CHICAGO (CBS) – A newly-elected Naperville state representative says she's being threatened because she doesn't want powerful House Speaker Mike Madigan to remain in that post.
Anne Stava-Murray says she's gotten plenty of political pressure from Mike Madigan's allies over her refusal to back his re-election as speaker.
"It involved threats that I wouldn't be an effective legislator, that my legislation wouldn't get called for a vote, that no one would want to work with me, social isolation," Stava-Murray said.
She says she's already seen some of that.
"I've had people say they're afraid to have their picture taken with me," she said. "Or afraid to be in the same room with me, or afraid to sit next to me, especially for the first year legislators because they don't want retribution on them either."
Stava-Murray essentially ran against Madigan and won. She's an independent democrat who refused Madigan's campaign cash promising voters not to support Madigan as speaker because he dragged his feet on Springfield sexual harassment.
"January will be his thirty-fourth year in Springfield in power, and the fact that it wasn't even addressed until 2017 to me is a glaring failure," Stava-Murray said.
In the Democrats' caucus, Stava-Murray voted 'no' on nominating Madigan for speaker and says she was scolded by Hyde Park State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, one of Madigan's closest allies.
"The next night I was at a women's retreat and that's when Barbara Flynn Currie turned to me and started yelling at me, saying no women had suffered anything in Springfield, and was victim blaming, victim shaming. And I was crying, and she was bullying me so much I had to stand up and leave," Stava-Murray said.
When asked if she is concerned she might have sabotaged or limited her effectiveness before her career even started, Stava-Murray said, "I think it would have sabotaged my career if I hadn't spoken out on this."
Asked for his response, Madigan's office supplied CBS 2 with a letter from his chief of staff to Stava-Murray suggesting that she talk to Madigan's sexual harassment investigator, while outlining steps he's taken to address the issue.
Barbara Flynn Currie's office did not respond to CBS 2's request for comment.
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