CHICAGO (CBS) — A group of conservative republican lawmakers is calling on their democratic opponents to turn their backs on House Speaker Mike Madigan in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal in Springfield.
CBS 2’s Political Reporter Derrick Blakley reports a group of conservative republicans marched into a conference room in the Loop to promote a politically radical idea, proposing that democrats pull the plug on Mike Madigan.
Representative Margo McDermed (R-Frankfort) stated, “What we’re challenging our colleagues across the aisle is – you don’t have to have this power hungry guy with 20th century ideas about a woman’s place be your leader anymore.”
House Speaker Mike Madigan is the longest-serving leader of any legislative body, state or federal, in the history of the United States. He has served as House Speaker for all but two years since 1983.
The idea for the republicans’ call came from Ammie Kessem, a Chicago Police Sergeant running for state representative.
Kessem stated, “It is his responsibility to ensure the government protects the people. However, under his leadership, the government has preyed on people.”
She said she’s referring to women like Sherri Garrett, the statehouse staffer who sparked the firing of Madigan’s longtime Chief of Staff, Tim Mapes, last week by accusing him of sexual harassment.
Republicans say they are certain she’s not the only victim of sexual harassment that will come forward about the allegations.
“We understand there are more allegations to come back out from other women afflicted,” stated State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton).
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) says he’s willing to give Madigan more time, after Madigan accepted his suggestion to have women pick Mapes’ successor.
“I asked him to make a significant move to show that he gets it and he did that,” stated Durbin.
Since it was organized by an AD-HOC group of lawmakers, this wasn’t an official call from the Republican Party for Madigan to go. Later, the state GOP put out a statement saying they want Madigan out, as well.
Madigan’s spokesman issued a terse note saying, simply, the Speaker will remain in office.