Illinois GOP Focuses on "Firing Mike Madigan" - NBC Chicago
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Illinois GOP Focuses on "Firing Mike Madigan"

Republicans seek to take over leadership role in Springfield



    Republicans direct energy toward gaining power in Springfield. (Published Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012)

    The Republican National Convention is all about anointing Mitt Romney, but for Illinois Republicans, the guaranteed applause line comes when mentioning regaining power in the General Assembly.

    "I can't think of a better way to change the environment in Springfield than to retire Michael Madigan," 18th District Rep. Aaron Schock said.

    Madigan, a Democrat from Chicago, has been the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives for all but two years since 1983, and Repulicans have ramped up their ire in the last couple of years.

    Just this week, the Illinois GOP Web site started selling Fire Mike Madigan-themed merchandise, such as mugs, buttons and t-shirts.

    "Mitt Romney is very important, we absolutely want him to be president, but in Illinois we feel that to grow the Republican party, we really need to get him out of his leadership position,"said Joe Weiss of the Illinois Republican Party.

    Republicans would need to swing six seats in the House and Senate in order to take over.

    "It's certainly within the realm of possibility. Even if we fall short this time, it dramatically affects the policy direction of the state," Republican minority leader Sen. Christine Radogno said.