Illinois Republican leaders are stepping up their criticism of Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan in an effort to make him a top campaign issue this fall.
The focus on Madigan comes as he and other state officials try to negotiate cuts to government pensions. That could increase tensions at the bargaining table, but a Madigan aide says the speaker won't let it interfere.
State Republican Chairman Pat Brady called Madigan a vindictive leprechaun. U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh says he's a corrupt tyrant.
The GOP also sent out a mock Father's Day letter from Attorney General Lisa Madigan. She is portrayed as a girl thanking her daddy for giving her "this cool attorney general job."
Brady says Republicans are simply calling attention to the speaker's tremendous influence over state policies.