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Robling to Republicans: Leave Springfield

Monday, Jan 14, 2013

* Chris Robling penned an unusual op-ed for the Tribune. Robling, a former executive director of the Cook County Republican Party, wants state legislative Republicans to boycott Springfield in protest of the lack of a pension reform plan

Walk away. Now. And issue a joint statement by Senate Republican leader Chris Radogno and House Republican leader Tom Cross: “When a serious, comprehensive Democrat pension plan is offered, members of the Republican Party will return. Until then, we protest the Democrats’ refusal to address the issue that will send Illinois across the financial brink.”

Leaving does important things. It shows voters that Republicans are serious about overhauling the pension systems. It shows them that Dems can do what they want — by themselves. It shows who is willing to address this decade’s biggest issue in Illinois, and who is grandstanding so that they may secretly serve special interests. It prevents Republicans from getting sucked into a sneaky deal. (Check with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner on that one.) […]

Deny Democrats that narrative. Deny them their foil. Deny them the appearance of “needing” you — so that they may later blame you. Deny them their evasion of responsibility. Deny them their dithering by showing it to all Illinoisans.

Congratulations, you are sworn in. Now leave.

Um, how does leaving show anyone that Republicans are serious about anything, or that the GOP is willing to address anything, or that they’re not grandstanding, or evading responsibility?

* And remember how this state’s Republicans reacted when Wisconsin’s Democratic legislators hid out in Illinois? From an Illinois GOP press release

…it is imperative that Governor Quinn do the right thing and tell these 14 Senator from Wisconsin that Illinois will harbor them no more,” said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady. “It time they get back to Wisconsin and back to work.

I really hope Chris was being tongue in cheek here.

Those Wisconsin legislators left their state to prevent legislation from being passed. That at least made some sense because of parliamentary realities. Robling’s idea, however, is another matter entirely. Leave until something happens? Huh? What would be the point of ever voting for a Republican if they publicly cede all of their responsibilities?

And, actually, the House won’t be back until January 30th and the Senate isn’t returning until February 5th. So they’re already gone.

Maybe the Republicans ought to come to Springfield and work while the Democrats are back in their districts. That would show far more seriousness than some boycott.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


47 Comments
  1. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 11:27 am:

    “and who is grandstanding.”

    Umm, Chris, bolting the Capitol in some big grand gesture is grandstanding. Let’s consult Mr. Webster. Grandstanding - intended to impress an onlooker or onlookers. Yup.

    And for the next serious GOP proposal…


  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 11:33 am:

    – Robling, a former executive director of the Cook County Republican Party, wants state legislative Republicans to boycott Springfield–

    Not surprising. The Cook County Republican Party abandoned Cook County years ago.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 11:35 am:

    I hope this is a joke as well.

    You have to show up. Both the Senate and House GOP are Irrelevent, but that doesn’t allow the 66 total Repubs to be seen as children, and let us not forget how the Wisconsin Dems looked when leaving their Senate.

    Further, the SDems in Wisconsin actually were relevent to the process, as Rich pointed out, while both the House and Senate GOP here in Illinois are Irrelevent and what can be worse than being electorally irrelevent; to seem disengaged, and just the party no the “negative”, while being…irrelevent.

    To rehab the H&SGOP, they have to actually look engaged, to show that the process of doing is what is being done by the members. That work includes putting together bills, and having responsible, complete responses to Democratic propsals, bills, and passed/signed legislation to be able to build on becoming remotely relevent in 2014. Saying “we are against that” and not explaining why, or having a drafted alternative is not getting them anywhere.

    To be clear, I am responding to Chris Robling being remotely serious. I have no clue if Chris is serious or not, and nothing to gage that.

    If it turns out this is a “tongue and cheek shot”, then it is what it is, and my response to Rich’s post is, I guess, a suggestion I may have, less the “tongue and cheek”.

    If this is what others are suggesting the H&SGOP should do, then we as a party are no better off than where we were the noght after learning the GOP was Irrelevent in the 98th General Assembly, and actually in even worse shape.


  4. - langhorne - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 11:36 am:

    a boycott is petulant, meaningless grandstanding. its the legislative equivalent of fahner’s saying the problem is unfixable. if you aint here, you cant be part of the solution. it proves madigans claim that repubs are nowhere to be found when there is heavy lifting to do. even in their weakened condition, repubs need to participate in a meaningful way.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 11:37 am:

    ===Not surprising. The Cook County Republican Party abandoned Cook County years ago.===

    I just burned my nostrils with coffee, laughing at such an appropriate observation.

    C’mon, - wordslinger -, we in the ILGOP don’t need to look for Republican votes in Cook, there are none and add uo to so few, why work those precincts.

    Well said, - wordslinger -, thanks!


  6. - siriusly - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    Ironic because it’s likely that the nearly half of the HGOP caucus won’t end up voting for pension reform at all !

    Jokes aside, I actually think this sort of massive gesture has some merit. I sort of like the idea, but like I said - a lot of the reform opponents are not the “union-backed Democrats,” but in this case they are those downstate GOP members with tons of public employees in their districts.


  7. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    And just to be clear, I like Robling and consider him a personal friend. I just think this desperate suggestion is pretty wacky and…well…desperate.


  8. - WazUp - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    Let’s see super majority in the House and Senate and a Governor of the same party..I guess the Republicans can stay home or sit and watch the chaos.


  9. - Meaningless - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    When are people and groups like Chris Robling, the Tribune Editorial Board, the Chicago Civic Committee and the likes going to offer something positive to help Illinois fix its debt problem in a constructive manner? Teachers and public servants are sick and tired of being blamed for all of Illinois’ financial woes! It’s time to fix the state’s revenue producing system which is in the best interests of all of Illinois’ residents, not just the greedy elite!


  10. - Knome Sane - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 11:56 am:

    Like Elvis, hasn’t Republican Party effectively “left the building” already, if not physically, then certainly intellectually?

    Just when I think the Republican Party couldn’t get any more tone-deaf, Robling comes up with this whopper. Whatever happened to “rolling up your sleeves” and getting down to work?


  11. - Wumpus - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 11:58 am:

    It wouldn’t be as courageous or cool as when the dems in other states did it. Plus, I don’t agree with the 100 miles and runnin tactic.


  12. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 12:06 pm:

    === When are people and groups like Chris Robling, the Tribune Editorial Board, the Chicago Civic Committee ===

    When are people and groups like Pat Quinn, Mike Madigan, John Cullerton and Squeezy ===

    There. Fixed it for you.

    Unless Squeezy and the cost shift are one’s idea of “something positive” and “constructive” to fix the “debt problem” - which extends beyond simply pensions.

    As for Robling’s piece, perhaps it would focus attention on the pension crisis. He encourages the GOP to travel the state, engage citizens and push this issue. The plan fails miserably, however, without a GOP pension reform proposal worth fighting for.

    Rich’s idea carries far more impact if done well.


  13. - Ellen Beth Gill - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 12:14 pm:

    Not a bad idea for Republicans to voluntarily leave Springfield. They were booted out of Sacramento and look at how California turned itself around.


  14. - Skeptic - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 12:21 pm:

    What makes me sad is the overriding idea that the super-majority makes the R’s irrelevant. I know, I’m living in Lefty-Land where we all get along and we all respect everyone’s opinions, and the D’s and R’s all get together and sing Kumbaya, but you’d think maybe just this once they’d figure out how to work together. The voters might even appreciate the effort.


  15. - Dan Johnson - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 12:22 pm:

    The problem for Chris is that the GOP has not been the party of pension reform. The money wing certainly is, but precious few Downstate Republicans are for cutting pension benefits. There are only two GOP co-sponsors on the Nekritz-Biss bill (and one isn’t in the 98th GA). And it’s hard to doubt the sincerity of the Democratic Governor in trying to fix our pension system. The reality of the narrative of pension reform does not give the GOP the white hat (from the Robling perspective of who wears the white hat).


  16. - The Captain - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 12:33 pm:

    He should change his official title to Kass-in-waiting. Amazing.


  17. - SirLankselot - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 12:37 pm:

    This creates a philosophical question: if Republicans boycott Springfield, would anyone notice?


  18. - MikeMacD - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 12:54 pm:

    Savings on per diem could be applied to the pensions. This has the potential to be a win all around.


  19. - Fan of the Game - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 12:56 pm:

    ILGOP Assembly-critters should go to work, come up with a viable proposal on pension reform, and publicize both the work and the plan as forcefully as possible.


  20. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 1:15 pm:

    And to think that Robling is one of the thoughtful Republicans, if such a thing exists. He’s sort of what passes for an intellectual in the Illinois Review crowd. I guess this is more evidence that the IL GOP is completely out of ideas.


  21. - Deep South - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 1:16 pm:

    After the beat down they received in November, I fully expected Republicans to take a step back, examine what went wrong, look inward, maybe jettison the extremists, the bloviators and their goofy slogans, and their wacky approach to governing. More than two months later, there is no evidence that this might happen, in Illinois or in Washington. These people have become even more strident and even downright mean. At this point, I fully expect these folks to be out in the political wilderness for two or three more election cycles before they figure it all out.


  22. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 1:28 pm:

    Yes Republicans, make yourself even more irrelevant than you already are. What sage advice. And I’m sure this overt gesture of partisanship will get the problem solved. What a maroon.


  23. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    Freed from the burdens of governing and politics, the GOP in the GA would be crazy not to seize the opportunity of speaking simple hard truths directly to the people, without regard to their alleged “base” or donors.

    I think Pat Brady was trying to do that the other day on gay marriage, and to that, I say “salud.”

    Some of the greatest, longest-lasting achievements in legislative history came in hopeless opposition.

    JQ Adams — former ambassador, secretary of state, president — left his greatest legacy as Rep. Adams of Massachusetts, in unyielding opposition to slavery. He dropped dead on the floor of the House in opposition to the Mexican-American War, which he saw for what it was, a conquest for the expansion of slavery.

    Churchill was a pariah in Parliament in the 30s, warning of the coming of the Nazis.


  24. - anon sequitor - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 1:34 pm:

    If Robling is one of the “smart guys” in the GOP, then they are worse off than I expected. Cook County has the single largest Republican vote in any Illinois county, by a 2.5 margin over DuPage, yet the county leadership comes up with this crap. Deep South has more wisdom than the Cook County Republicans leadership.


  25. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 1:36 pm:

    Deep South, here’s a voice from the GOP wilderness: Gen. Powell yesterday on Meet the Press.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50447941/ns/meet_the_press-transcripts/t/january-colin-powell-cory-booker-haley-barbour-mike-murphy-andrea-mitchell/#.UPRdhoXj-XU


  26. - Raising Kane - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 1:37 pm:

    Robling has become a complete gadfly….his only claim to fame is being Jayne Thompson’s errand boy. And this idea is just one example of the crazy nonsense he spouts…and still he wonders why nobody in the party takes him seriously.


  27. - Barbie - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 1:44 pm:

    I thought this was a crisis–Chris–we need legislators who will run into the burning building to serve their constituencies–not hit the road and clear out of town. Gotta say–picking up the tent or the toys and going home is exactly the wrong thing to be recommending. Go back to the drawing board–Robling is one of the smarter more thoughtful Republicans left in Cook.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 1:54 pm:

    - wordslinger -,

    Concur. but will the ILGOP heed this advice and build a field operation to support the “truths” and use that to change the image of the ILGOP in time for 2014?

    We are all going hoarse, as they continue to ingore the facts in front of their leadership faces.

    I just wish we in the ILGOP could see some rational thought and a plan that is rational too.


  29. - MrJM - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 2:12 pm:

    Shorter Robling: RUN AWAY!!!

    – MrJM


  30. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 2:15 pm:

    Further,

    I would hope that the H&SGOP would have “quick response” bills ready to roll out in opposition to Dem bills the GOP will not be in favor of, and be ready to defend the bills, tout them as an alternative, and build a “Shadow” record of Bills, with what can be considered “Agenda 2014″ that is more inclusive, fiscally sound, politically savy, and governmentally sound.

    It’s Prefunctory time, GOP Caucuses. Do you have any of that ready to begin, so here is your chance, GOP Caucuses, to begin.


  31. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    I think the proper word would be forfeit.


  32. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 2:42 pm:

    Raising Kane,

    I think that’s more than a little unfair. Robling is a smart capable guy. I may completely disagree with most everything he says, and do frequently publicly, but I think to call him nothing but a gadfly and Jayne’s errand boy is unnecessarily obnoxious.


  33. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 3:20 pm:

    Willie, I’m with you, on a number of fronts.

    I’m not saying Pat Brady is the guy. I was highly critical of him for the misogynistic “Dear Daddy” nonsense he and Kass peddled about Lisa Madigan.

    See, I’m a husband, father, brother and son (God rest her soul) to strong women, and that nasty stuff put my blood pressure in the danger zone.

    But, after his utter “Fire Madigan” failure, he gets points from me for trying, on at least one issue, for trying to break through the litmus tests the prurient, intolerant Dixie GOP is trying to foist on the national party.

    I saw it as a move back to Midwestern, Main Street, mind-your-own-business conservative values, and I applaud it.

    I double-dog-dare the state GOP to oust him over that.

    Like Casey Stengel said of the 1962 Mets: “Can’t anybody play this game?”


  34. - zatoichi - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 3:29 pm:

    In sports, the team that no shows or walks away generally gets hit with a loss. If the Rep ideas are not gaining ground, it may be a sign that philosophical adjustments are needed. As a voter I want my GA member to be present, be flexible with ideas, and work with other GA members to solve the real problems we face. Anyone can scream, be an extremist and draw the line in the sand. That takes no effort. Cooperation, partnership, and working with someone you disagree with is tough, but nothing good happens without that effort. So what would a boycott gain? Nothing.


  35. - the Patriot - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 3:40 pm:

    Leaving the capitol to avoid a vote is classless. If you can’t stand a make an argument why do I need to pay you.

    On second thought, how much per diem can we save if they bolt. I mean, they are useless. For that matter not sure why we need democrats. Despite the show, they will all just do what Madigan says anyway. If they all bail what happens. Come back May 15th and the democrats will do what Madigan says and the republican will whine about it. How is the outcome going to be different?


  36. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 4:01 pm:

    Thanks - wordslinger -, I think we have been on this same page, which has made it easier to stay on task and thought, knowing I am not alone when others like you speak up too.

    As far as the 1962 Mets, That club is fascinating, being the “New 2nd Banana”, especially after the Giants and Dodgers left a few years earlier in 1957. That ‘62 Mets club’s role was to get the National League bank in New York, and the club was to figure out how to be good later, not unlike the GA’s GOP, which exists now in the GA in hopes by being there, they will figure out how to win.

    As a Cubs fan, I miss baseball in January for any number of reasons, without the negative of the actual ball club losing.

    thanks again, - wordlsinger -, the Ilgop needs to held accoountable, not be going on “vacations”.


  37. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 4:33 pm:

    –That club is fascinating, being the “New 2nd Banana”, especially after the Giants and Dodgers left a few years earlier in 1957.–

    New York baseball before 1957 would have been a dream — Giants in Manhattan, Yankees in the Bronx, Dodgers in Brooklyn — and all the players, fans, writers and gangsters meet at Toots Shors on 51st Street after the game.

    Toots lets broke Jackie Gleason and Frank Sinatra drink for free at the bar, while he greets Chief Justice Warren at one table, Frank Costello at the next.

    If you have netflix, grab the doc “Toots.” That’s livin’ pallie.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    Will do! Always appreciate new movies to watch.

    New York in the late 50’s to the Mid 60’s would have been a fun place to be, especially with the less intrusive press and all those characters around.

    I will put that on my Instant Queue.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 4:43 pm:

    lol… I meant Early 50’s!

    I am a Dope!


  40. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 5:05 pm:

    Clearly, learned nothing from the 2012 elections.

    Imagine you show up for a baseball game, and instead of taking the plate, the Visiting Team just sat in the dugout booing the home team.

    if your a fan of the home team, you’d be immediately outraged. if you came to root for the visitors, you’d switch allegiances pretty quickly, no matter who the home team was. And if you didnt evem like baseball really, and just caught the story on the evening news, you’d be wondering “who are these idiots?”

    That sums up the 2012 elections pretty well.

    And someone thinks the solution is to just boycott?

    Good luck.


  41. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 7:55 pm:

    I remember extentions 720 when Uncle Milty would have Charles Lipson, squiggly line drawer Scott Stantis and Chris Robling on for “expert” commentary. It was funny, wasn’t serious because the alive in outer space but it was funny.


  42. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 8:36 pm:

    - wordslinger -

    Found it’s website, it’s worth a visit, it’s pretty cool. Can’t get the film on Netlix, but I will find it! What a time …

    http://www.tootsthemovie.com/

    Thanks for the recommendation


  43. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 9:09 pm:

    Wow, the ‘62 Mets. My dad played American Legion ball in Tennessee with Marv Throneberry before he became “famous”. See the Wiki link below for the “Legend of Marv Throneberry”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marv_Throneberry


  44. - reformer - Monday, Jan 14, 13 @ 9:29 pm:

    Robling’s premise is apparently that Republicans are all for clawing back pension benefits while Democrats are opposed. Tell that to Representatives Poe, Brauer, McAuliffe, and other friends of labor in the GOP.


  45. - just sayin' - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 7:53 am:

    I put Robling in the same category as others like Dan Proft and John Tillman, i.e. guys who talk a lot but don’t say much. Gadflys always looking for the next cutesy thing to say, desperately hoping for attention. Meanwhile the IL GOP becomes more and more irrelevant with each passing year and new dose of “advice.”


  46. - just sayin' - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 9:15 am:

    excellent point reformer.

    tom cross apparently can’t even find 30 votes from his own caucus for pension reform.


  47. - chris robling - Tuesday, Jan 15, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    hey thanks, rich, for noticing the piece and thanks to all posters for your thoughts. another day, another $17 million. cheers, c


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        * U.S. mortgage applications index fell amid refinancing drop

        * Congressman Dan Lipinski to host 3 events ...
        * House passes Lipinski bill for Herbie John...
        * Renaming of Mount Greenwood post office in...
        * Rep. Lipinski's Bill Improving Internation...
        * Rep. Lipinski Announces $206428 Grant for ...
        * Rep. Lipinski's Bill Renaming Mount Greenw...
        * Dem Rep Brags He's Working With Obama To G...
        * Gutiérrez: 'I Think We Can Get 3 or 4, May...
        * Gutiérrez heads to White House to talk bor...
        * Obama flat wrong on trafficking law, says ...

        * Showdown looming in Congress over Web sale......
        * Walgreens Considers Moving Headquarters to......
        * Walgreens Considers Moving Headquarters to......
        * Walgreens Considers Moving Headquarters to......
        * Walgreens Considers Moving Headquarters to......

        * How Partisanship Could Save Iran Diplomacy......

        * GOP has midterm engagement advantage, but less than in 2010
        * Illinois values voters in a quandary over November gubernatorial election
        * The Cub Factor: Top 10 Reasons To Keep Watching
        * The Fantasy Fix 2014 Football Draft Guide Part 1: The Top 20
        * Top 10 Reasons To Keep Watching
        * Pension theft proving toxic to Illinois Democrats.
        * Ten minute drawing. Tenure.
        * Finding Jane's Place at Water Tower Park
        * An ethnic slur.
        * “Dr.” Terrence P. Carter. Arne Duncan’s superstar. The story the Chicago press won’t touch.


        * Pat Quinn’s Reality Check
        * Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Give Public a Voice Regarding Millionaire Tax for Classroom Education - Law Establishes a Statewide Advisory Referendum on Nov. 4 Ballot
        * DOI Calls for Health Insurers to Bar Discrimination Based on Transgender Status or Gender Identity - Insurers Are Instructed to Remove Exclusions of Coverage Based on Gender Identity in Plans Offered Under ACA
        * Hoy Op-Ed on Immigration
        * Governor Quinn Reminds Drivers to Take Caution in Work Zones, Directs State Agencies to Redouble Efforts to Protect Public and Workers - Encourages Public to Increase Vigilance Following I-55 Tragedy




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