The Democrat Party is in free fall between the massive disapproval numbers for Joe Biden and Democrat Governors. Now they are facing a gigantic federal indictment of the man who held the keys to the “Chicago Machine,” who helped propel many politicians into the limelight and into power, including both Hillary R. Clinton and Barack H. Obama.
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“A top Chicago Democrat has been hit with a 22-count indictment by federal prosecutors on multiple bribery and racketeering charges, according to legal documents,” was viral news on Thursday morning, about the plight of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Madigan is one of the most powerful politicians in Chicago’s history. He is the longest-serving House Speaker in the U.S., he became an Illinois legislator in 1971 and has been Speaker of the House in Illinois for all but two years since 1983. During the time Madigan has been Speaker, Illinois has had six different governors, more than 200 state senators and more than 500 state representatives and he influenced the Democrat party.
“Madigan, who held unchallenged power in the state for decades, was indicted Wednesday over allegations that he participated in several bribery schemes. The 22-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury, The Chicago Tribune reported,” Neonnettle.com reported.
The charges are the result of a years-long investigation of the longtime Democrat politician. Madigan resigned last year amid the bribery investigation after serving as the state’s House speaker for 35 years.
Dirty politics has been synonymous with Illinois politics for decades, however, this announcement about Madigan is not going over well.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin called Michael Madigan’s indictment possibly the ‘darkest day in Illinois history.’
79-year-old Madigan was well known for abusive practices to get what he wanted. The 22-count indictment alleges Madigan and co-defendant Michael McClain ran a criminal enterprise between 2011 and 2019, soliciting bribes and financial awards for him, his associates and his law practice, with McClain carrying out illegal activities at Madigan’s behest.
Madigan held the speaker position for nearly 40 years until he resigned last year amid the investigation, is accused of using his position for personal financial gain, according to FOX 32 of Chicago.
“Madigan and McClain allegedly caused various businesses, including the utility company Commonwealth Edison, to make monetary payments to Madigan’s associates as a reward for their loyalty to Madigan, at times in return for performing little or no legitimate work for the businesses,” The U.S. Justice Department said.
From the DOJ press statement:
Madigan, McClain, and other members of the enterprise allegedly unlawfully solicited benefits from businesses and other private parties. The indictment accuses Madigan of engaging in multiple schemes to reap the benefits of private legal work unlawfully steered to his law firm, including legal work from those with business before the State of Illinois and City of Chicago.
Madigan, 79, of Chicago, is charged with racketeering conspiracy and individual counts of using interstate facilities in aid of bribery, wire fraud, and attempted extortion. McClain, 74, of Quincy, Ill., is charged with racketeering conspiracy and individual counts of using interstate facilities in aid of bribery and wire fraud.
Arraignments in U.S. District Court in Chicago have not yet been scheduled.
The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and Justin Campbell, Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amarjeet S. Bhachu, Diane MacArthur, Timothy J. Chapman, Sarah E. Streicker, Michelle Kramer, and Julia Schwartz.
“Corruption by an elected official and his associates undermines the public’s confidence in our government,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “The indictment alleges a long-term, multifaceted scheme to use public positions for unlawful private gain. Rooting out and prosecuting the kind of corruption alleged in the indictment will always be a top priority for this office.”
“Our elected officials swear an oath to carry out the duties of their office,” said FBI SAC Buie. “When they dishonor that oath, it erodes the trust we have in our officials to do the right thing for our communities, and the FBI and its partners stand ready to stamp out corruption at any level of government.”
Back in 2016 local Illinois media reported on a documentary at the time of Madigan’s power in politics, which went unopposed for 4 decades.
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Madigan’s more than 30 year reign as Illinois’ speaker of the House is explored in a new documentary, “Madigan: Power. Privilege. Politics.”
The documentary touches on the subject of legislative mapmaking, which is how Madigan first took power over the House in the early 1980s. Throughout the state’s history, Illinois lawmakers have carefully crafted legislative maps to maximize their political advantage. This system has led to a lack of competitive elections, and an equally distressing lack of confidence in state government.