If they ever held an election in prison, the Democrats would win in a landslide. It seems a new one is being fitted with an orange jumpsuit every day. The next one up is former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. He was the second most powerful man in the state and is the highest-ranking official to face prison time and in Chicago and the state that is quite an accomplishment.
The Chicago Sun Times reports today:
The bombshell federal racketeering indictment of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan alleges the once-powerful Democrat met with then-Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker amid a scheme to get corrupt Chicago Ald. Danny Solis a lucrative state board position after Solis’ retirement from the Council.
That scheme is just one of those outlined in the 106-page indictment that accuses Madigan of leading a criminal enterprise for nearly a decade. It also alleges schemes involving ComEd and a parcel of land in Chinatown.
The indictment does not accuse Pritzker, also a Democrat, of wrongdoing.
Madigan met with Pritzker Dec. 4, 2018, to discuss state boards, among other things, according to the indictment. That meeting would have taken place days after the feds made public their intense corruption probes by raiding Ald. Edward M. Burke’s offices.
Also charged in Wednesday’s indictment was longtime Madigan confidant Michael McClain. Madigan and McClain are each charged with a racketeering conspiracy.
Madigan is now one of the most significant politicians in Illinois history ever to face criminal charges, despite having left office more than a year ago. The news is the culmination of one of the most significant, expansive public corruption investigations Illinois has seen in years, already leaving an indelible mark on state politics by knocking Madigan out of power in January 2021.
The powerful Southwest Side Democrat had held his seat in the state House of Representatives since 1971 and served as speaker for all but two years between 1983 and 2020.
Madigan had a long run in politics, but he wanted to be a liking maker and rack favors that can be collected later. With Democrats, it’s all about power.