SPRINGFIELD — After the Illinois General Assembly voted once again to elect Democrat Michael Madigan of Chicago as House Speaker, the Illinois Republican Party responded with robocalls to voters in 18 targeted districts.
Four of those include districts represented by local Democrat Reps. Dan Beiser, Jay Hoffman, Katie Stuart and Jerry Costello.
Madigan, who has been speaker for 32 years, was re-elected to his post on Jan. 11 by a vote of 66-51.
Steven Yaffe, a spokesman for the Illinois GOP, told the Record that Democrats tell voters in their districts that they’re independent in their decisions, and then return to the House to follow Madigan’s lead.
“We believe it’s important that constituents know their representatives betrayed them by backing Madigan for a 17th term as Speaker,” he said.
Following up on a prominent theme in 2016 state legislative campaigns, Republicans are pinning the state’s economic crises on Madigan and pointing the finger at Democrats who keep him in power.
“That’s why, the ILGOP is releasing robocalls in 18 House Districts, informing constituents that their state representative backed Boss Madigan against their wishes,” according to the news release.
The calls follow a script like this one made to voters in the 111th district, where Rep. Dan Beiser was re-elected:
“...[Y]our state representative, Dan Beiser, chose Mike Madigan over you and the people of the district. Beiser voted to elect Chicago political boss Mike Madigan for a record 17th term as Speaker of the House and extend Madigan’s reign over Illinois. No one has done more damage to our state than Mike Madigan..."
Beiser defeated Republican Mike Babcock of Wood River by a margin of 52.6 to 47.4 percent; Hoffman defeated Katherine Ruocco of Belleville in the 113th District by a margin of 59.1 to 40.9 percent; Stuart defeated incumbent Republican Dwight Kay of Glen Carbon in the 112th District by a margin of 51.6 to 40.9 percent. Costello was unopposed.
The GOP also targeted House districts that elected Democratic lawmakers Laura Fine, Anna Moeller, Fred Crespo, Deb Conroy, Marty Moylan, Michelle Mussman, Elaine Nekritz, Carol Sente, Sam Yingling, Michael Halpin, Stephanie Kifowit, Sue Scherer and Natalie Manley.
“Since these representatives were unwilling to oppose Boss Madigan, the only we way we will get a new speaker is by ousting these politicians in the next election,” Yaffe said.