Rich Miller: Madigan getting backed into corner

Just two House Democratic men have spoken up. As with the 2018 sexual harassment crisis in his chamber, Madigan once again faces serious problems with women legislators.

Madigan also informed his members that while he was fully cooperating with the feds, he would be fighting these claims because there was no quid pro quo. But fending off the full force and might of a federal prosecutor who appears more hell-bent on prosecuting the speaker than any of his predecessors will not be easy or cheap.

The Friends of Michael J. Madigan campaign committee began earnestly spending money on legal fees in late July of 2017 and has reported spending $2.66 million on lawyers since then. Some of that was spent on investigations he ordered conducted into his own political operation regarding sexual harassment issues, but not all.

Madigan’s $2.66 million is more than one out of every five dollars (21%) expended on legal/attorney/lawyer fees since late July of 2017 by all state and local candidate and political committee in Illinois combined. Whew.

So I asked a Madigan campaign spokesperson if he would pledge to spend all the money he raises for the rest of this campaign cycle on campaigns and not on legal fees.

“Not going to have a comment,” the spokesperson emailed me back.

Madigan’s most vital job is electing and reelecting House Democrats, many of them suburban women. And that costs lots of money, but so does a vigorous legal defense.



July 24, 2020 at 08:08PM

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