Dan Caulkins: AFSCME donation ensures Madigan protects union's pension plan
Dan Caulkins worries that Mike Madigan is universally known for all the wrong reasons.
“I saw something recently that said the House Speaker has now collected more money in campaign donations than any other single member of the House of Representatives, somewhere in the neighborhood of $42 million over his tenure,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun. “All that is the money he uses to wheel and deal and buy votes in Springfield.”
Caulkins isn't the least bit surprised to see Madigan recently accept a $768,000 campaign donation from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union (AFSCME) despite running unopposed in his 22nd District in November, he said.
“The money isn’t for him,” said Caulkins, who is running against Democrat Jen McMillin in the 101st District. “But it is meant to allow Mike Madigan to be Mike Madigan.”
According to Wirepoints, the contribution is the largest given to Madigan by AFSCME and comes at a time when the organization is locked in a bitter contract dispute with Gov. Bruce Rauner where the two sides are reported to be as much as $3 billion apart in counter offers.
“It’s all about Madigan,” Caulkins said. “AFSCME gives him hundreds of thousands and he makes sure he protects their rich pension plan.
The Prairie State Wire recently reported over a three week period in September, Madigan dished out over $2 million to the campaigns of 25 state House candidates, which all but assures their loyalty in his ongoing quest to remain in power, Caulkins said.
“The problem is allowing someone to have such a stranglehold over everything in state politics that candidates can’t even raise money on their own,” he said. “Madigan insists that everything comes through him, then he decides who to give to and how to do it.”
The 101st House District spans parts of Champaign, DeWitt, Macon, McLean and Piatt counties.