Lisa Madigan has been Illinois attorney general for 15 years. Her father has been Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan for 34 years. It's time for both of them to go.
But there's another Madigan who has "served" longer. Mike's wife, Shirley, has been on the Illinois Arts Council since 1976 and has served as, its chairman since 1983. Gee, you think that it could be a coincidence?
The Illinois Arts Council – led by the matriarch of the most powerful political family in Illinois – conferred grants without official meetings, ignored rampant conflicts of interest, and funneled millions of taxpayer dollars to asset-rich organizations – including media outlets – which don’t need public money.
Andrzejewski said that two weeks ago her team and that of 12 other Illinois Arts Council board members expired and that now was a perfect time for Gov. Bruce Rauner to recast the entire 21 board members. Why? Because, Andrezejewski said,
Over the past three years, Shirley Madigan’s Arts Council rarely met. Instead of holding tri-annual board meetings – as they’ve pledged to do – the council never met during the entire fiscal year of 2016. Still, without the sunshine of a public meeting, the council paid-out grants, salaries, and operational expenses. Only later did the board ratify the payments.
Etc. Read the rest of the article for details about the conflicts of interest that have blossomed at the Illinois Arts Council.
The Illinois Arts Council is one of those sacred cows that is beyond criticism. Demand common sense standards of governance and you'll be accused of troglodytism. Your sin will be expanded, to include the accusation that you must be against the arts.
Of course, if Rauner didn't reappoint Shirley Madigan he'd be accused of getting his revenge against Mike Madigan, the primary obstacle to any of Rauner's Illinois reform measures and, I should add, any kind of serious reform that would address the state's fundamental financial problems.
Mike Madigan is the classic exemplar of getting even. Of brutal political hatchet jobs. Not only would it serve him right. More importantly, it would help clean up the mess that he has made of Illinois. Go for it Guv.