Illinois Democrats meet, Madigan not present

Aug 14, 2013

Illinois Democrats gathered in Springfield Wednesday to rally behind their candidates ahead of next year’s election. But they met among a backdrop of party infighting, lawsuits - and without the presence of the state’s party chairman. From Springfield - IPR’s Tony Arnold reports: 

Michael Madigan serves as Speaker of the Statehouse - and as chairman of the Democratic Party. Yet here at the State Fair on a day designed for political events - Madigan hasn’t appeared.

"I don’t know why he’s not here, but I talked to him this week and I think he’s fired up, ready to go for 2014," Gov. Pat Quinn says.

Governor Pat Quinn wouldn’t say much about Madigan’s notable absence. The governor was recently sued by Madigan for stopping all legislative paychecks until they pass changes to pension benefits.

A spokesman for Madigan did not return calls for comment. Meantime - Quinn’s primary opponent - Bill Daley - told a room full of Democrats that Quinn doesn’t have what it takes to win another election next year.

For his part - Quinn didn’t criticize Daley by name - but hinted at upcoming attacks against Daley for once working for JP Morgan Chase.