Our View: Democrats need to act now to end Madigan’s reign

Monday’s announcement from Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan sounded better than it was in reality.

He was suspending his candidacy to return as speaker but hasn’t ended that candidacy altogether.

So he lurks, as Illinois’ Democratic house representatives battle it out between the other announced candidates.

The opportunity is in front of them, a unique opportunity to rid the state of Illinois of Madigan’s corrupt leadership. Our representatives now need to take that opportunity and do right by the citizens of Illinois who elected them.

The state’s Democratic Party needs to rally behind a new candidate and rid itself of the leadership of Madigan, who has had a stranglehold on how bills move through the house and how our state operates for decades.

Act now and your legacy can be that of a representative that began the process of creating a government in this state that will act more fairly, honestly and efficiently.

Things are not going well in Illinois. In December, for the seventh straight year, U.S. Census data showed that our state’s population has decreased and it is doing so an accelerated way.

We have too much debt, too high of taxes and we are fiscally burdened with the result of years of Madigan’s cronyism as the state has become a laughingstock that is corrupt, shrinking, and nearly bankrupt.

For months and years, Shaw Media has asked for this to happen. We aren’t alone.

Now is the state’s one chance to get rid of Madigan’s leadership. Our leaders must act swiftly and appropriately, especially our Democratic representatives, from Crystal Lake’s Suzanne Ness to Oswego’s Stephanie Kifowit, a candidate herself for the post.

Those two did not support Madigan’s current campaign for speakership, which garnered 51 votes at its peak, but Larry Walsh, Jr., of Elwood, Natalie Manley of Joliet and Ottawa’s Lance Yednock did.

It’s time to act. It’s time to take Illinois back. It’s time for our representatives to do the right thing and elect new leadership and end Madigan’s rein.