Republican House candidiate says that Mike Madigan has too many 'placemen' in Illinois
House Speaker Mike Madigan last week cancelled another General Assembly meeting for the third straight week, which didn't surprise Mike Strick, business owner and Republican candidate for House District 84.
“It’s just the same old thing. ‘Tax Hike Mike’ just wants to raise our personal property income taxes,” Strick told the DuPage Policy Journal. “That’s all he wants. He wants more money from the citizens of Illinois. And frankly, we’re taxed out. There are so many taxes right now, I don't understand how we can just keep paying. And we’re losing more services.”
Strick asserted that nothing happens in the capital without Madigan’s approval. He compares Madigan’s influence to that of colonial times where a king assigns his closest allies to positions of power.
“Nothing is going to happen without Mike Madigan wanting it to happen. That’s the problem,” Strick said. “I read this article from Newt Gingrich talking about how, in colonial times, the king would appoint people into high positions and offer them land and generous pensions and stuff like that. They were called placemen.”
The speaker has all his chess pieces on the board, so to speak.
“They were placed into these high positions to do the will and vote for things that the king wanted,” Strick asserted. “And I see the parallel between the placemen from the 1700s to what we have now in Illinois with Mike Madigan, being the king, and placing all these people into position of power to gain himself more power. And to stay in charge.”
Strick said he believes that Madigan reach is long and he has shield himself quite effectively from any legal ramifications pertaining to the constitutional requirement to pass a balanced budget.
“I believe he has too much power,” he said. “Forty-one years he has been in the general assembly. They keep telling me that in the [Illinois] constitution, we have the wording that there has to be a balanced budget. I’m thinking, well, why hasn’t somebody sued Mike Madigan for not getting a balanced budget? Then it occurred to me. His daughter is the Attorney General of Illinois. And she would not bring a lawsuit against Mike Madigan to get a balanced budget. He even put a placeman in that position.”
As budget reform fails to gain any traction, many in Illinois are getting restless. Among them is Michael Frerichs, the State Treasurer. He is urging the legislators to resolve the crisis because it is costing the state millions and making it difficult to pay the bills. Frerichs, a Democrat, stated that Illinois missed out on about $7.8 million in investment earnings in the first quarter of this year because of the budget impasse.
“It costs us more money through late fees and stuff like that,” Strick said. “We’re just throwing money into the air and letting it blow around. We’re getting nothing from that money. We get nothing.”
Strick said he is especially frustrated with the current incumbent of his district, Stephanie Kifowit. He said she is not standing up to Madigan and is letting her voters down.
“That’s why I don’t understand why Miss Stephanie Kifowit isn’t being more vocal for the people of her district,” he said. “She’s not going to Madigan and saying ‘hey, let’s get together.’ None of the people are. They’re not going up to Madigan and saying ‘hey, we need to get a budget. Things are bad.’ So either they don’t think things are bad or they are being told to just fall in line and be a good placemen.”
A potential resolution to these so called placemen may be found in remapping the state. The initiative, which seeks to remap the state’s district with voter input, has had over 560,000 signatures and has just been given approval by the state board to be on the November ballot pending a lawsuit.
“I really believe that if we did have fair maps drawn that we would get more cohesive representation from the areas instead of being gerrymandered,” Strick asserted. “It really hurts the government if we don’t have people coming up and wanting to help make things better.”
As mentioned previously, a lawsuit is currently obstructing the ballot's potential. The suit was filed by several attorneys including Michael Kasper, who has represented some of Illinois' top Democrats such as Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton. Strick said he disappointed by what he calls a ludicrous situation.
“It’s not on the ballot yet. Since the lawsuit is going, it has to be on the ballot by Aug. 26th,” Strick said. “I believe that another one of Mike Madigan’s team of attorneys is the guy that is bringing this lawsuit against the people of Illinois. I think it’s ludicrous. If 560,000 people signed this petition that has been validated, why should there be a lawsuit filed by one of Madigan’s cronies? By one of Madigan’s attorneys? I think it’s just disingenuous of him to do that.”
Frustration toward the current politicians in Springfield is a feeling all too common for Strick. He said that the state can and should do better than what was promised.
“I’m just shocked that my opponent Stephanie Kifowit has not sent a letter to Madigan or published any letter stating that we need to get this budget done,” Strick said. “If I was in her position, that is what I would be doing. We need to get Illinois back on track. We need to bring in more businesses and more corporations. Be friendlier to businesses and try to stop this mad outflow of people leaving Illinois because it’s only going to raise taxes on everything else. We need to keep the people and the talent here in Illinois.”
Organizations in this Story