How to dump House Speaker Mike Madigan

The first step to fixing what ails Illinois is to dump House Speaker Mike Madigan. The governance and labor reforms proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner won’t do it until Madigan is removed from the speakership. Higher taxes won’t do it either. The finger of blame for the Illinois in-the-toilet condition points directly at Madigan–for all his past shenanigans and for his disdain for the of good Illinois.

The only realistic (barely so) way to remove Madigan from the speakership is in the hands of Democrats in the Illinois House. Yeah, yeah, I know. He’s got House Democrats so frightened of defying him the likelihood of them electing a different, more rational speaker is about nil. At least according to the given wisdom.

House Fleecer Michael Madigan

House Fleecer Michael Madigan

But are we at last seeing a crack in the blind, quivering support of Madigan? A few Democrats voted against Madigan’s preposterous budget that had a $7 billion deficit. Enough Democrats refused to participate in this delusion that it didn’t get Senate approval. Maybe enough Democrats, as this November’s election approaches, are feeling the burn. Of angry voters who are sick of the suicidal financial management piloted by Madigan. Of angry parents who are looking at the possibility of their schools not opening and who can see past the wall of B.S. that Madigan has built to blame someone else for the mess. Of angry taxpayers who are looking at another tax increase without commensurate adjustments made on the spending side. Of fed up businesses that are depending on a flat-broke state for the construction and maintenance of the state’s physical and fiscal structure.

Maybe enough Democrats finally will get sick of being told what to do by Monarch Madigan. Maybe enough Democrats will be urged by their consciences to install a House Speaker who wants to get things done, the right way. Maybe enough Democrats will recover their pride and recall that the Illinois constitution gives them a job to do, other than to genuflect to Madigan. Maybe enough Democrats will read the Illinois constitution and act like it means something when it requires that a budget can’t spend money that the state doesn’t have.

There are a lot of things you can say about how Republicans have contributed to this mess, including former governor and convicted felon George Ryan’s collaboration with Democrats so that he could share in the spoils. But for now, in this immediate future, Illinois’ redemption depends on a Democratic revolution.


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  • I don't understand your plan to dump House Speaker Madigan. The Democrats who contributed to the defeat of his budget bill were in the Senate. Senators have no vote when the House selects its speaker.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Quite correct, although the support among Democrats in the House was not entirely behind the Madigan budget. My hope is that it will finally get through the thick skulls of enough Democrats in general that their subservience to Madigan isn't doing the state much good.

  • fb_avatar

    Poor Denny...nearly 4 hours and only I comment and that person just wants the Cliff Notes of "How A Bill Is Made". The piece does provide a clue on what the motives of the Get Madigan/Terms Limits/Remap crowd may expect after all their "reforms" are in place --- anti-worker/anti-consumer laws and rules. The outcomes take us back to the early 80s in Illinois. We can recreate the Superfund sites in Waukegan Harbor, Maybe fire up the Nuke at Zion. At least some offers a vision. Those sound like strong reasons to dump Madigan --- not. No one has fallen for the Rauner mumbo jumbo to this point and with more explanations like this few will follow the lead of the Wall Street banker and the man who doomed the Tribune by selling it to Sam Zell.

  • In reply to Steve Brown:

    Gee, Steve, why do we have to go back to the early 1980s to find misery. Look at the magic that your boss and his lackeys have given us: The crappiest debt rating in history, huge deficits (including the $7 billion one that Madigan tried to ram through); schools that are broke and rotten; an insurmountable pension debt; people and businesses fleeing the state.... Should I bother to go on? All so boss Madigan can hold on to power.

    Yes, drag out the old chestnut that Madigan didn't accomplish all this by himself. He had the Republicans to help him out, and in this you would be right. But it's Madigan who has the power and the longest tenure--a fact that probably makes him most proud, but in light of the devastation that he was wrought, should shame him.

    Expecting that the rest of us are stupid (great PR strategy, Steve) you instead feed us a bunch of baloney about how Rauner and his devious backers want to re-pollute Waukegan Harbor with PCBs and other past ills. As if anyone who wants to straighten out Illinois' mess has all these covert, nasty goals in mind.

    The vision I'm looking for is right in front of you--a healthy, thriving state. I expected better from you, Steve. But it was worth it to shine a light on one of Madigan's dark corners.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Steve Brown:

    In 2011 Madigan rammed through a temporary hike in the income tax rate, with the rate set to drop by 25% on Dec 31, 2014. However in the 4 years with the higher rate, not only did Madigan do ZERO to prepare for the reduced revenue, in May of 2014 he passed a budget for the full year that spent like the tax hike was still in effect, despite a constitutional ban on deficit spending. But since Illinois hasn't had a truly balanced budget since at least 2001, it was't really anything new.

  • fb_avatar

    I don't think the Democrats will ever vote him out. It looks like the best course of action is to let them run the state into the dumpster completely. Let the party be destroyed as is happening nationally. No amount of compromise will help the conservative cause at this point. No new taxes!!!!

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