By Pat Hughes

It’s bad enough that, after decades of Mike Madigan’s leadership, the state can’t pay its bills. But now, his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, wants to take away the ability of state workers to pay their own bills.

Throughout the bitter dispute over the state budget, Madigan-Nemesis Governor Bruce Rauner has worked to keep the state government running so that core services are not completely shut down. The Governor has made clear that paying state workers for work that they do, while working to pass a balanced budget, is a top priority.

Speaker Madigan and his Democrat Majority have blocked the Governor’s call for reforms like term-limits and property tax freezes, and refused to pass a balanced budget. Instead, they’ve tried to gain political leverage by maximizing the pain felt by families.

To this end, A.G. Madigan filed court papers on January 26 demanding the state stop cutting paychecks to thousands of state workers.

A reliable Chicago Machine cog, Lisa Madigan clearly understand which way the political winds are blowing in her party. Like most Democrats, she objects to the governor’s condition that he will only sign a budget that includes several key reforms. If her opposition to the governor’s policy was as deeply held as we are led to believe, then why did she remain silent on the budget impasse for 18 months, only to act is such a drastic manner now?

The truth is Mike Madigan is running this game and his daughter knows it. She also knows to wait quietly until she is called up to play. Well, last week it was her turn. And what was the play? Using the livelihood of state workers as political leverage.

If you are even remotely acquainted with the work of Mike Madigan and his brood, then you know that Lisa’s latest ploy is solely intended to inflict further damage on the governor’s reform agenda by putting the families of state workers and the people who rely on the services they provide in an even more desperate position. All this, of course, is to gain a political advantage.

Is it clear to you yet, state workers? You are nothing to Democrats. You are just means to their ends. If Mike Madigan will use his daughter and her career to fight his battles, why on earth would you think he wouldn’t use you?

For all of their campaign rhetoric about looking out for your families, your retirement security, your job, your pocketbook, they will turn their backs on you in a heartbeat if there is political ground to be gained.

They’ve turned their back on homeowners who pay the highest property taxes in the nation, children in Chicago Public Schools where only 26% are college ready, and workers face the highest unemployment rate in the nation. State workers just happen to provide political leverage today.

Illinois Democrats are ready, willing and (clearly) able to pulverize state workers and their families in order to maintain their own political power.

Call Lisa Madigan’s office today, (312) 814-3000. Demand that she respect workers and their families and push for the reforms that will solve our state’s budget crisis.

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