State GOP: In election's wake, Dems may want to rethink allegiance to Madigan
Illinois Republican Party Executive Director Nick Klitzing released a memo following last week’s election results detailing the challenges that now lie before House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) and the Democratic Party in the Land of Lincoln.
Stating that Madigan recently ditched a post-election meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner and other leaders, Klitzing said Madigan issued “a scathing statement” after the results came in.
“If Madigan continues to dig in, Illinois Democrats face a critical choice: They can either let Madigan bury them, or they can prove their independence,” Klitzing said.
Not only did Illinois voters blame Madigan for the state’s budget stalemate and poor economic climate, but some Democrats lost their seats because of their alliances with Madigan, including state Reps. Kate Cloonen (D-Kankakee) and John Bradley (D-Marion), Klitzing said. By virtue of their perceived links to Madigan, their campaign messages were “Madiganized,” and they lost despite outspending their opponents.
Madigan, too, spent millions, Klitzing said, in a failed effort to block state Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) from being re-elected. Additionally, despite Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton winning Illinois by more than 15 points, Republicans rallied at the local level — casting themselves in a favorable light compared with Madigan and dealing Illinois Democrats “a significant blow.”
“Voters understood that electing Democrats to the General Assembly in down-ballot races meant strengthening Madigan’s power,” Klitzing said, adding that voters rejected Madigan and broke his “supermajority" when the GOP picked up four seats in the state House.
“Will Democrats risk their own political futures by standing by the most unpopular political leader in Illinois?” Klitzing said. “If you want to know who the targeted Democrats will be in 2018, you can start by watching who continues to support Mike Madigan as speaker.”