The First Ward Report – Quick Hits

The First Ward Report – Quick Hits

And then there were nine!

With Glen Ellyn State Rep Terra Costa Howard leading the First Cavalry Division charge and Aurora State Rep Stephanie Kifowit answering that bugle call, last week, we wondered if any other Springfield Dems would have the courage to join their rank and call for Speaker Michael Madigan’s resignation.

And seven more have:

  • Naperville State Rep Anne Stava-Murray
  • Chicago State Reps Kelly Cassidy, Yoni Pizer, and Lindsey LaPointe
  • Grayslake State Senator Melinda Bush
  • Chicago State Senators Heather Steans and Iris Martinez

To be clear, these semi-magnificent seven are not part of what Tribune columnist Eric Zorn calls the “If Troop,” as in the Democrats who believe The Speaker should abdicate only “if” he’s actually convicted of something.

Cassidy echoed Costa Howard’s original theory by stipulating:

When he says he didn’t know what was going on, it may be an excellent legal strategy, but it says he’s bad at his job. He’s supposed to be in charge. He’s the one who manages every little thing in the General Assembly. And all this was going on right under his nose and he was just oblivious to it?”

Did a Democrat really dis The Velvet Hammer is this brazen a manner? Be still my beating heart!

Madigan Comic
With thanks to the Chicago Tribune

But before you’re overcome by this sudden spate of apparent altruism, I’ve spoken with a number of local legislative aides who said our Democratic general assemblypersons are carefully  considering whether Psylla or Charybdis is more dangerous element right now.

For those who aren’t well versed in Greco-Illinoisan mythology, Psylla comes in the form of their constituents who bestowed an abysmal 20 percent approval rating upon the The Speaker in 2019. That means the failure to come forward now could have all sorts of electoral repercussions later.

Of course, Charybdis is none other than Darth Madigan himself who can end a political career with the most fleeting application of The Force. C’mon! Was anyone really fooled by The Speaker “polling” his minions to get their ruminations on his resignation?

Just like a Jeopardy contesting struggling to answer in the form of a question, I hear The Speaker’s single survey question was, “You don’t really want me to resign, now, do you?”

But even though I had my doubts, it looks like Psylla is coming out ahead on this one. Had the rebellion been limited to just Costa Howard and Kifowit, it would’ve been quickly quashed and they would’ve quickly become “examples.” But with nine on board, I could swear I’m starting to hear The Chairman sing ‘My Way:’

And now the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case of which I’m certain

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption

I planned each chartered course
Each careful step along the by-way
And more, much more than this
I did it my way

It makes you kinda verklempt, don’t it!


Still no economic interest statement

And speaking of silent Democrats, as of this morning, Elgin City Councilman Baldemar Lopez still hasn’t filed his 2019 economic interest statement. With the fine for the failure to report hitting a C-note a day as of May 16, that means Lopez owes the State a mere $8,215.

But who’s counting?

We all know Baldy, as his friends affectionately refer to him, is avoiding that document like a pandemic hotspot because he’d have to cop to being one of those high-profile ComEd lobbyists who got paid 60 grand for doing absolutely nothing if he did.

And who’d want to do that!

As I’ve previously noted, as a journalist who has the occasional good day, I won’t be letting this story go anytime soon!


Ya gotta give the Treasurer credit!

I’ve covered this topic a couple of times, but Capitol Fax’s Rich Miller recently reported that Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs returned a record $1 billion in unclaimed property over the last five years. That massive total eclipses the previous record by a whopping 42 percent.

Frerichs regularly notes that at least 25 percent of Illinoisans have a right to lay claim to some of the remaining $3.5 billion in that unclaimed fund. And you can check on that possibility right here!

I would highly encourage you to do just that, too, because, on a whim, I found almost six figures in stock my late mother had “misplaced” in 2015. Then I went back to the site just yesterday and discovered almost $1,500 owed my father who died back in 1990.

That claim is in process.

Excellent job Treasurer Frerichs. Apparently, some elected officials don’t suck!


6 thoughts on “The First Ward Report – Quick Hits

  1. So who do you pressure to get the Election Board to go after this guy? Does Attorney General have someone like they do for FOIA
    As to Madigan, I see the (I believe) Operating Engineers and Highway Construction Unions just gave Madigan $550,000 so they have faith. And after Madigan wins election and gets voted in as Speaker again I would not be surprised if the Operating Engineers get a fat contract to pave over about 9 state rep’s homes

  2. Checking the Illinois unclaimed funds account is something my wife and I do every year on our anniversary. Usually there in nothing by my deceased in-laws have been nice to us twice. My dear deceased mother-in-law gave us a 25th anniversary trip to Hawaii. Bless her heart.

  3. I’m not sure if Madigan has ever received 20,000 votes in his district. I think it’s closer to 15K. So why would he ever resign, I’m sure his voters are well taken care of.

    Thank you Patricia for pointing that out, I was thinking the same thing.

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