Rich Miller, of Capitol Fax fame, writes a very interesting piece about the clout of Speaker Madigan, his long struggle to pass a predatory lender regulatory bill to restrain their charging as much as 1000% interest to poor and hard up customers and blighting neighborhoods, and mentions our Senator Jacobs in the process.
Serious, intense clout usually only comes into play at the Illinois Statehouse on behalf of giant corporations, powerful political organizations, influential labor unions, entrenched bureaucracies, or other unstoppable special interests.Senator Mike fighting for predatory lenders? Say it ain't so! I'm sure there's more to this than meets the eye and Jacobs has a good explanation, likely that he disagreed with certain provisions in the bill. I hope.
Rarely, if ever, is the full force of a legislative leader's office deployed to push a bill that is opposed by the powers that be and has no significant Statehouse constituency. But that happened last month, and it occurred almost entirely under the media's radar screen.
So, Madigan began pounding on individual Senate Democrats. At one point, the pressure was so intense that appointed freshman Sen. Mike Jacobs (D-East Moline), who voted against the bill the first time around, complained to the media about Madigan's attempt to dictate terms to the Senate and vowed to continue his opposition. But the speaker never eased the pressure and Sen. Jacobs and two other Democrats eventually voted for the legislation, giving it enough votes to pass the Senate.