Speaker Madigan attacks Better Government Association

Oct 30, 2013

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is attacking a political watchdog group.  IPR’s Tony Arnold reports.

 The Better Government Association has working relationships with several news organizations around Chicago.

 This week - the BGA co-authored a story in the Chicago Sun-Times - saying most of Speaker Madigan’s petition gatherers in the last election also held government jobs.

 The article does not accuse the workers of wrongdoing - but does suggest clout played a role in their jobs.

 Madigan responded - by sending a letter to Democratic officials criticizing the head of the BGA - Andy Shaw.

  The Speaker says the group used to be a worthy public advocate that Shaw has turned into a lobbying organization focused on partisan politics.

 Shaw says what Madigan calls bullying - he calls good reporting.

 SHAW: I consider Mike Madigan’s reaction proof positive we’re doing our jobs and doing our jobs well, because if we weren’t, he wouldn’t be bothering with us.

 In his letter - Madigan says the campaign workers were exercising their First Amendment rights - and they didn’t do anything improper.