Davie questions incumbent senator's support of Madigan
It may be business as usual in Springfield now that House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) has won re-election as Illinois Democratic Party chairman, but at least one Republican is questioning the move.
Barrett Davie, winner of the Republican primary to face incumbent Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) in the 29th District in November, questioned Madigan’s re-election via social media last week.
“Your state senator, Julie Morrison, supported Mike Madigan’s re-election to lead her party this week,” Davie posted on Facebook. “This is unfortunate because, regardless of political party, Mr. Madigan is desperately out of touch with our community’s core values.”
Davie’s post contained a link to an article (that has since been taken down) that pointed out Madigan was re-elected “despite sexual harassment complaints on his watch.”
The headline referred to the criticism leveled against Madigan in February for the way he responded to allegations that campaign aide Kevin Quinn made unwanted advances toward campaign consultant Alaina Hampton via text messages. Accusations also surfaced that another Madigan operative, Shaw Decremer, who is no longer with Madigan, had also been abusive during campaigns.
Although Madigan fired Quinn, at the time the story broke some critics said Madigan himself should resign. Madigan hired attorney Heather Weir Vaught to investigate the situation, according to the Chicago-Tribune.
In March, Hampton claimed in federal court that the harassment forced her to leave Madigan’s operation, damaging her career, according to the Tribune.
Quinn, brother of Chicago Ward 13 Alderman Marty Quinn, traces his history with the Madigan campaign back two decades, the Tribune reports. He was arrested in January and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a separate matter.
Despite the controversy, Madigan easily won re-election as party chairman, with only one committee member – newcomer Peter Janko from Marengo – opposing it, according to the Tribune.
Despite his re-election, some lawmakers have spoken out about the need for a leadership change. In The Daily Journal, U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Chicago) was quoted as saying change was necessary.
“We need to make sure that we’re respecting every man and woman that has anything to do with this organization,” she said.