Illinois Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago)
The Illinois Republican Party is wondering how much longer longtime Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) can feign ignorance with the strong scent of corruption swirling all around him.
“This past week, more light was shed on one aspect of the Madigan machine, a lobbying conspiracy managed day to day by powerful statehouse insider and Mike Madigan’s best friend, Mike McClain,” the state GOP said in a press release.
As proof for their position, IL GOP officials point to the lobbying network federal authorities have reportedly uncovered over the course of their investigations into influence peddling at ComEd. According to WBEZ, in one email sent by McClain to a group he referred to as “Magic Lobbyist List,” he made clear it was with his and Madigan’s blessings that they had made the list and that they were expected to return the favor by referring lobbying clients to one another and contributing to the powerful so-called Madigan machine.
“It’s the perfectly corrupt conspiracy,” Republican spokesperson Joe Hackler said in a press release. "Former Madigan staffers cashed in by becoming favored lobbyists; Madigan’s campaign coffers were padded, and the legislative process from beginning to end was controlled by, you guessed it, Mike Madigan. There are two options going forward. Either one man will continue to corruptly pull all the levers of power in Springfield, or Democratic leaders will speak up and demand answers.”
Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune has reported that McClain, who has worked side by side with Madigan for roughly five decades, was working his contacts from the group on behalf of ousted Madigan aide Kevin Quinn in September 2018. Quinn had been forced out earlier that year after campaign worker Alaina Hampton went public with sexual harassment allegations against him.