House speaker's letters containing profanity released

August 1, 2008 4:06:09 PM PDT
Letters Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan sent to two labor union leaders have surfaced. In them, Madigan uses an expletive when referring to Governor Blagojevich's capitol spending plan. Madigan's office confirms that the House Speaker wrote the letters on his office's letterhead. It is the latest development in a very volatile relationship between Madigan and the governor.

Governor Blagojevich, with an assistance from organized labor, has opened a new offensive in his feud with Madigan. The union leaders leaked the letters from Madigan that include the speaker's profane description of the governor's statewide construction plan.

For most of last spring and all of this summer, Speaker Mike Madigan has been under pressure from organized labor to lead the Illinois House in approving a capital bill.

The unions say the multi-billion-dollar measure to build roads, bridges and schools will create hundreds of thousands of jobs. But, in early July when the powerful Teamsters union wrote Madigan asking if its members could testify in favor of the bill, the speaker wrote back:

"I regret that you bought into the [expletive] of the Blagojevich people."

The speaker's office confirmed that Madigan actually sent two letters using the phrase, one to Teamsters in Springfield, as well as one to a Chicago local.

Over the last year, the feud between the speaker and Gov. Rod Blagojevich bitter and personal at times.

Thursday, Madigan again refused to attend a leadership meeting on the governor's capital bill, which already has been approved by House republicans and senators of both parties.

"Every other legislative leader participates, everyone except for Speaker Madigan," said Blagojevich.

"We haven't had all the leaders the table together. We [should] bring every one. We could probably get a consensus," said Dennis Hastert, retired U.S. House Speaker.

"All they do is complain. Let them propose something positive for once," said Illinois Senate President Emil Jones.

A Madigan spokesperson criticized the governor's staff for releasing the letters in statement that read: "They run around handing out correspondence that attacks them. It speaks to the level of confusion in the Blagojevich administration."

Mayor Daley, who has had his own differences with Blagojevich over the governor's statements about crime in the city, says he will not take sides in the feud.

"Don't get me involved in this personal thing. Get me out of this. I'm not involved in this," said Mayor Daley.

Chicago's mayor had no ideas on how to end the gridlock in Springfield.

"They have a problem down there, and it's called trust. I can't figure that out. No one can solve that," Daley said.

The mayor had no comment on the governor's just-released, scaled-down capital plan. The $24 billion proposal excludes a new casino for Chicago as part of the plan to pay for it.

Meanwhile, the feud between Speaker Madigan and Governor Blagojevich is still burning hot.


Load Comments