|Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives|
January 8, 1997
|Preceded by||Lee A. Daniels|
January 12, 1983 – January 11, 1995
|Governor||James R. Thompson
|Preceded by||Arthur Allen Telcser|
|Succeeded by||Lee A. Daniels|
|Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 22nd district
January 13, 1971
April 19, 1942 |
|Religion||Roman Catholic (nominal)|
Michael J. Madigan (born April 19, 1942) is the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. He is the longest serving Speaker in state history, having held the position for all but two years since 1983. He has been a member of the Illinois House since 1971, representing the 22nd district, a mostly Hispanic area surrounding Midway Airport in southwest Chicago.
Chicago Magazine named Madigan the fourth most powerful Chicagoan in 2012 and second in 2013, calling him "the Velvet Hammer—a.k.a. the Real Governor of Illinois." Rich Miller, editor of the Capitol Fax Illinois politics newsletter, wrote "the pile of political corpses outside Madigan's Statehouse door of those who tried to beat him one way or another is a mile high and a mile wide."
- 1 Early life and career
- 2 Democratic Party leadership
- 3 Illinois state House of Representatives
- 4 Madigan and Getzendanner
- 5 The Madigan family and their role in Illinois government
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Early life and career
Chicago's 13th ward surrounds Chicago Midway International Airport and includes the Clearing neighborhood on Chicago's far southwest side. In the 1980 United States Census, the population of the 13th ward was 61,249, 95.58% of whom were White and 57 (0.09%) of whom were African American.
Madigan's father, Michael, was "a very strong Democrat, a product of the [Great] Depression. He carried with him very strong feelings in favor of the New Deal." Michael Flynn was the Cook County Clerk, and also the Democratic committeeman from Chicago's 13th ward, an unpaid political party leadership position. Madigan's father was a precinct captain in the 13th ward, and worked in the Cook County Clerk's office, where he befriended a young Richard J. Daley. Madigan later characterized the relationship between his father and Richard J. Daley as "political friends." The elder Michael Madigan later worked for 25 years as the 13th ward superintendent for the City of Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation.
Madigan was born on April 19, 1942 and raised in the Clearing neighborhood of Chicago. Madigan graduated from Saint Adrian's Elementary School, St. Ignatius College Prep on the west side of Chicago, and the University of Notre Dame. Madigan first met Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley in 1965, when, while a first year law student at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Madigan purchased a membership in the Lake Shore Club and introduced himself to Daley as Michael Madigan's son. Within months, at Madigan's father's request, Mayor Daley appointed Madigan to a summer job with the City law department between his first and second years of law school. Madigan also met Daley's son Richard M. Daley, while both were law students. Madigan's father suffered a heart attack at age 58, and a fatal heart attack at age 60 in 1966. Madigan graduated from Loyola Law School in 1967. Madigan and Neil Hartigan worked together in the City law department. Madigan and Richard M. Daley were delegates to the 1970 Illinois constitutional convention, their first elected public offices, and became good friends.
In 1972, Madigan founded the private law firm of Madigan and Getzendanner with Vincent J. "Bud" Getzendanner, Jr., a fellow Loyola Law graduate, one year his senior. In 1976, Madigan married Shirley Murray, a divorced law firm receptionist with a young daughter, Lisa, whom Madigan adopted, and later was elected Attorney General of Illinois.
Democratic Party leadership
In 1986, Madigan urged Adlai Stevenson III to enter the Democratic primary for Illinois Governor. Hartigan withdrew and Stevenson prevailed in the primary and was defeated by James R. Thompson for the second time.
Since the 1980 United States Census, Madigan has been the chief map maker for the legislative districts for the Illinois General Assembly and the United States Congress in Illinois. At each reapportionment, he designs the Illinois House districts to increase his majority.
13th Ward Democratic committeeman
In 1969, the 13th Ward precinct captains elected Madigan their committeeman, making him at 27 years of age the youngest ward committeeman in Chicago at the time. Madigan's ward organization has been called the most disciplined in Chicago. In the 1983 municipal general election for mayor, the 13th Ward had the highest turnout of any ward, and white, Republican candidate Bernard Epton won 96% of the vote in the 13th ward over Chicago's first Black mayor, Harold Washington.
Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois
In 1998 the Illinois Democratic Party's Central Committee elected Madigan chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Madigan succeeded his protégé and former chief of staff, Gary LaPaille. Madigan fired the state party staff, closed its headquarters in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, and moved it to Springfield, Illinois to the same office building as his campaign finance committee staff.
Illinois state House of Representatives
In November, 1970 Madigan was elected to represent the 22nd District in the Illinois State House of Representative. The district is a majority Hispanic area including Chicago Midway International Airport on Chicago's far southwest side.
Speaker of the Illinois House
Madigan has been Speaker of the Illinois House since 1983, with the exception of 1995–1997 when Republicans took control of the Illinois House and Illinois State Representative Lee Daniels of Elmhurst, Illinois became Speaker. Madigan recruited candidates who appealed to south suburban Chicago voters and the Illinois House Democratic Majority political action committee he controls spent $272,000 in six south suburban races. Democrats won back nine seats in the Illinois House in the elections of November, 1996, regained a majority, and Madigan resumed the Speaker's role and has held it ever since. He is the longest-serving House speaker in Illinois history and one of the longest-serving state House speakers in United States history.
Madigan has feuded with other Democratic leaders since 2002 – when Democrats took control of all branches of the state government – most notably Governor Rod Blagojevich and Senate President Emil Jones.
Madigan has not been amenable to expansion of gambling in the state, although when the subject came up again in 2007 he said he would hold public hearings to gauge support for expansion of three casinos in Illinois.
Relationship with Blagojevich
Madigan and Blagojevich have clashed over Blagojevich's proposals for increased state spending. Blagojevich blamed the 2007 budget crisis on Madigan, releasing a statement that said, "The way to be able to finally get budgets that achieve the objective of health care and education for families is to get Mr. Madigan to be a Democrat again and stop being a George Bush Republican." Madigan refused to meet with Blagojevich for more than two months after Blagojevich introduced the budget; rather than the proposed $5 billion in increased spending, he recommended $1 billion, funded by the ending of a tax break. When talks stalled, Madigan invited the entire House to accompany him to budget negotiations.
Madigan opposed Blagojevich's proposed gross receipts tax in 2007, which would have been the largest tax increase in Illinois history. He said the tax was "regressive" and would therefore hurt the poor, who are “the least able in our society to take on additional costs.”
Illinois senior Senator Dick Durbin said in 2008 that he receives many constituent complaints about the dispute between Blagojevich and Madigan, with letter writers wanting him to step in to negotiate. Durbin said the subject is also often talked about in the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. among the Illinois congressional delegation. However, Durbin joked that he'd rather go to Baghdad to mediate than Springfield.
"It's sort of the classic case that you get a guy (Madigan) who is steeped in discipline versus a guy who's very undisciplined, like Blagojevich. You can see it in their work habits, in their mannerisms.
Madigan is very measured in what he says. You never see him flying off on things. He is so precise.
This guy has been speaker for almost 30 years. He runs that chamber almost like he runs his house. They come in on time. He knows the rules. He's written the rules.
Madigan likes news clippings given to him every day; he likes to keep up on things. And he likes them clipped and organized in a certain way. With Rod, you get the sense that he's more of a big ideas person, but then doesn't really have the wherewithal to carry through on things to make sure they get done, to deliver."
The relationship between Blagojevich and Madigan hit its low in October 2007, when Blagojevich fired Bronwyn Rains, wife of Madigan's chief of staff Timothy Mapes, from her position of psychologist with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Blagojevich claims to have based this on Rains' educational background, but she had worked for the department for 24 years with no record of a problem; one observer called the fallout "nuclear war."
Blagojevich several times slashed funding for the Illinois Arts Council (IAC), which provides grants to arts and arts education organizations throughout the state. The IAC claims that it is under-funded relative to peer institutions especially with regard to arts education. Since Madigan's wife, Shirley, is the chair of the IAC, some political observers assumed that the IAC budget cuts are part of the ongoing war between Madigan and Blagojevich.
Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson and House Republican Leader Tom Cross have often met with Madigan, his Senate counterpart Emil Jones, and Blagojevich in an attempt to referee disputes. In August 2008, Blagojevich claimed that House Democrats who held City of Chicago jobs were fearful of voting in favor of his 2008 capital bill because they thought Madigan might be able to get them fired. Blagojevich told reporters: "They fear their leader, Mr. Madigan, and if Mike Madigan tells them to vote a certain way, they will tell you privately, and I've had these discussions with a couple of state reps, one of whom said, 'I'm afraid if I vote for the jobs bill I'll be fired from my job at Streets and Sanitations [sic]. I'm afraid I'll lose my job.'" The one state legislator who works at the Streets and Sanitation Department in Chicago is Rich Bradley, who told the Chicago Sun-Times that he hadn't talked to Blagojevich in about two years. Rep. Gary Hannig told the newspaper that Blagojevich had told House Democrats he was referring to D'Amico. When contacted, D'Amico said that Blagojevich had asked him if he feared losing his job with the City of Chicago's water department, at which point D'Amico said that he had been in a union for 26 years and could not be fired easily, and instead he opposed the capital bill because Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley opposed it.
On December 15, 2008, Madigan announced that he was taking steps to initiate impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich. He has named members of the Illinois House of Representatives to a special committee charged with investigating whether Governor Blagojevich engaged in conduct, including the Rod Blagojevich corruption charges, that should be subject to possible impeachment charges the House can bring. He named Illinois House of Representatives Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie to Chair the 21-member House committee on impeachment. After the committee reported, Madigan presided over the House deliberations which unanimously voted out the first impeachment of an Illinois Governor. Subsequently, the Illinois Senate tried and removed Governor Blagojevich from office, also by a unanimous vote.
Controversy over UIUC admissions
Madigan refused to testify in the inquiry over his advocacy for more 40 applicants to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Governor Pat Quinn appointed a commission, to be led by retired Judge Abner Mikva, to investigate attempts by lawmakers and others to influence admissions of unqualified candidates (whose relatives had given money to Michael Madigan, other lawmakers, and the state Democratic Party which is chaired by Madigan) at the state's largest university. The August 6, 2009 report by the Admissions Review Commission stated that the university's top officials (trustees, president, chancellor) were the ones most culpable, because they should have refused the lawmakers' requests, although he also said a separate commission should be established by Governor Quinn and/or the legislature to look into possible misconduct by Madigan and others.
Metra patronage scandal
In the summer of 2013, it was reported that Michael Madigan had sought to use his influence to secure patronage hiring and promotion at the Metra commuter rail agency for two of his supporters. Metra CEO Alex Clifford rejected these requests, and he alleges that the agency's board sought his resignation as a result.
In the wake of this scandal five Metra board members resigned, but Madigan denied violating any ethics rules. An investigation by the Legislative Inspector General found that Madigan "should have realized, given his influential position, that by making the [personnel] requests at the conclusion of meetings with Metra officials to discuss funding and other legislative issues, he would be creating reciprocal expectations."
More than 400 current or retired state and local government employees have strong political ties to Madigan, according to a 2014 investigation by the Chicago Tribune. The former Bureau of Electricity in the Streets and Sanitation Department of the City of Chicago was called "Madigan Electric" by political insiders. Madigan recommended at least 26 individuals for jobs at Metra from 1983 to 1991.
Madigan admitted that he is more likely to return phone calls from campaign contributors than from non-contributors.
Of all the current sitting Democratic Illinois House members, Speaker Madigan has received the highest amount of campaign contributions from labor unions. Over the past decade, he has received $670,559. This sum includes:
- $56,114 from AFL-CIO
- $50,000 from AFSCME
- $63,600 from Illinois Education Association
- $161,000 from the Illinois Federation of Teachers
- $135,000 from the Chicago Teachers Union
- $204,845 from the Service Employees International Union
Madigan and Getzendanner
Madigan was founder and continues as senior partner of the law firm Madigan and Getzendanner specializing in corporate real estate property tax appeals, which has been accused of profiting off of Madigan's position and power. Getzendanner and four other staff attorneys handle the tax appeals, while Madigan brings in clients. In 2008 Madigan and Getzendanner represented 45 of the 150 most valuable buildings in downtown Chicago, more than any other property tax appeal firm, and more than twice as many as the second highest. Clients include the John Hancock Center and the Prudential Plaza. From 2006 to 2008 in Cook County, Illinois, Madigan and Getzendanner received the largest reductions for their clients of any tax appeal law firm. Venues for property tax appeals law firms in Cook County include hearings before the County Assessor, the County Board of Review, and the County courts. Judges in Illinois are elected in partisan elections, and Madigan, by his Democratic Party leadership roles as committeeman and state chairman, is one of the main persons involved in slating judicial candidates.
After the death of veteran 45th Ward committeeman and long-time chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party Thomas G. Lyons in January 2007, Cook County Democrats met in Chicago on February 1 to fill the vacancy. Madigan nominated Joseph Berrios, a former Illinois State Representative, then a Commissioner on the Cook County Board of Review. Cook County Democrats elected Berrios their new chairman. Madigan political workers aided Berrios' 2010 campaign for the Assessor of Cook County, Illinois. Berrios is registered as a lobbyist to Illinois state government and advocates for issues including expanding video poker. Berrios lobbies Madigan in Springfield, while the Assessor is critical to the lucrative commercial real-estate tax appeals practices of law firms, including those of Madigan. "Even by Illinois’s loose conflict of interest standards, the obviousness of the Madigan-Berrios connection is stupefying," wrote Chicago Magazine in 2013.
The Madigan family and their role in Illinois government
Madigan and his wife, Shirley, have four children: Lisa, Tiffany, Nicole, and Andrew. Two members of this immediate family hold senior positions in the government. Shirley is the head of the Illinois Arts Council. His oldest daughter, Lisa Madigan, is the Attorney General of Illinois. Madigan's son-in-law Jordan Matyas is the chief lobbyist for Regional Transportation Authority, a deputy chief overseeing their Government Affairs Department.
In 2002, Madigan helped his daughter Lisa garner more campaign contributions in her run for Illinois Attorney General than even the candidates for governor that year. At one point, Lisa Madigan's $1.2 million raised was more than all the attorney general candidates in 1998 had raised, combined.
During the 2002 campaign, allegations of misconduct in campaign contributions arose—Madigan was accused of using taxpayer dollars for political purposes. Legislative staffers of Michael Madigan made numerous visits at public expense to contested Illinois House districts in the winter and spring before the November 2000 election. Republican gubernatorial candidate, Jim Ryan, suggested that Madigan should resign. Madigan's daughter Lisa was running for state Attorney General during that year's election and called the allegations baseless. Lisa Madigan's opponent in the race called on her to pay back taxpayer-paid bonuses her father had paid staffers before they departed to work on his daughter's campaign. A federal investigation into one of Lisa Madigan's political endorsements ensued after Madigan allegedly contacted a union boss in Chicago shortly before the union endorsed Madigan's daughter for the post, but nothing came out of it.
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- "Madigan won't testify on U of Ill. admissions" Chicago Tribune, July 18, 2009
- State of Illinois Admissions Review Commission Report and Recommendations - August 6, 2009.
- Metra CEO memo alleges more Madigan influences - Chicago Tribune
- State job crafted after referral by House Speaker Michael Madigan - Gate House
- 5th Metra board member, Stanley Rakestraw, resigns under pressure from Toni Preckwinkle | abc7chicago.com
- Scandal puts focus on Mike Madigan, toothless Illinois ethics law - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL
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- McKinney, Dave. "RTA hires Mike Madigan’s son-in-law for top lobbying job". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
- Arnold, Tony (February 28, 2011). "Illinois GOP slams RTA's Madigan son-in-law hire; GOP denounces hiring of Madigan's son-in-law". WBEZ. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
- Associated Press (2002-03-06). "Lisa Madigan raking in campaign cash; Attorney general's race:Many say her father's influence has been a help". Dubuque Telegraph-Herald. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
- Hinz, Greg (July 15, 2002). "Madigan staffers lend helping hands". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
- Fornek, Scott (2002-08-22). "Lisa Madigan urged to repay bonuses Foe Birkett says she owes taxpayers for cash dad paid staffers". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
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- Representative Michael J. Madigan (D) 22nd District at the 98th Illinois General Assembly
- Chairman Michael J. Madigan of the Democratic Party of Illinois
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Profile at OurCampaigns.com
- Ylisela Jr., James (December 2013). "Michael Madigan Is the King of Illinois". Chicago Magazine. Retrieved 2014-01-01. profile
- Rep. Michael J. Madigan at Illinois House Democrats
- Michael Madigan featured articles at the Chicago Tribune
- Top Michael Madigan Articles collection of news and information related to Michael Madigan published by the Chicago Tribune and its partners
- The Madigan Rules ongoing coverage of Madigan at the Chicago Tribune
- Michael Madigan article archive at the Chicago Reader
- House Speaker Michael Madigan article archive at the Chicago Reader
- Michael Madigan audio, video and article archive at CBS Chicago
- Michael Madigan video and article archive at NBC Chicago
- Michael J. Madigan biography on the website of Madigan & Getzendanner, Madigan's law firm