Wednesday, May 5, 2010


House Speaker Michael Madigan swayed the University of Illinois to admit the relatives of public officials, political allies and donors who contributed $115,200 to campaign funds he controls, a Tribune investigation has found.
Only five of the 28 applicants helped in three recent years by the state's most powerful lawmaker lived in Madigan's district, and many would not have been admitted on their own merit

Now, the Tribune has been able to identify 28 applicants to the Urbana-Champaign or Chicago campuses backed by Madigan, 23 of whom were accepted for undergraduate studies as well as the law school and graduate programs.

Their relatives made direct campaign contributions totaling $50,000 to Madigan and $65,200 in federal and state donations to the Democratic Party of Illinois, which Madigan chairs. In addition, applicants' relatives sat on the boards of organizations when the groups' political action committees donated another $36,700 to those funds.
The speaker's daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, also received $49,245 from those same individuals and PACs.
Combined, the donations totaled $201,145

At the time of the requests, the people Madigan helped included the relatives of a Chicago alderman, a high-ranking Chicago Police Department official, a Chicago comptroller and an Appellate Court judge. Two of the applicants are related to Madigan himself. About 16.5 percent of the university's operating budget comes from a state appropriation, and Madigan has significant influence over higher education funding.

Madigan's support, conveyed to admissions officials via university lobbyists, helped applicants in a variety of ways. The university reversed 10 denials or probable denials. It allowed four students to appeal, an unadvertised option given to rejected students with powerful patrons. Madigan's office also inquired about seven students who were on wait lists -- all of whom were eventually admitted.

One student associated with Madigan who was admitted off a wait list received an F, two D's and 13 C's during his first three years in high school. Another applicant, who was "moved in" after appealing his rejection and described as "relatively important" by an admissions officer, had missed his first-period class nearly three dozen times in his senior year, according to university records. "The high school counselor was very surprised and not exactly thrilled that he was admitted," the officer wrote in an e-mail to the governmental affairs office.

In response to the latest revelations, Oak Lawn mother Sue Reppen, whose two daughters were denied admission to U. of I. in 2008 and 2009, said: "It is politics as usual. It is pay for play with everybody, even the universities."

Madigan is the most arrogant of all the corrupt politicians in this State. He allowed his favored students to be accepted at U of I in front of more deserving students. I can't think of anything more unfair. These kids worked their butts off in school. They were told if they worked hard they could go to the college of their choice. Then Madigan steps in and pulls the rug out from under them. Why? Because the parents of the favored students donated to his campaigns. He sold the other kids out for a few dollars. That changes the lives of these kids. Who knows what they could have done with the education they would have received at U of I. He gives his own children nothing but the best. But our kids can go to the back of the line. If I was a parent whose kid was rejected, I would not be happy until I saw Madigan behind bars.

1 comment:

  1. Mike Madigan says, 'My daughter will never press charges against her dad'!