So Who's The Bully?

BGA dismisses Madigan's bullying accusations, vows to continue watchdog work.

How do you know your watchdog work is having an impact? The most powerful lawmaker in the state writes a letter warning his colleagues about you.

Illinois House Speaker & State Democratic Chairman Mike Madigan is accusing me and the BGA of "using bullying tactics" to gather information for a Sun-Times story on the fact that as many as 29 of Madigan's 30 campaign workers had or have government jobs that collectively pay nearly $2 million a year, and they've contributed more than $200,000 to political funds for Madigan or his daughter Lisa.

Madigan says, in a letter to dozens of state Democratic leaders, that the BGA is trying to "impugn the Democratic Party."

Sorry Mike--we're just doing our job, which is to shine a light on government and hold public officials accountable.

This is a story about the intersection of government, politics and money. Watchdogs tell those stories because citizens of Illinois deserve to know how their government works.

The BGA is a nonpartisan watchdog that investigates public officials and public policies, and recommends reform. We've been doing it for 90 years and sometimes our work ruffles a few feathers. Our only agenda is better government, and we invite everyone, including Mike Madigan, to join us in this effort.

Mike Madigan is a powerful political leader and we're a small watchdog organization, so you decide who's the bully. And if you believe Illinois government needs a strong watchdog, please consider supporting the BGA with a generous contribution.

Want to know more?

Read Madigan's letter.

Read the BGA/Sun-Times story that prompted the letter.

Read today's Sun-Times story about the Madigan letter