Madigan manipulated ballot question to help re-elect Quinn

Hilary Gowins

VP of comms @illinoispolicy. Likes dogs and basketball.

Hilary Gowins
August 10, 2015

Madigan manipulated ballot question to help re-elect Quinn

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan admitted that he rigged a minimum-wage ballot question to boost former Gov. Pat Quinn’s re-election chances.

Madigan’s skills as puppet master only work as well as the marionette to which they are attached.

The House speaker made this point plain in an interview with WICS Newschannel 20 on Aug. 6, as he coolly explained that the path had been cleared for former Gov. Pat Quinn to win re-election in November 2014. Quinn, however, just wasn’t up to the challenge.

Madigan said:

“Now let me just explain this: there was an advisory question on the ballot in November of 2014 concerning the minimum wage. And the thinking was that if somebody came to vote for the advisory question on the minimum wage, their political thinking would be such that they would vote for Gov. Quinn. Well, there were 650,000 Illinoisans who found their way to vote for the advisory question on the minimum wage, but couldn’t find their way to vote for Gov. Quinn. And that’s where I would say that Quinn lost the election, not Rauner won.”

His point is this: Madigan didn’t put the minimum-wage question on the ballot to increase the minimum wage – he did it to re-elect Quinn and Democrats in the General Assembly.

Madigan has been in office since 1971; he runs a well-oiled machine that continues to keep status quo politicians in power. His main aim has been to feed the machine – not to serve the people of his state.

Now Madigan faces stiff opposition from reform-minded Gov. Bruce Rauner. Perhaps Madigan’s minimum-wage admission is a sign that the House speaker is feeling his grip starting to slip on his stranglehold of power.

Such a reality would certainly hurt Madigan’s career as a political boss – but it could only help the people of Illinois.

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