Elmhurst-Area Democrat Says Madigan ‘Face of Machine Politics’

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ELMHURST, IL — Jennifer Zordani, the Democrat running to represent Elmhurst, Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills in the state House, declined to comment Monday on whether House Speaker Michael Madigan should resign in response to an alleged bribery scheme involving ComEd, the state’s largest electric utility. But she did have some sharp words about the speaker.

"He is the face of machine politics, which everyone in Illinois wants gone," said Zordani, who is running against Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, an Elmhurst Republican, for the 47th District House seat. "The tide has turned. We are an open, more confident state now. We do not need four men in a room making decisions for us."

In a phone interview, Zordani, a Clarendon Hills resident, said the problem with Illinois politics is the state lacks strong enough standards.

"We’ve seen multiple situations, whether it’s Republicans or Democrats, leaning on the fact that there has not been wrongdoing under a legal standard," Zordani said. "That isn’t the appropriate standard. The appropriate consideration is whether we have the right ethics and oversight laws in place, and we don’t."

Federal prosecutors alleged last week that ComEd bribed Madigan, a Democrat, with lucrative jobs, contracts and monetary payments. ComEd has agreed to pay $200 million restitution for its part in the alleged scheme, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Madigan, for his part, has not been charged and prosecutors did not identify him by name, referring to him as the speaker of the state House of Representatives.

Mazzochi released a statement Friday calling for Madigan’s resignation, as have other Republicans as well as at least one legislative Democrat, Sen. Melinda Bush of Grayslake. Mazzochi did not return messages for comment.

Asked whether Madigan should resign, Zordani did not comment. She said she would have more information to make that demand if she were in office like Bush.

The 47th District is seen as competitive in the 2020 election. Mazzochi edged out her Democratic opponent, Jim Caffrey, with 51.4 percent of the vote in the 2018 election.

Madigan, who is also chairman of the state Democratic Party, has a lot of influence over which candidates get state party money. Zordani said she expected to have her party’s monetary support.

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via Elmhurst, IL Patch

July 20, 2020 at 05:07PM

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