Will GOP's Madigan Attacks Persuade Local Voters?

Illinois Republicans are trying to tell voters that a vote for any Democrat this fall is a vote for House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Could this be the election year in which the GOP's portrayal of Mike Madigan as the corrupt manipulator of Democratic state reps — mere marionettes who dance on strings — actually pays off?

The Southwest Side power broker is again the target of a Republican bid to tie him to the candidacies of every House Democrat in the November election, according to a report from IllinoisWatchdog.org.

A recent $100,000 union donation to Madigan and the House's failure to act on pension reform in the General Assembly is being cited as evidence of a suspicious scratching of the back on the Speaker's part. 

David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, offered this take to a reporter for IllinoisWatchdog.org:  

“What this is, is Republicans in Illinois saying that a vote for a Democrat in the Illinois House is a vote for Mike Madigan. ...

“This is not a new tactic. What’s new here is the environment and the antipathy toward Springfield and the problems that exist. People in Illinois do know who Mike Madigan is. Maybe this is the year that (the tactic) works."

Recent history shows Madigan can be beat. 

Kelly Burke, the Evergreen Park woman who represents the 36th House District, sent Madigan's candidate packing in the 2010 Democratic primary. The two-term library board member prevailed despite the formidable arsenal of Madigan campaign workers toiling on behalf of her opponent, which included female ghost candidates with Irish surnames, efforts to smear her on her property tax payments and threats to get her law license revoked for being a tax cheat.

Such Machiavellian political moves from the Madigan camp often come into play in House races in the south suburbs and beyond. 

Elsewhere in the Southland that year, Madigan's street army circulated petitions for Molly McAvoy Flynn — a Republican — to get her on the ballot and make sure Tinley Park's Jeff Junkas spent a lot of time and money before facing off in the general election against the Democratic incumbent, Madigan's House man Rep. Kevin McCarthy (D-Orland Park). McCarthy ultimately squeaked to a win on a 4 percentage point margin.

The Republicans' goal this year is to persuade voters to liken all Democrats to Madigan, whom they portray as the ultimate corrupt politician. With four decades in the House — and three as Speaker — there's a long record of gamesmanship to reference.

There are many uncontested races in the Illinois House this year, but there are enough races at stake that Republican victories could tip the balance of power in the House — now at 63 Democrats and 54 Republicans — and wrest the Speaker's gavel from Madigan's hand.

Steve Brown, Madigan's spokesman, offered this view on GOP tactics to IllinoisWatchdog.org:

“They’ve done this for 25 years, and it’s gotten them nowhere. There’s no real change. Two years ago, they rented out billboards on the Tri-State tollway against Madigan. They were pretty expensive."

Yepsen said he doubts the accusation about the union donation and the pension vote will gain traction among voters.

"I have never heard of a voter saying, ‘I’m going to change my vote because of money somebody got.’ It just doesn’t work that way. Votes for the Legislature are about local candidates and local issues.”


Does Mike Madigan's rep factor into your vote for your local state representative? Share your view in the comments.

fred wiese August 30, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Stu,$300K/year have an effective income tax rate less than 20%.++ Why = deductions up the house-kids and baby loopholes for the mittwannabe's. ++ What are you proposing w.r.t. payroll taxes (FICA, Medicare)? = Everybody pays their own way except poverty level and below. They pay zip. Maybe we should get back to the old family ways of taking care of our own.
Stuart Kurtz August 30, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Fred, your answer to the payroll tax question is unclear. I ask because payroll taxes amount to 13.3% for filers with a taxable income of less than $110K. Higher income filers pay a much lower effective payroll tax rate, both because of the FICA cutoff, and because the Medicare tax applies only to earned (vs investment) income. This point is often missed in contemporary discussion of tax policy, and it matters. For filers making less than $100K, the average effective income tax rate is 15%, meaning that under the status quo, the average effective federal tax rate (including income and payroll taxes) is 28.3%. For upper income filers, the average effective income tax rate is 25%, so the average effective federal tax rate is less than 28%, and probably closer to 26% than 27%. Your proposal appears to raise the average effective federal tax rate for the middle-class from 28.3% to 33.3%, while reducing the average effective rate on upper-income earners from 28% to 23%. Is this what you want? Why?
REAGANRAISEDTAXES August 30, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Sir John Paul, it's refreshing to see at least ONE Republican admit that maybe their side had something to do with the situation. If Madigan is the problem, wouldn't it be fair for the Obama Admin. to place the same blame on John Boehner? I'm no fan of Madigan, but he's not the Governor. The buck stops with Quinn. As for Walker/Christie, what's so difficult about giving tax breaks to people who don't need them and cutting the middle class?
John Paul August 30, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Mokena, I don't think you can compare the power that Madigan has in Illinois to what Boehner has in DC. Boehner doesn't get to draw the congressional districts throughout the country as Madigan does here. Also, Boehner doesn't control the GOP money nationally as Madigan does here. On top of that, Madigan also draws the Senate districts, as they are comprised of two house districts. US Senators are elected by state, and nobody can effect those boundaries. As for your second point, how have the middle class been cut, unless they are puplic employees? And, who gets to decide who "needs" tax breaks? I look at taxes as something we are forced to pay. Some see after tax income as what the government is nice enough to let us keep.
Tired of the B.S. August 30, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Are you Ivent?
fred wiese August 30, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Stu all the cake,cookies,& sweets come out of the 20 or 25 or even 30%'s that all the above to pov lvl will pay to cover the necessities of our country. What don't you understand? Just because mitty pays 13% doesn't make him a hero. I'm 73 on SSI, in Medicare, and a small pension. I'm part of the lucky one's who can still buy food and pay taxes. For the future gen lets get rid of the thieves and whiney freeloaders. romney bama are the same. If BS was music they would be band leaders
GS August 30, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Get this Madigan joke out of here! along with Obummer, and Quinn! Take Rahm too
Stuart Kurtz August 30, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Fred, I'm puzzled by your position because it seems to be very much against your own interest. You describe a modest income, just enough to get by, yet are pushing a proposal that would likely double your own income taxes. Moreover, you seem to be open to severe cuts in Social Security and Medicare, which would hit your income and expenses pretty hard. You wouldn't feel like "one of the lucky ones" in the world you're advocating. And I'm hard put to see Romney and Obama as equivalent. You seem to be arguing that there are a lot of people (evidently including yourself) who are freeloading because their effective income tax rate is less than 20%. By these standards, Romney, with his 13% effective tax rate, comes off pretty badly, and Obama, by his 26% effective tax rate, is carrying considerably more than his fair share. From my point of view, your Social Security benefits are earned. You paid for them through your working life by contributions, just as I'm paying for my future benefits today. I think it's good if everyone contributes to our common needs, but also that the rich pay more (even in proportion) than the poor. After all, the rich benefit more from common resources (defense, police, roads, etc.), and their quality of life is less affected by the taxes they pay. Even in highly progressive tax schemes, taxes hit the poor harder than the rich.
Chronicles of Bob August 30, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Gee, what made you think that? I guess you missed my " if it sounds like a duck post"... Just as rock bobster is old Bob
BUTCH August 30, 2012 at 08:34 PM
CHRONICLES AND BS what or who is a invent? some genius by the tone- tell me where has he or she posted recently now I am getting curious., I bet u two one per centers believe this most hypocritical and dishonest speech of all time was on target and message last night on the closing of the Janesville plant.and Health care with NOTHING but the BIG LIE STRATEGY, They use the same strategy that was used by the author of Mein Kampf and his big lie MINISTER JOE GOEBBELS both of them must be included in all footnotes in all of the speeches of the GOP-TPARTY., "Never use a small falsehood always a big one just keep repeating it over and over," this guy is a small liar in comparison to the MORMON but he is closing fast, he forget to mention he requested Stimulus money for the PLANT on 4 occasions but GM closed the Plant causing DANA PERINO DUBYA'S press SEC because it was on DUBYA'S WATCH her statement was similar statement that TWIT wrote on "LET EM BELLY UP" LATER.' and the there is Medicare and the secret plan or Nixon part II
BUTCH August 30, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Chronicles and BS LYIN is using Karl ROVE PANTS on FIRE whoppers In front of the entire nation on MEDICARE before a major audience of MURKANS last night REPEATED THE BIG LIE on MEDICARE.and the downgrading by S-P aka RYAN CANTOR ploy to cut the KOCH and ZIONIST ADELSON'S taxes the new style of campaigning is now called factual shortcuts by the AP aka lies lies and liars, But What else can they do ? how else can they distort the Obama successes on saving and creating jobs despite the treasonous pledge to a friggin Lobbyist who should have gone to jail with his mentor Abramoff 1980 same thing desert storm I and II and IRAQ. last night the NEO'S in CONGRESS are tuning the T EVANGELICALS up to is hilarious that the wannabe 1% on this blog think they are going to have their interests taken care of by Rove the Koch's and VICE LORD Sheldon ADELSON Rove's stream of cash is from the same people who financed the Contras and partners of Dick Liz lez and the entire DYSFUNCTIONAL LOG CABIN Cheney family the Iranian MULLAHS remember the day the DEMETIA guy was elected ininvade SYRIA, this Satanic convention is far from being Christian look at their upside down GOP logo it is the DEVIL WAKE UP!
anthony August 30, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Does a Leopard changes its spots
fred wiese August 30, 2012 at 11:28 PM
stu im tired of puzzil and clareity nothing will happen in my lifetime im glad i got wat i got but if a flat tax cums a long ill b happier I guessing that ur doing ok watever makes you happy go for it im dun buy buy
mr lahey August 31, 2012 at 03:48 AM
we start with talking about madigan and end up with a guy in his underpants with a tinfoil hat and reloading shells in his moms basement wow this guy is out there
BUTCH August 31, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Madigan=the Mormon moment
Hope and Change is not a strategy August 31, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Stuart, first the "payroll tax" is not a tax. It is a pension contribution. Taxes are paid into a system in total and then spent for the general good. There is no connection to the benefits I receive compared to the taxes I pay. Your Social security benefits are based on your contributions. The more you pay in the more you get. Are the payments teachers make to their pension considered a tax? It is a withholding from their pay to the government for a future benefit? Medicare is just large group health insurance plan. Both Social Security are Medicare benefits for the lower income individuals are subsidized by higher earning individuals. Yes, individuals stop paying into social security at $110K of wages. However, my contributions are based on $110K of wages. So if I have wages of $500K and someone else has wages of $110K, we pay in the same and we get out the same, what is wrong with that? Also, the individual making $500K will pay tax on 85% of his social security benefits where a lower income person will not pay tax on their benefits. A taxpayer paying into social security at the maximum amount their entire life has a smaller after tax social security benefit than someone paying in at 50% of the maximum even though the higher earning taxpayer paid twice as much into the system.
Hope and Change is not a strategy August 31, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Stuart I would agree with you that taxes hit the lower income families harder if they were actually paying federal income tax. The majority of the under $50,000 crowd has no taxable income and in a lot cases gets back refundable credits or EIC. A family of four, two incomes, making $100K combined, relative itemized deductions, pays around 5% of their AGI in federal tax. $100K of income , based on 2009 IRS figures, puts them near the top 10% of all taxpayers. So about 88% of all working families are paying 5% or less in federal income tax. Please tell me how the idiots on MSNBC can claim that "middle income taxpayers" pay a higher rate than Romney? It is just a lie, as most things are on MSNBC.
Ty Wagner August 31, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Madigan = Satan
Tired of the B.S. August 31, 2012 at 07:44 PM
You are Ivent, stripes, nancy grace, and now butch. Different screen names, same blubbering.
BUTCH August 31, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Tired BS Whoever the Ostriches think I am- I am- made my day never met the others but to BS and u all low info OSTRICHES-It is obvious we have struck a cord with a group maybe of low info neo believers who think they are a 1% I know a !% and she is not on this Blog nor are any of u all who cannot stand the truth where is the originality ? Like that crotchety 82 year ole man and real 1 % last night talking to a empty chair! did he make yer day! made mine
Tired of the B.S. August 31, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Same poor spelling, same overuse of caps, same ranting about government, same ideas about some kind of a conspiracy that only you are smart enough to figure out. I thought that you would have had enough after you pulled all your nancy grace posts yesterday. You keep posting your insane drivel and we will keep laughing at it. See ya later, Butch/ivent/nancygrace/stripes.
Stuart Kurtz August 31, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Hope and Change, let me start with the last first. Let's consider your scenario. Take an AGI of $100K, subtract the standard deduction of $11,600 to get $88,400. Subtract exemptions of 4 x $3700 to get a taxable income of $73,600. The taxes, per the tax tables, are $10,656, for an effective tax rate of 10.7%, which is more than twice what you claimed. In order to get them down to the 5% you claimed, you'd need to get their taxable income down to $39,050, which corresponds to deductions of $46,150. That's severe audit territory. Running the same calculation with an AGI of $50K yields $0 EIC, and results in taxes of $2,694, i.e., a 5.4% effective rate. That's a lot more than $0. As far as I can see, your "facts" are false, and there's no clear argument made. Care to try again? As for the MSNBC claim that "middle income tax payers pay a higher rate than Romney," I would argue that some do, and some don't. Romney claimed a 2010 effective rate of 13%. If we run the same calculation based on $120K of income, we get 13%. Is an AGI of $120K middle class? I'd say so. The definition of middle class is pretty squishy, but these days, a taxable income of $250K seems to be the cutoff. So there certainly are middle class tax payers who are paying a considerably higher effective income tax rate than Romney, although most don't.
BUTCH August 31, 2012 at 10:50 PM
HEY BS tryin to draw ole Butch off side, yer better than watching the W/SOX in 1st place in Sept or Clint telling the bad guys to get off his lawn and now a magic chair it must be a MORMON or better yet wannabe 1% thing, I know u can't figure it out if u could u could be lyin Ryan's under sec treasury u need a little bit of a mind,. and yer SWISS bank account would not be overdrawn glad yer laughing sucka, u low info wannabe 1 % are needed for comic relief.
Tired of the B.S. September 01, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Whatever you say, butch/ivent/nancygrace/strips. I wish it was possible to figure out what it is that you are babbling about, but I guess that you have to be kinda "special" like you for anything you say to make any sense at all. Thanks again for giving me something to laugh at but you better be careful spending so much time on the computer because they are watching. Have a good night and don't forget to take your meds.
Conservative September 07, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Simple a vote for any democratic candidate is a vote for Mike Madigan, his voice is the only one heard so if you want to continue giving him the "Majority in the house" guess what his policies will continue... Simple as that.
BUTCH September 07, 2012 at 09:38 PM
NOT QUITE! a vote for any GOP THESE DAYS is a vote to invest yer SSA MEDICARE and pensions if u are lucky to still have one after the 43 Cheney admin and Glass SIEGLE was revoked by the looters like BAIN and lyin- THE ECONOMY will only come back if the T PARTY looters leave everyone's SSA and MEDICARE alone, wake up and smell the coffee not the OXY RUSH'S PAIN MEDICATION
Kerry September 08, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I think you are off your meds.
BUTCH September 08, 2012 at 05:33 AM
Kerry not yet but if Lyin is in the drivers seat I will like most low info Murkans have to decide between the MED'S aka VOUCHER CARE - GAS or FOOD if u are a ! % or think u are u will be OK unless u have a prior condition- U must be a very low info T PARTY er never heard of Phil GRAMM the progenitor of the depression of the 21st century stay tuned u may learn something not coming from a OXY DRUGSTER! ARE U A TRADER by any chance?
John J Miller September 21, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Madigan, Zalewski, and their attorneys should be all put in jail.
Robert Jr. November 06, 2012 at 05:53 PM
The Republican party should have won this in a slam dunk election. whoever holds positions of "leadership" and power in the Republican party in Illinois and throughout the country - we need to replace them as soon as possible - they are ruining the chances for real growth and prosperity and are giving the party a bad name. Let's get some people in who represent the 70% who would easily vote Republican if there was integrity in the party leadership!


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