A sign of how much jeopardy Illinois’s most powerful political figure is in, Gov. J. B. Pritzker is doubling down on his remarks about Illinois House Speaker and state Democratic Party Chairman Mike Madigan. The Chicago Tribune reports:
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Friday that House Speaker Michael Madigan’s declaration that he would not resign after being implicated in ComEd’s federal bribery scandal wasn’t a sufficient response and that he owes the public a full explanation.
“Look, he continues to have unanswered questions hanging out there. He needs to stand up and answer those questions,” said Pritzker, who has called on Madigan to resign if it is proven he played a role ComEd’s efforts to gain political influence with him by offering jobs, contracts and payments to close allies.
“I believe people who serve the public interest, people who get elected to public office, have a duty to be transparent and to live up to the integrity that’s demanded by the public for their public service,” Pritzker said. “He needs to stand up and answer these questions because people have serious questions about those things and any public servant who isn’t willing to do that. And I’ve made that clear.”
Pritzker’s comments at an unrelated news conference in the Little Village neighborhood came a day after Madigan, long the state’s most powerful politician and the nation’s longest-serving statehouse speaker, vowed he would not step down from his governmental role or from his state Democratic Party chairmanship after polling members of his 73-member House majority by phone.
Basically, Mr. Madigan will need to be carried from his role feet first. He won’t resign. He won’t maintain a low profile. You’ll be able to tell the situation is dire when members of the legislature start turning on him.
That may never happen. He knows where a lot of bodies are buried.