Mike Madigan does get to select his successor

Mike Madigan does get to select his successor
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Mike Madigan does get to select his successor

The decision on who should succeed #MichaelJMadigan in the #22ndDistrict belongs to the voters, not to the news media media pundits nor to the loudmouthed revolutionaries and activists. The right way to fill the vacancy when Madigan resigned from the Illinois House is to allow the #Democrat Party representatives to chose a temporary successor and then allow the voters to decide who should be elected. The extremists don’t want that because they know in a contest where everyone in equal, they lose

By Ray Hanania

In his last contested election in 2016, Michael J. Madigan easily on re-election with 65 percent of the vote over media celebrity and controversial challenger Jason Gonzales, who got 27 percent of the vote.

The total votes were 17,155 for Madigan, 7,124, which is more than a landslide reflecting how popular Madigan was and still is in the Southwest side Illinois House district.

Two other candidates received a total of less than 8 percent of the vote, 1,523 for Grasiela Rodriguez and 518 for Joe Barboza.

In the subsequent elections, Madigan ran pretty much unchallenged and received 13,740 votes in the 2018 March 17 Democratic primary, and 29,041 votes in the November 3 General Election.

13th Ward Democratic Committeeman Michael J. Madigan and 13th Ward And. Marty Quinn. Photo courtesy of Madigan-Quinn website

13th Ward Democratic Committeeman Michael J. Madigan and 13th Ward And. Marty Quinn. Photo courtesy of Madigan-Quinn website

Yet today, the people who backed Madigan’s challengers are trying to make the argument that the district needs transparency, openness and even “change.”

Many of the people clamoring for change are in fact outsiders, leaders of organizations like the far-left leaning “Our Revolution” organization which has little if any support in the district, and other radical elements who have tried unsuccessfully for decades to unseat Madigan, but failed each time.

The issue is should the individuals who are elected to represent the Democratic organization select the candidate who will fill the remaining portion of Madigan’s term in office now that he has resigned the seat and his position as the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives?

Madigan’s critics argue that the Democratic Committeemen should not select Madigan’s replacement, and they are in fact arguing that they should be given that power.

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Mike Madigan was one of the best representatives the Southwest Side and Suburbs ever had. A brilliant politician and public servant who will be hard to replace. But that decision to replace him belongs to the representatives of the district and to the voters, not to the news media pundits nor the loudmouthed revolutionary extremists

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The problem is of course that the radicals and Madigan’s critics know that they can’t win a race in the 22nd House District, not because Madigan has some magical powers but because the voters in that district don’t want them.

The voters do not want screaming radicals, revolutionaries, leftwing extremists and activists with racial or foreign agendas to control who represents their interests. The voters want someone who reflects their needs, their views, and their concerns.

Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez, State Rep. Silvana Tabares and Lyons Mayor and Township Supervisor Christopher Getty at the Lyons Township Democratic Party Fall Festival Sept 10, 2017

Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez, State Rep. Silvana Tabares and Lyons Mayor and Township Supervisor Christopher Getty at the Lyons Township Democratic Party Fall Festival Sept 10, 2017

That’s why Democracy is so important and why voting is the most important.

The choice of who should represent the district should always be decided by the voters, the residents of the district. Those residents have the right to chose in the next election who will represent them in Springfield. The voting system is so perfect in that in guarantees that each person has an equal right and opportunity to voice their favored choice. Or, to not vote at all. It’s their choice.

The vote margins in support of Madigan have been consistent over the years. In 2012, for example, Madigan received 75.7 percent of the vote while three challengers, Olivia Trejo, Michele Piszczor and Mike Rodriguez received less than 35 percent of the vote in the March 20 Democratic Party primary, the election in which Democrat Party voters get to choose who they want to represent them in the General election.

In the General election on November 6, the voters – all of them – were able to make their choice and they gave Madigan again a overwhelming mandate to 76.7 percent or 21,755 votes to his Republican challenger Robert Handzik, who received 23.3 percent or 6,599 votes.

The voice of the residents of the 22nd District, though not as loud or boisterous as the revolutionary activists, has been clear on who they support. Madigan has their support. Madigan has their admiration. Madigan has their confidence. And therefore, the Democrat Party has the mandate to select his successor to fill his vacancy until the next election allows the voters the chance to vote and chose who should fill the seat.

Vote sticker from he 2020 election in Illinois

Vote sticker from he 2020 election in Illinois

Losers in past elections, and activists who have loud voices but small supporter bases, always want to gerrymander the system by making wild accusations. They want to shortcut themselves sdinto the election without giving the district’s voters the chance to express themselves. They want to impose their minority choices on the majority because they know they can’t win in an election where every American aged 18 years or older has an equal voice in the election. These extremists need an unequal system to allow them to steal the election and take control.

They are the same people who want to impose “term limits,” another phrase to reflect how losers of elections who fail to win the support of the majority of voters hope to steal power and undermine the Democratic process. They want term limits in order to steal the vote from the voters and to deny the voters the right to make their choice for themselves on who they want as their representative.

The Democratic committeemen and committeewomen — Michael J. Madigan of the 13th Ward, Aaron Ortiz of the 14ht Ward, Derrick Curtis of the 18th Ward, Silavana Tabares if the 23rd Ward and Vincent Cainkar of Stickney Township — will meet on Sunday Feb. 21 to select his successor in the 22nd House District seat. The meeting will be live streamed so the public can view it. Click here to view the live stream.

Click here to get more info on the slating meeting.

They were elected by the members of the Democrat organizations in their wards and Townships. They were empowered to represent the majority of the voters in those wards, and those wards together rake up the voice of the 22nd District.

There is no reason to follow the existing process to select a temporary replacement who will put their name on the ballot in the next election in the hopes of winning election to fill the seat that Madigan has vacated.

The media will exaggerate the issues. They will distort the principles. The media are hypocrites who complain about others but embrace their own lack of transparency themselves. They are dictators in their own businesses and corporations, and they rule with an iron hand that they hope will confuse voters to do their bidding.

Voters in the district should not fall victim to the loud boisterous screams of the activists or the news media. Instead, they should remain confident that they and they alone have the power to decide who will be elected to succeed Michael J. Madigan, who by the way, in my opinion, has been one of the best elected officials this state has ever had.

I was introduced to Madigan in 1978 by then Chicago Mayor Michael A. Bilandic. Madigan had been in the Illinois House only a few years. But even back then, no elected official was a greater champion of the rights of the voters and residents of the Southwest Side.

The Southwest side has been marginalized by the news media and the regional politicians and the state agencies. Had it not been for Madigan, our region on the Southwest Side and Suburbs of Chicagoland would have been denied their rights and a voice in the defining this state.

Madigan, Ortiz, Curtis, Tabares and Cainkar, do what’s best for your wards and for the majority of your residents. That is your responsibility. That is the proper Democratic process. That is your moral responsibility.

Don’t be swayed by the exaggerations of the news media or the screams, chants and protests of the revolutionaries and the extremists who can’t seem to get their act together in a fair fight in the Democratic process to win an election without bending the rules.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and former Chicago City Hall reporter — 1977-1992. Reach him on his website at www.Hanania.com or by email at rghanania@gmail.com.)

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