Our View: Time for Democrats to strip Madigan of his power

Mike Madigan, it’s time for you to go.

We’ve said it for years and for years you have remained in a position of power not only in your party but throughout the state of Illinois.

Madigan was re-elected this fall, unopposed, to Illinois’ District 22 by roughly 29,000 voters. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the state, like us, should have to deal with his style of leadership any longer.

Our state simply has too much to fix to continue with the way things have always been run.

It’s time for the state’s Democratic leaders to step up against Madigan and vote for someone new in January. Plenty have already vowed to vote for new leadership, but at this point it isn’t enough.

State Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison, became the 19th Democrat to state that he or she would not support Madigan in January’s vote. Now, more need to step forward to do the same.

It’s important for our state representatives to remember that they answer to the taxpayers, not Madigan, and that should be what guides them in voting for a new speaker.

If you were hoping that a recent statehouse committee, convened to look into bribery allegations between ComEd and Madigan’s associates in the amount of $1.3 million, you were again disappointed.

Without so much as asking Madigan to appear before the committee, state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, called for a vote and the committee’s sham investigation ended with an evenly split 3-3 vote along party lines.

Republican state Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, wasn’t happy about the committee’s refusal to subpoena Madigan.

“It’s our job to conduct an investigation, not to have an open mic, where people can come and volunteer information if they so choose ... ,” he said. “One of the powers that’s delegated to the committee, in order to allow it to do its fundamental task, is the power to issue a subpoena.”

The committee’s failure to hold Madigan accountable, however, doesn’t mean the state’s Democrats should go back to business as usual.

Too much is at stake here.

In January, they need to stand up to Madigan and his long-standing brand of leadership that has hurt the state of Illinois for long enough.