Rick Lesser, the Republican candidate for the 58th House District seat, said if he was elected he would break ranks with his Democrat colleagues by not voting for Michael Madigan as House Speaker.
Lesser made the comments in an interview with the Lake County Gazette this week after reports surfaced regarding Madigan’s role in financing House campaigns in Illinois and about where that money comes from.
Wirepoints recently reported that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) donated $768,000 to Madigan, who in turn had donated $2.1 million to state House candidates.
In the Supreme Court Janus vs. AFSCME case earlier this year, the union lost the right to charge non-members an agency fee for collective bargaining, even if they benefit from the union’s activity.
Lesser said he has never received money from Madigan and that legislators should turn down his offers to finance their campaigns.
Accepting the money ensures lawmakers will "vote as Speaker Madigan tells them,” Lesser said. “If elected I will vote against the re-election of Mike Madigan as Speaker. This is the way I am running.”
The large donation from the AFSCME seemed suspicious because Madigan backs laws that would help union members, Lesser said.
“Any reasonable employer would have switched to a 401(k)-style retirement plan years ago, but Madigan keeps hiring people with defined benefit pensions,” he said.
Standing up for families and taxpayers seems a remote likelihood for legislators who run on Madigan financing, Lessor said.
“You can trust them to continue the policies which have bankrupted Illinois,” he said.
Lesser is running against Democrat Bob Morgan in the upcoming election. The 58th district includes Highland Park, Highwood, Lake Forest and North Chicago.