Jay Kinzler sees House Speaker Mike Madigan and his Democratic machine as a growing threat to democracy.
“He’s usurped the democratic process with the way he rules Springfield,” Kinzler told the DuPage Policy Journal. “He’s picking winners and losers based on who contributes to his organizations and who will support his policies. Right now, just for a legislator to be able to get one of their proposals to the floor, they have to play ball with Madigan and his cronies. We have to change the way government now operates in Illinois and that starts with ousting Mike Madigan from power.”
Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) reports Madigan has contributed approximately $15 million to more than 60 current legislators in Springfield. In addition to regularly receiving the financial backing of the veteran lawmaker, all of the legislators involved share the common thread of having consistently voted for Madigan as House Speaker.
“It’s the Madigan way, where everything is about money and power,” said Kinzler, who is running against Rep. Deb Conroy (D-Villa Park) in the 46th District. “When you’re talking about that kind of money coming from him, you’re totally beholden to him, even if it’s at the expense of your constituents.”
Kinzler has seen firsthand the impact a representative’s loyalty to Madigan over constituents can have on a community, he said. Conroy has received at least $1.3 million from Madigan over the last year, IPI states. Kinzler estimates that amount has increased to at least $2 million over the last 24 months.
“She’s consistently voted in favor of what he wants, like with all the tax increases, over what her voters want and need,” he said. “When you’re taking those kinds of dollars from someone, you’re not allowed to have a mind of your own and you’re expected to just do what you’re told.”
Aside from being the longest-serving House speaker in history, Madigan also serves as chairman of various campaign committees, which gives him greater access to even more cash and resources to dangle as enticements, according to IPI.
“All this special interest money has corrupted the entire system,” Kinzler said. “Madigan has been in power over 40 years and my opponent is running for her fourth term. They’re both as connected as anyone, with the will of the people being among their least concerns. I’m running to help regain control of state government and plan to never support Madigan as part of that effort.”
The 46th House District includes all or parts of Addison, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, Hanover Park, Lombard and Villa Park.