CHICAGO - Monday afternoon, a group of Republican lawmakers and candidates led by State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) called for Mike Madigan to step down from his role as Illinois Democrat Party chairman and House Speaker.
The GOPers tied their call for resignation to accusations of Speaker Madigan allowing a culture of corruption, abuse of power, bullying and sexual harassment as well as discrimination among his House members and staff.
Joining Ives was GOP House members Allen Skillicorn (East Dundee), Tom Morrison (Palatine) and Margo McDermed (Mokena).
Among the GOP candidates on November's ballot calling for Madigan's resignation was Darren Bailey, GOP candidate in downstate 109th House district.
"What will it take for politicians to finally stand up to Mike Madigan? What we are witnessing is the abuse of power by one man. There is a culture of corruption in Illinois and ask long as Mike Madigan is in power, we will not see the end of abuse of power in Springfield," Bailey said.
"The first step is for Democrats to demand that Mike Madigan resign as Speaker of the House and as head of the Democrat Party in Illinois. If members of his own caucus refuse to do this, then this is a sure-tale sign that the Democrat Party is certainly not interested in reform in Illinois. I and my colleagues here today are very serious about the integrity of Illinois...
"Illinois is broken, and Illinois needs to be fixed," Bailey said.
Others that spoke out against Madigan's abuse of power were GOP candidates Tonia Khouri of DuPage County and Ammie Kessem of Chicago.
"You thought I was a strong person, look at these candidates committed to a culture of change, and I'm sure they're going to get it done," Ives, who is not on the General ballot after losing the GOP gubernatorial primary bid by 3 points, said before taking questions from reporters.
Neither House GOP Leader Jim Durkin nor any of his caucus leadership participated in the presser.
Those participating in the press conference were:
- Tonia Khouri - Candidate for State Representative House District 49
- Marilyn Smolenski, Candidate for State Representative House District 55
- Jillian Bernas, Candidate for State Representative House District 56
- Ken Idstien - Candidate for State Representative House District 62
- Blaine Wilhour - Candidate for State Representative House District 107
- Darren Bailey - Candidate for State Representative House District 109
- Chris Miller - Candidate for State Representative House District 110
- State Representative Margo McDermed, District 37
- State Representative Jeanne Ives, District 42
- State Representative Tom Morrison, District 54
- State Representative Allen Skillicorn, District 66
- Springfield Whistleblower Denise Rotheimer