Governor Bruce Rauner has found one of House Speaker Mike Madigan’s hot buttons.
His free plane rides between Chicago and Springfield.
I wonder if Madigan even remembers the last time he drove to Springfield.
It was probably during the 1970’s when I-55 still had not been completed.
He would have driven on parts of Route 66 through towns like Dwight, Pontiac, Lincoln and ones even smaller where signs would have pointed to the “best pie in town” cafes.
Since being in leadership, Madigan has been ferrying by air.
And the seats in the plane he commandeers are perks for Democrats with which he wants to curry favor.
And not driving is a big favor.
The trip to and from Chicago is easier than driving from Crystal Lake (the commuting time each week equals taking the train to Chicago five days a week), but still a drag.
When Madigan gets to Springfield, by the way, he and the other legislative leaders don’t have to worry about ground transportation.
When the Illinois Crime Commission (a legislative body run by Charles Siragusa) was abolished, the General Assembly assigned its cars to legislative leaders.
Note that Rauner has driven (or more likely been driven) to and from the big city since he has been sworn in.
Rauner has set July 1st as the day that Madigan will have to find alternative transportation to the State Capitol.
Undoubtedly, this expenditure cut will be felt most personally by the Democratic Party leader…probably the only one that he will feel.