Nikki Budzinski’s part in the Madigan Machine

U.S. Capitol

October 14, 2022 – Springfield, IL – While struggling to connect with voters or talk substantively about anything besides abortion at a recent debate, Nikki Budzinski asked her opponent Regan Deering what she had been doing in Central Illinois all these years.

Today is a great day to address that question, and the answer is: working for organizations in her community and NOT with Mike Madigan.

Not surprisingly, after spending her entire career working for politicians and special interest groups, Budzinski is tied to multiple corruption investigations, especially those involving disgraced former Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan.

Budzinski was at the center of the Madigan List scandal. After Gov. Pritzker’s election, Madigan’s office sent Budzinski and Anne Caprara a list of people he wanted placed into permanent positions. Budzinski then helped place at least 35 people from the list into prime spots in state government who would go on to receive more than $2.5 million a year in state salaries. Among those placed was Carrie Zalewski as head of the Illinois Commerce Commission that regulates public utilities such as Comed, the company that would help lead to Madigan’s indictment.

Budzinski’s connections to the Comed bribery indictments don’t stop there. She went on to help Speaker Madigan in a new way, by hedging the Clean Energy Jobs Coalition that sent billions of bailout dollars to Comed AFTER the company admitted to participating in a years-long patronage scheme to stay in Madigan’s good graces.

Budzinski also testified before a federal grand jury in the corruption case against former Rep. Luis Arroyo, who pled guilty and was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison for a bribery scheme in which he offered another politician monthly payments to support legislation to legalize sweepstakes machines.

Budzinski was also named multiple times in the case against Jenny Thornley who was indicted by a Sangamon County grand jury in September for allegedly cheating the state out of up to $100,000 in overtime she allegedly never worked.

“We know from her ads that Nikki is looking to boost her name ID, but someone should tell her that being listed in indictments is probably not the best way to do it,” said Regan 4 Congress Campaign Manager Melanie Meyers. “Nikki Budzinski is part of the Madigan Machine that Regan Deering is running to disassemble. A vote for Nikki is a vote for corrupt pay-to-play politics, and a vote for Regan is a vote for change.”