Bruce Rauner vs. Michael Madigan

Jen DeSalvo, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) In February, Governor Bruce Rauner admitted the reason he’s having trouble advancing his pro-business agenda in Springfield is that Democrats in the Illinois House are afraid of their powerful Speaker, Michael Madigan.

Rauner told the Big John Howell Show, “Yeah they are, they’re afraid of the Speaker, which you know, I don’t blame them he controls lobbyists, and you know, judges, and politicians and he’s got a lot of money. They don’t want to cross the Speaker. But the reality is if they work for their districts they will speak out against Speaker Madigan and they’ll vote for reforms, but right now they’re scared.”

Madigan had some competition in the 2016 election season. Jason Gonzales joined John Howell to talk about his primary run against Madigan prior to the election, and why he decided to get into politics. It was even suggested that Gov. Rauner put Gonzales up to running against Michael Madigan!

Madigan was elected back into his seat in the Illinois House of Representatives in that election.

Months later, Gonzales opened up a lawsuit against Speaker Madigan saying that Madigan falsely called him a “convicted felon” in campaign ads.

In the meantime, the state continued to operate without a budget.

WLS-AM morning show friend, Chris Kaergard of the Journal Star newspaper in Peoria promised not to shave his beard until Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-dominated Legislature reached a deal.

After an entire fiscal year without a budget, Kaergard finally shaved the beard after Rauner signed into law a stopgap spending plan to keep state government operating for six months.

As December rolled around, the tension was still present. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner joined the John and Ray show to talk about the lack of meetings between him and leaders in the Illinois House and Senate.