Daily archives: July 9th, 2009

Lisa Madigan: It’s All About the Family

Lisa Madigan ruled out runs for both the United States Senate and Illinois governor yesterday, boiling it all down to one word: family.

From the Sun-Times:

In rejecting a bid for higher office in 2010, Madigan forged her own course, despite being pulled to challenge Gov. Quinn by her father, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, and wooed by the White House, Sen. Dick Durbin and the Senate Democratic political operation to run for the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

"There was plenty of agonizing over this decision," Madigan, 42, said at an afternoon press conference after she spent the morning phoning supporters and fund-raisers. My Chicago Sun-Times colleague Dan Rozek reports that Madigan emphasized her young children — Rebecca, 4, and Lucy, 1 — as factors in her decision.

"At the end of the day, it was a decision that I made with my husband [Pat Byrnes] about what was best for us and our family and what is best for the state. I have a job I am deeply committed to and extraordinarily satisfied by. Not everybody can say they have a job they love and have a working family situation as well," said Madigan. She did not rule out a future run for higher office.

Yeah, and if you believe her, I have a bridge to …

Well, in fact, I do believe her.

Every time I’ve seen Lisa Madigan or heard her speak, I just don’t have the sense that she’s part of the woeful Illinois Democratic Machine. I think she’s a wonderful Attorney General.

Watch the interview above with Chicago Tonight’s Carol Marin. Attorney General Madigan appears quite genuine. Marin is not one to toss softballs. She’s perhaps the best journalist in Chicago. I believe Madigan when she says this was an “agonized” decision.

I just think the story here is that clear: Lisa Madigan loves her family and enjoys her job.

Look, it’s easy to become suspicious of every pol out there. But Lisa sounds like she’s just being Lisa, and this time, it’s all about the family.

Digging Up Bodies, Selling Graves, 4 Stand Accused

The disgusting news from the Chicago Tribune:

Four people have been charged after authorities discovered that dozens of bodies had been dug up at the historic Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip and the grave sites illegally resold.

They will appear in Central Bond Court at 11:45 a.m.

Each was charged with one count of dismembering a human body, a Class X felony.

Detectives discovered a pile of bones — from more than 100 bodies — decomposed, above ground and uncovered in an overgrown, fenced-off portion of the cemetery, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said.

"What we found was beyond startling and revolting," the sheriff said.

As the Sheriff’s police continued working, distraught family members began showing up, looking for loved ones’ graves.

This is not just any cemetary:

One of the first predominantly African-American cemeteries in the area, Burr Oak is home to many historic figures, including Emmett Till, blues legend Dinah Washington and heavyweight boxing champion Ezzard Charles.

Dart said he was certain Till’s remains were not disturbed, but he could not ensure the preservation of the others.

"We cannot give people definitive answers at this point," he said, adding they were working with forensic medical examiners to try to identify the remains.

None of the remains had been removed from the site, said Steve Patterson, a sheriff’s spokesman. The state’s attorney’s office and  FBI are also investigating, Dart said.

According to police, the accused probably took in around $300,000. The alleged scam has been going on for about about four years, according to police. According to Dart, other employees reported the alleged scam to the owners. Possible felony charges involve unearthing the dead, conspiracy and financial crimes, according to Dart.

I don’t even have a category for this one.