Skillicorn calls for Democrats to move against Madigan over widening sexual harassment scandal
Now that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's chief of staff has been forced out over the latest sexual harassment scandal in Springfield, it's time from Democratic lawmakers to call for Madigan's resignation, a Republican state representative said in a press release.
"Enough is enough!" state Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-Crystal Lake) said in a press release posted on his website on June 6. "For Democrat members of the General Assembly to be taken seriously, they must demand that Speaker Madigan resign as another #MeToo scandal erupts. This time it is his chief of staff, Tim Mapes."
Mapes, now Madigan's former chief of staff, was forced to resign on Wednesday after one of Madigan's staffers accused him earlier in the day of "multiple instances of bullying and harassment."
"At my direction, Tim Mapes has resigned as my chief of staff and clerk of the Illinois House of Representatives," Madigan said in a widely reported statement issued on Wednesday afternoon. "Jessica Basham has been named chief of staff for the Office of the Speaker effective immediately. Further, Mr. Mapes has resigned as the executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois and all other roles with my political committees."
Skillicorn has represented the 66th State House District since 2016. He went unopposed in the March primaries, and he is running as an unopposed incumbent in November's General Election. The 66th State House District is located in Kane and McHenry counties.
Skillicorn's press release also referred to other Madigan associates who have gotten in trouble over inappropriate behavior, including state Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), whose bid for re-election failed dramatically during the March primaries after sexual harassment allegations emerged against him.
Skillicorn's press release also referred to Deputy Democratic Majority Leader Lou Lang, who resigned last week as deputy Illinois House majority leader amid harassment and retaliation allegations.
In February, Madigan took responsibility for not doing enough about the sexual harassment scandal that first erupted in Springfield last fall.
"I would never condone, sweep under the rug or refuse to take any step to ensure we did not eradicate any behavior of this kind," Madigan said at the time. "I understand the ‘knock it off’ mentality is not enough, and we must, and will, do better moving forward. We must do better. We will do better."
Illinois Democrats must take a stand as the scandal continues to widen, Skillicorn said in his press release.
"Just how many women overcoming their fear and stepping forward to confront the most powerful politicians in the Democratic Majority does it take before rank-and-file Democrats recognize the corruption of their leadership and call for Speaker Madigan’s resignation?" Skillicorn asked.
"Will all of the female members who surrounded Leader Lang finally awaken to the stark reality that their 'champions of women's rights' have been revealed as harassers and bullies? Was their 'historic' vote to ratify the long expired ERA merely symbolic for political purposes? Will they take action to end the abuse or merely ignore the pattern that has been brought to light?"
Answers to those questions "will be made obvious in the coming days," Skillicorn continued. "Either the Democrats will clean up their house, starting at the top, or the majority will be revealed for who they really are—champions of power at any cost, no matter how many women they have to step over to keep it."