This should come as no surprise to people who are fed up with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s relentless and compulsive drive to gather power unto himself. A couple of liberal Chicago Democrats are asking Madigan to come up with a plan that involves “just more than saying no to [Gov. Bruce] Rauner.
Rich Miller interviews on Reboot Illinois the two legislators–Will Gizzard and Kelly Cassidy– who are courageous enough to simply ask the question.
“I’d like to know what his vision of the next two years is,” Rep. Cassidy said. “Doing the same thing over and over again is the definition of insanity, so I want to know what the vision is.” Rep. Cassidy refused to comment further, saying she preferred to share her thoughts with Madigan himself. But Guzzardi wasn’t quite as reticent.
“Right now,” Rep. Guzzardi said, “Rauner is the only one with a plan to fix this.” Rauner, of course, endlessly promotes his “Turnaround Agenda” reforms and blames Democrats for blocking him at every turn. He’s the one positioned as a change agent, Guzzardi said, and that, in turn, makes the Democrats look like obstructionists.
“We don’t have an agenda,” Guzzardi complained. The Democratic Party needs to show voters that “we want to change things and let people know what the party is doing for the people of this state.”
Well put. Good questions, those. But whether there would be a revolt with Democrats turning to someone other than the autocratic and vindictive Madigan when the speaker is elected in January is even a bigger question. Only the removal of Madigan can move this state forward. (I argued this in an earlier post.) Madigan has any independent minded Democratic legislators scared. One only needs to look at recent history as Chicago Democratic Rep. Ken Durkin ruefully discovered when he failed to strictly follow Madigan’s orders. He found himself facing and getting defeated by a Madigan-sponsored and labor-backed opponent in the party’s primary election.
As the Middle West turned red with disgust over insiders’ power, Illinois remains run by the ultimate insider who tolerates no dissent. For their courage alone, Will Gizzard and Kelly Cassidy deserve the support of fair and independent-minded Democrats. And the rest of the state.
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