Voters pay the price with AFSCME campaign gift to Madigan
Chris Miller warns House Speaker Mike Madigan’s campaign gift of $768,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union (AFSCME) comes at a hefty price for Illinois taxpayers.
“If someone gives you that much money, it’s not just because they love you,” Miller told the East Central Reporter. “I’m guessing it’s like an insurance payment guaranteeing that you’re not going to do anything different from the same old business as usual way of doing things.”
According to Illinois News Network, Madigan’s latest donation is the largest ever the organization has given to the longtime House Speaker. It comes at a time when the organization remains locked in bitter contract negotiations with Gov. Bruce Rauner where Wirepoints reports the two sides are as much as $3 billion apart in recent offers.
Running against Democrat Shirley Bell in the 110th District, Miller added he finds credence in the growing theory that AFSCME’s gift to Madigan was motivated by the possibility of J.B. Pritzker in the governor’s mansion.
“It’s to make sure they have a friend in high places when the right time comes,” he said. “It’s all about playing politics.”
As it is, over the last decade AFSCME salaries have grown four times faster than the earning of other workers, paving the way for state workers in Illinois to now rank second in the country for highest pay.
Questions about Madigan’s potentially unethical dealings don’t end there.
The Prairie State Wire recently reported he contributed $2.08 million to the campaigns of 25 state House candidates over a 24-day period in September.
“Madigan gives and they all fall in line,” Miller added. “He’s trying to buy their seats to make sure he stays in power. Truth in advertising has absolutely nothing to do with this; it’s all just about retaining his power.”
Miller said he hasn’t taken money from any legislator or candidate, including Rauner, adding that he has also vowed not to take a pension once he arrives in Springfield.
“I won’t be bought or intimidated,” he said. “I’ve never operated that way and don’t plan to start just because I’m a legislator. I’m going to Springfield to be of service to the people.”
The 110th House District includes Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edgar and Lawrence counties.