UPDATED: Rosenberg gets help from Madigan

UPDATED: Rosenberg gets help from Madigan

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois House candidate Sam Rosenberg is receiving help in his primary election campaign from the House Democratic organization and Speaker Michael Madigan of Chicago.

The arrangement was first reported by the Capitolfax.com web site.

"They have provided a staffer for me. There's nothing more at this point," he said.

But Tuesday night Rosenberg filed an updated campaign disclosure report, showing that he received a $4,500 in-kind contribution from Madigan's Democratic Majority political action committee. The contribution was for printing and postage of a mail piece sent to voters in the 103rd District.

Rosenberg's updated report also showed his campaign got $5,000 from the Illinois State Medical Society, and $1,000 each from Champaign businessman Joe Lamb, the Champaign Firefighters for Good Government and state Rep. John Bradley, a Marion Democrat who is a top lieutenant of Madigan.

Rosenberg's primary election opponent, Urbana City Council member Carol Ammons, said she already had suspected that Madigan was backing Rosenberg in the race in the 103rd House District that includes almost all of Champaign-Urbana.

"We were aware a week or two ago that he was supporting Rosenberg," she said. "It doesn't change anything for me. I'm going to continue to work in the district with people who are going to have to vote for me."

Rosenberg said he was not reluctant to be tied to the longtime power broker of the state Democratic Party and the Illinois House. Madigan has been a member of the House since 1971 and the Speaker for all but two of the last 30 years.

"I've made it abundantly clear to them that I am still going to be opposing them on a variety of issues, most notably the pension reform bill" that passed the Legislature in December, said Rosenberg, and for a progressive income tax.

"That said, I'm receiving support from a variety of Democrats, including the Speaker, and it doesn't change who I am and it doesn't change my perspective on the issues," he said. "The Speaker is just another Democrat who is assisting me."

Ammons said she wasn't angry that Madigan had chosen sides in the primary race.

"In reality, there is nothing that I can do except to run the race that I know how to run and to stand on my record and my experience," she said. "If it takes Mister Madigan getting involved to try to make this person a little more appealing, I guess that's what they think they need to do."

Steve Brown, a spokesman for Madigan, said the Speaker and his organization are siding with Rosenberg over Ammons "because it seems to be the consensus of the knowledgeable Democrats that he is the better" candidate.

Rosenberg has been endorsed by retiring state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, as well as Champaign Mayor Don Gerard and Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing.

Rosenberg said the support from the House Democrats "is something that has come on relatively recently. To be honest, I did not expect the Speaker's involvement in the primary, if only because so many of my viewpoints differ from his and because I'm going to be representing the 103rd District and not representing his interests in Chicago."

Rosenberg, a 29-year-old Champaign attorney, said, "I think there's just a general sentiment that there needs to be more attention paid to central Illinois, and that the focus of this state should not be in the Chicago area, whether it be for funding for the University (of Illinois) or infrastructure. Central Illinois needs a champion who will be standing up to the Chicago interests."


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EdRyan wrote on February 19, 2014 at 7:02 am

Hard to stand up to the Chicago interests when you're wearing their collar and on their leash.

787 wrote on February 19, 2014 at 8:02 am

And as a result..... Ammons is suddenly looking like the better candidate...

Local Yocal wrote on February 19, 2014 at 11:02 am
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Gosh, what will The News-Gazette editorial board do now? After decades of blaming the state's fiscal woes, the pay-to-play corruption, the shorting of the U of I, and the log jam of getting anything through the state legislature on the Speaker of the House; their boy Rosenberg has chosen to sell his soul to the devil.

How to explain the best choice to change Illinois politics is still bootlicker Rosenberg?

cjwinla wrote on February 19, 2014 at 11:02 am

" The Speaker is just another Democrat who supports me" - Sam Rosenberg .... He's like a sheep in the Lions Den .... How naive can Rosenberg be ? 

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 19, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Well, Rosenberg can always call in "sick" when another "pension reform" bill (theft) comes up.  Uncle Mike will be understanding until it comes down to the wire.

What are the differences between Illinois democrats, and republicans?  One starts with the letter "d", and the other starts with the letter "r".

cretis16 wrote on February 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Correct...If Ammons gets in her first vote is for  MAD AT HIM. I really dont see much difference in the Rep/Dem labels anymore, why even profess a party. The only difference is what special interest group they are beholden to...trial lawyers, unions, investment bankers.,etc.

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm

cretis16;  We agree on something after all.

New Reality wrote on February 19, 2014 at 2:02 pm

If Sam Rosenberg believes that Speaker Madigan is donating to his campaign so that he can be an independent legislator, he also probably believes that he won the last debate that he had with Carol Ammons! All of this would be really funny if the stakes weren't so high for our community…

ohmy wrote on February 19, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Let's see, so far Sam has:

Gone very negative

Tanked  a debate

Effed up a press conference by inviting the mayor

And now has a paid Madigan staffer but doesn't think he's beholden to him????

Ummmmm sit down jr. you are not ready to be an elected official let alone a state rep. 


New Reality wrote on February 19, 2014 at 9:02 pm

The more that I am able to learn about Sam Rosenberg, the more convinced I am that he is  unsuited for office. He conveniently forgot that Madigan gave him $4,500.00? Really? 

rsp wrote on February 20, 2014 at 4:02 pm

 The Champaign Firefighters for Good Government, most recently known as The  Friends of Andy Quarnstrom. But a fancy new name that makes it sound like all the firefighters are on board, who wouldn't go for that?

cretis16 wrote on February 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Ammons responds with donations from James Kilgore and BIll Ayers to even the till.

Local Yocal wrote on February 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm
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Hey, cretis16, in looking up campaign donations, can't seem to find the Ayers/Kilgore donations, perhaps you could point us to the documentation?

chief21 wrote on February 24, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Anybody taking bets that Ammons votes for Madigan? Quit being so disingenuous, she will follow party rules like the good  party member she is. As for Kilgore...Candidate Rosenberg should bandy around the picture of Ammons and the "Dont ever Build a Jail Committee" picture with Kilgore.

Local Yocal wrote on February 25, 2014 at 11:02 am
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I'll bet against Ammons voting for Madigan as Speaker. The question is, who of the democrats in the Illinois General Assembly House of Reps will run against Madigan? And with Madigan's penchant for rigging elections in his own district (see N-G's account of this folly) how will the Representatives know whether any new candidate for Speaker doesn't have puppet strings attached, controlled by His Highness?

Madigan would not be plunking a full-time staffer to work the 103rd district, $4,500, and rolling out the fliers for an unknown candidate whose only role in civic life has been plea bargaining misdemeanors if it wasn't partly to make sure the other candidate spouting a "people's campaign" doesn't disturb the General Assembly chambers or infect the Democratic caucus.

When Sam says the political elites "trust him" the most,  means Sam has already committed to never rocking the boat. Sam says, "Who am I to question a person who's been Speaker longer than I've been alive?"

Ammons has raised questions regarding the democracy inside Springfield's dysfunctional monarchy of the last 40 years. Ammons is not controlled by Madigan's pockets, and Madigan knows it, hence Madigan places his bet on the unknown, inexperienced kid to be a "good democrat."

cretis16 wrote on February 25, 2014 at 7:02 am


Local Yocal wrote on February 25, 2014 at 10:02 am
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Uh,....we know that already. Tell us how much Kilgore/Ayers contributed to the Ammons campaign....and what does www.i link to exactly?

Mr Dreamy wrote on February 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm

It's simple. Ammons will be a thorn in the side of Madigan. Rosenberg won't be. So when it comes to getting the ear of Madigan, and dollars for the U of I and the 103rd, who do you think will be more effective?

And the same goes for Williamson. If she is elected do you think she'll get anything accomplished for the 103rd? Very doubtful.

aantulov wrote on March 13, 2014 at 10:03 pm

The deciding difference:Who will not shed light on what has been happening under the guise of "incentive for business."Champaign has been giving away 30 year tax free status for those building properties that will necessitate the total refurbishing of the storm and sanitary sewers at the expense of the rest of us. Meanwhile our libraries and schools go hungry and beg. Time for a moratorium and a laymen’s term listing of give a ways, on the front of the web site -Gerard.Kentucky is getting a new Subaru plant with real full time jobs that will stay,  and is only offering 10 year limited tax loans. We are getting a raw deal. And when local businesses don't pay, and no referendums are held on 90 million dollare spending sprees (Parkland) the cities go to the state and that may be a budgetary strain on the ...pensions.Pensions are for little people, there is no reason anyone of professional status should have one. If you are educated and paid to manage the state's affairs of business, can't you manage your own? Have some pride, show some gumption, cut from the top.Ammons wont have to reach across that isle to work with republicans. Just ask the owners of the majority of family owned farms what kind of service or priority on the agenda they are getting in protecting aquifers.....from their own.  You can't ignore your own on these issues for ever hiding behind....platitudes.Maybe she’ll even tell Obama health insurance is not health care. Maybe she will get those involved Ralph Nader dreamed about. Maybe more than the families of the powerless will suddenly wonder why running out on filling a gas tank is a felony.  Maybe she will ask why gas stations don’t just hire more people. Illinois likes gambling, let’s take the wild card, it will be less boring and maybe the News Gazette can stay in business.Ammons is far from perfect, but may be the perfect catalyst for the perfect storm.