Corrupt politicians. Public pension debt. In Illinois, both of those phrases are redundant.
Standing at the crossroads of embarrassing bits of local lingo is a man: Illinois house speaker Mike Madigan.
Madigan’s corruption can no longer be ignored when he is implicated in the federal bribery case against the commonwealth giant.
His sin in building the economic collapse of the state requires a longer view.
Madigan is the longest-serving state home speaker
in U.S. history, beginning in 1983. Since 1998, he has also chaired the Illinois Democratic Party. The dual roles for Madigan to amass power are more focused on public policy than any state leader in the country.
For more than three decades, Madigan has been at the center of virtually every bad decision that has given Illinois its soaring debt and stabbing credit.
In 1980, Illinois had only $4.5 billion of the highest rated AAA pension and credit debt. Today it has the nation’s worst pension crisis with nearly $140 billion in un funded responsibilities and the nation’s lowest credit rating, just a notch above junk status.
Many politicians share the blame, but Madigan has been constant. He sponsors big legislation or allows bad bills to pass. Madigan owns Illinois’ finances.
Even before he was speaker
, Madigan was part of Illinois’ fundamental mistake on pensions.
Madigan was a delegate to the 1970 constitutional convention. You voted for a pension…