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Party Split Over Guns, 
Worries Illinois Democrats 

U.S. Newswire - 16 Oct 2000 

CHICAGO, Oct. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was released 
today by the Illinois State Rifle Association: 

A deepening division within the Illinois Democratic organization 
has many long time loyalists concerned about the party's future. 

The apparent cause of the split is House Speaker Mike Madigan's 
unwavering support for a controversial gun control package being 
forced on the General Assembly by his political mentor, Chicago Mayor 

Madigan recently announced that he would personally introduce a 
pair of Daley's gun control proposals during the upcoming veto 
session. One proposal would threaten the livelihood of lawful 
firearm dealers by subjecting them to burdensome taxation 
and pointless red tape. The other would smash the constitutional 
rights of law abiding citizens by making public their firearm 
purchasing history and by prohibiting them from buying more 
than one gun per month. 

An identical Daley gun control package was defeated in the House 
during the Spring 1999 session. That defeat was accomplished with 
the support of downstate Illinois Democrats whose constituents 
bristled at the idea of Mayor Daley dictating what their rights shall 
be. Madigan's latest announcement makes clear his intention 
to force downstate Democratic legislators to chose between the 
wishes of their constituents and loyalty to party leadership. 

"I've spoken recently with a number of downstate Democrats who 
feel that Mike Madigan has hijacked their party," said ISRA 
president Richard Pearson. "They don't agree with Mayor Daley's 
position on gun control - a fact they felt was very made clear 
in 1999. Nonetheless, it's evident to them that Madigan is willing 
to stop at nothing, including splitting the party, to satisfy 
Mayor Daley's obsession with ending civilian firearm ownership. 
These people are frustrated, and very angry." 

"Typical of the callers was a young farmer who told me that he has 
been a lifelong Democrat just like his dad and granddad before him," 
continued Pearson. "He told me how he and his family believe 
strongly that everyone should have a voice, and how the Democratic 
Party was supposed to be the voice of the little guy. He's angry 
that Madigan is resurrecting Daley's defeated gun control bills. 
He's angry that Madigan is pushing aside Democratic ideology for the 
sake of repaying a political debt. He made clear to me his feeling 
that if Mike Madigan believes that Mayor Daley is a constituency of 
one, then he should be voted out of his position as Speaker of the 

ISRA: Party Split Over Guns, Worries Downstate Illinois Democrats 
To: State Desk 
Contact: Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association, 
Web site: http://www.isra.org

The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and 
responsible firearms ownership. For nearly a century, the ISRA has 
represented the interests of over 1.5 million law-abiding Illinois 
firearm owners. 

Copyright 2000, U.S. Newswire 

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