20 Aug 2014
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Tribune Takes on Mike Madigan's Political Army

This is how clout works in Illinois.

Tribune Takes on Mike Madigan's Political Army
MADIGAN'S ARMY House Speaker Michael Madigan's many loyal foot soldiers are handsomely rewarded with government jobs, sometimes by government officials afraid of what might happen if they say no to the Speaker. The Chicago Tribune dug into the work histories of hundreds of Madigan political workers in a weekend series. If you want to know how clout works in Illinois, don't miss this.  Cliff's Notes version and links to the original are here.

SOUND OFF One way politicians in Illinois have put a lock on power is by drawing legislative district maps to ensure that members of their party won't face election opposition. Michael Madigan has been a major benefactor of political map-drawing. We believe this "incumbent protection program" needs to end. We needs maps drawn for voters, not politicians.  Click here and find out how you can help in this effort.

PENSION MATH There was rejoicing in some circles a month ago when the Illinois General Assembly passed a pension reform bill after years of trying. But will the savings from this new law add up? We should know soon.  More here.

REPUBLICAN INTRIGUE Is it payback time for Republican U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock on Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner? It sure looks that way.  Find out about Illinois' newest Super PAC and its role in the GOP primary here.

SOUND OFF A police chief retires, begins collecting a $100,000 pension and then is immediately re-hired as "director of police" at a slightly lower salary. Corporations threaten to leave the state unless they get generous tax breaks. Who knows whether they're bluffing. Are you tired of these all-too-common Illinois occurrences? So are we. We can help you do something about it.  Find out more about pension double dips and corporate tax shakedowns and how you can be heard here.

BIG IDEA Cartoonist Scott Stantis says inspiration will never feel the same under the new light bulb rules. We hadn't thought about this, but he's got a point.  See it here.

 HEADLINES Here's what's happening in Illinois government news today:
  • 5. An anti-Bruce Rauner political action committee has been formed. ( State Journal-Register)
    4. One of the biggest challenges facing Illinois in 2014 will be job growth. ( Chicago Tribune)
    3. Opinion: Illinois shouldn't raise the minimum wage in the state. ( The Clinton Herald)
    2. The Chicago Tribune has an in-depth investigation into how House Speaker Michael Madigan builds his extensive patronage army. ( Chicago Tribune)
    1. Several financial experts are now looking at Illinois’ new pension reform law to make sure the math adds up. ( Chicago Tribune)

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