The 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
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."