What can you do folks, it’s Chicago.
I blogged about this back in 2020. Michael Madigan was the longest-serving legislative leader in American history and chaired the Illinois Democrat Party. But then the investigation got closer and closer to Mike.
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan — the longest-serving state legislative leader in American history — is losing his grip on power as a federal investigation pounds his allies and lackluster election results undermine his influence.
Democrats began to publicly turn on Madigan over the summer, after the inquiry into influence peddling by a local electric utility company came to light. But the revolt against Madigan accelerated this week and, by Thursday, enough legislators had fled Madigan to deny him his title in January, potentially stripping him of the post he’s largely held since 1983.
Madigan’s exit would bring practical concerns for Democrats, and not just in Illinois: Despite having a Democratic supermajority, the speaker’s allies in labor and in the General Assembly worry ousting Madigan now could jeopardize their control over the next redistricting process, which begins in 2021. There is also fear around being alienated from him and “The Program,” Madigan’s fundraising operation and an army of volunteers that help candidates win campaigns.
The shoe has however dropped.
Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan was indicted on Wednesday on federal racketeering charges that allege he participated in a host of bribery schemes aimed at using his position in public office for personal gain.
A 22-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury, The Chicago Tribune reported, the result of a years-long investigation of the longtime Democrat who was for decades one of the most powerful lawmaker in Illinois.
Madigan was state House speaker for 35 years. He resigned last year amid the bribery investigation.
It’s the Chicago Way.
“It’s no secret that I have been the target of vicious attacks by people who sought to diminish my many achievements lifting up the working people of Illinois,” Madigan has said. “The fact is, my motivation for holding elected office has never wavered. I have been resolute in my dedication to public service and integrity, always acting in the interest of the people of Illinois.”
And don’t the people know it.