Speaker, Illinois House
In 2015, Madigan did what he does best: be Mike Madigan. Just as he’s done for, well, practically forever, the wily speaker used his absolute control over the statehouse to stand as the impenetrable roadblock to anything—anything!—that threatens his power source: his 71-seat Democratic supermajority. We defy you to name one of Madigan’s accomplishments last year other than taking a hard line against virtually everything that Governor Rauner (No. 8) proposed and displaying his usual political gamesmanship. But thwarting the Republican gov is alone more than enough for the pro-union leaders who oppose Rauner and routinely fill the speaker’s campaign coffers. So if you thought the dysfunction in Springfield couldn’t get worse than it was during Madigan’s 12-year battle royale against governors Blagojevich and Quinn, sadly, it has.