Sunday, June 11, 2017

#FakeNews analysis from Politico on Illinois

Madigan graphic courtesy of
the Illinois Policy Institute
A so-called reporter from Politico, Natasha Korecki, offers up a so-called analysis of ILL-inois, the story's headline offers promise, "How Illinois became a failed state."

It's downhill from there.

Oh, Politico is the fake news provider that used to employ a colluder with the Hillary Clinton campaign, Glenn Thrush. Was he fired? No, he received a promotion of sorts--if you are hack, that is--by taking a job with the New York Times. Another so-called Politico reporter is Kenneth Vogel, he was caught colluding with the Democratic National Committee.

Korecki presents the Illinois budget battle, which is really a battle for the soul of Illinois, as a standoff between Republican governor Bruce Rauner and state House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat.

But she omits a lot--which qualifies her article as fake news.

Korecki throws a lot of yellow cards at Rauner and perhaps he deserves a couple. But his inept predecessor, Pat Quinn, another Chicago Democrat, was given a well-deserved red card for lying to voters about a 2011 "temporary" income tax that he immediately labored to make permanent as Illinois remained in the doldrums of the 2008-09 recession. It's still there.

But Madigan's sins--which are many--are largely overlooked by Korecki.

Sure, she mentions that Madigan is the longest serving House speaker in Prairie State history, but Korecki should have added that he has been at that post for an astonishing 32 of the last 34 years. Also missing from that so-called analysis is that nothing--and I mean nothing--ever makes it on to the floor of the state House without Madigan's blessing. No other state gives its speaker so much power.

Anything else? Sure, if this Politico article was your only source of Illinois' budget battle you wouldn't know that Madigan is also the chairman of the state Democratic Party--he's held that job since 1998. Madigan is a master gerrymanderer, a fact that a better Politico reporter declared earned the Boss "his ticket to the partisan hall of fame." Illinois is not as blue as you think. It is partly drawn that way.

Every Democratic member of the General Assembly owes Madigan a favor--as the party, which he controls--offers contributions to their campaigns. And of course the despot controls the House committee assignments.

If you don't like the way Illinois is being run you can perhaps complain to the state attorney general. Oops, that won't work, Madigan's daughter holds that office.

Korecki does mention that as part of Rauner's Grand Bargain for a tax increase the governor is calling for a property tax freeze. But she "forgets" to mention that Madigan is a partner is a tiny Chicago law firm that likely makes a fortune in property tax appeals.

Other than that Korecki's story is accurate.

Rauner has been governor for two-and-half years. Madigan, as I mentioned earlier, has been House speaker for 32 of the last 34 years. Rauner inherited a dire mess from Madigan and several governors, including Republican ones.

Illinois' bonds are rated just above junk--no other state has ever reached that millstone. Its public-pension plans are among the worst funded among the 50 states. And Illinois is one of the few states losing population.

Rauner was hired to Brink Back Illinois. Madigan is part of the old guard, the failing guard.

Here's a much better description of the Illinois debacle, from Reuters: The man behind the fiscal fiasco in Illinois.

That man is Michael Madigan.


Holding My Nose said...

I see some parallels with the national situation. Trump was elected to "drain the swamp". In his case there is no single Michael Madigan opposing him but instead a clique of such critters determined to keep the swamp as wet as always. As usual they are aided and abetted by the LibDem propaganda machine, also known as FakeNews outlets.

John Ruberry said...

Madigan, the one man swamp. I love it!