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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Former candidate reflects on Madigan's 35-year reign as House speaker


By Glenn Minnis | Jan 25, 2020

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago)

Former Republican congressional candidate Dr. Jeff Leef wonders where Illinois might be without House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago).

As the state’s longest-serving lawmaker celebrates his 35th year in power, Leef is reminded of everything Illinois has been forced to endure during Madigan's reign.

“Highest taxes, worst schools, uncontrolled violence, most segregated city in Chicago, highest exodus rate, highest unemployment numbers – congratulations to Mike Madigan and Illinois Democrats,” Leef told Chicago Wire.

Former congressional candidate Dr. Jeff Leef

Leef also pointed out the disparity between survival rates of whites and blacks that he argues has only heightened during Madigan’s time in power.

"The number one cause of death in black males age18-24 is homicide,” he said.

Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) reflects that Madigan came into power soon after redrawing the state’s legislative maps and has pretty much ruled with an iron hand ever since. In all, he’s been in control as House Speaker 35 of his 37 years of service, the longest run of any legislative leader in the U.S.

Over that time, Madigan has seen seven governors, more than 200 state senators and more than 500 state representatives come and go, rarely ceding an inch of the power he has accumulated through his dual role as House Speaker and chairman of the Democratic Party. But with political corruption investigations swirling around Springfield, while taxes and pension debt skyrocket across the state and outmigration rates continue to increase, most conservatives are hoping for a change in leadership.

“Great job, Democrats – 100 years and going strong,” Leef said.

Up until now, Madigan has made it all work through a system that has seen him dole out millions to various campaign committees and build a patronage army the size of which few can rival. Along the way, his Madigan & Getzendanner property tax appeals law firm has become a dominant force in the state's real estate industry.    

“Madigan’s longevity is not an accident,” IPI wrote. “It is the product of consolidating power through policy choices.”

Leef agrees, while also reserving some of his harshest criticism for longtime Democratic lawmaker U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, who he has previously challenged in the 7th Congressional District.

“Further congratulations should be extended to our favorite do-nothing, narcoleptic, octogenarian Congressman Davis,” Leef said. “Voters have no doubt that you will continue to saddle African-Americans of the 7th District with the poorest of everything.”

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