Madigan, Moylan need to go if Illinois is to grow, GOP opponent says
House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) and Rep. Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines) must be ousted in next year's elections to ensure a better future for the state, a one-time campaign opponent of Moylan said recently.
"The only way to get the state back on track is ousting Speaker Madigan," Mel Thillens, the Park Ridge Park Board commissioner and Maine Township president told the North Cook News in an email interview. "The only way to do that is to stop sending Madigan toadies like Moylan to Springfield. This is especially true in the suburbs. We live in the Ohio and Florida of Illinois -- the swing districts. The political tide can only change if it changes here."
Thillens' comments came only a few weeks after a mailer went out in late June and earlier this month to registered voters in Moylan's 55th House District critical of Moylan's coziness with Madigan. The mailers also blamed the powerful state House speaker and Democratic legislators for the then-still ongoing budget fight in Springfield.
On July 6, the Illinios General Assembly overrode Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a budget long on spending and tax hikes but short on reforms, ending a two-year stalemate.
The mailers, paid for by the Illinois Republican Party, were an attempt by Rauner to bash state legislators into agreeing with him on the budget, Moylan was quoted in a Journal & Topics piece.
"The governor is spending millions of dollars to try to get his way in Springfield," he said, according to the article. "He has a lot of money and he’s sending this junk out. It’s all part of the game and political process."
Thillens countered that the mailer's criticisms of Moylan were justified.
"If you see his vote on the budget, it is obvious that Moylan is a classic politician," Thillens said. "He waited to the very end of the vote, to make sure it would pass, and then took the political easy way out. I'm sure he was taught how to do that by Speaker Madigan. Marty's not bright enough to figure that out on his own. Anyone, especially anyone in print media, who would take Rep. Moylan at face value after seeing his actions in Springfield loses credibility."
The Journal & Topics has often reported favorably on Moylans, including coverage of his annual Breakfast for Veterans, his sponsorship of Community Shred Day in June and the hours in one of his area offices.
On Nov. 2, less than a week before last year's election, the Journal & Topics endorsed Moylans.
"There’s no one in Springfield who works harder than the former alderman and mayor of Des Plaines and current state representative from the 55th District, Marty Moylan," the endorsement said under the headline "Send Hard Worker Moylan Back To Springfield."
Moylan was re-elected to the House with almost 60 percent of the vote, defeating Republican Challenger Dan Gott.
Thillens, vice president of sales and operations at the armored vehicle firm Thillens Inc., was a candidate in the general election for the state Senate's 28th District seat and was more narrowly defeated by former Des Plaines alderman and incumbent Sen. Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines). He also ran unsuccessfully against Moylan in 2014.
Moylan's close relationship with Madigan is well-documented. In January, Moylan was caught on video cheering, "Who do we like? Mike!" shortly after Madigan was re-elected as speaker of the House and within days of Moylan being taken to a Chicago Bulls game by City of Des Plaines' lobbyist Al Ronan.
"At home, Moylan tells everyone he's independent and won't even admit to voting for Madigan for speaker," Thillens said. "Then he's caught on video in Springfield literally leading pro-Madigan cheers. Like the politician he is, Moylan talks out of both sides of his mouth."
That coziness with Madigan is causing trouble for some legislators, particularly in a state where a recent Capitol Fax/We Ask America public opinion poll put blame for the budget impasse on Madigan. Of the 1,231 registered Illinois voters who participated in the poll, 55 percent put the onus on Madigan and 34 percent blamed Rauner.
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