Remember in 2004, we won the Senate here with a narrow majority for the first time since the 1860s (although we had two party switches in ‘95 after the organizational session, which technically meant we were the majority, but we didn’t hold it in ‘96). Two Rs voted for the then-DINO 32-year Speaker/Lt Governor. But it wasn’t a surprise, since they made their intentions known. Spkr. John Wilder had, up until that point, operated in a bipartisan manner (in fact, probably only the legitimately non-partisan legislative leader in the country, he would campaign for any incumbent Senator that asked, regardless of party). I had a lot of respect for Wilder and his playing fair with us even when it could cost him and the Dems wanted to depose him.
Problem was with his election to an unprecedented 17th term as Speaker (the longest serving Speaker of any body of any state in the history of the country) was that Wilder was clearly becoming feeble and well past senile. He immediately rewarded the Democrats and the 2 Rs and punished the Republicans and gave them practically nothing in the way of Chairmanships. He had gone from non-partisan to hyper-partisan. At the time of his reelection and over the coming 2 years, a large chunk of Democrat Senators came under indictment, put on trial, or ended up in prison. One Democrat was so disgusted because of the mismanagement and arrogance that he switched parties. Unfortunately, he lost narrowly for reelection in ‘06.
When the organizational session occurred 2 years ago, only one of the 2 remaining R’s, who ALSO was named Williams (Mike Williams, a major league asshole), remained in the body. He was the Speaker Pro Tempore (his reward by Wilder) and was prepared to vote for Wilder again with our 1 seat majority in the balance, despite Wilder, at 86, being completely incompetent. As the roll call went down, a Clarksville Democrat lady named Rosalind Kurita had enough of this farce and voted for Republican Ron Ramsey, and Williams was left to gnash his teeth, since his vote no longer mattered (and he tersely voted for Ramsey). Kurita was vilified beyond belief during the session, nevermind she voted to uphold the legitimate GOP majority in the body (for which Ramsey rewarded her courage with Williams’s Speaker Pro Tempore post).
This past year, Kurita won renomination narrowly in the Dem primary. The state Dems stripped her of the renomination and installed the loser for the general election, forcing her to run a write-in candidacy (which is almost impossible to win), for which she didn’t prevail. Williams himself switched to “Independent” but of the Judas Jeffords vintage. That traitor was dumped in the general election by a Republican, and we now have a 19-14 majority in the body, wide enough to prevent any chicanery and the GOP side is 100% unified in that body. I had hoped to see the GOP refuse to seat the Democrat occupying Kurita’s seat, but have no idea the status of that. They organized the body this morning without event. Ramsey had 2 Democrats in chairmanships in the last session. One of them retired, and the other is my buffoonish urban Black lady rodent Senator. He promptly removed her from her posting, and now the GOP chairs all committees.
As far as being stuck with gerrymandered RAT legislators from Chicago I got a pretty good deal. Both of them are Irish Catholic, socially conservative, law-and-order, Lipinski style “centrist” Dems, which gives an idea of the politician leanings of the region I'm in. Also more proof that given ideology of the the region, I SHOULD be in Lipinski’s Congressional district, but sadly I'm stuck in Black Panther Bobby's (all the nearby towns are in Lipinski’s)
My state senator:
At least my RAT state rep. actually LIVES in the suburbs and legislimately won election to his district in 1996, when he got an upset win against my old Republican state rep. thanks to Madigan getting so many Crook County voters to punch one hole for a straight-ticket Dem vote (that system has since been abolished). My State Senator is a Chicagoan who NEVER won a legitimate, contested “election”, he's faced only token “opposition” on paper, and everytime a viable Republican attempts to run, the RAT machine makes sure to throw them off the ballot. I had to cast a write-in vote just to support his Republican opponent in 2008. He was basically appointed my Senator for life in 2002. The guy votes very conservative on abortion, gays, immigration, taxes, etc., because he represents a constituency that formerly elected conservative firebrand Pat O’Malley (R-Palos Park) from 1992-2002, best known as being the only Republican willing to challenge George Ryan for Governor before the later retired. I finally meet Maloney face to face last October and he said he was embarrassed by his party's shenanigands. Of course he'll lay low and won't do anything about it, since he owes his seat to them. I found his execuse about not supporting recall and a Constitution Convention because "if voters don't their legislators, they can vote them out of office" to be ridiculous, and pointed out that we can't actually do this in most RAT districts including his own. He didn't have much of an answer to that.
The problem is not these individual RATs but the system that allows the RAT leadership to blatantly steal elections and let a small faction run the entire government.
And 1994 was pretty much a one-time fluke, as most states that suddenly found themselves with a GOP house saw it revert back to RAT in 1996. My state was no exception — Lee Daniel's becoming speaker on the national party's coattails was a short lived event and Mike Madigan never really lost power even during his two year stint as “minority leader”