McClure doesn't expect real change in Springfield: 'House Democrats are doubling down

Sen. Steve McClure (R-Springfield) sighs at the thought of Mike Madigan finally being held accountable.

“It’s about time that we got to this point, It’s pretty amazing that members of his own caucus finally had to step forward for us to show him the door. It says that there is a bipartisan outcry that the time is now.”

After nearly four decades of being under Madigan’s control, lawmakers banded together during the lame-duck session this month to put an end to his rule, installing state Rep. Emmanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Hillside) as his successor.

The state’s longest-serving lawmaker, Madigan now finds himself at the center of a still unfolding federal corruption probe involving ComEd and a pay-for-play scheme where all the perks are alleged to have been steered to him in exchange for favorable legislation. A Special House committee was also recently convened to look into his role in the matter with expulsion from the House being among the penalties he could have faced.

“In the end, the serious nature of the federal investigation and the charges that his confidantes are facing because of it became too much to keep ignoring,” McClure added.

McClure said it’ll be interesting to see what comes next for Madigan.

“I will let Democrat members decide if Madigan should remain chairman of the party, but I find it very troubling that he would still be in charge in any way,” he said. “If Welch were to decide he doesn’t want him in any big role, you can see how this would get boring real quick for Madigan.”

Given Welch's close ties to Madigan, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider has doubts about the new speaker being the right man to clean up Springfield’s mess. That's especially true given his own troubles, which include multiple accusations in court documents of harassing, assaulting and retaliating against women.

“House Democrats have chosen to go from Mike Madigan, the most corrupt politician in America, to Rep. Chris Welch, a top Madigan lieutenant who has been credibly accused by multiple women in court documents of harassment, assault, and retaliation,” he said in a statement. “It’s now clear that House Democrats are doubling down on allowing Madigan’s corrupt machine to continue running state government.”