Friday, February 26, 2016

Has Jesus found Mr. Speaker? Or is the Madigan opponent just too silly for would-be Latino voters to take serious?

I’m intrigued by all the political speculation taking place these days over the fact that Jesus Garcia (as in last year’s failed mayoral candidate) is endorsing the re-election bid of long-time legislator Michael Madigan to his Illinois House seat.

Should it be a mystery that Jesus ...
Madigan, also the speaker of the Illinois House and Illinois Democratic Party chairman, is facing an opponent in Jason Gonzales who is trying to take advantage of the fact that many more Latinos now live in the 22nd Illinois House district down by Midway Airport, and envisions a Spanish-speaking hoard of voters who’d rather have “one of our own” rather than some crusty old Irish guy living in the past.

COULD GARCIA – THE former alderman, state legislator and current county commissioner – actually wind up giving Madigan a boost to help him keep his political posts.

And since Madigan has never really been much of a Garcia backer in the past, what did he give up in exchange for the endorsement?

All the political geeks who spend far too much of their lives pondering such details are convinced that Garcia (who has hinted he’d like to succeed David Orr as Cook County clerk) must have cut a deal for Madigan’s support toward that goal – in exchange for holding his nose while saying we should vote to keep the House speaker in the Legislature.

I found it interesting to read that Garcia told Crain’s Chicago Business “there were no quid pro quos,” and that it was Madigan who specifically asked Garcia to make a public announcement.

BUT I HAVE never heard of any political person who gives up something for nothing. I’m sure there is some expectation, even if nothing has been put in writing. Because if it gets put in writing, some wag will make the argument that it constitutes a bribe and a conspiracy – and that’s the kind of talk that gets ambitious federal prosecutors all worked up.

... took Mr. Speaker more seriously ...
It may well be that Gov. Bruce Rauner is responsible for this political coming together of politicos from the Little Village and Clearing neighborhoods.

For the fact is that Rauner, with all of his hostile talk toward Democratic politicians and his willingness to try to stir up the rest of Illinois against anything having to do with Chicago, may be the unifying force.

Our political structure in Chicago has so many different factions and people who can’t stand each other that it is a wonder the so-called “machine” can work at all. I’ve always said the difference between Republicans and Democrats in this state is that the former is capable of unifying together to work against Chicago.

... than some kid politico ...
WHILE THE LATTER has so many people who inherently can’t stand each other it is no wonder there are times when nothing gets accomplished.

But Rauner has created an environment that may be the unifying factor – even if it is us against HIM – which will certainly create an interesting 2018 election cycle when Rauner would have to face re-election.

Rauner won the 2014 elections largely because many Democratic interests were downright apathetic about the presence of then-Gov. Pat Quinn that they couldn’t be bothered to vote.

Is a Garcia-supporting-Madigan move just evidence of how they’re willing to work together to achieve the ultimate goal – which is dumping the guy who wants to view their existence as a criminal conspiracy that must be taken down!

IN WHICH CASE, a Garcia/Madigan alliance may not be at all unusual. It may even be good to see the political party that has so many different factions finally realizing there is a need for them to consider working together.

It may even be a better Chicago without all the constant in-fighting.

... who compares to a holiday meal?
Of course, there could be one other reason why Garcia would choose to back Madigan – probably the same reason why many Latinos will back Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.

They want to be on the side of the winner, who they think will wind up being the incumbent. And maybe Garcia, on some level, just thinks that Gonzales is too much of un pavo to take seriously.


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