Lasonde warns that Madigan money is buying lawmakers' votes, races
Republican Senate candidate Joan McCarthy Lasonde is increasingly concerned over House Speaker Mike Madigan’s (D-Chicago) campaign contributions to lawmakers and other candidates.
The Illinois Policy Institute recently reported Madigan has given approximately $15 million in campaign contributions to roughly 60 different lawmakers he wants to remain in office.
Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, the Democratic candidate for the 17th House District, has received approximately $750,000 from Madigan, which will certainly influence the chances of her being elected, Lasonde said.
"Madigan starts funneling money to Jennifer because he wants to buy the seat and confirm he can still dictate how that representative votes," Lasonde told North Cook News.
Candice Chow, the Republican candidate for the 17th House District, was unable to keep up with Gong-Gershowitz’s campaign because she was not receiving the same level of funding as her opponent, Lasonde said.
"In the end, Candice lost by a slim margin,” she said. “Had Jennifer not taken $750,000 from Madigan, there’s no way she could have won.”
Lasonde fears that this course of events is a powerful statement about the Democratic primary, and one that should not be ignored.
"The Democratic primary was stolen by a man who has been in office for 47 years," she said. "He has a tiny district on the south side, yet he controls who represents the North Shore."
Although voters might be limited with what they can do to stop Madigan from contributing money to candidates, they can open their eyes to the corruption that surrounds them, Lasonde said.
"Voters can wake up and say ‘enough,'" she said. "The voters need to revolt.”
The largest permanent tax increase in the state was enacted by Madigan, which increased taxes 32 percent, and there is nothing to stop Madigan from passing similar bills in the future if lawmakers continue accepting his money, Lasonde said.
"If you take money from Madigan, then you vote the way he tells you to vote," she said. "Madigan bought this race."
Lasonde is running against Democratic candidate Rep. Laura Fine (D-Glenview) for the 9th Senate District seat, which covers portions of Glenview, Winnetka, Wilmette and Evanston.