Governor Pat Quinn is a lovely man. Speaker Mike Madigan is probably a lovely guy as well. Mike Madigan is as easy to pin down, publicly and privately, as it is the very last olive oil coated snow pea on a huge plate with a dinner fork, while thirty formally dressed celebrities ask you questions about quantum mechanics while being taped by the crew of 60 Minutes for their Christmas Special.
The difference being that Pat Quinn has made a career of crafting a public persona as a guy who cuts his own lawn with an ancient Sears Craftsman 18 in. Cut Path Reel Mower, Hand Pushed, like the one he used twenty years ago against George Ryan, who hired guys to cut his lawn; and Mike Madigan, could care less what I, the Sun Times editorial board, PETA, Pope Benedict XVI, Perez Hilton, Rev. James Meeks, Carol Marin, WTTW, or the cast Blue Man Group think of him.
Mike Madigan is the Packey McFarland* of politics. Muhammad Ali once called Chicago welter-weight Packey McFarland the greatest boxer who never one a championship.
Pat Quinn is ballromm dancer in the ring with Packey McFarland, the king of the Stockyards.
Tim Novak, the only real investigative writer at the Sun Times wrote this on July 4th:
The governor spent two hours Friday -- a holiday for most state workers -- discussing the state's $9 billion deficit with state Sen. James Meeks, who backs the tax hike. Their meeting came one day after Quinn met with 27 female legislators.
The governor says he plans to sit down with more lawmakers in the coming days.
"I have a number of other legislators -- Democrat and Republican, House and Senate -- I will be meeting with over the next few days,'' Quinn told reporters. "We believe in consensus-building.''
The Senate approved a tax-hike proposal in May, but it failed in the House.
Madigan won't support Quinn's income-tax increase without support from Republican legislators, leaving the state without a budget, which could force drastic cuts in social service programs across Illinois.
Quinn didn't blame Madigan for the stalemate over the state's budget crisis. But Meeks did.
"I do not think the governor is the problem,'' said Meeks, who is also pastor of Salem Baptist Church, which has one of the biggest congregations in Illinois.
"I ain't scared to call the speaker out -- he ain't my daddy,'' Meeks said. "If the speaker wanted this solved, it would be solved. For whatever reason, he doesn't want to work this out. Pat Quinn is trying to do everything he can to save social services.''
Meeks accused Madigan of playing politics by refusing to pass the income-tax increase without support from Republican legislators.
"That's a political decision, not based on what's right and wrong,'' Meeks said. "I think the Democrats bear the burden here because we're in leadership. We can pass any bill.''
Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said "the speaker is attempting to work cooperatively with the governor. The speaker supports a tax increase, but it's going to have to be a bipartisan effort. He [Meeks] ought to focus his efforts on Republicans.''
Political observers say they think Madigan is using the state budget crisis to politically weaken Quinn, who plans to run for election next year. One of Quinn's opponents in the Democratic primary could be Madigan's daughter, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. She is also mulling a run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Roland Burris.
Progress Illinois, SEIU's web comic book, uses Tim Novak's piece as a Madigan smear offering; however, it appears that the SEIU goon tactics in Springfield over the last few weeks have become tiresome to legislators as well as tax-payers.
Governor Quinn might try to 'side-step' Mike Madigan, but he will have canvass all over his back, when he hears the end of the Ten Count. Governor Pat Quinn has danced to SEIU's and Rev. James 'Someone Else's Money' Meeks hornpipes and Mike Madigan is a balanced hitter.
The more the media try to explain the motives of Mike Madigan, the more Pat Quinn will step into a Madigan Hay-Maker.
During his entire career, Packey engaged in 104 bouts and lost just the one. He never forgot the loss and as he moved up in competition, placed caution first and preferred to outbox his man with shiftiness and speed rather than try to put him out and risk getting caught by a lucky punch. For the remainder of his career, he was floored only twice – by Ray Bronson and “Cyclone” Johnny Thompson.
Packey grew up in a tough section of Chicago (“back of the stock yards”) and learned early on to use his fists to take care of himself in fights on the street and in the handball courts. During his first year in the ring (1904), at fifteen years of age, Packey lost the only fights he would ever lose. Harry Gilmore Jr. noticed him in 1906 and guided him to some impressive wins over Billy Finucane, Fred Gilmore, Young Morris, and Jack Fox and, in 1907, wins over Steve Kinsey, Joe Galligan, Kid Goodman, Maurice Sayers, Charlie Neary, and Benny Yanger. Another win over Goodman and victories over Kid Herman (newspaper) and Bert Keyes earned him a match with Freddie Welsh, the unbeaten Britisher.
Packey gained a decision over Welsh in ten rounds at Milwaukee on February 21, 1908 and followed this great win by defeating Jimmy Britt in six rounds at Colma on April 11, 1908.
When accusations of favoritism surfaced after the first McFarland-Welsh bout, fans clamoured for a rematch. A second bout with Welsh was held on July 4, 1908 at Los Angeles. It ended in a draw after twenty-five rounds. Welsh showed himself very clever and skillful at close quarters while McFarland was better at a distance.