Potential opponents Quinn, Madigan appear at same event

July 15, 2013 3:28:46 PM PDT
There was an awkward political moment Monday when Governor Pat Quinn appeared at the same event with Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who is considering a run for Quinn's job.

Later on Monday, Madigan announced she will seek re-election as Illinois attorney general, ending speculation that she will run for Illinois governor.

Both politicians agreed some time ago to attend the opening of a new testing and development center at the Navistar plant in Melrose Park.

It was awkward not only because they might be 2014 primary opponents, but also because of new trouble for the Madigan political brand.

Governor Quinn and his possible primary opponent Attorney General Lisa Madigan focused on their Navistar hosts, greeting each other only in passing.

ABC7's Charles Thomas asks Gov. Quinn, "It appeared a bit frosty between you and the Attorney General?"

"Oh, no. I said hi. I think you misapprehended that," said Gov. Quinn.

"I think we said hello, happy to be here. It's an exciting day," said Madigan.

Madigan would not say if the blooming scandal at Metra would affect her decision whether to challenge Quinn in next year's democratic primary.

"When I make a decision you'll find about that," said Madigan.

Former transit agency director Alex Clifford says he lost his job because he would not approve a pay increase for a Metra employee who also was a campaign donor to House Speaker Michael Madigan, the AG's father. The Governor says the proper authority to investigate the allegation is the Illinois Inspector General.

"I think the people can have confidence in him to get to the bottom of it and get to the truth," said Gov. Quinn.

Lisa Madigan indicated her office stands ready to investigate the Metra scandal, including her father, if called upon to do so.

"Obviously the Inspector General is going to make a determination what law enforcement agency he would think is appropriate if he finds any problems in terms of what took place," said Madigan.

Meanwhile, Illinois Senator Kirk Dillard, who formally announced for the Republican nomination for Governor on Monday, called on Lisa Madigan and federal authorities immediately to open investigations into alleged political patronage at Metra.

"Everyone who has an opportunity to investigate Metra, including the United States Attorney's office should investigate Metra," said Sen. Kirk Dillard, candidate for Governor.

Alex Clifford, who has made the allegations against the AG's father Speaker Michael Madigan has agreed to testify Wednesday at the Regional Transportation Authority meeting.

One other note: Clifford's lawyer is Chicago attorney Michael Shakman, who has fought for decades against political patronage.


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