House Speaker Michael Madigan, who has been Illinois' virtual boss for years and years, has made the state the nation's laughing stock, according to Jason Gonzales, the first real electoral challenge to Boss Madigan in memory.
Gonzales succinctly made that case in a Chicago Tribune John Kass column, "A challenger rises to Boss Madigan of Illinois." It's a great column that anyone who loves and is worried about Illinois should read.
Gonzales, 40, is a successful business consultant with two postgraduate degrees, one from MIT, the other from Harvard. Kass suggests that Madigan might at last be taking a real challenger in the Democratic primary on March 15 seriously. Madigan has uncharacteristically launched a series of campaign ads against Gonzales, that characteristically were highly negative and unseemly hyperbolic. Madigan, who has controlled the state's legislative district map, now ironically finds himself in a district that is changing demographically to include more Hispanics and not in Madigan's favor.
As much as anything, Madigan's grip on state politics has flung the state into a no-win financial hole that has garnered national attention. Illinois, to put it succinctly, is a failed state, thank you Mr. Speaker Madigan. As much as anything, getting rid of Madigan will much to restore Illinois' health and reputation. Good luck Mr. Gonzales.
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