Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Madigan's boys run wild in Springfield

Madigan and Mapes
When Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan announced in February 2018 that he had fired Kevin Quinn, the brother of Madigan’s alderman and political general, he said he’d done so because of Quinn’s “inappropriate conduct” with Alaina Hampton, whom he called a “courageous woman.”
Party boss Mike Madigan's boys are out of control down in Springfield. Have been for years. It's all about the old white boys club which is the IL State Democratic Party machine and wielding power over others, especially women.

IL Playbook's Shia Kapos and Adrienne Hurst report:
A new report detailing complaints of bullying, sexual harassment, intimidation and inappropriate behavior in state government memorializes what many of us already know.
The IG report was issued by Atty. Maggie Hickey, which appears to me to be revealing a little to hide a lot. The 201-page report details dizzying instances of “intimidation,” “hazing-like experiences,” “unclear hierarchy,” “pressure to volunteer,” “favoritism” and “demeaning assignments.”
Hickey uncovered “a purported culture of negative treatment that faced people who were perceived to challenge Speaker Madigan on any issue.” She found "that the fear of retaliation that could arise in unforeseen and unprovable ways was a major — if not the major — concern.”
Chief among the bullies (and sexual harassers) named in the report is Madigan's former chief of staff Tim Mapes. But he is not alone. The IG's report let some of Madigan's boys off the hook, like Rep. Lou Lang...
The report also concludes that there was not sufficient evidence to corroborate Democratic state Rep. Kelly Cassidy’s claims of retaliation by Madigan, Mapes and Democratic state Rep. Bob Rita for Cassidy speaking out about how Madigan’s team handled harassment allegations.
...I believe Cassidy.

Mapes' response couldn't be any worse..
"The recent criticisms made against me do not truly appreciate the size of the responsibility of my position.”
The size of his what??? And then comes the classic...
If my demeanor or approach to my job did not instill trust and a healthy work environment, I apologize.”
That's not much of an "IF".

As for Boss Madigan, who serves as chairman of the state party and is the longest serving statehouse speaker in the U.S., his phony self-crit may be even worse. It's that old, "I didn't do enough of the right thing to change the world." And after all, who among us has?
“I take responsibility for not doing enough previously to prevent issues in my office, and continue to believe that we, collectively, need to do more in the Capitol to improve our workplace culture and protect the women and men who work here who want to make a difference in the world.” 
Which brings me to the case of Alaina Hampton

She was one of Mike Madigan’s longtime political operatives who questioned the powerful House speaker’s actions in a federal lawsuit that also alleged retaliation, and for months criticized his handling of sexual harassment claims.

Madigan & Hampton
But Hampton has paid a heavy price. She's been blackballed and unable to work in her chosen profession anywhere within Madigan's reach. In February, 2018, she outlined accusations against Madigan aide Kevin Quinn — a younger brother of Ald. Marty Quinn (13th) — claiming he sent her barrages of unwanted text messages and phone calls in pursuit of a romantic and sexual relationship.

As part of the retaliation, Hampton alleged the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), under pressure from Madigan, refused hire her to help with a political campaign, and the union is refusing to provide documents she claims may prove retaliation was at play.

Hampton said she and teachers union lobbyist D’Javan Conway exchanged text messages in which Conway indicated the union was “eager and ready” to have Hampton work with them on Johnae Strong’s campaign for state representative of the Fifth Legislative District in the 2018 election. The union and United Working Families, a grassroots political group, endorsed Strong for the seat.

However, Hampton said Conway eventually told Hampton union officials had learned she was “on the outs” with Marty Quinn, the suit said. Hampton said the union then ended communications with her.

Hampton subpoenaed documents, including copies of texts, from Conway, union vice president Stacy Davis Gates and Emma Tai, who is executive director of United Working Families, to support her retaliation claim.

According to the Cook County Record:
The union officials and Tai have balked, with their attorney, Josiah Groff, saying the subpoena requests would be burdensome to satisfy and seek irrelevant and private information. In particular, the requested information involves political strategy discussions that need to be kept under wraps, according to the suit. 
Rep. Carol Ammons, vice chair of the women’s caucus, told Playbook in a statement:
“Alaina Hampton’s story is unfortunately a common one. I hope that the due process taking place results in truth and justice. Her determination gives other women hope for a future where these kind of incidents are uncommon and eventually nonexistent.”
According to Capitol Fax's Rich Miller:
 Madigan may have expressed public contrition in 2018, but I know for a fact (because I’ve argued this point with them) that some members of his organization have privately never forgiven Hampton for coming forward. She, in some minds, is the disloyal one for airing Madigan’s dirty laundry in public.
 Now if this story of political intrigue and retaliation is getting too complicated to follow (it is for me, at times), we will try and sort it all out this Friday on Hitting Left with the Klonsky Bros. when Alaina and Joanna Klonsky will be our in-studio guests.

Tune in Friday from 11-noon CT to WLPN 105.5 FM in Chicago and streaming live at 

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