Caulkins says Madigan must 'bare some of the responsibility' for ongoing sexual harassment scandal in Springfield
Republican state House candidate Dan Caulkins said that all the ugly conflict that is surrounding House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) is a reflection of how he’s run his operation for nearly the last five decades.
“If all these people he has surrounded himself with are who they are now being accused of being, he has to bare some of the responsibility as the leader of the Democratic Party, leader of the House and the voice of Springfield," Caulkins told the Chambana Sun."He is more than just the head of the Democrats in Illinois.”
The latest episode to cast aspersions on Madigan comes courtesy of his longtime chief of staff, Tim Mapes, who was forced out after being hit with accusations of sexual harassment and bullying by fellow Madigan staffer Sherri Garrett.
“He is the fourth democrat associated with Madigan to now face similar allegations since the #MeToo movement hit Springfield, including Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), his No. 2 man in the hierarchy,” Caulkins added. “When I was in the Army, I was always taught [that] the leader of the pack has to always be held to a higher standard. We’re talking about the speaker of the House here—and some of his top people. It seems to me [that] they aren’t coming close to even meeting the lowest of the low standards.”
After all the controversy that has dogged Madigan over his nearly 50 years in Springfield, Caulkins, who is running against Democrat Jennifer McMillin for the seat being vacated by Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) in the 101st District, said he finds it somewhat ironic that it’s the surging #MeToo movement that might finally force him out of power.
“I compare it to all those old Al Capone stories,” he said. “For years, the government tried to get him on everything from murder to money laundering and everything in between. They could never catch him on any of that. Then, along came tax evasion and finally they had him. All the while, everyone knew he was a crook.”
While stressing that he knows that everyone is entitled to and deserving of due process, Caulkins added that when the people who are being accused of such abhorrent acts are on the state payroll, the situation becomes just a bit more magnified.
“If you are concerned about the culture of justice in Springfield, you have to look at Madigan and wonder what his role in all this has been,” he said. “I know he has done nothing but stonewalled and obstructed the inspector general charged with investigating these kind of claims over the last year. Why hasn’t he been willing to allow an outside investigator to probe everything? We now know maybe it’s because his friends are guilty of that kind of behavior.”
More recently, Madigan announced that he has commissioned an all-female search committee to choose Mapes’ replacement as executive director of the state's Democratic Party. Among the group of 18 is state Rep. Juliana Stratton (D-Chicago), who is Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker’s running mate.
“I still don’t think we’ve seen the end of this,” Caulkins added. “It’s still just the tip of iceberg with all [the] corruption. This is why we need things like term limits and more transparency. Democrats continue to put Madigan in power, and he continues to abuse the system.”