Share the article: ICYMI: Madigan Claims He’s Unaware of Crony Network and Lobbying Conspiracy He Set Up

Even a sitting Democratic Senator calls Madigan’s behavior a “cover-up” carried out by his “cronies” 

This past week, more light was shed on one aspect of the Madigan machine, a lobbying conspiracy managed day-to-day by powerful statehouse insider and Mike Madigan’s best friend, Mike McClain. Here’s what we found out:

The Magic Lobbyist List

WBEZ reported that the feds’ deep dive into the lobbying practices of ComEd has uncovered a unique lobbyist network of favored insiders. WBEZ obtained an email sent from McClain to a group he dubbed the “Magic Lobbyist List” of former Madigan staffers and allies. The Speaker has yet to comment on the matter. 

McClain made clear it was at his and Madigan’s behest that they made the cut and that they were expected to return the favor by referring lobbying clients to each other and donating to Madigan campaign funds. It’s a classic case of Pay-to-Play politics.

“It’s the perfectly corrupt conspiracy. Former Madigan staffers cashed in by becoming favored lobbyists, Madigan’s campaign coffers were padded, and the legislative process from beginning to end was controlled by, you guessed it: Mike Madigan. There are two options going forward. Either one man will continue to corruptly pull all the levers of power in Springfield, or Democratic leaders will speak up and demand answers from Madigan.” – ILGOP Spokesman Joe Hackler

Contracts for Disgraced Ex-Madigan Aide

The Magic Lobbyist List was also deployed to take care of one of their own. The Tribune reported that McClain solicited, from the group, work for disgraced former Madigan aide, Kevin Quinn. After Quinn was ousted for allegations of sexual harassment, Madigan’s closest advisor was orchestrating contracts for Quinn from a network of former Madigan staffers turned lobbyists. 

In response, a Madigan spokesman said, “If a group of people were attempting to help Kevin Quinn, the speaker was not a part of it.” But that is impossible to believe given the factual record. 

The individuals who contributed to Kevin Quinn were Madigan’s closest allies, former top staff, and ongoing political advisors. McClain’s emails specifically referenced that he was acting on behalf of “Himself” (Madigan), a role McClain has played for decades. McClain has been Madigan’s most trusted advisor since the 1970s, so it defies logic to think Madigan was not aware of the scheme.

Questions in Need of Answering

The ILGOP isn’t the only one pondering some obvious questions about Madigan’s involvement in payments to Kevin Quinn. On Friday, State Senator Iris Martinez called on Madigan to answer “what he knew, and when he knew it,” or resign as head of the Democratic Party of Illinois. 

“He publicly promised things would be different. But he didn’t want to change his staff’s behavior. He wanted a cover-up. Madigan lied in public while his cronies paid the harasser,” Martinez went on to explain. “I urge my colleagues in the party and the legislature to join my demand for answers.”

In her release, Senator Martinez also mentioned that Team Madigan had directed a whisper campaign about Quinn’s victim, Alaina Hampton. Hampton took to twitter to voice her horror at this revelation:


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