Politics

Are Madigan, Cullerton trying to keep Quinn from getting re-elected?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Republican leader suspects top Democrats are plotting to keep Illinois Governor Pat Quinn from being re-elected.

If that's true, in-fighting could cost Illinois taxpayers $17 million a day-- the price tag for as long as the pension debt crisis goes unresolved.

"I'm finding it problematic and troublesome that the two guys with all this power can't find a way to get this done," Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross.

Cross met with Gov. Quinn over lunch on Tuesday. He said he left with the suspicion that Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Democratic Senate President John Cullerton-- both of whom have super majorities in their chambers--were conspiring not to pass pension reform this year for political reasons.

"The two most powerful guys in the state of Illinois can get anything done. They pass a tax increase in the middle of the night," Rep. Cross said. "Two guys that passed a pension holiday in the mid-2000s without blinking an eye, can't get this done? Seriously?"

When asked if his suspected a Madigan/Cullerton conspiracy was aimed at weakening Gov. Quinn, Cross said, "Yes."

Why? Because it could benefit Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who said on Tuesday she's still considering a run.

"Yes," Cross said.

"It inures to nobody's benefit whatsoever for the pension crisis to continue in the state of Illinois," Lisa Madigan said. Lisa Madigan is Michael Madigan's daughter.

Earlier this week, Michael Madigan pointed the finger at Cullerton's Senate for not passing the pension reform bill passed by his house of representatives.

"If I didn't want pension reform I would not have worked to pass the House pension bill as I did," Madigan said Monday.

Cross indicated he would not be surprised if no pension bill is passed during next week's special session.

"If we don't do anything next week or this summer, we'll be going into year four. And it blows my mind that we can't get this thing done," Cross said.

The special session targeting pension reform begins on Wednesday, June 19th.

Cross would not blame Governor Quinn for the impasse. He says the onus is on the general assembly to send the governor a bill to be signed.

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