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Friday, January 24, 2020

Illinois political expert looks back on retiring Sen. Cullerton's career with sadness


By Glenn Minnis | Nov 21, 2019

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Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago)

While state lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are reflecting on the career of retiring Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), Republican political strategist Chris Robling respectfully laments a legacy that he believes did more harm to the state than good.  

“Sadly, John Cullerton embodies the transformation that took place in the Democratic Party during his career,” Robling told Chicago City Wire. “Things went from representing taxpayers in the neighborhoods to protecting public employees who were living off of taxpayers. John’s a nice enough guy, but this is something that should have happened a long time ago.”

Cullerton recently announced his plans to step down in January from the 6th District seat he has held for more than three decades. The 71-year-old lawmaker, who for the last 10 years has also served on the Democratic Central Committee for the 5th Congressional District, walks away at what is, at best, a turbulent time in Springfield.

Illinois Republican political strategist Chris Robling

Over the last month alone, veteran state Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) has been forced to step down in the 3rd District after being nabbed on federal bribery charges, and longtime state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) was pressured into relinquishing his post as Senate Transportation Committee chairman after being implicated in an ongoing kickback scheme.

Not long before that, Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), John Cullerton’s cousin, was slapped with federal corruption charges tied to a ghost-payrolling scheme on a union organizing job.

“This is a sad chapter in the history of the world’s oldest political party, and this time will forever be seen as a prelude to its downfall because folks like John Cullerton couldn’t stop making promises to the union bosses who funded his campaigns with recycled taxpayer dollars.”

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