SPRINGFIELD - In the last few hours, two more Democratic State Representatives have called on Speaker Michael Madigan to resign immediately. Despite growing bipartisan calls for Madigan to resign, Governor JB Pritzker is standing by his man.
Pritzker may be afraid that if Madigan is forced to resign prior to an indictment, calls will soon come for Pritzker himself to resign when the federal investigation into his own property tax fraud intensifies. That is why Pritzker keeps fumbling questions about Madigan.
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Last week, Pritzker fumbled questions about whether he considered Madigan a political ally. Yesterday, he fumbled questions about why he is changing his standards when it comes to corrupt officials needing to resign from leadership positions.
The Background: Last year, Governor JB Pritzker called on former Democratic Sen. Marty Sandoval to step down as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee before he was indicted. This January, Pritzker told Capitol Fax’s Rich Miller that when there’s “clear” evidence of targeting by criminal investigators, “that’s the point at which folks should step aside.” But after Mike Madigan was dubbed “Public Official A” by the U.S. Attorney in a widening corruption investigation, Pritzker flip-flopped and said Madigan need only resign if the allegations are true.
Yesterday, NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern asked Pritzker why he was changing his resignation standard for Madigan. Here’s his convoluted response:
Well I have been clear that, you know when there is a raid, when there is an indictment, you know I have called for people to step down from their positions, or to resign. So I have said the same thing. I’ve said that, you know, if you know if these allegations are true, the speaker should, is going to be required to resign, in my view. By the way, that’s the same thing that the Republican caucus leaders in the General Assembly said when they responded.
Pritzker tried to hide behind early statements issued by House GOP Leader Jim Durkin and Senate GOP Leader Bill Brady to defend his changing position. The Chicago Tribune reports today that Brady and his entire caucus have now called on Madigan to resign “immediately.” Durkin also issued a statement this morning calling on Madigan to resign immediately. Pritzker should be asked to respond to Durkin and Brady’s call for Madigan to resign immediately after using them as an excuse.
Pritzker took the position that Madigan should only resign once “there is a raid.” As it turns out, there have already been many raids. The Chicago Tribune published the following timeline of raids in connection with the Madigan investigation:
- Mid-may 2019: FBI raids the Southwest Side residence of former Ald. Michael Zalewski, who at the time was working with House Speaker Michael Madigan to get lobbying work from ComEd.
- Mid-May 2019: Feds raid the City Club of Chicago offices in the Wrigley building seeking records pertaining to club President Jay Doherty, a longtime ComEd lobbyist.
- Mid-May 2019: The feds raid the Far South Side home of former 13th Ward political operative Kevin Quinn -- the brother of Ald. Marty Quinn -- who was ousted by Madigan amid a sexual harassment scandal in 2018. Quinn received checks from current and former ComEd lobbyists.
- Mid-May 2019: The FBI raids the downstate home of Mike McClain, a longtime ComEd lobbyist who is widely known as one of House Speaker Michael Madigan's closest confidants.
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE Illinois GOP
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