When Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin began forming a special investigative committee to consider a censure against Speaker Michael Madigan, the speaker dismissed it as “a political stunt” engineered by his Republican opponents.

Stunt it may well be, but Durkin’s push to have the House investigate Madigan’s alleged misdeeds already has had at least one important effect: It prompted Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday to call on Madigan to testify to the committee, despite Madigan’s strident refusal to do just that.

“I strongly believe that the speaker should take any opportunity, and this is one, to present answers to the questions that I think, you know, all of us have,” Pritzker said.

The questions all of us have, including the governor, arise from Madigan’s central appearance in the cooperation agreement Commonwealth Edison signed with U.S. Attorney John Lausch. In it, ComEd admitted it corruptly sought to win Madigan’s support in Springfield by giving lobbying contracts and other benefits to members of Madigan’s political machine.

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David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.

Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.