Tuesday, February 16, 2010
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Dems voice concerns about Madigan's plan to get rid of lt. gov.

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[February 16, 2010]  A group of the state's top Democrats sent a letter to House Speaker Michael Madigan Monday expressing concern over Madigan's proposal that could lead to the elimination of Illinois' lieutenant governor's office.

THardwarehe members of the Illinois Democratic State Central Committee told Madigan, Illinois' Democratic Party chairman, the plan was "premature" and would "profoundly alter the state's electoral and succession processes."

They also took exception to not being consulted before Madigan on Wednesday proposed a constitutional amendment that would do away with the office in 2015 and make the Illinois attorney general, a post currently held by Madigan's daughter, next in line to succeed a governor.

Voters would have to approve the measure to abolish the office in the general election if Illinois lawmakers pass the legislation.

Madigan's move came after the Democrats' nominee for lieutenant governor, Scott Lee Cohen, stepped down after allegations of domestic violence and steroid abuse came to light.

The group also called on Madigan to work with the State Central Committee to develop "uniform, comprehensive and transparent criteria" to replace Cohen on the Democratic ticket for the November election. That decision is expected to be made by the committee next month.

Authors of the letter were U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush, state Rep. Constance "Connie" Howard, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Chicago Alderman Carrie Austin, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, state Rep. Karen A. Yarbrough and Committeeman James K. Polk.

A news release Monday about their letter noted the group is "a powerful voting bloc within the Democratic Party base, with each committee member representing nearly every African-American vote in the state of Illinois."

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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