Madigan Loses Some Power; Rauner Buys More Budget Culpability

Nov 9, 2016

Credit Amanda Vinicky

Illinois legislators will only get a brief post-election respite from politics; a week from Wednesday they’ll be back in Springfield to begin the veto session.The current makeup of the General Assembly will remain in place for that, but come the new year -- when the Capitol welcomes a new set of lawmakers elected Tuesday night -- the balance of power will shift, slightly.

Election Day is like the Super Bowl of politics.

While Gov. Bruce Rauner is the Republican Party’s standard-bearer, he had no public events yesterday (he hasn’t for weeks, actually, save for going to a couple of Cubs games and handing out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween).

The Republican quietly cast his ballot Tuesday morning back home in Winnetka, then watched the results come in last night in private at the executive mansion in Springfield.

Despite his physical absence, Rauner made sure his presence was felt across Illinois, and in a big way.

He spent more than $30 million dollars bankrolling legislative races.

It’s part of his attempt to break the Democratic grip on the legislature -- a grip that thus far has stifled Rauner’s agenda. That, in turn, has led to a partisan stalemate that’s left Illinois without a real budget, and with an all-too-real deficit.

Rauner has frequently put the onus on Democrats to break the stalemate, with comments like this one from last year: “If the Speaker and the General Assembly doesn’t want to take up reforms, doesn’t want to pass any real structural reforms, then they should go ahead and pass a tax hike," he said. "They have a supermajority. They’re fully capable of increasing the taxes.”

Rauner won’t be able to use that excuse anymore.

A brief primer: A supermajority means one party has at least 3/5ths of the seats in the House or the Senate; that’s how many votes are needed to override a governor’s veto.

In the Illinois Senate, that takes 36 votes. And Democrats have (through 2016, anyway) 39 seats. A super-supermajority, if you will.

Republicans chipped at that some, but only a net gain of two seats.

Specifically:

-47th District: Former GOP State Rep. Jil Tracy will fill a western Illinois seat vacated by Democrat John Sullivan of Rushville.

-59th District: Long-time Democratic Senator Gary Forby of Benton, in southern Illinois, was ousted by Dale Fowler, the Republican mayor of Harrisburg.

-58th District: A seat left open by GOP Senator Dave Luechtefeld of Okawville will be filled by another Republican, Paul Schimpf, instead of former Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon.

-23rd District: It appears that Democratic Sen. Tom Cullerton of Villa Park will go back to springfield, though a challenge from Republican Seth Lewis is still too close to call as of Wednesday morning.

Given all of that, Democrats in the Senate still have a supermajority, with an extra vote to spare.

But in the Illinois House, it’s a different story.

Unless you managed to stay away from a TV all campaign season, you surely heard a Republican ad like this one, which says: “Mike Madigan made a fortune on tax appeals, representing the powerful and politically-connected. Saving his friends millions. Forcing you to pay more. It’s an inside game…”

Ads and critiques of Michael Madigan often both denigrate the longtime Speaker of the Illinois House, while at the same time exalting him as an all-powerful master of puppets.

Madigan has had a supermajority of 71 Democrats (though they’ve rarely been united enough to actually override Rauner vetoes).

That will soon end. Meaning: No more supermajority. As in, come January, when the new legislators are inaugurated, no longer will Rauner be able to say that Democrats have the votes to hike taxes against his will.

Imagine that they try (they haven’t by the way). Rauner could reject the bill, and House Democrats wouldn’t have the ranks to unilaterally override him.

Republicans gained a net of four seats in the Illinois House. One GOP incumbent, Rep. Dwight Kay of Glen Carbon, lost to Katie Stuart, in the 112th District.

But the party held onto a top-tier race in the 20th District, meaning the sole Republican representing parts of Chicago, Michael McAuliffe.  The GOP also won five seats currently in Democratic hands:

-63rd District: Democratic Rep. Jack Franks ran for local office instead; his seat will go to a Republican, Steven Reick.

-71st District: Republican Tony McCombie beat first-term Democratic representative Mike Smiddy.

-79th District: Another Democratic incumbent, Kate Cloonen, who lives near Kankakee, lost her seat to attorney Lindsay Parkhurst.

-76th District: Rep. Andrew Skoog, who took over the 76th district when Spring Valley's Frank Mautino -- who is now under investigation for campaign spending -- became Auditor General, lost his first election, to Jerry Lee Long.

-117th District: Voters tossed one of Madigan's top lieutenants, Rep. John Bradley, in favor of Benton businessman Dave Severin.

“This is about southern Illinois, this is about the state of Illinois. And you know what it shows to me, that there’s hope, if you stay true to your dream, if you stay true to your Lord, then he’ll guide and direct you. It may take some time," Severin said in his campaign speech. “We can get jobs back here. Stop people leaving here as far as businesses and people having to leave the area because there aren’t jobs. Fund education. Take care of senior citizens. All the different things that my opponent said … I’m not going to go there, sorry, you guys got TV cameras on, I’m not going to talk about that stuff.”

The race is a big win for Rauner, and for Republicans.

In a statement, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says Illinois voters sent a message that Democrats should get on board with Rauner’s agenda.

"By handily breaking the supermajority, Illinois voters sent a strong message that it is time for Democrats to join Governor Rauner and legislative Republicans in enacting reforms to lower property taxes, create more jobs, address the pension crisis and place term limits on the career politicians alongside a balanced budget," Durkin said.

But Madigan and his fellow Democrats heard something different.

Democrats ended the night with statewide victories: Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth easily bested incumbent Republican Mark Kirk in a race the race for U.S. Senate, and Gov. Rauner’s handpicked choice for Comptroller – Leslie Munger lost her job to Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza.

"I think what we say tonight was a rejection of the extreme agenda, which is making so many people in the state of Illinois victims. Victims of political inefficiencies and inadequacies on the statewide level. The middle class and the working class, and the underclass ... have been under attack by the current administration," Mendoza said in her victory speech.

In a statement, Speaker Madigan says voters showed they want to keep strong democratic majorities in the legislature, to serve as a check on the governor and his agenda.

Madigan says this cycle was a “difficult environment” for many Democratic candidates, thanks to Rauner’s unprecedented millions, coupled with “the Trump headwind in downstate Illinois.”

Trump did well in those regions, even though Illinois as a whole went strongly for Clinton.

The changes coming in Springfield — combined with the economic uncertainty that’s greeted Trump’s victory — mean the “difficult environment" will not soon be getting any easier.

Illinois House races  (as of 8 a.m. Wednesday Nov. 9)

  < ^District 10

111 of 118 precincts - 94 percent

x-Melissa Conyears, Dem 33,187 - 84 percent

Mark Spognardi, GOP 6,517 - 16 percent

< ^District 11

97 of 97 precincts - 100 percent

x-Ann Williams, Dem (i) 36,830 - 72 percent

Gary Mandell, GOP 14,629 - 28 percent

< ^District 12

88 of 90 precincts - 98 percent

x-Sara Feigenholtz, Dem (i) 41,467 - 76 percent

Gene Witt, GOP 13,270 - 24 percent

< ^District 14

70 of 80 precincts - 88 percent

x-Kelly Cassidy, Dem (i) 30,397 - 83 percent

Arthur Siegel, Ind 6,007 - 17 percent

< ^District 15

91 of 93 precincts - 98 percent

x-John D'Amico, Dem (i) 24,411 - 61 percent

Jonathan Edelman, GOP 15,624 - 39 percent

< ^District 18

80 of 80 precincts - 100 percent

x-Robyn Gabel, Dem (i) 35,462 - 64 percent

Jessica Tucker, GOP 19,966 - 36 percent

< ^District 20

84 of 84 precincts - 100 percent

x-Michael McAuliffe, GOP (i) 25,387 - 56 percent

Merry Marwig, Dem 19,724 - 44 percent

< ^District 24

61 of 61 precincts - 100 percent

x-Lisa Hernandez, Dem (i) 22,721 - 79 percent

Andy Kirchoff, GOP 5,896 - 21 percent

< ^District 35

100 of 106 precincts - 94 percent

x-Frances Hurley, Dem (i) 31,488 - 65 percent

Victor Horne, GOP 17,249 - 35 percent

< ^District 42

114 of 114 precincts - 100 percent

x-Jeanne Ives, GOP (i) 32,357 - 61 percent

Kathleen Carrier, Dem 20,680 - 39 percent

< ^District 44

55 of 55 precincts - 100 percent

x-Fred Crespo, Dem (i) 21,520 - 63 percent

Katy Dolan Baumer, GOP 12,874 - 37 percent

< ^District 45

108 of 108 precincts - 100 percent

x-Christine Winger, GOP (i) 25,562 - 54 percent

Cynthia Borbas, Dem 22,130 - 46 percent

< ^District 46

97 of 97 precincts - 100 percent

x-Deb Conroy, Dem (i) 22,834 - 59 percent

Heidi Holan, GOP 16,021 - 41 percent

< ^District 48

120 of 120 precincts - 100 percent

x-Peter Breen, GOP (i) 30,359 - 57 percent

Steve Swanson, Dem 23,079 - 43 percent

< ^District 50

66 of 66 precincts - 100 percent

x-Keith Wheeler, GOP (i) 30,886 - 61 percent

Valerie Burd, Dem 19,936 - 39 percent

< ^District 55

70 of 70 precincts - 100 percent

x-Martin Moylan, Dem (i) 24,787 - 59 percent

Dan Gott, GOP 17,259 - 41 percent

< ^District 56

74 of 74 precincts - 100 percent

x-Michelle Mussman, Dem (i) 24,096 - 56 percent

Jillian Bernas, GOP 19,259 - 44 percent

< ^District 58

70 of 70 precincts - 100 percent

x-Scott Drury, Dem (i) 28,841 - 57 percent

Marty Blumenthal, GOP 21,434 - 43 percent

< ^District 59

61 of 61 precincts - 100 percent

x-Carol Sente, Dem (i) 25,443 - 61 percent

Dawn Abernathy, GOP 16,415 - 39 percent

< ^District 60

49 of 49 precincts - 100 percent

x-Rita Mayfield, Dem (i) 21,994 - 76 percent

Robert Ochsner, GOP 6,828 - 24 percent

< ^District 61

70 of 70 precincts - 100 percent

x-Sheri Jesiel, GOP (i) 26,364 - 57 percent

Nick Ciko, Dem 19,663 - 43 percent

< ^District 62

62 of 62 precincts - 100 percent

x-Sam Yingling, Dem (i) 21,681 - 52 percent

Rod Drobinski, GOP 19,732 - 48 percent

< ^District 63

73 of 73 precincts - 100 percent

x-Steven Reick, GOP 25,525 - 57 percent

John Bartman, Dem 19,560 - 43 percent

< ^District 66

71 of 71 precincts - 100 percent

x-Allen Skillicorn, GOP 27,048 - 58 percent

Nancy Zettler, Dem 19,763 - 42 percent

< ^District 68

90 of 90 precincts - 100 percent

x-John Cabello, GOP (i) 29,654 - 64 percent

Tricia Sweeney, Dem 16,662 - 36 percent

< ^District 69

97 of 97 precincts - 100 percent

x-Joe Sosnowski, GOP (i) 32,609 - 67 percent

Angelique Bodine, Dem 15,838 - 33 percent

< ^District 71

106 of 106 precincts - 100 percent

x-Tony McCombie, GOP 30,586 - 63 percent

Mike Smiddy, Dem (i) 18,053 - 37 percent

< ^District 72

92 of 92 precincts - 100 percent

x-Michael Halpin, Dem 24,987 - 56 percent

Brandi McGuire, GOP 19,329 - 44 percent

< ^District 74

145 of 145 precincts - 100 percent

x-Daniel Swanson, GOP 34,450 - 66 percent

Bill Butts, Dem 18,072 - 34 percent

< ^District 75

87 of 87 precincts - 100 percent

x-David Welter, GOP (i) 28,889 - 58 percent

Martha Shugart, Dem 20,683 - 42 percent

< ^District 76

120 of 120 precincts - 100 percent

x-Jerry Long, GOP 23,078 - 51 percent

Andy Skoog, Dem (i) 22,486 - 49 percent

< ^District 77

62 of 62 precincts - 100 percent

x-Kathleen Willis, Dem (i) 20,390 - 70 percent

Anthony Airdo, GOP 8,655 - 30 percent

< ^District 79

72 of 72 precincts - 100 percent

x-Lindsay Parkhurst, GOP 23,649 - 54 percent

Kate Cloonen, Dem (i) 20,366 - 46 percent

< ^District 81

108 of 108 precincts - 100 percent

x-David Olsen, GOP (i) 28,381 - 53 percent

Greg Hose, Dem 24,714 - 47 percent

< ^District 84

73 of 73 precincts - 100 percent

x-Stephanie Kifowit, Dem (i) 21,473 - 62 percent

Mike Strick, GOP 13,320 - 38 percent

< ^District 93

150 of 150 precincts - 100 percent

x-Norine Hammond, GOP (i) 22,925 - 55 percent

John Curtis, Dem 19,071 - 45 percent

< ^District 94

143 of 143 precincts - 100 percent

x-Randy Frese, GOP (i) 35,683 - 75 percent

Bobby Pritchett, Dem 11,772 - 25 percent

< ^District 95

124 of 124 precincts - 100 percent

x-Avery Bourne, GOP (i) 27,464 - 57 percent

Mike Mathis, Dem 20,692 - 43 percent

< ^District 99

107 of 107 precincts - 100 percent

x-Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, GOP (i) 35,255 - 61 percent

Tony DelGiorno, Dem 22,078 - 39 percent

< ^District 101

99 of 99 precincts - 100 percent

x-Bill Mitchell, GOP (i) 41,608 - 75 percent

Christine Law, Dem 13,597 - 25 percent

< ^District 110

118 of 118 precincts - 100 percent

x-Reggie Phillips, GOP (i) 29,238 - 65 percent

Dennis Malak, Dem 16,067 - 35 percent

< ^District 111

99 of 99 precincts - 100 percent

x-Daniel Beiser, Dem (i) 24,708 - 53 percent

Mike Babcock, GOP 22,285 - 47 percent

< ^District 112

90 of 90 precincts - 100 percent

x-Katie Stuart, Dem 27,454 - 52 percent

Dwight Kay, GOP (i) 25,753 - 48 percent

< ^District 113

110 of 110 precincts - 100 percent

x-Jay Hoffman, Dem (i) 26,590 - 59 percent

Katherine Ruocco, GOP 18,392 - 41 percent

< ^District 114

102 of 102 precincts - 100 percent

x-LaToya Greenwood, Dem 25,774 - 57 percent

Bob Romanik, GOP 19,275 - 43 percent

< ^District 115

121 of 121 precincts - 100 percent

x-Terri Bryant, GOP (i) 25,452 - 56 percent

Marsha Griffin, Dem 20,183 - 44 percent

< ^District 117

104 of 104 precincts - 100 percent

x-Dave Severin, GOP 26,878 - 53 percent

John Bradley, Dem (i) 23,949 - 47 percent

< ^District 118

140 of 140 precincts - 100 percent

x-Brandon Phelps, Dem (i) 26,361 - 58 percent

Jason Kasiar, GOP 18,968 - 42 percent

Illinois Senate races

< ^District 22

119 of 119 precincts - 100 percent

x-Cristina Castro, Dem 38,993 - 64 percent

Tracy Smodilla, GOP 21,699 - 36 percent

< ^District 23

204 of 204 precincts - 100 percent

Thomas Cullerton, Dem (i) 43,640 - 50 percent

Seth Lewis, GOP 42,852 - 50 percent

< ^District 25

154 of 154 precincts - 100 percent

x-Jim Oberweis, GOP (i) 53,524 - 55 percent

Corinne Pierog, Dem 43,761 - 45 percent

< ^District 26

167 of 167 precincts - 100 percent

x-Dan McConchie, GOP (i) 62,737 - 59 percent

Kelly Mazeski, Dem 43,048 - 41 percent

< ^District 28

144 of 144 precincts - 100 percent

x-Laura Murphy, Dem (i) 45,468 - 53 percent

Mel Thillens, GOP 39,869 - 47 percent

< ^District 29

134 of 134 precincts - 100 percent

x-Julie Morrison, Dem (i) 52,532 - 59 percent

Benjamin Salzberg, GOP 36,573 - 41 percent

< ^District 31

131 of 131 precincts - 100 percent

x-Melinda Bush, Dem (i) 47,585 - 54 percent

Michael Amrozowicz, GOP 40,508 - 46 percent

< ^District 32

152 of 152 precincts - 100 percent

x-Pamela Althoff, GOP (i) 64,632 - 68 percent

Melissa Coyne, Dem 30,804 - 32 percent

< ^District 38

206 of 206 precincts - 100 percent

x-Sue Rezin, GOP (i) 55,224 - 58 percent

Christine Benson, Dem 40,143 - 42 percent

< ^District 49

110 of 110 precincts - 100 percent

x-Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Dem (i) 50,996 - 53 percent

Michelle Smith, GOP 45,904 - 47 percent

< ^District 52

155 of 155 precincts - 100 percent

x-Scott Bennett, Dem (i) 52,045 - 61 percent

Michael P. Madigan, GOP 33,395 - 39 percent

< ^District 58

232 of 232 precincts - 100 percent

x-Paul Schimpf, GOP 58,780 - 61 percent

Sheila Simon, Dem 37,409 - 39 percent

< ^District 59

243 of 243 precincts - 100 percent

x-Dale Fowler, GOP 53,253 - 55 percent

Gary Forby, Dem (i) 42,973 - 45 percent