Share the article: ICYMI: Pressure mounts as Pritzker engulfed by corruption

In case you missed it…

Newspaper columnist Jim Nowlan weighed in on the line towed by Governor JB Pritzker and other Illinois Democrats that Speaker Mike Madigan need only resign “if the allegations are true.”

Except for pinning the tail on the donkey — Madigan — how can the allegations not be true? ComEd has stipulated that they are true!

Why in the world would ComEd ever put itself at risk of bribery charges if the company weren’t pressured to do so by Madigan?

I disagree about the speaker weathering the storm.

The optics of the ComEd bribery and Madigan shakedown scheme are breathtaking, at least an order of magnitude more brazen that your typical corruption. ComEd continued to pay the best man at Madigan’s wedding (lobbyist Mike McClain) hundreds of thousands annually, even after the company declared he was no longer lobbying for them.

Madigan even demanded — talk about brassy — that ComEd place one of his political friends on their board of directors. And they did. Think of the chill that must send down the spines of CEOs who might want to set up shop in Illinois.

From Capitol Fax’s Rich Miller:

When there’s “clear” evidence of targeting by criminal investigators, the governor said, “that’s the point at which folks should step aside.”

I do not see how there is less than “clear” evidence of targeting by criminal investigators right now.

And from Illinois Playbook:

But another state rep acknowledged: “You worry about the other shoe dropping and what that means if you’ve accepted [Madigan’s] help.”

Here are the top unanswered questions for Governor Pritzker to address:

1)    Will you comment on the latest report from the Chicago Sun-Times that you appointed the two top officials at the Illinois Tollway based on the recommendation of former ComEd lobbyist John Hooker who is now embroiled in the Madigan bribery scandal?  Your spokesperson “singled out Hooker as a key voice behind the appointments.”  What is the nature of your relationship with John Hooker?  Can you comment on how these corrupt appointments may have contributed to recent illegal activity at the Tollway as the Daily Herald reported yesterday?

2)    You previously called on Democratic State Sen. Marty Sandoval to step down as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee before he was indicted.  Why are you changing your standard for Madigan and refusing to call on him to step down as both speaker and chairman of the Democratic Party?

3)    You reportedly told Capitol Fax’s Rich Miller that when there’s “clear” evidence of targeting by criminal investigators, “that’s the point at which folks should step aside.”  Do you not see clear evidence of Mike Madigan being targeted by criminal investigators?

4)    Yes or no – do you consider Mike Madigan to be a political ally?

5)    Are you concerned that the US Attorney in Chicago is now looking into property tax fraud allegations against you and that reportedly the inquiry is widening to multiple properties?

6)    If you will just continue to say that Madigan should resign if the allegations against him are true, would you agree that you should resign if the allegations against you are true?

7)    Can you name one allegation against Madigan described in the US Attorney’s court filing that you think is not true?

8)    Will you demand that Madigan return your campaign contributions from accounts that he controls?

9)    Will you advise Illinois Democrats not to accept campaign contributions from Madigan? If so, should they avoid campaign contributions from you while you are subject to your own federal investigation?

10) You appointed Carrie Zalewski to be the Chair of the Illinois Commerce Commission, which regulates ComEd.  Zalewski’s husband is a state representative close to Madigan and her father-in-law, a former Chicago alderman, is embroiled in the ComEd/Madigan bribery scandal.  Why did Carrie Zalewski fight in court to protect ComEd in litigation arising from the death of a cable line worker?  Doesn’t that raise red flags given her conflict of interest in the ongoing federal probe?  Are you covering up corruption here?


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