by Glenn Minnis, Will County Gazette
Republican State House candidate Alyssia Benford has joined the growing contingent of lawmakers and candidates for office who are calling for the ouster of House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) in the wake of a widening sexual harassment scandal involving several of his close associates.
“Last week, Sherri Garrett came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against Madigan’s Chief of Staff Tim Mapes,” Benford said in a press release. “This courageous testimony was on the heels of victims Alaina Hampton, Kelly Cassidy, and Denise Rotheimer, who experienced harassment. Yesterday, a coalition of Republican legislators and candidates pledged to replace ‘Illinois’ culture of corruption with a culture of accountability.’”
Benford, who is running against Rep. Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) in the 98th District, said the way to change in Springfield lies in ousting Madigan and changing the overall tenor of Springfield. She added that she is dumbfounded by Manley’s ongoing support for Madigan.
“Rep. Manley continues to stand behind him,” Benford added. “Is it because she received over $500,000 from Madigan? Last week, when allegations of sexual harassment against Madigan’s top leader Lou Lang came out, Manley was one of the first to defend him. Is that because she received $15,000 from Lang?”
Benford said Manley’s continued support of Madigan and his policies calls into question all of her claims of supporting women’s causes.
“Despite Manley’s claims to support equality for women, she falls in line behind Madigan and his cronies who bully and harass women in Springfield” she added in the release. “Manley should immediately demand that Madigan resign. But, she can’t be independent because the abusers are the ones who fund her campaign. It’s time for new leadership. The people of the 98th District deserve a state representative that will not only represent their interests, but one that does so with the utmost integrity and accountability. Manley has publicly proven she does not.”