New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested and convicted on corruption charges last year, sentenced to a 12-year prison sentence, and ordered to a pay a $1.75 million fine and forfeit $5.3 million in ill-gotten gains.
Silver had been assembly speaker for 20 years, one of the most powerful men in New York, and one of the most corrupt. But all that power and influence didn't save him in the end, and down he went.
Like Silver, our own Mike Madigan is a long-serving state house speaker and perhaps the most powerful man in our state. So far, he's managed to avoid any corruption charges, but his power and influence can’t last forever.
Then, where will Madigan's minions be, all those legislators who claim to represent their constituents and to be independent of his baleful influence, though consistently voting to return him to the speakership session after session?
They will be where Silver's stalwarts are today: nowhere. Or maybe they'll be measuring drapes for some prison cells.
Along with the majority of their Democrat peers, local Reps. Dan Beiser, Jay Hoffman, Katie Stuart, and Jerry Costello all went mad again for Madigan, returning him to the speaker's post. So much for the independence they tout when running for reelection!
They can vote for whomever they please, of course, but they can't pretend to be independent of the man they select, unless they can keep their constituents in the dark.
Which they can't, thanks to the Illinois Republican Party and its campaign of robocalls targeted to voters in 18 legislative districts.
“We believe it’s important that constituents know their representatives betrayed them by backing Madigan for a 17th term as speaker,” said Illinois GOP spokesman Steven Yaffe.
To stop them from doing it for an 18th time, we may have to put an end to their legislative careers in their next election run.