After the Madigan charges, Democrats lack an appetite for new ethics reform this spring

SPRINGFIELD — The day a 22-count federal corruption indictment came down against former Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, those controlling Illinois’ state government quickly reacted to the horrors of the racketeering and bribery allegations. Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker called the charges “deplorable and a stark violation of the public’s trust” and touted how state ethics […]

Madigan, McClain plead not guilty to racketeering charges

SPRINGFIELD – Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and former lobbyist Michael McClain on Wednesday pleaded not guilty in federal court to charges of racketeering, bribery, fraud and extortion. Both were arraigned on those charges during a teleconference hearing before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Cole, a hearing that was prolonged several minutes because McClain had […]

‘The Madigan Enterprise:’ Inside the federal indictment of the state’s former speaker

SPRINGFIELD – In a 106-page, 22-count indictment, federal prosecutors painted a picture of former House Speaker Michael Madigan as the leader, along with a longtime confidante, of a sweeping criminal enterprise that influenced legislation for personal power and financial gain. “The Madigan Enterprise,” as prosecutors called it in the document filed Wednesday, benefitted from Madigan’s […]

In a now-disavowed memo, Democrats were urged to criticize the feds’ Madigan case

CHICAGO — Publicly and privately on Thursday, top Illinois Democrats grappled with how to put a positive, election-year spin on federal prosecutors’ newly unsealed corruption case against their longtime leader, the former state House Speaker and party boss Michael Madigan. Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker even appeared to celebrate the federal case, saying he thought Madigan’s […]

Ex-Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is indicted on federal racketeering charges

The prosecution of Madigan — who set a national record by serving as House speaker for 36 years — represented the most significant corruption case in the notoriously toxic world of Chicago and Illinois politics since the conviction a decade ago of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. In bringing the long-anticipated case, federal prosecutors targeted a […]

‘I Wanted More,’ Pritzker Says Of Ethics Bill

SPRINGFIELD — Governor JB Pritzker wants to make it clear that he’s not a wholesale believer in the ethics reform package Democratic lawmakers pushed through the legislature this week. The Democrat, who has less than a year and a half left in his first term as governor, takes umbrage with the suggestion he claimed any […]

Welch Sworn In As House Speaker, Ending Madigan’s Decades-Long Hold On Illinois Politics

SPRINGFIELD – Former House Speaker Mike Madigan is now merely State Rep. Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) for the first time in nearly four decades as the embattled Democratic leader passed the gavel on to new Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside) Wednesday. Welch becomes Illinois’ first Black House speaker — a milestone celebrated by groups statewide in […]

Welch Becomes Illinois’ First Black Speaker Of The House

SPRINGFIELD — Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, will be the next speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives after days of closed-door meetings with fellow Democrats.  Michael Madigan, who has been speaker for all but two years since 1983, issued a statement congratulating Welch as “speaker-elect” minutes before lawmakers were set to make the vote […]

Pandemic, Social Unrest, Statehouse Scandals Top 2020 Stories

SPRINGFIELD – It was a year like no other, and one most Americans would just as soon forget, but 2020 is sure to last in the history books as one of the most tumultuous in modern history. It was a year when face masks and hand sanitizer became ubiquitous items of everyday life and when […]

217 Today — Nov. 6, 2020

Friday November 6, 2020 Today’s headlines:  Some high-powered Democrats are calling on House Speaker Michael Madigan to resign as chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Illinois passed another grim COVID-19 milestone yesterday. More than 10,000 Illinoisans have now died after testing positive for the virus. Champaign County reported 60 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. The County […]