Feldman fears Madigan money comes with IOU, says it is past time for change in Springfield
All of House Speaker Mike Madigan’s campaign contributions to a handful of legislators come with an IOU, 59th District State House candidate Karen Feldman said during a recent interview.
“Whenever Madigan donates money to a candidate there are strings attached,” Feldman told the Lake County Gazette. “All those legislators we’re talking about, he’s got a hold on them and they are all beholden to him.”
Madigan (D-Chicago) has given approximately $15 million to the campaigns of roughly 60 current legislators during their time in Springfield, the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) said. In every instance, those lawmakers have also supported Madigan's effort to maintain his grip on the speakership.
“There’s a difference between a party believing in you and supporting what you stand for and Madigan passing out these IOUs," said Feldman, a Republican who is challenging Democrat Daniel Didech to replace retiring Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) in the 59th House District. “Turning Springfield around and changing the way things operate starts with electing reform-minded candidates dedicated to the needs of the people.”
Feldman notes that over the years, Sente tops the list of those receiving the biggest contributions from Madigan at more than $1.5 million.
“It seems like every year the campaign contributions get bigger and bigger and that’s more than a little scary,” Feldman said. “People have to remember none of this means the candidate with the most money has to win. Sure, having such financial backing may make some things easier for them, but it all still comes down to the voters. Hopefully, the public is smart enough to see what truly matters most.”
Besides being the longest-serving House Speaker in history, Madigan also serves as chairman of various campaign committees, giving him access to even more cash and resources, according to IPI.
“Something has to give and the time for it to happen is now past due,” Feldman said.
The 59th District includes parts of Buffalo Grove, Mundelein, Wheeling and Vernon Hills.