Illinois lawmakers prove whose interests matter most: Theirs

Democratic Illinois lawmakers are suing to get their paychecks now that the Republican who put them at the end of the $10.4-billion line is gone.
Democratic Illinois lawmakers are suing to get their paychecks now that the Republican who put them at the end of the $10.4-billion line is gone.

Some members of the Illinois House don’t like being treated like every other person currently owed $10.4 billion by our deadbeat state.

On Friday state Reps. Mary Flowers, Emmanuel Chris Welch, Kate Cloonen, Lisa Hernandez, Silvana Tabares and Sonya Harper filed suit as Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger was literally headed out the door. The Republican appointee instituted a policy in April that put pay for all elected state leaders in the pile with all the other state bills awaiting payment, but the six Democrats sued her office because they didn’t like it that their May paychecks just arrived in October.

Munger’s parting shot: “Their action comes eight months after I implemented a policy requiring that all state elected leaders — myself included — be treated just like everyone else. How cowardly and self-serving that while they refused to challenge my action while I was in office, they are now going to Court when there will be a new Administration led by one of their own.”

Welcome to office the new Illinois comptroller, Mike Madigan acolyte Susana Mendoza, a Democrat from Chicago. Note to cowards: Expect paychecks soon.

Which brings to mind the Republican effort to “out” the downstate Democrats ahead of the Illinois House electing its next speaker. Mike Madigan’s 32-year lock on that spot, and all the dysfunction that has flowed from that leadership, is under attack and local Democrats are under the microscope at bossmadigan.com. The site names state Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Eldorado; Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville; Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton; and Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton.

Costello said he doesn’t know how he’ll vote.

“I think my constituents know I’m a very conservative Democrat, and I consider myself to be exactly in the middle,” Costello said.

But exactly in the middle is a very bad place to be. If anything is to change in Illinois, Costello and the rest of Illinois’ leadership must choose sides.

Continue to follow Madigan, to what destination is anyone’s guess. Try something different than the insanity of topping two decades of unbalanced budgets by shirking the obligation for two years to even have a budget, by ignoring a $130 billion pension deficit and by continuing to bleed jobs and population that are destroying our middle class.

Serve yourself. Serve your master. Serve the people who elected you.

This shouldn’t be a hard choice.