Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

I like Mike, but losers don’t

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Funny how fast the weakest and the most failed political leaders in Illinois cheer when the most powerful are attacked.

For a lot of politicians who can’t win office, and those who have won but who fail at their jobs, they relish seeing those who have been successful and powerful get pushed under a cloud of a federal indictment.

I’m not going to be shy. I like Mike Madigan. We’ve never been close, but I am confident he’ll beat back this clearly political indictment by Donald Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr.

Everyone has been after Madigan for years. He is every loser’s favorite political dartboard because he has held power for most of the 39 years that he has been Speaker of the Illinois House.

Illinois is a Democratic state in a large part because of Madigan’s leadership. The Velvet Hammer had a style his foes resented. His management of the Democratic Party is criticized by those he has vanquished.

Critics blame Madigan for the failings of Illinois, but you can’t blame one politician for this state’s miserable status. Many Republicans and Democrats share that collar.

I’m confident that if the case ever goes to trial, Madigan will win. He’s too smart to do anything wrong.

As a political columnist since 1978, I’ve had my share of battles with Madigan. I’ve written columns praising him and criticizing him, too. So, I think that makes me objective.

I was first introduced to Madigan by Mayor Michael A. Bilandic while covering a dinner hosted by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in 1978. I was working for the Daily Southtown at the time, covering City Hall and writing the weekly Political Grapevine column. Madigan had been in the House for four terms.

Bilandic called me and said, “I want you to meet Mike Madigan. He has a brilliant career before him.” Bilandic was wrong about many things, but not about Madigan. Madigan quickly became one of the state’s most powerful politicians.

Madigan never asked me for a favor, nor to write a column. When I criticized him, he never complained. Good politicians recognize criticism is an integral part of good government. Many politicians go berserk when you criticize them or hold them accountable.

I had a falling out with Madigan in 1982 when he backed then-Mayor Jane M. Byrne for re-election. I even backed a candidate who challenged his ward organization in 1983.

I got dragged into a lawsuit when I criticized one of Madigan’s foes, but the judge threw that case out. If there is one consistency in my column writing, I write what I feel and believe, not what I am told.

For many I criticize, their only defense is to attack me because they can’t defend the issues.

Mike Madigan has a legacy of service to our southwest region and to the state, and it is not unexpected that even a powerful politician in a career that spans more than a half century would face at least some major challenges to his credibility.

I believe Madigan will survive. I wish him the best because Mike Madigan has been good for this state and region.

Many of the morons who have been attacking him have never cared about the state. They only care about gaining power for themselves.

But envy does not a good federal prosecution make.

THE POLITICAL GRAPEVINE: Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau has announced that he plans to spend more taxpayer money to pay for big-name bands. Past Orland music festivals have lost the village hundreds of thousands of dollars. This summer, they expect to lose as much as $384,250. He defended the losses claiming that Taste of Orland, launched by former Mayor Dan McLaughlin, lost money. It did initially. Except, Taste of Orland brought huge support for Orland’s business community, while “PekauFest” will mainly help Pekau’s candidacy for congress … my favorite columnist John Kass spoke at the United Business Association of Midway (UBAM) this past Wednesday, hosted by Anita Cummings … If anyone should resign from office it should be Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who used outrageous language to demonize Italian Americans … Republican gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin’s defense of police and declaration of war against crime resonates powerfully, far better than JB Pritzker’s failed message … President Joe Biden is not doing enough to help Ukraine. … Email me your thoughts on who you think will win the 6th District race, Marie Newman or Sean Casten (anonymous or on the record).

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

Local News

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Neighbors

Alex Knight, a Marist graduate now playing at Lake Forest College, was named to the All-Midwest Conference First Team. Knight’s average of 18.1 points per conference game led all players and he finished third in the conference in field goal percentage (52.6). Photo courtesy of Lake Forest College Athletics

College Notebook | Marist grad Alex Knight slaying buckets for Lake Forest

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Mike Walsh Correspondent Lake Forest College’s Alex Knight has been named to the All-Midwest Conference First Team in men’s basketball for the 2022-23 season. Knight, a 6-foot-1 sophomore guard who prepped at Marist, was the league’s leading scorer this season, averaging 18.1 points per conference game. He finished third in the MWC…

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Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer SeatGeek Stadium, host of the expansion Chicago Hounds, will host this season’s Major League Rugby championship game. The game is scheduled to be played July 8 in Bridgeview. It will air nationally on FOX. “Moving the championship match to a predetermined venue has long been a goal of…

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Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Consolidated High School District 230 Board of Education last week approved a $15 million expansion at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Palos Hills. The expansion will include much-needed classroom space, several science labs, offices and teacher workspace, as well as a rooftop environmental learning space. The project is…

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Spread the love

Spread the love By Kelly White One of Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanical Gardens’ most popular features is its large waterfall, which tumbles over four separate falls, travels a distance of over 300 feet and descends approximately 30 feet before joining the lake itself on the east side. With Irish festivities in full swing…

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Spread the love

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Shepard High School teacher Joe Lerner receives a pie-in-the-face at the Respect Week assembly. Lerner and other staff members volunteered to get hit with pastry to raise money for Special Olympics. (Supplied photo)

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Spread the love

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