Illinois state Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City)
State House Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) wonders what it will take for Illinois Democrats to stand up to powerful House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago).
“We can talk about ethics all you want, but at some point in time it has to become about action,” Wilhour told the South Central Reporter. “If Gov. [J.B.] Pritzker was serious about cleaning up Springfield, he would step up to Madigan now and say it’s time to go. All the scandal we’re seeing has come about because of the culture he’s created and the way he condones everything from sexual harassment to bullying and all the other corruption.”
The latest scandal comes courtesy of one of Madigan’s closest associates having exchanged a 2012 email in which he refers to the possible cover-ups of a "rape in Champaign" and an ongoing ghost-payrolling scheme, both involving state workers. With longtime lobbyist and Madigan confidant Mike McClain being the author of the email, Republicans are demanding that Madigan reveal how much he knew about these events and when did he know about them.
Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago)
Wilhour is already sure about one thing.
“The state of Illinois will not move forward with any level of credibility as long as Mike Madigan is at the helm,” he said. “And Gov. Pritzker loses credibility every day he continues to allow that to be the case. Democrats can talk about how disgusting it is and how repulsed they are, but none of them has the courage to ask [Madigan] to step aside because he controls the money. As of Jan. 1, he had $21 million at his disposal.”
Wilhour says it is past time that Democrats join Republicans in demanding real reforms and Madigan’s ouster.
“I think we have to keep demanding that we take specific steps to have an ethical government in Illinois,” he said. “Like now, we need to go back to Springfield and set aside a specific bloc of time to deal with nothing but ridding ourselves of corruption. Big things don’t happen in Springfield because of all the corruption and there being too few people that are willing to stand up for the people of Illinois.”