Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

I like Mike, but losers don’t

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Funny how fast the weakest and the most failed political leaders in Illinois cheer when the most powerful are attacked.

For a lot of politicians who can’t win office, and those who have won but who fail at their jobs, they relish seeing those who have been successful and powerful get pushed under a cloud of a federal indictment.

I’m not going to be shy. I like Mike Madigan. We’ve never been close, but I am confident he’ll beat back this clearly political indictment by Donald Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr.

Everyone has been after Madigan for years. He is every loser’s favorite political dartboard because he has held power for most of the 39 years that he has been Speaker of the Illinois House.

Illinois is a Democratic state in a large part because of Madigan’s leadership. The Velvet Hammer had a style his foes resented. His management of the Democratic Party is criticized by those he has vanquished.

Critics blame Madigan for the failings of Illinois, but you can’t blame one politician for this state’s miserable status. Many Republicans and Democrats share that collar.

I’m confident that if the case ever goes to trial, Madigan will win. He’s too smart to do anything wrong.

As a political columnist since 1978, I’ve had my share of battles with Madigan. I’ve written columns praising him and criticizing him, too. So, I think that makes me objective.

I was first introduced to Madigan by Mayor Michael A. Bilandic while covering a dinner hosted by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in 1978. I was working for the Daily Southtown at the time, covering City Hall and writing the weekly Political Grapevine column. Madigan had been in the House for four terms.

Bilandic called me and said, “I want you to meet Mike Madigan. He has a brilliant career before him.” Bilandic was wrong about many things, but not about Madigan. Madigan quickly became one of the state’s most powerful politicians.

Madigan never asked me for a favor, nor to write a column. When I criticized him, he never complained. Good politicians recognize criticism is an integral part of good government. Many politicians go berserk when you criticize them or hold them accountable.

I had a falling out with Madigan in 1982 when he backed then-Mayor Jane M. Byrne for re-election. I even backed a candidate who challenged his ward organization in 1983.

I got dragged into a lawsuit when I criticized one of Madigan’s foes, but the judge threw that case out. If there is one consistency in my column writing, I write what I feel and believe, not what I am told.

For many I criticize, their only defense is to attack me because they can’t defend the issues.

Mike Madigan has a legacy of service to our southwest region and to the state, and it is not unexpected that even a powerful politician in a career that spans more than a half century would face at least some major challenges to his credibility.

I believe Madigan will survive. I wish him the best because Mike Madigan has been good for this state and region.

Many of the morons who have been attacking him have never cared about the state. They only care about gaining power for themselves.

But envy does not a good federal prosecution make.

THE POLITICAL GRAPEVINE: Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau has announced that he plans to spend more taxpayer money to pay for big-name bands. Past Orland music festivals have lost the village hundreds of thousands of dollars. This summer, they expect to lose as much as $384,250. He defended the losses claiming that Taste of Orland, launched by former Mayor Dan McLaughlin, lost money. It did initially. Except, Taste of Orland brought huge support for Orland’s business community, while “PekauFest” will mainly help Pekau’s candidacy for congress … my favorite columnist John Kass spoke at the United Business Association of Midway (UBAM) this past Wednesday, hosted by Anita Cummings … If anyone should resign from office it should be Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who used outrageous language to demonize Italian Americans … Republican gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin’s defense of police and declaration of war against crime resonates powerfully, far better than JB Pritzker’s failed message … President Joe Biden is not doing enough to help Ukraine. … Email me your thoughts on who you think will win the 6th District race, Marie Newman or Sean Casten (anonymous or on the record).

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

Local News

 Sophia King, 11, of Chicago Ridge, had fun at Chicago Ridge Park District’s Solarbration on Saturday afternoon. (Photos by Kelly White)

Solarbration: Chicago Ridge celebrates fun in the sun

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Spread the loveBy Kelly White The sun is shining and after a long winter, Chicago Ridge residents ready for it. In honor of National Solar Appreciation Day, the Chicago Ridge Park District offered residents the opportunity to come out and celebrate with a Solarbration, the free event was held outside of Freedom Activity Center, 6252…

An example of the Hometown Heroes banner was on display at the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting Tuesday morning. The banners will appear throughout the village in designated areas honoring current and former U.S. veterans from Oak Lawn. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn trustee says village needs state grocery tax

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Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle An Oak Lawn trustee said that Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposal to eliminate the state’s grocery tax will be costly for the village. Trustee William “Bud” Stalker (5th), accompanied by Mayor Terry Vorderer, recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Springfield where they learned more about the governor’s proposal to eliminate…

Mayor Bob Straz presents Lois Duran with a certificate honoring her years of volunteer service in Palos Heights. Next to Lois is her son Gary. (Photo by Nuha Abdessalam)

Palos Heights recognizes volunteers

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Spread the loveBy Nuha Abdessalam Palos Heights handed out awards last week recognizing the services provided by volunteers through the years. The proclamations, which were read aloud during the city council meeting April 16, were a testament to the city’s volunteers and were handed out as part of Volunteer Recognition Week. Volunteers were cited for…

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Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent After a tough weekend at the Smack Attack tournament, Richards got back into the win column with a two-set victory over Eisenhower in a South Suburban Red match. The Bulldogs made quick work of the Cardinals, winning 25-16, 25-15 on April 23 in Oak Lawn to snap a five-match…

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SD218 puts on annual Arts Extravaganza

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Spread the loveBy Kelly White The arts have become a major portion of the curriculum Community High School District 218. Showcasing those many talents, the Friends of CHSD 218’s Education Foundation proudly hosted its 15th annual Arts Extravaganza on April 5 at Eisenhower High School in Blue Island. “The Arts Extravaganza is a great event…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau and the village board are making it tougher for businesses to get gaming licenses. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Gaming licenses to be tougher to get in Orland Park

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Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva It’s going to take longer to receive gaming licenses in Orland Park. The village board passed an ordinance April 15 that would allow table service businesses open at least 36 consecutive months to apply rather than the previous 18 months, and extended the probationary period to 18 months instead of…

Palos Park Commissioner G. Darryl Reed talks about the 2024-25 budget at the April 22 council meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park passes $16 million budget

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Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The Palos Park Village Council approved the 2024-25 budget, which totals a little more than $16.3 million at the April 22 village council meeting. According to village documents, it represented an increase of a shade over $603,000 from last year. The village is expecting $13.4 million in revenue and $1.86…

Firefighters inspect the Al Bahaar Restaurant, 39 Orland Square Dr., after extinguishing a fire that was inside the wall of the building and not readily seen. (Photo courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District)

Fire damages Al Bahaar Restaurant in Orland Park

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Spread the loveFrom staff reports  Orland Fire Protection District firefighters responded to a fire Monday evening at the Al Bahaar Restaurant, 39 Orland Square Dr. At first, restaurant owners suspected the fire alarm was triggered by a malfunction, but as firefighters inspected the restaurant to reset the fire alarm, they detected a burning smell. “What…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound April 24, 2024

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Evergreen Park’s Patrick Maroney blocks a kill attempt during a match against T.F. United on April 18. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Year of growth | Evergreen Park enjoying inaugural boys volleyball season

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Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent After almost 70 years of existence as a high school, Evergreen Park finally has a boys volleyball team. The Mustangs are playing their inaugural season with a junior varsity squad, with some matches being played at the varsity level. Head coach Brian Zofkie is leading this group with assistant…

Neighbors

 Sophia King, 11, of Chicago Ridge, had fun at Chicago Ridge Park District’s Solarbration on Saturday afternoon. (Photos by Kelly White)

Solarbration: Chicago Ridge celebrates fun in the sun

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White The sun is shining and after a long winter, Chicago Ridge residents ready for it. In honor of National Solar Appreciation Day, the Chicago Ridge Park District offered residents the opportunity to come out and celebrate with a Solarbration, the free event was held outside of Freedom Activity Center, 6252…

An example of the Hometown Heroes banner was on display at the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting Tuesday morning. The banners will appear throughout the village in designated areas honoring current and former U.S. veterans from Oak Lawn. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn trustee says village needs state grocery tax

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle An Oak Lawn trustee said that Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposal to eliminate the state’s grocery tax will be costly for the village. Trustee William “Bud” Stalker (5th), accompanied by Mayor Terry Vorderer, recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Springfield where they learned more about the governor’s proposal to eliminate…

Mayor Bob Straz presents Lois Duran with a certificate honoring her years of volunteer service in Palos Heights. Next to Lois is her son Gary. (Photo by Nuha Abdessalam)

Palos Heights recognizes volunteers

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Nuha Abdessalam Palos Heights handed out awards last week recognizing the services provided by volunteers through the years. The proclamations, which were read aloud during the city council meeting April 16, were a testament to the city’s volunteers and were handed out as part of Volunteer Recognition Week. Volunteers were cited for…

Richards’ A.J. Plawecki leaps into setting the ball during a match against Brother Rice at the Crusaders’ Smack Attack tournament held April 19-20. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Volleyball | Richards weathering struggles after run of success

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent After a tough weekend at the Smack Attack tournament, Richards got back into the win column with a two-set victory over Eisenhower in a South Suburban Red match. The Bulldogs made quick work of the Cardinals, winning 25-16, 25-15 on April 23 in Oak Lawn to snap a five-match…

Chippewa Elementary School second-grader, Nicholas Bass, 8, of Palos Heights, proudly showed off his artwork at the 15th annual Arts Extravaganza. (Photos by Kelly White)

SD218 puts on annual Arts Extravaganza

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White The arts have become a major portion of the curriculum Community High School District 218. Showcasing those many talents, the Friends of CHSD 218’s Education Foundation proudly hosted its 15th annual Arts Extravaganza on April 5 at Eisenhower High School in Blue Island. “The Arts Extravaganza is a great event…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau and the village board are making it tougher for businesses to get gaming licenses. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Gaming licenses to be tougher to get in Orland Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva It’s going to take longer to receive gaming licenses in Orland Park. The village board passed an ordinance April 15 that would allow table service businesses open at least 36 consecutive months to apply rather than the previous 18 months, and extended the probationary period to 18 months instead of…

Palos Park Commissioner G. Darryl Reed talks about the 2024-25 budget at the April 22 council meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park passes $16 million budget

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The Palos Park Village Council approved the 2024-25 budget, which totals a little more than $16.3 million at the April 22 village council meeting. According to village documents, it represented an increase of a shade over $603,000 from last year. The village is expecting $13.4 million in revenue and $1.86…

Firefighters inspect the Al Bahaar Restaurant, 39 Orland Square Dr., after extinguishing a fire that was inside the wall of the building and not readily seen. (Photo courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District)

Fire damages Al Bahaar Restaurant in Orland Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports  Orland Fire Protection District firefighters responded to a fire Monday evening at the Al Bahaar Restaurant, 39 Orland Square Dr. At first, restaurant owners suspected the fire alarm was triggered by a malfunction, but as firefighters inspected the restaurant to reset the fire alarm, they detected a burning smell. “What…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound April 24, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Evergreen Park’s Patrick Maroney blocks a kill attempt during a match against T.F. United on April 18. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Year of growth | Evergreen Park enjoying inaugural boys volleyball season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent After almost 70 years of existence as a high school, Evergreen Park finally has a boys volleyball team. The Mustangs are playing their inaugural season with a junior varsity squad, with some matches being played at the varsity level. Head coach Brian Zofkie is leading this group with assistant…