Stuart catches heat for not answering question on support for Madigan
On Election Day, Katie Stuart defeated state Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) for the District 112 state House seat, and Stuart is now under scrutiny over an answer she gave to a reporter's question about whether or not she would vote for Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) to remain House speaker.
The News-Gazette wrote a scathing editorial about Stuart and her unwillingness to answer the question.
“The bloom came off the rose pretty darn quick for state Rep.-elect Katie Stuart, a Glen Carbon Democrat who will be sworn in to office in January with the new Illinois General Assembly,” the editorial said.
The News-Gazette said Stuart “pretended to be flummoxed by the question.”
"I don't know what the options will be," Stuart said. "You're asking me a hypothetical question just like I wouldn't tell you how I would vote on any piece of legislation until I actually read the legislation."
Madigan has held the position of Illinois House speaker during most of his 45-year political career, and he reportedly began lobbying to be chosen as speaker again as early as election night, calling several Democratic lawmakers to gauge their support.
“She asserts that a Madigan bid for the speakership, a position he has held for much of his 40-plus year tenure, is purely ‘hypothetical?’ That's not even close to being credible," the editorial said. "If there's anything that's a certainty, it's that Madigan already has, is now or will be asking members of his Democratic caucus to support his bid for another two-year term as their boss. Further, he'll maintain the House rules, with the complicity of the Democratic caucus, that allow him complete control of what bills will be heard in committee and voted on by the full House."
The news outlet again accused her of faking confusion over the query.
“Stuart knows that, just as sure as she knows that the Cubs won the World Series...That's why they evade questions on the subject, with superficial, glib responses like, ‘I can't say whom I'm supporting because I don't know who's going to be running for speaker,'" the editorial said. “That's the talking point Democratic public-relations advisers tell House members to give if they're questioned by reporters or voters. It's shamefully false, but in politician-world, any answer that avoids an unpleasant subject is worth giving.”