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HomeIllinois NewsWill the huge egos of JB Pritzker and Mike Madigan blend or...

Will the huge egos of JB Pritzker and Mike Madigan blend or balk at each other? Illinois Policy considers …



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CHICAGO – Illinois Policy Institute raises a relevant question for the state's political observers: Would JB Pritzker ever dare to challenge House Speaker Mike Madigan's power by offering campaign dollars to those that defy the Speaker?

Could be wishful thinking, or it could happen. Neither Blagojevich or Quinn had their own resources to test this theory. But it's very different with JB Pritzker.

Here's Illinois Policy's theory

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan is about to see two things he’s never seen before. And given he’s been in the Statehouse since 1971, that’s saying something.

The first is the strength of his majority.

Democrats have never held more than 72 seats in the 118-member Illinois House, with the high water mark coming in 1991. The magic number required to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot and override the governor’s veto is 71 votes.

As of Nov. 8, House Democrats are in line for 73 House seats in 2019, possibly 74 – a new record. It will be Madigan’s largest majority ever.

The second is the type of person who will occupy the governor’s office.

Madigan has worked with two governors of his own party since he was first elected House speaker in 1983: Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn. These two men were not shrewd power brokers, to say the least. Madigan could pinion both at will.

Enter billionaire Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker, who just spent more than $170 million to unseat Gov. Bruce Rauner. That money is a total game-changer for Madigan’s Democratic Party, which has traditionally relied on government worker unions, trial lawyers and business interests who need special favors in order to fill its coffers.

Read the rest HERE.


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  1. The most appropriate political archetype for Mike Madigan is Robert Moses of NY City. Moses basically ran NY City even during the heyday of Fiorello Laguardia because of the power that he amassed through his control of the Triborough Bridge Commission as well as being Parks Commissioner. He ran roughshod over mayors, governors and even FDR at one point.
    But Moses’ one foil in his career was the only person who was unafraid of him – and that person was billionniare (back then in the 1960s too) – Nelson Rockefeller. And the reason he was unafraid of Moses was his massive wealth. He was able the outmuscle the vast sums at the disposal of Moses via the Triborough Bridge Authority.
    Now JB Pritzker is no Nelson Rockefeller in terms of wealth. But he has 4 x the wealth of Rauner (at least) and does not look like the kind of guy who will be pushed around by anybody.
    If JB and Madigan disagree on the direction of the state, expect an internecine battle between the two and expect Pritzker to win.
    I would not be surprised if this is Madigan’s last term as I think there will indeed be major disagreement between them over taxation and especially state govt spending.
    Don’t expect JB to be a stooge. This is most definitely something he will NOT be. It would go completely against his DNA.