Dorgan has long been involved in Republican politics, beginning as an aide to the late Rep. Roger McAuliffe, who long held the designation as the only Republican legislator from Chicago. Dorgan also served as deputy chief of staff to former House Speaker Lee Daniels and as an aide to Gov. Jim Thompson and director of the Liquor Control Commission under Gov. Jim Edgar.
But Dorgan also has close ties to Illinois' ruling Democrats. He founded a lobbying practice with James McPike, a former majority leader for House Speaker Michael Madigan, who doubles as Illinois Democratic Party chairman.
The firm’s clients include Ameren, AT&T, Fairmount Park race track, the Illinois Hospital Association and the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association, a group formerly headed by Bill Cellini, who is now serving prison time after being convicted of federal corruption charges.Okay, so Dorgan gets his start in politics working for the late State Rep. Roger McAuliffe. He was the only "Republican" in the legislature for many years elected from Chicago. When I worked for the Illinois House Republican Staff, staff members had a nickname for him: Roger McAwful. When the ex-vice officer for the Chicago Police Department wasn't casting critical votes for the Chicago Democratic machine, he was entertaining lawmakers with ladies of the night he met in the line of duty. I'll never forget the day he actually brought one of his lady friends clad in a tight-fitting, all-leather outfit to the floor of the House of Representatives one night during a making of "Debbie Does Springfield." McAuliffe was found dead floating in a lake up in Wisconsin back in 1996 after he went out on a boat and never returned.
Back to Dorgan, he now lobbies with Jim McPike, the former House Majority Leader for Speaker for Life Mike Madigan of Chicago. McPike was a miserable partisan hack from downstate Alton who played dirtier than just about any other lawmaker, doing the bidding for the Chicago Democratic machine while pretending to represent downstate interests. McPike's greatest achievement as a legislator was helping Bill Cellini win the first riverboat license in Illinois at Alton for his Argosy Gaming. One of their lobbying clients is the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association, which was run by Cellini until he was convicted of shaking down the producer of "Million Dollar Baby" for campaign contributions for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for a share of the teacher's retirement fund investments. Cellini, who called himself The Pope, is serving his sentence in the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute presently.
If that isn't bad enough, Dorgan is very close to the family of Don Stephens, the former Mayor of Rosemont where he now serves as a village trustee. Rosemont is famous for being a red light town controlled by the mob. The feds were always trying to bust Stephens on various charges, but his mob ties ran too deep to touch. A jury wouldn't convict the filthy bastard, probably because they feared for their lives. Stephens' son, Brad, is now the mayor of Rosemont and conducting business in a corrupt and self-dealing fashion just like his father. Even the Illinois Gaming Commission found the town too mobbed up to be worthy of being rewarded with a gaming license.
Tribune political columnist John Kass has written extensively about the Illinois Combine, the "bipartisan political combine" where "cash is king and corruption is bipartisan." Dorgan epitomizes everything the Illinois Combine represents. "In the final analysis, The Combine's allegiance is not to a party, but to their pocketbooks," former Illinois Sen. Peter Fitzgerald once told Kass. "They're about making money off the taxpayers." Speaker Mike Madigan and Mayor Rahm Emanuel must have had a good night celebrating last night their complete takeover of the Illinois Republican Party.
I'm sure Madigan's daughter, Lisa, the state's Attorney General, will make a good governor. She should win in a cake walk with Dorgan in charge.