08/12/2013 08:14 am ET Updated Oct 12, 2013

Madigans' Summer Blockbuster: Conflicted

What in the world is going on with the Madigans?

In the latest chapter of the Madigan summer blockbuster, House Speaker Michael Madigan revealed to the world that his daughter, Lisa, our attorney general, knew for many moons that her dad had no intention of retiring.

"Lisa and I had spoken about that on several occasions, and she knew very well that I did not plan to retire," the speaker told reporters before delivering remarks at a closed-door meeting of real estate appraisers gathered at the Union League Club of Chicago says Monique Garcia in the Chicago Tribune. "She knew what my position was. She knew."

Pretty tough to read that and not conclude that Dad just swiped back at daughter and let everyone know someone was misleading supporters when she revealed nothing until the end of the fundraising period about her plans not to run for governor against Democrat Pat Quinn.

If you donated to Lisa Madigan thinking she was going for governor are you feeling a little burned right now?

So, why would Mike Madigan say that? Because she took a bit of a weird public shot at him when she finally revealed, shortly after the Metra Memogate mess unfolded, that she would not run for governor?

Back then, you might recall, Lisa Madigan, claimed that she never planned to run if dad didn't step down. "I feel strongly that the state would not be well served by having a Governor and a Speaker of the House from the same family and have never planned to run for Governor if that would be the case. With Speaker Madigan planning to continue in office, I will not run for Governor."

(At least dad didn't do the weird thing of referring to daughter as General Madigan when he spoke to reporters Wednesday.)

And let's also remind ourselves here that Lisa Madigan previously had told reporters her father wouldn't have to step down should she run for governor, as reported by Natasha Korecki in the Chicago Sun-Times. Maybe she just meant there's no law against it?

So it's not OK to have a governor and a speaker from the same family, but it is OK to have an attorney general and a speaker from the same family?

All of this latest intrigue from the Speaker comes on the heels of the Attorney General's office saying there is "no conflict" in the attorney general representing Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka and going up against the lawyers for her dad and Senate President John Cullerton, who are suing the state to win back pay for lawmakers.

"There's not a conflict of interest because of the familial relationship," said Natalie Bauer, a spokeswoman for the attorney general. Cullerton and Speaker Madigan "filed in their official capacity as the legislative leaders, so there is no conflict."

Huh? What? You're kidding, right?

There's no conflict because we say so, period.

I don't know, but I think I'm not alone in this: Did you ever have an argument with your mom and then hear yourself defending mom when your spouse tries to side with you and complains about her too?

It's the craziest thing. When it comes to people we love, whether we're getting along with them at a particular moment or whether we're not getting along with them, we have a hard time separating our feelings from the business at hand.

It's human nature.

The problem here is that the business at hand is ours. It's public. Whether the Madigans are seeking public trust by running for public office or fighting over what's constitutional when it comes to politicians' pay or any number of other issues, the business isn't theirs. It's ours.

No conflict of interest? This chapter has conflicted written all over it.

Are you fed up with conflicts of interest among politicians? Tired of patronage and who's-knows-who meaning more than who-knows-what? Speak up for an end to corruption. Sign our petition.

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