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Madigan And The Mailer: Where Is The Speaker (Illinois)GO-ing With His Remarks?

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Amanda Vinicky
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Many Chicago residents recently received a piece of mail criticizing their state legislator. That's a routine part of politics, but these flyers are getting special attention from one of Illinois' top politicians.

As Chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois, House Speaker Michael Madigan's organization frequently sends campaign brochures attacking Republicans. This time -- it's Madigan, and his fellow Democrats, who are the targets.

"So these are mailers that came into my district," Madigan said at a recent conference, as he held them up.

The fliers say "state politicians have failed Chicago students," and mention "failed leadership in Springfield."

"And the point I would make is the message is remarkably similar to Gov. Rauner's message ... the language, the tone and the message, is all remarkably similar to Gov. Rauner," Madigan said.  "And this was done by Greg Goldner."

Greg Goldner runs a new political action committee called Illinoisans for Growth and Opportunity, or IllinoisGO for short. Goldner says he's a lifelong Democrat, running a political action committee that supports Democrats -- who make what the PAC considers to be responsible decisions. In May he said the group's objective is "to try to work with Democrats and help break some of the status quo, some of the dynamic, that has gotten us to this point."

Follow the money to Illinois GO's donors, many of whom also gave or are connected to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, and skeptics say it's grounds to believe it's actually a Rauner front group.

Rauner is longtime friend of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel -- a Democrat. Emanuel is Goldner's former boss.

It could be that Madigan publicly highlighted IllinoisGO's brochures to send a message to Emanuel -- a "whose side are you on?" challenge -- as the mayor is coming to Springfield with a long wish list.

Goldner and his IllinoisGO PAC had no comment on Madigan's remarks.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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