Madigan’s not gone, not by a long shot
today at 11:07 am
Resigns his house seat, but still runs the Illinois Democratic Party
Former House Speaker Michael Madigan’s resignation as a Southwest Side legislator is a surprise, but perhaps not as consequential as some might have first imagined.
He remains chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party and sits on top of a load of campaign cash that still controls a plentitude of votes by selectively doling out cash to compliant candidates. If he resigned as party boss, now that truly would be a shocker.
A true test of his power will be the extent of his influence in the coming legislative redistricting in Illinois.
Although under the cloud of a federal investigation, Madigan was fulsome in praise of himself in his resignation announcement. Missing was a persuasive explanation of why he is resigning now.
If I had to guess why he’d resign his House seat and not as party boss, I’d say that he can’t stand not being boss. He had been House speaker longer than anyone else in America, so when he lost the job to Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch of Hillside, he was technically a back bencher. He no longer could run the Rules Committee–the graveyard of legislation he didn’t like. That his ego couldn’t tolerate the diminished role shouldn’t surprise.
Still, it’s a new day.
His resignation letter is here.
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