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Quinn ‘disappointed’ in Michael Madigan for attending John Boehner fund-raiser

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. | AP file photo

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. | AP file photo

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Updated: November 4, 2011 9:30AM

The top Democrat in state government, Gov. Pat Quinn, Wednesday criticized his state party chairman, Mike Madigan, for attending a fund-raiser a week and a half ago for the leadership fund of Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.

“Frankly I’m disappointed,” Quinn said. “I don’t think going to see John Boehner at some gathering at a house in Lemont, supporting ... the ‘John Boehner’ fund, sends the right message.”

Madigan’s surprise appearance at the fund-raiser for the Ohio Republican is raising ire from both Democrats and Republicans.

Boehner had come to town the night before to raise money for a legal challenge to the map Madigan, Speaker of the state House of Representatives, helped draw eviscerating Republican congressional districts in Illinois.

Illinois Republicans donated considerable money to chat with Boehner at his fund-raiser at the home of CME Chairman Terry Duffy in Lemont. Some said they were shocked to see Madigan there as a non-paying guest of the head of the company that owns the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.

“I don’t agree with Speaker Boehner,” Quinn said “I’ve personally asked him questions in Washington with the National Governors Association, and I think Speaker Boehner let the country down, and I don’t think he deserves any support.”

Four days after Madigan mingled with Boehner, he was a no-show at Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fair or at any of President Obama’s five stops in western Illinois.

“I was disappointed Mike couldn’t make that,” Quinn said of the fair’s Democratic pep rally. “I think when the president of the United States is in our state, as he was on that day, I went to Democrat Day in the morning, and I was at the rally briefly, then I got out to see the president in Alpha, Illinois. We’re proud of President Obama. He’s a great president, and he happens to be a Democrat, and I think when you’re chairman of the party, you should stand with the president.”

Asked if Madigan should remain chairman of Illinois’ Democratic party, Quinn waved off the question and said, “Well, that’s up to the members.”

Madigan did not make himself available for comment but his spokesman Steve Brown responded, “Pat Quinn is the governor of Illinois because Mike Madigan and the Democratic Party reversed the avalanche that swept across America. The big message we took from the 2010 election is that voters would like to see more cooperation among Democratic and Republican leaders.”

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