madigan, harassment slayer. And the sheep bleat.

That's because in Illinois, Madigan is sui generis, a man for all seasons, especially the last 40 years — except for two years when the Republicans briefly kicked him out in the '90s.

He has led Illinois to bankruptcy-in-fact if not in-law. The only state in the Union not yet recovered from the 2008 Great Recession, our population is shrinking faster than any other. No one wants to be left holding the bag. Bleat.

That's in part because of $100,000-plus per year pensions granted to Oak Park and River Forest retiring teachers, negotiated by the local teachers union and our school board, but paid for — at least the lion's share — by the state, a stranger to the teachers' contract. Who in their right mind would create such a structure?

Someone like Mike Madigan, who needs money from the teachers union to keep his Democratic (autocratic) machine rolling. Bleat.

And so in deciding who to vote for in the Democratic governor race this primary season, I have one question: Who would tick-off Mike Madigan the most? On the Republican side, we can count on Governor Bruce Rauner to continue lying on the railroad tracks in front of the Madigan train.

But Pritzker, Kennedy and Biss? I have no idea. I'm asking for help here. JB is self-funding his campaign so he would not be financially beholden to the Dark Lord.

Kennedy has been histrionic in his Madigan comments (almost sounding Republican). Too good to be true? Has Biss, a state senator, ever stood up to Madigan? Don't know, but I'm listening.

There is a cancer at the heart of Illinois that is keeping us from beginning to heal financially so that the state can again afford to help the least fortunate amongst us. 

I don't live in Madigan's district, so my only chance to protest is my vote for Governor in the primary. Help!

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