I’m hoping Jody Foster will do the remake, too, because when it comes to Illinois, lambs, sheep and Democrats are eminently interchangeable.
Unless you’ve been held captive in City Councilman Terry Gavin’s basement (Don’t ever accept a ride from him!), you already know that, with the Feds hot on Darth Madigan’s trail, Illinois will soon be seeking a brand new Sith Lord.
All former Teflon tendencies aside, ComEd’s complete cooperation with a bribery investigation of epic proportion and o many diehard Democratic dominoes having fallen before him, there’s no way The Speaker’s gonna worm his way out of this one. Perhaps they’ll put Mike and Chicago Alderman Ed Burke in the same cell so they can reminisce about the good old days!
But they don’t call The Speaker “The Velvet Hammer” for nuthin’ because, with the exception of a mild admonition from milquetoast Governor J. B. Pritzker, those Springfield Dems refuse to even say the word “Madigan” for fear he’ll summarily appear in a puff of murky smoke with his jet black light sabre ready to strike.
Confronted with their deafening silence, and somewhat surprised that Illinois Democrats could keep their mouths shut about anything for this long, I reached out to the three Elgin elected officials most closely connected to Speaker Madigan – City Councilman Baldemar Lopez, State Rep Anna Moeller, and State Senator Cristina Castro.
We’ll start with Lopez since his direct involvement in the ComEd scheme means he’s gotta be defecating entire cinderblocks, not just bricks.
It was WBEZ and yours truly who first reported that lobbyist Lopez received sixty grand from the electric utility for doing absolutely nothing. And we know he did absolutely nothing, because when pressed by the press, he couldn’t come up with a single Springfield initiative on the utility’s behalf.
Not only that, but it was Madigan allies who provided Lopez with a heretofore unheard of $25,000 in campaign financing to purchase that city council seat. According to his own paperwork, Elgin’s newest alderman didn’t get a single serious contribution from anyone who actually lives in the city he “serves.”
Folks close to Lopez say, with his lobbying efforts now fully exposed and a new Elgin ethics ordinance still pending, he won’t be seeking a second term. Regardless of his electoral intentions, this investigation is going to make his remaining tenure more than interesting.
The Councilman failed to respond to my particularly polite overtures.
So, I moved on to Elgin State Senator Cristina Castro who, having sponsored the legislation to install our-brand new Springfield joint ethics commission, would most certainly have something to say about this, but she didn’t.
That begs the question, if the Feds chop The Speaker down, and the ethics commission isn’t around to hear it, do they make a sound?
When the commission was first formed, Castro issued lofty proclamations like, “Legislators and lobbyists absolutely must be held to high standards. No one should be able to profit from their public service.”
But ever since Darth Madigan’s recent misfortune, Castro, who regularly profits from her own public service, has become even scarcer than President Trump at a Black Lives Matter rally. Perhaps she’s too busy figuring out a way to amend her bold statement to say, “with the exception of Illinois Speaker Michael Madigan, who gets a free pass.”
The truth is, without The Speaker’s express written consent, Cristina Castro would still be a lowly Kane County Board Member.
As you might imagine, the Senator also refused to respond to my inquiry.
That leaves us with State Rep Anna Moeller, who may have more to fret about than Councilman Lopez does. Word on the savvy Elgin street is, she too, will be swept up in Fed’s broad bribery net, which, when you consider she’s Darth Madigan’s handpicked Padawan, wouldn’t be too terribly surprising.
Moeller was plucked from complete Elgin City Council obscurity to replace disgraced former State Rep Keith Farnham because The Speaker could always count on her “to do the right thing.” And despite her frequent “I’m my own woman” protests and feminist legislative causes, she contributed a whopping 42 grand to The Speakers’ sexual harassment legal defense fund.
We all know Mike Madigan can barely get by on his State Rep salary.
Moeller also failed to respond.
Meanwhile, the citizens of Elgin are being bought and sold by elected officials who damn well know damn well that as long as they issue the appropriate progressive proclamations they’ll be reelected by ridiculously large margins regardless of anything they actually do.
But the truth is, thanks to this trio and more, Illinois pays the 15th highest power rates in the nation, and we all know how Speaker Madigan and his supermajority set the property tax rules, and then he his law firm fights those increases on behalf of their wealthy clients.
It’s a great gig if you can get it!
Am I surprised our trio declined to comment, much less issue a proclamation demanding Madigan’s resignation? Nope! Because they all know they can get away with saying nothing. But this time it’s a wee bit different! The voters may be sheep, but the Feds are wolves, and after salivating over The Speaker’s carcass for decades, they now smell fresh blood.
It will certainly be more than fascinating going forward.