Don't cry for Princess Lisa. She'll be OK.

Poor Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

She's apparently suffering from Logic Deficit Disorder, even as her father, Boss Madigan, is mired in the $700,000 Metra hush-money scandal that has been taken apart in the past few weeks by the Tribune.

Lisa Madigan says she can't run for governor because her daddy is speaker of the state House. He's also the Khan of Madiganistan, supreme ruler of the state once known as Illinois, but she didn't mention the ruthless Khan part.

"I feel strongly that the state would not be well served by having a governor and speaker of the House from the same family and have never planned to run for governor if that would be the case," Lisa Madigan said in a statement the other day as she announced she wouldn't be running in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

"With Speaker Madigan planning to continue in office, I will not run for governor," she said.

But here's where Lisa Madigan's Logic Deficit Disorder kicks in. She says she can't run for governor because of her dad. Then by her own reasoning, how can she remain as Illinois attorney general?

Because her daddy's still the boss whether she's governor or attorney general, and as attorney general she's avoided investigating the Metra mess. Her daddy's in the middle of it.

The scandal in a nutshell: Alex Clifford, the ousted Metra chief, signed a deal to be paid more than $700,000 to go away and keep his mouth shut, after Clifford complained that Madigan and others pressured him on political hiring, contracts and a raise for a Madigan political worker.

A hearing is set for Wednesday before the Regional Transportation Authority, which oversees Metra. The RTA board is expected to hear Clifford's testimony.

Naturally, this being Madiganistan, there is another conflict.

Jordan Matyas, the RTA's $130,000-a-year chief of staff, is Lisa Madigan's brother-in-law and Boss Madigan's son-in-law.

Does Matyas lobby Boss Madigan for funding? And if so, does he begin with "Great Khan, would you please pass the apple slices?" at the family Thanksgiving feast?

It's all gone sour for Boss Madiganistan, at a time when his whipping boy, Gov. Pat Quinn, was ripe for the taking in next year's election.

Just envision Madigan brooding in his Southwest Side stronghold, plotting revenge. As another Khan once said to Captain Kirk, "Revenge is a dish best served cold."

And one who's probably already feeling a cold bead of sweat trickle down his spine is Brad O'Halloran, chairman of Metra.

According to the now-infamous memo written by Clifford, it was O'Halloran who carried Boss Madigan's political water and made threats. O'Halloran adamantly denies any wrongdoing. His political sin is that he drew the line to Madigan, and for that he won't be forgiven.

Like the City Hall parking meter scandal that helped force former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley out of office, the Metra scandal isn't about obscure contracts, but about something tangible to voters.

Taxpayers park their cars and don't want to get squeezed. When they did, they became enraged at Daley. And taxpayers ride Metra every day. They don't like being constantly late to work or squeezed to take care of Boss Madigan's politics. And they don't like paying more than $700,000 to keep things quiet for Madigan.

In an earlier column, I'd written that O'Halloran was a Democrat. He had voted Democrat, he contributed heavily to Democrats, including Daley and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

O'Halloran was also a partner with Daley's political brain, the crafty Jeremiah Joyce, in lucrative O'Hare airport contracts.

CHICAGO

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