Sullivan Gov. Campaign Accuses Pritzker Administration of Patronage Hirings Related to Madigan

By Benjamin Cox on March 18, 2022 at 10:26am

A GOP gubernatorial candidate released a series of FOIA-requested emails that allegedly connect the Pritzker Administration to the now-indicted Michael Madigan.

Petersburg native Jesse Sullivan, one in a large field of Republican hopefuls to take on incumbent Democrat J.B. Pritzker, says in a press release today that Pritzker has deep ties to what Sullivan characterizes as the “Madigan enterprise.” The enterprise is in reference to language in the former Illinois House Speaker’s federal indictment on corruption charges.

Sullivan cites a 2020 WBEZ report about the Pritzker Administration’s hiring of 35 individuals from the then-House Speaker’s “clout list.”

Sullivan is publishing emails obtained by his campaign that show Madigan confidant, Michael McClain of Quincy, lobbying officials in the Pritzker Administration for jobs to offering condolences and accolades.

The emails show McClain recommending for an ally to get a job in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, helping lobby for a job candidate on the Prison Review Board, sending resumes to the office of Deputy Governor Christian Mitchell for various people, and offering condolences to Pritzker spokesperson Jordan Abudayyeh about a federal investigation into Pritzker’s removal of toilets from a Gold Coast mansion to allegedly attempt to reduce the governor’s property tax burden.

The emails also mention then-Pritzker senior advisor and current 13th District Democrat Congressional candidate Nikki Budzinski.

Names of the people that McClain was lobbying on behalf of have been redacted by the Sullvian campaign. Sullivan is calling for all of the patronage hirings to be immediately removed from state employment.

Full text of the emails can be read at this link.

The release of the McClain emails come on the heels of the Sullivan campaign releasing an anti-corruption plan for the state.