Jim Oberweis: A growing number of female Democratic leaders call on Mike Madigan to resign as Rep. Underwood remains silent

Aug. 3, 2020
For Immediate Release

Sugar Grove, IL – While a growing number of Democrats are calling for Speaker Michael Madigan’s resignation, Rep. Lauren Underwood continues to stay silent, which Jim Oberweis, candidate for Congress in the 14th District, says speaks volumes about Underwood. Madigan is after all, the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois and plays a central role in the election of Democrats throughout the state.

Just recently State Senator Heather Steans (D-Edgewater) joined other Democrat women legislators in calling for Madigan’s resignation.

“Some will argue that the Speaker is innocent until charges are filed and he’s proven guilty. But those are not the standards that should apply to his leadership role,” Steans stated in media reports. “Serving as Speaker is not a right; it’s a privilege. A leader’s actions must avoid even the perception of wrongdoing. Speaker Madigan repeatedly has violated that trust.”

In addition to Sen. Steans, in recent days, the following Democratic leaders have called on Madigan to resign: Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), Rep. Stefanie Kifowit (D-Oswego), Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), Rep. Terra Costa Howard (D-Glen Ellyn), Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana), Rep. Mary Edly-Allen (D-Libertyville), Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-Glenview), Rep. Lindsey LaPointe (D-Chicago), Rep. Theresa Mah (D-Chicago), Rep. Anna Moeller (D-Elgin), Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago), and Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago).

All the while, Underwood has remained conspicuously silent and has refused to distance herself from Madigan, as other women in her party have led the way against the Madigan culture of corruption.

Oberweis is questioning why Rep. Underwood is not joining her fellow Democrats in calling for Madigan’s resignation.

“There are a growing number of Democrat leaders in Illinois who have shown a willingness to put the good of the state above their political party by calling for Speaker Madigan to resign,” Oberweis said. “But Lauren Underwood continues to stay silent. Not only has she refused to call for Madigan’s resignation, but she also continues to align herself with organizations he controls to raise money for her campaign.”

The Lauren Underwood Victory Fund is a joint fundraising committee connected to the Democrat Party of Illinois, which is controlled by House Speaker Michael Madigan. Oberweis is calling on Underwood to cut ties with the Speaker by ending her joint fundraising efforts with organizations he controls.

“The people of the 14th District deserve to know why Lauren Underwood continues to rely on a man who is under federal investigation to raise money for her campaign,” Oberweis said. “Instead, all we get is silence. Enough is enough. It is time for Underwood to break her silence.”

Oberweis noted that Underwood’s silence should not come as a surprise given that she has not made any public statements on one of her former staffers, Hadiya Afzal, recently dropping out of her DuPage County Board race after tweeting a link to a video of police officers being attacked and remarking in the tweet she has “been watching this on repeat for 15 minutes and laughing every single time.”

“Hadiya Afzal worked for Lauren Underwood and up until this incident was a rising star in the Democrat Party,” Oberweis said. “The Democrat Party in DuPage County very quickly deleted their endorsement of Afzal on their website, and Afzal herself dropped out of the race. But as usual Underwood refused to comment. Even when other people in her own party are distancing themselves from Afzal’s outrageous comments, Underwood continues to be silent.”

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