Sun King’s Power Waning

From The Center Square:

Nowlan says Madigan’s political power is waning

(The Center Square) – Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said he has significant support from members of the House Democratic caucus, but a longtime political observer said the speaker’s power could be waning.

Jim Nowlan

“The decision on the next speaker of the Illinois House will be made at a caucus, after a full discussion of the issues facing our state and the qualifications of the candidates,” Madigan, D-Chicago, said in a statement on Friday.

“I plan to be a candidate for speaker, and today I confirmed that I continue to have support from a significant number of House Democratic caucus members.”

But a significant number may not be the majority necessary. Depending on the count, there are 17 or 18 House Democrats who have said they won’t support the speaker for another term.

Longtime politics observer Jim Nowlan served in the legislature with Madigan decades ago. He said from his count, Madigan has lost the necessary support to be the speaker at a crucial time for the state.

“I think Madigan is a dead man walking politically, and the big challenge of course now will be leadership and followership in what will probably be the most important legislative session in the history of the state of Illinois,” Nowlan told WMAY.

State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, has said she’s running for the spot.

State Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Northbrook, said he can’t support Madigan because he’s connected to “the type of politics all of us hate.”

“My decision is final and he has lost my support,” Carroll said in a statement. “While Madigan hasn’t been charged with a crime, individuals from his inner-circle aren’t so lucky.”

Last week, two former ComEd officials and two Madigan associates were charged with bribery conspiracy and other charges. The utility has admitted it paid $1.3 million in bribes over nine years to Madigan associates in an effort to influence the longtime speaker.

Despite that, Madigan still has support.

State Rep. Will Davis, D-Hazel Crest, told the Chicago Sun-Times he supports Madigan, and that he would seek the spot if Madigan ever relinquished the post.

Nowlan said Madigan could see other options.

“[House Majority Leader] Greg Harris, or another one of Madigan loyalist members of the House could serve as speaker and Madigan could pull the strings on that person, if he could,” Nowlan said.

It’s unclear when the Democrats will caucus. Lawmakers aren’t back for session until the second week of January before the new General Assembly is seated.

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Besides serving as State Representative, Jim Nowlan ran as Lt. Governor with Governor Richard B. Ogilvie in 1972, and has served as Director of several state departments under Governor Jim Thompson. He started out as a newspaper publisher and, later, became a professor at the University of Illinois. He has written


Sun King’s Power Waning — 15 Comments

  1. White, he was right once, when he said he didn’t know if Rauner could beat Ives.

  2. So, what if Madgian has some 50 votes?

    If they vote for him when the legislature convenes, the R candidate would have 45.

    Any third candidate a lot less.

    So Madigan wins?

  3. A majority vote of the membership is required.

    When Democrats took control in 1975, DuPage County State Rep. Bill Redman ran against Southern Illinois’ Clyde Choate.

    It was not until the 89th vote when DuPage County Republicans Lee Daniels and Gene Hoffman switched sides and voted for Redman.

    Then, Mike Howlett declared Redman the winner.

  4. That is correct.

    The Secretary of State chairs the organization of the Illinois House.

  5. Cal, thanks. 😁🦉

    I never read that in Russ Stewart’s column, nor learned in school. 😐🔔

  6. The compromise will probably be a Madigan stooge and nothing changes, Madigan will still pull the strings and control the flow of campaign money.

  7. It would seem that Little Eddie was fast asleep when he should
    have been paying attention in school.

  8. DisHonestAbe1, it wasn’t taught by my teachers and books, nor did I sleep in school. 😝

  9. We’ll see if ideals beat money.

    Madigan needs the Speaker position or he’s toast.

    Madigan, like Pelosi, is a money machine for the Democrat Party.

    The ability to collect money usually wins in politics.

    It would be refreshing to see any ideals win over the seemingly ironclad grip money has on all politics.

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