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Question of the day

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Next year, voters will get the chance to cast their ballots for or against calling a state constitutional convention.

I usually don’t express my opinion on QOTDs, but I’m heavily leaning towards the idea. Unless you’re a fan of gridlock, the system sure appears to be broken. It’s too easily dominated by powerful players with axes to grind. Individual legislators have few, if any, rights, and they too easily give up whatever they have. The list goes on and on.

Today’s question: Do you support a constitutional convention? Why or why not? What changes would you propose?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:03 am:

    Yes. Bring back proportional representation/cumulative voting.

  2. - Squideshi - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:06 am:

    Yes, I support a constitutional convention. I would propose a legally binding system of initiative, referendum, and recall. I would also propose equalizing ballot access requirements for all candidates for the same public office, regardless of political party affiliation; and eliminate the distinction between “leading” political parties and all others. I would further propose full public financing of public elections in Illinois.

  3. - Squideshi - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:08 am:

    How could I forget this one? Most importantly of all, I would propose that all winners of single-seat elections earn a MAJORITY, rather than the simple plurality they are required to achieve now. This would require the use of a system of runoff elections or Instant Runoff Voting.

  4. - Gene Parmesan - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:09 am:

    Yes, proportional representation would be a big help.

  5. - Bill - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:11 am:

    No. The system works fine the way it is. What we don’t need are more “legislators”.

  6. - Pat collins - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:12 am:

    And WHY is the current system broken? And why do you think that those who broke the system will not rig the convention?

    At least now we can maybe get reform with one lucky election. Let the Chicago Dems make another constitution and they’ll bake in their dominance.

    The 1970 one isn’t very good, a 2010 would would be horrible…….

  7. - Dan Johnson-Weinberger - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:13 am:

    The opposition to a constitutional convention is driven almost exclusively by fear of the Illinois electorate. What if the voters select bad delegates? What if the convention comes up with bad ideas? What if 60% of the electorate support the bad idea? It’s a rather pathetic position of opposition to take for advocacy organizations, elected officials or interest groups who call on the will of the people to support their preferred agenda in the General Assembly but then reject the will of the people as an instrument for improving public policies.

    We should not be scared to address fundamental questions in Illinois. We are wiser than our ancestors.

  8. - Squideshi - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:16 am:

    Bill, proportional representation would not require more legislators. Multiple existing single-seat districts could be combined to form larger multi-seat superdistricts, elected using proportional representation. Why should a party that earns only 51% of the vote be entitled to 100% of the representation? Worse yet, in a three way race, why should a candidate with 34% of the vote win 100% of the representation? The current system only works if you do not value democracy.

  9. - Skirmisher - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:16 am:

    My impression of constitutional conventions in Illinois is that every time we hold one, the government of this state deteriorates further. I would like change, but I fear what the power brokers will do to us next.

  10. - A Citizen - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:16 am:

    Any changes deemed necessary could be accomplished by amending. Reinventing the wheel is not called for and could be a BIG mistake.

  11. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:17 am:

    I definately support a constitutional convention.

    Illinois is nothing like it was back in the days of the last convention. This state is a complete mess in many ways.

    The last constitution locked into place a government so obsolete and paralyzed it sucked the life right out of us. While the rest of the US mosied along and surfed economic booms, we sat stagnant or at best, muddled through. We earned the name “rustbelt” - we chose it.

    We need a constitution that gives us the same freedoms found in other states. The freedom to recall a governor riddled with corruption. The freedom to propose legislation and go around the fat saps sitting in the GA. The freedom to turn on our televisions in August and not be sickened by multi-million dollar TV ads smearing opponents. The freedom to take a whupping stick to the tax and spend crowd in Chicago and to keep some of our money. The freedom to educate our children without school unions dictating their ransoms and tenure needs on our school budgets. The freedom of the majority, not an old man paid off by ComEd to control our Senate.

    I am tired of the stagnation. Broken? That word doesn’t begin to describe the unethical corruption holed up in state offices across Illinois.

    No more $2500 an hour campaign fund raising governors. No more shadow governments full of friends and cronies. No more Chicago-only state tickets.

    Take what we have, dig a deep hole, throw it all in there, and pour a ten foot thick cap of concrete over the entire lot. Mark it with a sign that read: “Here lies the 20th Century - Do not disturb”.

  12. - Squideshi - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:18 am:

    I guess I just don’t have a shortage of anything to say on this topic. Worried about too many legislators? I would also propose a unicameral state legislature–there is no reason to have two seperate houses within a state. It’s a waste.

  13. - Will - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:21 am:

    Yes. We need binding referendum and popular initiative.

  14. - NRA Endowment Member - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:28 am:

    “We are wiser than our ancestors.”

    And you base this statement on what, exactly? I think you would be hard pressed to prove that a lot of ‘wisdom’ prevails in state government these days. The only things in abundance seem to be egotism and rhetoric.

  15. - decaturboy - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:31 am:

    Lets make Thomas Jefferson proud

  16. - Honest Abe - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:32 am:

    We need to add recall, plus a meaningful process for initiatives and referenda. It is too difficult for the public to launch initiatives now. We definitely need to do away with plurality wins in the primary elections.

  17. - He makes Ryan look like a saint - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:37 am:

    Yes. Add Recall, Add term limits for all offices, proportional representation would be great too.

  18. - NRA Endowment Member - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:40 am:

    An enthusiastic ‘YES’ to recall! We might have been able to get rid of Ryan and Blago long before they created the damage they did / have. The mere threat of recall might just serve to keep future governors more in line. I also think we should look at term-limiting legislators and executives as well. Career politicians simply acquire too much power over time and, once entrenched, become nearly impossible to unseat.

  19. - Dan Johnson-Weinberger - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:40 am:

    We have more years of experience to draw upon than our ancestors did. We are more educated and we have a deeper understanding of government policies, failures and innovations from nations and states around the world than our ancestors ever did. This conversation among people who have never met in person that enriches each of us is a tool our ancestors never had. Let’s not deify the imperfect men (and few women, unfortunately) who improved the government they inherited several generations ago. Better informed, we can do a better job.

  20. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:44 am:

    I’m with DJW. Let’s not deify the framers. I mean, they weren’t Thomas Jeffersons by any means. We’re talking 1970s here. Plenty of hacks were at that convention.

  21. - Uncle Albert - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:44 am:

    Ina word, yes. But only to disempower Illinois government.

    We’re in such a mess because Illinois government has its hand in everything. There is nothing off limits to the Guv and General Assembly. The citizens and businesses of this state are literally forced to lobby and play the hated political game as a means of self-defense.

    I support a Con-con. First, repeal Article II Sec. 2. Go to a state government of strictly enumerated powers. Then throw in strict term limits and recall provisions. Require a 50%+1 majority or require run-off elections.

    Have a legislature that meets once a decade. OK, I’ll settle for once every two years.

    Get rid of a single executive and go with an executive committee where duties rotate.

  22. - Robbie - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:49 am:

    I support it so that those much more versed in state politics than I am can decide what to do to change the state for the better. An unchanging government is one that will fail. All you nerds get together and move this state in the right direction!!!

  23. - Captain America - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:50 am:

    Absolutely favor a constittuional convention:

    We need the authortiy to implement modestly progressive income taxation.

    The State’s responsibility for funding education need to be more expllcilty defined.

    The whole Stroger situtation suggests that that citizens should have the right to recall incompetent elected officials.

    We probably should strip Party eofficials of the right to appoint replacement candidates for important offices- a special election should have been mandatory, rather than letting Democcratic power brokers annoint Todd Stroger as his father’s successor.

    California is initiative and referendum crazy, but Illinois definitely needs a strong dose of direct democracy.

    Lagilslative gerrymandering should be outlawed - we need sensible compact and contiguous districts at all levels of government - boundaries should not be dictated by partisan considerations and incumbent protection.

    Something is seriously amiiss with respect to our budgeting and appropriation process. Basically a handful of people call all the shots, and these people seem incapable of constructive compromise.

    Freedom of information and transparency of all governmental operations and contracting needs to be constitutionally mandated given the high level of bipartisan corruption.

    Compettivie bidding should be mandatory to eliminate the sweetheart deals characteristic of our pay-to-play environment.

    Illinois is not a good government state. Bad politics is bad government - and that’s what we’ve been stuck with for decades.

    There are too many governemental and quasi-governemntal entities in Illinois. Streamlining and consolidation are necessary.

    There seems to be so much room for improvement, that I don’t see how anyone could believe that a con-con is not necessary and appropriate.

    I know the powers-that-be will try to control and rig the results. But the status quo is disgusting, to say the least.

  24. - Beyond time - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:50 am:

    Yes - With two caveats, ban Governor Blagojevich and anyone who’s ever been associated with him from the convention, hold the convention in some obscure southern Illinois town. I wouldn’t let Governor Blagojevich anywhere near our Illinois Constitution.
    Hopefully Blagojevich will be indicted before then.

  25. - Reality Check - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:51 am:

    As I understand it, unless there is a new Constitutional Convention to change it, Illinois is prohibited from having anything other than a flat, regressive income tax. Only that convention could allow a progressive version of the state income tax. It makes no sense that people making $40,000 a year pay a flat 3% and so do individuals making over a million.

  26. - Southern Illinoisian - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:54 am:

    The vast majority of voters in this state are too stupid to understand the concepts and consequences of a convention. It would just turn into another big Democrat power play. All courtesy of the broken Democrat education system, a corrupt Democrat legal system, the Democrat’s blood-sucking welfare state, and George Ryan’s greedy destruction of the state Republican Party.

    This state is doomed, and with every passing day you see it slide further toward that inevitable conclusion of bankruptcy (both fiscal and moral). The doublethink going on at state government is like watching a slow-motion train wreck. Shocking, tragic, and we’re powerless to prevent it from happening.

    There’s no hope here. I just pray I can escape this state before the fall.

  27. - NRA Endowment Member - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:56 am:

    Rich -

    While I agree that the 1970 framers were certainly unworthy of deification, I disagree that politicians are any smarter or wiser now than they were then. The same petty politics, mindless concerns, nepotism and self-centeredness run rampant. The drives for personal gain and re-election are as strong as ever.

    While many of the suggestions here are excellent and would be of great use, I don’t believe for ONE MINUTE that any sitting politician (left or right) would implement anything to limit their power. Sorry to sound so pessimistic; it’s just that I don’t believe the track record to date merits otherwise.

  28. - Tom - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:58 am:

    Actually a flat income tax by definition is not regressive, it’s flat. However a progressive income tax should be open to debate.

  29. - Cassandra - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 10:58 am:

    I am mainly interested in changing the flat tax so that the state income tax can become progressive. This will scare our many wealthy politicians and megabuck business people, of course. But now that Obama has come out for a higher national tax on the wealthiest one percent to fund universal health care, perhaps
    the idea of a progressive state income tax will attract more interest locally.

  30. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 11:07 am:

    I’d like to see unicameral government with multi-member districts so we can have more diverse political parties.

    I’d like to see the executive functions consolidated under the governor and have the audit, IG and anti-corruption functions under an elected inspector general.

    I’d like to see the school funding language clarified.

    I’d like to have a graduated income tax.

    I’d like to nix electing judges.

  31. - Taylor Street - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 11:11 am:

    Lets bring back the Convention - bringing FINAL clarity to the education funding question is dead on; it will be great to watch the chaos a Convention might bring.

  32. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 11:11 am:

    “Southern Illinoisian” don’t take this personally, but don’t just threaten to leave. Leave.

  33. - Buck Turgidson - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 11:15 am:

    Off topic - what the heck’s going on at the Statehouse? Real fire, drill or false alarm?

  34. - Buck Turgidson - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 11:25 am:

    A convention is probably a good idea for many of the reasons mentioned above, but referenda and recall are not among them - both are slippery slopes. If you think government is dominated by slick admen and special interests, go ahead and add recall and referenda to the government. It’ll make the Maag-Karmeier race look civilized by comparison.

  35. - JW - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 11:29 am:

    As a state retiree its my understanding that the reason the gov and legislature have not screwed up or taken away even more of our retirement benefits is because they are guaranteed under the state constitution. A Constitutional Convention could allow that all to change. Its just a point about holding a Constitutional Convention so please not all the comments about state retirees getting too much etc. etc. we’ve heard it all before.

  36. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 11:31 am:

    This discussion is sorta nuts. Everything that everyone says are the good things that could come from a convention could be done as amendments to the current constitution. They haven’t been, because the political will is not there to do them. Why does anyone suppose that the delegates at a ConCon are going to come up with those same items that the current system won’t do? An incredible amount of wishful thinking, unsupported by any evidence. Progressive income tax - it was on the table at 1970 ConCon and rejected. Appointed judges - on the table at 1970 ConCon - rejected and segregated into a separate vote, where it lost. Multi-member districts - it was IN the 1970 Constitution, and Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn led a referendum effort that successfully eliminated it - want it back, sponsor another initiative to reverse Quinn’s.

    If you think a 2010 ConCon will produce a “better” product, as opposed to simply a “different” product, you’re crazy. There’s way more special interest money floating around than there was back then.

  37. - Leroy - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 11:34 am:

    >Plenty of hacks were at that convention.

    As opposed to today, where the representatives will be pure as the wind driven snow.

    I’m with Pat Collins, this process is just going to corrupt itself, locking us into more crap for 40 more years.

    Bully for you Rich, since you can probably start a ‘Constitutional Convention Horror Stories’ blog.

  38. - Old Elephant - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 11:45 am:

    I’m all for it.

    Ultimately, I trust the public to collectively make the right decisions in most cases (the last election for Governor being a glaring exception).

    As someone who has made my living for most of the past 30 years by serving democratic institutions, I’d be a hypocrite if I were so afraid of democracy that I couldn’t trust the public to revise their own constitution every once and awhile.

    There are plenty of checks and balances to prevent a convention from running amuck, but maybe it’s time we take a serious look at some items.

    My short list: nonpartisan reapportionment and more opportunity for citizen initiative.

  39. - ISO 666 - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 11:48 am:

    We should put the law is the L-A-W in there too.

  40. - HoosierDaddy - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 11:49 am:

    Anonymous– Have you READ the current constitution? All of these things would be wonderful amendments to the constitution provided we could amend it without permission from the current legislature, and therein lies the problem.

    1. Term Limits.

    2. Binding initiative/referendum.

    3. Recall.

    4. No proportional representation– instead, expand, yes, expand, the current House and leave the Senate alone. The legislature is far from being too big to be manageable. Smaller districts bring the reps closer to the people they represent. Right now, some reps in south/central Illinois represent eight or ten counties. All reps represent more than 110,000 of our fine citizens. Some suburban reps represent peeps from suburbs with strongly competing interests. The “superdistricts” idea is terrible. All we need is reps with less of an incentive to respond to individual taxpayers. I say expand it to about 165 reps, or 3 from each Senate district.

    Our “Show Me” neighbors have roughly 5 reps per Senate district or a total of 163 in the House and 34 in the Senate. A state rep there represents about 30,000 peeps. They have a short session, single subject bills, (no shell bills) miserable pay, and term limits. The result is that legislators also have to have real jobs. They have to suffer the results of what they legislate. It’s a true citizen legislature, and it’s what we need.

  41. - Dooley Dudright - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 11:51 am:

    Yes to Con-Con.

    Here’s a provocative thought: everything probably would have been hunky-dory (and we wouldn’t need a Con-Con now) but for Pat Quinn bamboozling us into trashing the proportional representation provision during the 1970s. (Query: has Quinn ever publicly reflected on that?)

    And BTW — Sam Witwer (chair of the 1970 convention) was NOT a hack. His vision and determination pulled us out of nineteenth century governance (literally — the prior constitution was 1870). One of the forgotten heroes. Rest well, Sam.

  42. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 12:02 pm:

    Yes, we need one. But rather than go into specifics, we need a con-con to get us out of our current mire. We need real leaders who can draft a constitution that stops the shenanigans such as the three-man oligarchy and implications of a legislature vs. governor showdown. We need people who truly care about this state to step up and write a document that makes sense and isn’t as vague as some two-cent campaign stump speech.

  43. - If It Walks Like a Duck... - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 12:11 pm:

    1) FULL financial disclosure of all candidates and elected officials, or better yet - publicly funded campaigns
    2) Ban nepotism
    3) Create an impartial Civil Service Commission that controls every state employee (free of political BS)
    4) Impeachment
    5) Ban the death penalty
    6) Decriminalize drugs and tax the hell out of them

  44. - Drew - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 12:18 pm:

    Although I don’t see any change in the near future, I would prefer that a new constitution be written at a time when power in the capital was divided. With the Governorship and both legislative chambers all being run by Chicago Democrats, I worry that the new constitution would be written to benefit one region at the expense of others. But, yes, there is much room for improvement in the current constitution. Good question…

  45. - Anon - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 12:26 pm:

    Not with the selfish, selfserving and poor leadership we have in this state.

  46. - Captain America - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 12:32 pm:

    Ditto on tne eliminating the election of judges - it’s ridiculous. None of us know who we’re viting for even when we vote based upon objctive evaluation by bar groups ofr newspapers. Truly absurd!

  47. - Pat collins - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 12:40 pm:

    Our “Show Me” neighbors have

    And what in their constitution makes it so? Iowa is better off, also, but their cons. has a lot of the same things as ours.

    One thing to repeal - the one subject per bill, law. Just lets courts get into the legislature’s business.

  48. - Jeff Trigg - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 12:50 pm:

    As if they follow the State Constitution now and will follow a new one. That’s a big assumption.

    Article III, Section 3 - Illinois Constitution
    “All elections SHALL be free and EQUAL”

    Is it equal when independent candidates in Illinois face the highest ballot access requirement of any election jurisdiction in the world? At least the Madigans should be honest and change the Constitution to reflect their Fidel Castro like policies on ballot access.

    I do agree that power needs to be vastly dispersed away from the current leaders like Speaker Madigan who wipes his $%& with Article III, Section 3 every chance he gets. The power in Illinois rests with a corrupt or selfish few leaders and our citizens have been paying the price for decades now. Good luck doing that at a ConCon.

  49. - Gregor - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 1:05 pm:

    Yes to concon, my picks:

    NO SHELL BILLS!!! Every bill stands on it’s own, and darn the extra time, we SAVE time by a lot of the bad bills never being submitted without the cover of the shell.

    Recall and/or Impeachment, yes. Term limits if those two don’t get thru.

    I like the bicameral legislature as a brake on excessive or unwise rushes to judgement. Keep that.

    Set the ethics rules in stone and give them teeth.

    I like special funds to stay attached to their origins and not be prone to sweeps. The whole idea of them was to fund a good program or service on a pay as you go basis paid by the people who use it. That should remain so, and if the funds have “too big” a surplus, the services they fund should be rebated to the users or the fees adjusted on a sliding scale, to hit a set percentage target.

    Would that all state services could be run this way, but they can’t. But at least the ones that CAN be, SHOULD be.

  50. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 1:11 pm:

    One of the most important lessons I learned during my life is that no matter how bad things are they can be made worse (usually by well intentioned people).

    Of course there are some very good things that could be accomplished by a con-con; unfortunately there will be massive disagreement as to what they are.

    There are also very bad things that can happen at a con-con. Until I see a lot more details I’ll stick with the devil that I know.

  51. - A Citizen - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 1:11 pm:

    What is the structure and process of a constitutional convention? How are the proceedings policed to stay on target and not fall victim to parliamentary maneuvers/shenanigans? Is the final product approved en masse or article by article?

  52. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 1:14 pm:

    How can we wait for details when we don’t know what the details will be until there is a ConCon, Steve?

    And, yes, it could get worse, but name me one state where things got way out of whack because of a new constitution. It still has to be ratified by voters, remember.

    If we trust voters to elect everyone from governor down to mosquito abatement district trustees, then we ought to trust them to elect decent delegates to a ConCon and then trust them to ratify or reject the finished document.

  53. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 1:31 pm:

    I never get why people want term limits? Term limits are called elections!

    I think the Stroger fiasco shouldn’t have happened, and the same thing with Bobbie Steele and her pension.

  54. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 1:40 pm:

    Steve, your last post was held because of profanity, but I can’t read all the posts all the time. I did delete the one you complained out. It got away from me.

  55. - Patriot - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 1:44 pm:

    Is it too late to make Cook County our 51st state?

  56. - i d - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 1:49 pm:

    I support a ConCon. It could make a bad situation worse, but we don’t know until we try. It is hard to trust human nature to work for the good of the individual and less for the good of the “state”. Half of the delegates should be under 40 years old and half over 40 years old.

  57. - Reality - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 2:14 pm:

    Please remember that the cutback amendment to the constitution concentrated the leaders power considerably. Also, with regard to the election of judges, if voters complain they don’t know who the candidates are now, they’ll howl worse if select bar groups and law firms are allowed to appoint judges under one of the “merit selection” systems that are proposed from time to time. It will be more political and insider-driven than it is now. At least now, voters can make an informed decision and have a voice if they choose to exercise it. The delegates to the ‘70 Con-Con were all political insiders anyway. Many are still around and would probably participate or have surrogates participate (Madigan, Daley, et al were all there…you can go back and look it up). That said, I don’t think it would be a good idea. Amendments can be proposed if necessary. If they don’t pass, that’s the will of the people, apparently.

  58. - Way Northsider - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 3:02 pm:

    Yes, I’d like to see a constitutional convention. I don’t know what the solution is but we must fix the way judges are elected/selected and we must have some real checks and balances. Nepotism and insider deals are out of control.

  59. - Papa Legba - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 4:27 pm:

    Absolutely. Massive changes need to be made.

    1. Make corruption a capital offense.
    2. Term limits.
    3. Open primaries.
    4. Recall/impeachment of elected officials.
    5. Restriction on the use of hairspray.

  60. - Jerry - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 5:01 pm:

    I say yes as well.

    I’d like to see a Con-Con do the following…
    1. Specifically draw out the State’s obligation to fund education
    2. Progressive income taxation
    3. Recall, but make it tough. Super-majority vote - 2/3rds. I think, at this point, that Todd Stroger would find himself out of office. But it would prevent regular, willy-nilly recalls from going out that waste taxpayer money.
    4. Easier ballot access
    5. Instant runoff elections
    6. No gerrymandering - go Iowa style
    7. Bigger lege - Slash the current number of people represented by each legislator by half or more, and keep the maximum fixed, so if the state population rises, so does the size of the lege
    8. Strict campaign finance law and ethics law
    9. Illinois has more units of government than any other state. Consolidate and eliminate (come on…mosquito abatement districts?! The city/county can’t do that?)
    10. Binding referendum. But make those tough to pass as well. 55 to 60% super majority. Keep this state from passing some of the moronic laws that California passed.

  61. - Jerry - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 5:12 pm:

    Let me add…
    11. The heck with strict campaign finance law. Publicly funded campaigns.
    12. No more appointing replacement legislators (This means you, Richie) - Special election, or a vacant seat until the next election.
    13. Reduce the power of the governor, the Speaker, and the Senate Prez.
    14. No new gambling.
    15. Sale of major public assets has to be approved by public referenda - tollways, lotteries, major property, etc. No more selling off huge taxpayer funded assets and future income streams with asking the people who paid for them in the first place.
    16. Single payer health care.

  62. - anon - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 5:47 pm:

    Absolutely. Graduated income taxes without that damn ratio and cumulative voting. Also, statewide election of the president and speaker.

  63. - Anon - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 6:37 pm:

    1)Recall/Impeachment provisions
    2)Open Meetings of all GA business, including budget negotiations
    3)FOIA simplified.

  64. - Ken in Aurora - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 8:10 pm:


    Do away with shell bills and require a short public comment period for all new legislation.

  65. - Jed - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 8:48 pm:

    There are some seemingly good ideas being discussed and I believe those ideas should receive the courtesy of a constitutional convention.

    On another note, Thomas Jefferson, while a great American and author of, in my opinion, one of our two greatest documents, was not at the U.S. Constitutional Convention. He was the ambassador to France and was likely sent there for good reason.

  66. - Honest Abe - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 11:07 pm:

    Wouldn’t it be worthwhile to permit judicial candidates to run on a nonpartisan basis rather than as party candidates? Illinois needs a Con Con.

  67. - Old Shepherd - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 9:54 am:

    Yes, I support a Con-Con.

    What’s the point of a bicameral legislature if representation in both houses is based upon population? As you all know, the US House is based upon population, while in the US Senate each state has an equal number of Senators. Why not do the same thing in Illinois? That would give downstaters more voice in the process.

  68. - Squideshi - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 11:28 am:

    One major problem with a Constitutional Convention is that the General Assembly gets to determine the process by which delegates are selected, and this only happens AFTER the voters approve a convention.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* Li-Fi Probably Won’t Be The New Wi-Fi For Most People
* Mid-range Lenovo K32c36 gets the go ahead from TENAA

* Detroit Tigers make AL Central's first big splash with Jordan Zimme...
* South Side Sox' SB Nation MLB Awards voting results
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* Scouting profile: Adam Engel
* Alex Avila will try to shed limitations with White Sox
* White Sox program provides kids real chance
* Johnson solid candidate for White Sox rotation


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* Blackhawks preternatural confidence rubs off on new players

* 1 dead, 3 injured in separate shootings on South, Far South, West Sides
* U. of C. cancels Monday classes after threat to Hyde Park campus
* CPD to expand body camera program for officers
* Man accused of hiding roommate's body in suitcase held without bail
* Climate change demonstrators hold rally, march in Loop
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* Bernard Schoenburg: Book on Blagojevich impeachment lets reader 'be right there'
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* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
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* Governor Takes Bill Action
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