Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago)
Illinois state Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) concedes that longtime Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) may or may not have broken any laws, but the intense scrutiny he faces is far from unwarranted.
“I understand why the federal government is interested, when you at look at all the people around him that have been under investigation,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun. “I don’t know that he’s personally done anything under the table to enrich himself, but all the patronage stuff and the fact that he’s in charge and decides what bills get passed and his law firm is involved in the property tax business, all of that certainly is improper if not illegal.”
Several media outlets have reported that federal agents are asking more questions about Madigan than ever before as several corruption probes that have already led to the resignations of two longtime Democratic state lawmakers continue to unfold in Springfield. According to the Chicago Tribune, as many as four different individuals have confirmed they were questioned about Madigan's involvement in lobbying at Commonwealth Edison and employment contracts and other perks being doled out to various associates of the longtime Democratic Party chairman.
Illinois state Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur)
“You figure there has to be a reason why there is such reluctance in allowing ethics-reform bills to come through the chamber,” Caulkins said. “It just makes you a bit more suspicious and leaves you wondering about things like why the Speaker would not be interested in ethics reform and why the inspector general position was left unfilled for so long.”
Caulkins says Republicans are doing all they can to ensure that ethics measures are restored to Springfield, such as demanding that Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker convene a special session to deal with the issue before the Jan. 28 start of the next session.
“I suspect the FBI has detected a pattern of some sort and that’s why they’re investigating the way they are,” Caulkins said. “So from that standpoint, I guess you can certainly make inferences about Speaker Madigan.”