When everything goes as everybody expects, that's not news. So, when a member of the Democratic State Central Committee voted not to re-elect House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) as chairman, well, that’s “man bites dog.” In this case, the man is State Sen. Mike Noland (D-Elgin), a newcomer to the 36-member committee. He said his differences with Madigan were over policy but would not elaborate, and neither would Madigan.
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“I think the speaker’s a gentleman,” Noland said of Madigan after the vote. “He’s a true leader, and I think that he'll show some leadership in light of this.” It’s not the only time Madigan has faced a vote that was not unanimous. A couple of years ago, State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) voted for Madigan as speaker but not for his House rules. Since then, she has taken the lead on such matters as pension negotiations and hearing the expulsion of indicted State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago), who was later elected to return to the House, but who lost re-nomination in this year’s Democratic primary.
“We've usually made converts of those people,” Madigan says of intraparty opponents, “because we want to work with people, and we want to move in the right direction. So I would expect that, in due time, you’ll find that Mr. Noland will want to be one of those seconding my nomination.”
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