Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) isn’t among our favorite lawmakers who we would quote, but she sure put it nicely on Thursday: “Not knowing is foundational and fundamental to the entire design of the organization.”
She was referring to House Speaker Michael Madigan’s denial of any knowledge of the rape and ghost payrolling referenced in the email found by WBEZ written by a top Madigan ally praising a state worker who “kept his mouth shut” about those things. And the organization she was referring to is her own – Madigan’s – who not only runs the House but chairs the Illinois Democratic Party.
There’s probably not a person in Illinois who follows its government and doesn’t already know what Cassidy said, but it’s sure nice to hear a Chicago Democrat say it. If Madigan doesn’t know all about wrongdoing in Illinois it’s thanks only to an organization rigged for willful ignorance and plausible deniability.
But Governor JB Pritzker is apparently willing to pretend otherwise. An angry reporter pressed him repeatedly on Thursday why he hasn’t talked to Madigan to get to the bottom of things: “You as governor, don’t you call up [Madigan] and say what the heck is going on here? Wouldn’t you go to Madigan and say tell me, explain this? You see the email and you don’t call him and say what is this about?”
No, Pritzker answered that he saw Madigan’s denial of any knowledge, and that was apparently enough, saying he would leave it to the inspector general. “It’s not [Madigan’s] email, Pritzker said.” Watch the whole, sorry performance by Pritzker here from NBC Chicago.
Quotes we’re not printing are from the state’s top legal officer, Attorney General Kwame Raoul – because there aren’t any. We haven’t heard a peep from him on the scandal.
The quote we should be hearing from everybody is short: “Resign.” It’s decades overdue for Madigan to go.
UPDATE 1/10/20: Departing Senate President John Cullerton says, “I have no reason to believe that Mike Madigan has done anything wrong.”