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Madigan doesn't care about middle class

Ottawa Daily Times

Tuesday, February 13, 2018  |  Letter to Editor  |  Harold Benton

Madigan, Michael--State House, 22

As an Illinois Valley resident, I think I need to take the blinders off on just who came to see us on Jan. 20 for his first visit to the Illinois Valley. My family has lived in Illinois since before it was even a territory, owning land in Western Illinois near Macomb since the late 1700s on my mother's side.


Just who is House Speaker Mike Madigan? Scott Drury, who is a Democrat running for attorney general of this state, this year compared him to the Harry Potter character Lord Voldemort. Drury was the only person in the Democratic caucus to oppose in voting Madigan for House Speaker in 2017. Ken Dunkin, of Chicago, was rewarded for opposing Madigan in 2016 by having a Madigan-selected primary opponent. Dunkin was the key defection in defeating SB1229 calling it the worst piece of legislation he ever read. That bill would have removed Gov. Bruce Rauner from all labor talks with AFSCME had it been overridden. Dunkin was replaced in the house by Juliana Stratton, who surprisingly was made JB Pritzker's running mate as lieutenant governor in this year's election.


If you think any Democrat elected has a chance of being independent from Madigan's control just remember this about him: He is the head of the Illinois Democratic Party, and he controls their purse strings on campaign cash. All donations they receive have to go through his hands first. You make him mad in Springfield — even if you're in a tight race — he will cut off your cash. Madigan only cares about himself and his power and anyone in his way will be squashed like a bug on the windshield. He doesn't care about the middle class unless you're a state worker then he will do anything for you. The rest of you are just drones he uses for votes. He has been running this state for 33 going on 34 years and we are now at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to fiscal health as a state.


These are just a few highlights of what his own party thinks of him and what he has done to those in his party that cross him.






Rauner must talk to Trump about construction program, lawmaker says

Rick Pearson

Chicago Tribune


Republican state Rep. David McSweeney on Monday said Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state’s top Democrats are going to have to do something they don’t want to do — talk to each other — if Illinois is to take part in President Donald Trump’s proposed public works program.


McSweeney was among about two dozen invited guests at the White House for briefings by Trump and senior Cabinet officials. The Barrington Hills lawmaker said Rauner has to talk to the president — a politician he has conscientiously sought to avoid. And, he said, Democratic U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth need to engage with Republicans on the proposal, not just reject it outright.


“The governor’s going to have to do what he doesn’t want to do. He’s going to have to go meet President Trump,” said McSweeney, a third-term lawmaker who is backing Rauner’s primary challenger, state Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton.


“Now would be a good time to hop on a plane and come meet him and prioritize, meet with (House) Speaker (Michael) Madigan, meet with (Illinois Senate) President (John) Cullerton, meet with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, our two U.S. senators and (GOP legislative leaders) Jim Durkin and Bill Brady and develop a plan,” he said.


One project McSweeney called worthy of prioritization was the proposed extension of the CTA’s Red Line south from 95th Street and the Dan Ryan to 130th Street. The project is expected to cost $2.3 billion.


McSweeney said the briefings indicated several states are further ahead of Illinois in the planning process for federal public works assistance. The state has not enacted an infrastructure repair bill since 2009. Raising gasoline or other taxes to pay for one and get federal funding is unlikely in an election year.

“One of the things that was very evident is that the other states are well coordinated. It’s almost like a military operation. They’ve been working on this for awhile,” he said.


McSweeney opposes hiking gasoline taxes and said he believes projects should be prioritized first and then matched to revenue sources. He also said a recent state constitutional amendment aimed at preventing transportation dollars from being used for nontransportation purposes could shore up more money.


Rauner told a newspaper in Downstate Hillsboro on Friday that he supports a new capital bill and said infrastructure repair “is one responsible use for debt” through borrowing.


The Journal-News reported the governor discussed gambling as a potential funding source but added, “Frankly, I'm open to other sources of revenue.”


Rauner, however, said a gasoline tax hike is off the table, according to the newspaper. “We should not be talking about tax hikes until we show fiscal discipline,” he said.


Trump’s plan represents a $200 billion federal commitment spread out over 10 years and mainly would pay 20 percent toward qualifying projects from individual states. But McSweeney said the 20 percent figure should be raised, particularly for states like Illinois that send more money to Washington than other states.


The Trump administration also is looking at projects that can be done quickly as a result of the federal government easing some permitting and other regulatory requirements, McSweeney said. States that do the same also would see projects being prioritized for federal funding, he said.


“One thing the president kept stressing: This whole issue that they want to move quickly on permitting,” McSweeney said. “My message to all of our leaders is we need to get our act together now, get our projects prioritized in a bipartisan fashion and that we finally get a capital bill in our state.”