Bailey demands more accountability, action from Madigan in wake of sexual harassment scandal
Republican House candidate Darren Bailey finds hope in House Speaker Mike Madigan feeling the need to apologize for his handling of the ongoing sexual harassment scandal in Springfield.
“I equate it to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel feeling like he needed to step down and not seek re-election after all the pressure was turned up on him,” Bailey told the SE Illinois News. “Both of these episodes send the message that when we come together to speak out it can still bring about change. Other than thinking his power might be in danger, there’s no other reason Madigan would be saying anything about any of this.”
In a Chicago Tribune op-ed, Madigan admitted he still sometimes feels that his response to the controversy hasn’t always been up to snuff.
As the scandal has unfolded several of Madigan’s closest associates have become ensnared, among them Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), who once doubled as one of Madigan’s top deputies, and Tim Mapes, who previously served as his chief of staff.
Lang was forced to relinquish his leadership duties after being accused of “inappropriate behavior” by a female associate and Mapes stepped down when allegations of bullying and harassment were made against him became public.
Madigan now vows to enforce a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to abusive behavior.
“We as voters and taxpayers have to be involved and know what’s going on in our government so that we can demand accountability from our leaders,” said Bailey, who is running against Democrat Cynthia Given in the 109th District. “We’re living in a selfish society and voters have to be the change so many of them want.”
Democratic operative Alaina Hampton in February accused top aide Kevin Quinn of sending her inappropriate text messages leading to his ouster. Since then, Madigan claims he has met with more than 100 women to determine how he can better do his job making sure they feel protected in the workplace.
“That's only a start and a late one at that,” Bailey said. “We deserve and have demand more.”
The 109th House District includes Clay, Edwards, Effingham, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White counties.