We took note, two years ago, when State Attorney General Lisa Madigan crossed one of those proverbial lines in the sand: She went to court to try to prevent state workers from receiving their paychecks during an expected government shutdown.
Mark Glennon of WirePoints also noted the transgression. “That action, together with the background story behind it – use of the courts to deliberately sabotage an agreement both workers and the state want – comprise one of the most sordid chapters of Illinois politics in recent memory,” he observed.
“Lisa Madigan wants chaos and hardship to result from the budget impasse for the purpose of embarrassing the Rauner administration,” Glennon explained, “and she has sacrificed the interests of workers and the state towards that goal.”
Glennon predicted at the time that “Lisa Madigan's career would be over if people understood what she is up to with her worker pay lawsuit,” and now – with Madigan's recent announcement that she will not seek reelection – his prediction is coming to pass.
Of course, Madigan crossed another line in the sand last year when she used her office to protect her father's supermajority in the state legislature.
Pat Hughes of the Illinois Opportunity Project (IOP) accused the younger Madigan of “a direct attempt to harass, and to suppress votes” after his nonpartisan get-out-the-vote group received threatening phone calls and demand letters from the AG's office.
“[Michael] Madigan has been the most powerful politician in our state for decades,” Hughes emphasized. “We’re in the middle of a number of contested elections throughout the state that could mean holding onto or losing that supermajority.”
Lisa Madigan would have faced a strong challenge from Republican candidate Erika Harold, an Urbana attorney and former Miss America, who would undoubtedly have drawn attention to Madigan's line-crossings, so it's probably better for Miss Madigan to back out now, rather than risk an embarrassing defeat.
But who will protect daddy's supermajority from now on?