Illinoisans could have been voting Nov. 8 on an amendment to introduce fairness into the way the state draws legislative boundaries, an important aspect that determines the makeup of the Illinois General Assembly. But a group called The People’s Map successfully waged a legal battle to have the Independent Map Amendment tossed off Illinois’ fall ballot.
The group’s financial backers have been revealed.
The 20 contributors to the group have strong connections to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan. All told, the financial backers of The People’s Map and their employers have contributed $6,675,550 to Madigan’s political operations over the past 22 years.
While the case was being fought in court, The People’s Map did not record any contributions or expenditures with the Illinois State Board of Elections. The Oct. 18 filing revealed 20 contributions, totaling $25,000. But that number doesn’t tell the full story. The backers include four attorneys, 11 law firms, and five labor unions — all of whom have, or are employed by law firms who have, long histories of contributions to political entities controlled by Madigan:
- Margaret Corboy and Philip Corboy, partner at the law firm Corboy & Demetrio
- Blake Salger and Sara Salger, an employee of the law firm Gori Julian & Associates P.C.
- Patrick Salvi II, partner at the law firm Salvi Schostok & Pritchard P.C.
- Michelle Browder and Perry Browder, shareholder at the law firm Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC
- Meyers & Flowers LLC
- Cooney & Conway
- The Healy Law Firm
- Hurley McKenna & Mertz P.C.
- Burke Wise Morrissey Kaveny LLC
- Prince Law Firm
- The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm
- Romanucci & Blandin LLC
- Clifford Law Offices
- Power Rogers & Smith P.C.
- Phillips Law Offices
- Illinois Political Action Committee for Education, affiliated with the Illinois Education Association
- Illinois Pipe Trades PAC
- Illinois State AFL-CIO
- E.I.U Local 73
- Construction & General Laborers’ District Council of Chicago & Vicinity
Of those contributions to Madigan’s political network, $2,217,550 was contributed directly to Madigan’s political committee, Friends of Michael J. Madigan. Another $4,458,000 was contributed to Democratic Majority and the Democratic Party of Illinois, both of which are chaired by Madigan.
Through his longtime spokesman, Steve Brown, Madigan asserted that neither he nor the Democratic Party of Illinois was involved with The People’s Map’s efforts. But what is now clear is that the financial supporters of The People’s Map are very heavily involved with Madigan.
As is so often true in Illinois politics, all roads seem to lead to Michael Madigan.