Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's hypocrisy is so transparent, it would humiliate anyone who isn't as big an egomaniac.
As the Tribune reported:
House Speaker Michael Madigan forged ahead Wednesday on a plan to limit
campaign donations -- with a big exception for the dollars he and other
leaders dole out to ensure lawmakers' election and reward loyalty.
The move by the veteran leader would serve the dual purposes of putting his Democrats
on record in support of a major ethics reform while simultaneously
preserving his power as the state's longest-serving House speaker and
chairman of the state Democratic Party. Political party donations would
also be unlimited under the plan.
This is at the core of the multiple problems of the Illinois
Legislature. By being able to dole out large amounts of campaign cash
to Democratic House candidates, Madigan is assured of their loyalty. In
short, he has bought their votes. There's no independence, no roaming
outside of Madigan's corral.
The Tribune story said that
according to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, the four
legislative leaders (both parties) have had campaign war chests that
least $25 million for each of the last three election cycles. That's a
lot of money to control, when campaigns for state House seats cost in
the mere thousands.
suggest that the way to end this practice is for Democratic voters to
pressure their representatives not to vote for Madigan for House
Speaker when the time comes. A snowball's chance in hell, that is.
will take no less than an amendment to the Illinois Constitution to end
this practice, but the chances of that aren't much better. In Illinois,
hope does not spring eternal.