Madigan the problem, not the solution for state, Kay says
Dwight Kay doesn’t see what most Democratic lawmakers seem to see in House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago).
“Democrats seem to think he has leadership abilities that I don’t see,” Kay told the Metro East Sun. “Mike Madigan is the problem in Illinois, not the solution. He’s not a guy I would hire.”
But that's just what Democratic lawmakers recently did in re-electing the 76-year-old Madigan as chairman of the state Democratic Party.
Madigan now reigns as the longest-tenured Democratic chairman in state history, though his latest re-election was not without controversy. It came about despite a still simmering sexual harassment and abuse scandal that has dogged his administration, including spurring the ouster of two of his campaign associates and triggering cries for him to step down over his handling of the situation.
And then there is his still ongoing feud with Gov. Bruce Rauner over what each man sees as the right course of action for the cash-strapped and politically divided state.
“It makes the governor’s race against J.B. Pritzker that much more important,” Kay, a Glen Carbon Republican who is running against Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) in the 112th District, said. “As governor, Pritzker would be nothing more than a ‘yes man’ for Madigan. I think we need checks and balances on him, and at this point the only way to do that is to keep Rauner in office.”
Kay said he believes Democratic lawmakers remain loyal to Madigan because some of them fear him and others have come to count on the contributions of his cronies.
“I thought with the MeToo movement and some of the things that have happened on his watch, his time might finally be up,” Kay said. “I thought it might send Dems looking for new leadership, but we're still stuck where we’ve always been under Mike Madigan.”
The 112th House District includes parts or all of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Collinsville and O'Fallon.