Wednesday, October 5, 2005
Mike Madigan: Lets Try to Change the Subject
You know the legislature is not in session when you see task forces cruising up and down the highways featuring politicians in your area. Theyre doing everything from helping you renew your drivers license to helping kids to read to probing the high price of gas. All good for favorable press, huh? This summer, however, weve seen one of the more shameless efforts at using state task forces for political games without a shred of relevancy to the issue being discussed. Wanna guess what it is?
Social Security. Huh? State task forces involving Social Security which is a federal program? Yup. House Speaker Mike Madigan is one of the shrewdest politicians and its his way of defending his House majority like a Mother Bear protects her cubs. Recently Mike announced he is going to host statewide hearings to address possible changes in Social Security benefits! I thought this was a misprint when I first saw it! Any decision involving a federal program as Social Security is must come from Washingtonnot by Madigan or State Reps in Springfield. Huh? I wondered: is Mike thinking of running against freshman Democrat Dan Lipinski whos his Congressman? Of course not.
No, the reason is Big Daddy who is also state Democratic chairman, is worried about his almost-all Democratic ticket being cursed with low poll numbers. Some say he saw his plan of raiding our states pension system (which will cripple future generations and services for future generations) receiving far more attention than he had imagined. Unfortunately for those Democrats who were forced to vote for the scheme, a scandal blew up over the pensions this summer. It didnt help the Democrats. Many of them were upset since they had to vote for the plan. They were told the negative publicity would be over before the Memorial Day potato salad started going bad. One brave state Rep Democrat, John Fritchey, (who like me blogs every day) has even publicly apologized for his yes vote.
So Big Daddy to the rescue. He has started to try to change the subject, talking about the evil Republican Social Security reform although the state legislature has about as much to do with Social Security as I do with the Chicago Bears play calling on Sundays. Madigan theorized: Why not try to scare seniors into thinking the big bad Republicans are trying to take away their benefits? So state Democrats think holding these hearings in places where they have targeted members (legislative districts where Dems have a chance to lose) would help blur the issues. So citizens in Aurora, Morris, Kankakee and Decatur will be hearing about Social Security reform from someone who has no savvy on the issue. Hey, Im more qualified to teach lacrosse to Deerfield High seniors than these Madigan ducklings are to discuss Social Security.