Metra Patronage – McHenry County & Mike Madigan

Metra Engine Coming into Crystal Lake at Main Street

Metra locomotive engine.

Metra found 780 note cards in a box that had information about who asked for jobs through whom from about 1980 on.

I’ve taken a look at about 40% of them, concentrating on McHenry County connections.

I think it’s safe to say that then-Metra Chairman Jeff Ladd’s name appears most often.

Usually his name is referenced as having forwarded a request from a local or legislative politician to the Metra personnel folks.

Next highest (or perhaps even higher than Ladd) was now-disgraced Metra Board member Don Udsteun, who represented McHenry County on the panel along with Ladd.

Udsteun’s name appears connected with a range of politicians, including numerous Democratic Party State Representatives and Senators.  Democrat State Rep. Al Ronan’s name seemed to appear most often in conjunction with Udstuen’s

The third most often mentioned name was McHenry County Republican Central Committee Chairman Al Jourdan.  For part of the period, Jourdan was also Chairman of the State Republican Party.

Mike Madigan’s name was contained on a few of the cards.  To give you a flavor of the information on the cards, look at the five below, all of whom were hired:

M Don Carroll

Don Carroll was the subject of this 1980 Mike Madigan request.

In 198

In 1982 Mike Madigan should a job for Dennis Gallivan in conjunction with Senate President Phil Rock and Cook County Sheriff Bernie Carey.

M Steve Hynes

1987 was the year that Mike Madigan helped Steve Hynes get a summer job.

Mike Madigan intervened on

Mike Madigan also intervened on Jeffrey Gadomski’s behalf in 1987.

John Gleason received Mike Madigan's help in

John Gleason received Mike Madigan’s help in 1990.  Don Udstruen’s name is also mentioned.


Metra Patronage – McHenry County & Mike Madigan — 5 Comments

  1. So you have looked at 40% of the cards and 5 have madigan a name on them….. Out of 800?


  2. There may have been one other I copied, but couldn’t find.

    So it’s 5 out of, say, 240.

  3. 240/800 is 30% meaning Madigan had partial influence in .1% of appointments…

    I will be shocked if his influence exceeds 1% of the aggregate total.

  4. 40% of 780 = 312.

    5 / 312 = 1.6%.


    Or if 240 was the number.

    40% of 240 = 96.

    5/ 96 = 5.2%.


    Watch the Michael Madigan movie to learn about Michael Madigan patronage.



    Illinois Policy Institute Channel

    Madigan: Power, Privilege, Politics

    published on November 3, 2016

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