State Sen. Daniel Biss formally announced his Democratic candidacy for governor Monday, assailing a broken system he says favors his political opponents and contending that powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan has been a force in Springfield for “too long.”
“We have a political system where billionaires and machine politicians are the ones who are listened to. That’s the system we have to change,” Biss, who has represented Evanston for six years in legislature, said in a 25-minute Facebook Live video.
“We have to build a movement of the people because the question fundamentally is, ‘Who do politicians feel obligated to listen to?’ In Illinois, the public has set very low expectations and we can understand why,” he said.
Biss’ indictment of Illinois’ system of government covered a wide swath, including not only Madigan and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner but also Democratic rival businessman Chris Kennedy and prospective Democratic primary candidate J.B. Pritzker.
Asked directly in a Facebook question about Madigan, who is Rauner’s chief political nemesis, Biss sought to create some distance from the House speaker, who also chairs the state Democratic Party.
“I’ve been clear for a long time that Madigan’s been there too long,” Biss said. Madigan has been speaker for 32 of the past 34 years. Biss noted that he early on sponsored a measure to limit how long a legislative leader can serve.
At the same time, Biss said focusing on clashing personalities in Springfield such as Madigan and Rauner helps obscure the need for a comprehensive plan to…
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