On July 17, the U.S. Attorney’s office tied House Speaker Mike Madigan to a ComEd scheme where patronage jobs for Madigan friends were exchanged for favorable House votes on bills that benefit the energy giant.
Shortly after the news implicating Mike Madigan in the ComEd scheme broke, State Representative Avery Bourne issued this statement:
“The people of Illinois have suffered under the corruption of Speaker Madigan for too long. The news of a federal criminal investigation implicating Madigan makes it very clear- Madigan must resign. If he will not step down as Speaker, it is time that Democratic lawmakers who put him in power vote him out. If Governor Pritzker is serious about passing ethics reform, he should use his authority to call the legislature back for a special session. It is time for real ethics reform and for a vote on a new Speaker of the House.”
In a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, ComEd admitted that from 2011-2019 it arranged jobs, contracts and payoffs to Madigan allies, some of whom did little or no work for their compensation. ComEd did these favors in order to gain favor with the man who controls the movement, or non-movement, of bills in the Illinois House. In this case, Madigan pushed through legislation that allowed ComEd to raise electric rates on consumers. Bourne voted against that legislation. In all, ComEd admitted to paying out approximately $1.3 million in exchange for the passage of legislation that ultimately benefited the company to the tune of $150 million.
“Illinois Democrats remained silent when Speaker Madigan, year-after-year, refused to hear ethics reform legislation introduced by House Republicans. They remained silent when Speaker Madigan annually blocked legislation that would create term limits for Illinois legislators by holding it up in Rules Committee. They remained silent when bipartisan legislation to implement fair maps and eradicate gerrymandering was also deferred to the Rules committee and died without debate. And, they remain silent, even now, after Speaker Madigan is the subject of a federal criminal investigation,” said Bourne. “Corruption costs every Illinoisan in higher taxes and reduced services. Keeping silent in the wake of corruption condones these actions. Simply put, democratic silence is corruption.”