SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Get over it, already

Friday, Feb 8, 2013

* When you’ve got the lowest approval rating of any governor in the country and two prominent members of your own party are openly contemplating a primary challenge and people are lining up around the block in the other party to challenge you in a general election, you can expect stories drenched in hostility like this one from the AP

The idea seems simple enough: Ban Illinois lawmakers from voting or taking action on anything that might benefit them personally, all in the name of honest government.

But the ethics proposal Gov. Pat Quinn outlined in his State of the State speech has sparked questions about whom it targets and whether it’s necessary as the state deals with mountainous financial problems. Some Republicans and political experts also have alleged political motives, suggesting the Chicago Democrat was simply floating the proposal to lay the groundwork for what could become a pet issue in his 2014 re-election bid. […]

Some lawmakers said they were confused by the timing: Illinois traditionally enacts reforms in the wake of scandal, and they expected more details on finances when Quinn has made overhauling pensions his top issue for more than a year. Illinois has a nearly $100 billion pension problem, the worst of any U.S. state.

What a bogus excuse. Financial details will come in the March budget address. This was a State of the State address. The fact that so many people who cover the Statehouse and work there can’t seem to differentiate between the two boggles my mind. This happened last year as well. Enough, already.

* Also, timing? Yeah, there’s an election coming up, but Quinn has been pushing this issue for years and years. From the transcript of his SoS address

But our constant mission to restore integrity to Illinois government cannot end here. We have more work to do.

In 1976, I led a petition drive to ban conflict of interest voting in the General Assembly. 635,158 voters signed this petition – the greatest number of signatures ever gathered on a single petition in Illinois history.

Silence about conflict of interest voting wasn’t our Illinois then, and it’s not our Illinois now. We can do better.

Conflicts of interest are regulated all over: from the Illinois Supreme Court, to right here in the Executive Branch.

And more than 30 states have banned conflict of interest voting.

Illinois should too.

With this reform, we can keep moving towards a state government that always puts the people first, and a government that tackles the tough issues, no matter how hard.

* And then there’s this objection

Some lawmakers pointed out Quinn’s plan might duplicate legislation already being considered.

Democratic state Sen. Dan Kotowski of Park Ridge sponsored a bill calling for more lawmaker disclosure of economic interests. While legislators have done so for decades, the forms they use are outdated, Kotowski argues. He has proposed requiring more information — relationships with lobbyists, for example — and allowing them to be viewed online.

Yes, Kotowski has a decent bill. The governor gets to propose his own stuff, however.

* You have to go way down into the story to find the meat of the problem…

Illinois statute says when taking an official action, like a vote, a lawmaker should “consider the possibility” of eliminating the interest or abstaining from the official action. Unlike federal lawmakers who face strike provisions and can be investigated by bipartisan ethics committee of their peers, the state law guidelines contain no provision for enforcement or penalties.

The legislature’s inspector general, Thomas Homer, calls Illinois’ laws “somewhat farcical.”

He pushed reforms in a 2011 report he issued detailing problems, including relationships with lobbyists. A former lawmaker himself, Homer said his office received two dozen complaints last year, and about half were related to potential conflicts of interest. However, Homer said his hands are tied when it comes to acting on the complaints. Any investigations must be approved by a commission, and he doesn’t have power to punish or take action.

The difference is that congressmen are full-timers who have outside income bans. Illinois is by design a citizens legislature, despite its relative high pay.

* Then there’s this

Quinn’s plan is aimed at limiting votes cast by lawmakers who haven’t been accused of any impropriety — including lawyers, real estate agents and entrepreneurs with business interests in the state.

I seriously doubt that you’ll convince all the lawyers in the General Assembly to list their law firm clients. I’m not even sure that they can. But that’s ultimately where the, um, conflict will be.

* I’m one of the governor’s most intense critics. But I’m sick of the annual whining about how the State of the State address isn’t the budget address.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


18 Comments
  1. - siriusly - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    Dead on Rich, this bellyaching about this week’s speech is lame. Both Quinn and Kotowski are right on this point.

    The amount of disclosure and the conflict of interest provisions for state lawmakers are pathetic and weak. The open meetings act requirements and ethics laws they impose on local government officials are far more strict than what they require of themselves. They should mirror what is required of local government officials.

    It’s not aimed at anyone, I’m not pointing a finger at anyone. But all lawmakers should be required to more accurately disclose any possible financial interest and they should all be required to recuse themselves (or be prohibited) from voting on or working on bills relate to those interests.


  2. - Todd - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    Seems the ethics disscussion has hit the law of unintended consiquences. That new senator harris, will no longer be able to do his speaking engagements for which he is compentated being a former member of the NFL.

    He did this before, being elected and was part of his income and business. Makes no sense and shows the folly of some of these ethics proposals


  3. - Makandadawg - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:26 am:

    How can you make a law like that when everyone is suppose to “Have Skin in the Game”.


  4. - Nohopeforillinois - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:30 am:

    Dumb idea. Under that logic, no legislator could ever vote on any tax reduction - it would benefit them personally. No lawyer could vote on legal issues; no other licenses professional could vote on issues affecting their practices!? Identity of legal clients is often privileged anyway.


  5. - reformer - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:31 am:

    A waiting period before retiring legislators can join the Third House would prevent lame-ducks from negotiating their lobbying gig while still voting on the interest group’s bills.


  6. - JustMe_JMO - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:35 am:

    “Homer said his hands are tied when it comes to acting on the complaints..”

    Why do we even have a Legislative Ethics Commission if they have now power to act?


  7. - anon - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:41 am:

    My thoughts exactly, Rich. Its amazing that the press bites on his critics comments about the speech lacking specific “budget” details. I understand why his critics make these statements — because they consider most people to be too stupid to understand that what they are saying is not a credible critique. But, the media shouldnt let them get away with it. Why not ask Leaders Cross and Radogno to explain why they feel the governor needs to do a budget address during the state of the state. Something to keep the process honest. Sheesh!


  8. - Ray del Camino - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:47 am:

    Conflict-of-interest laws are not hard. Lots of states have them and implement them. Go to the National Conference of State Legislatures website and get a look at some of them. Revolving-door legislation would be good, too. PQ is right on this one.


  9. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:52 am:

    ===I’m one of the governor’s most intense critics.===

    I’ll quibble with this one Rich. I’d say you’re a persisent critic, or maybe a consistent critic. I just don’t think intense is the right word. Maybe thoughtful critic is better. Quinn has intense critics to be sure, and most of them post here every day.


  10. - walkinfool - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 11:04 am:

    All of these supposed difficulties with stronger laws on conflict of interest? Come on!

    Of course we should pass them — just like many other states, who seem to do fine with them.

    It sounds like all the supposed difficulties that would come with our proposed marriage equality bill — fables for those afraid to face change.

    Start with Kotowski for transparency, then add some enofrcement to it.


  11. - walkinfool - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 11:05 am:

    “enforcement”, sorry


  12. - Amalia - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 11:47 am:

    Kotowski has always been loud in praise for himself.


  13. - John A Logan - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 11:54 am:

    I find it curious that there is criticism of the critics. Just because its the “state of the state” address does not mean Quinn couldn’t or shouldn’t lay out budgetary visions and details.


  14. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 12:38 pm:

    - does not mean Quinn couldn’t or shouldn’t lay out budgetary visions and details. -

    He did that. The critics are whining that there weren’t enough specific details, which belong in the budget address.


  15. - hum - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    == The open meetings act requirements and ethics laws they impose on local government officials are far more strict than what they require of themselves. They should mirror what is required of local government officials.==

    They are the same.

    ==Go to the National Conference of State Legislatures website and get a look at some of them. Revolving-door legislation would be good, too. PQ is right on this one. ===

    We have a revolving door law this is more strict than most states.

    ==Why do we even have a Legislative Ethics Commission if they have now power to act? ==

    They do have power to act, but they cannot remove a member from only. Only the chamber, or the voters, can do that.


  16. - hum - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    sorry for the typo

    They do have power to act, but they cannot remove a member from OFFICE (not only). Only the chamber, or the voters, can do that.


  17. - dave - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 2:44 pm:

    **We have a revolving door law this is more strict than most states.**

    Not for legislators though…


  18. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 3:53 pm:

    ===Financial details will come in the March budget address===

    Ain’t THAT the truth! Year IN, year OUT it’s the same. Those criticizing are ONLY looking to sickeningly score political points, as if Pat Quinn is lax/remiss deliberately trying to pull some fast one on us–what a joke!! But let’s face it–we’re only a little over 13 months ’till the next Gubernatorial Primary Elections, and as we all know, the jockeying has already begun…!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* *** UPDATED x2 - Cullerton responds *** Rauner won't schedule leaders meeting until Dems "are ready"
* Mendoza bumps manager bonuses to back of the line
* Caption contest!
* CPS prospectus includes mention of "hypothetical bankruptcy"
* Fun with numbers
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* CMS blames AFSCME for halt to bonuses
* Good news and not so great news in Site Selection report
* Chris Kennedy added to "Boss Madigan" list
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Are we really going to have to wait until 2018?
* Rauner's dark money prince could wind up running the RNC
* Madigan on the attack, offers to discuss modified version of "Turnaround Agenda"
* IMA says Rauner signature on Exelon bill weakens manufacturing
* It's more than just a website and e-mails
* Kennedy may file candidate papers "in short order," while Bustos moves up DC ladder
* Del Mar gets his plum
* Emanuel meeting with Trump this morning
* So now they tell us
* *** UPDATED x1 - Cullerton optimistic but firm *** Rauner slams Madigan for refusing to put forward a budget, wanting a tax hike, stalling to force a crisis
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

  
* T-Mobile announces Digits, a phone number for all of your devices
* Playable Demos of 'Super Mario Run' in Apple Stores From Today
* Glass class of 2017: all-glass LG G6 rumored, headphone jack stays in
* ARM64-x86 emulation shown off for Snapdragon-powered full Windows 10 phones
* ‘Super Mario Run’ and the shape of Nintendo to come — an interview with Reggie Fils-Aimé
* Galaxy Beta Program shows off TouchWiz’s new name: Samsung Experience
* Android app updates are getting 65 percent smaller

* Moncada welcomes expectations awaiting White Sox
* In span of day, White Sox system skyrockets
* Kopech next in long line of Texas fireballers
* White Sox land Giolito, 2 more prospects for Eaton
* In rebuild mode, Hahn has 5 assets to deal
* White Sox GM Rick Hahn is the prospect collector
* Best prospects traded in past 25 years

...............


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress

Loading


* Rauner asks Democrats for budget proposal, dela.....
* Morning Spin: Rauner fights with union over $10.....
* The Latest: 'Clean jobs' group applauds Rauner .....
* Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signs bill sparing 2.....
* Rauner Asks Democrats for Budget Proposal, Dela.....


* EXCHANGE: Retired Mendota detective now helps kids
* Energy Department grants to fund Illinois CO2 projects
* Suburban tobacco store manager sentenced in tax case
* Group offers reward to fight dog fighting in DuPage County
* Illinois firearm deer harvest down 8.5 percent this year
* Chicago officer convicted of perjury, 2 officers acquitted
* Doctor: candy that sickened students contained marijuana
* Purported Chicago gang leader to jurors: Gang never existed
* Illinois Gov. Rauner signs bill sparing 2 nuclear plants
* Rauner asks Democrats for budget proposal, delays meeting

* Springfield-area veterans join pipeline protest
* Rauner asks Democrats for budget proposal, cancels meeting
* Comptroller: State employee bonuses on hold during impasse
* Rauner signs Exelon subsidy to spare 2 nuclear plants
* Rauner to sign Exelon subsidy to spare 2 nuclear plants
* Judge blocks administration from imposing contract on AFSCME
* State budget still elusive as leaders lash out
* Illinois budget still elusive as leaders lash out
* Killer of former central Illinois man sentenced to probation
* Prosecutors: Don't move Aaron Schock trial out of Springfield

* So you want to be a 40 Under 40
* Twins in Chicago's tech sector—separately
* Lothian hands CEO title to newsletter editor
* Chicago is getting another newsroom
* Another newsroom is coming to town


* Cops: Shot fired at police in University Village
* Man grazed in Lawndale shooting
* Attempted bank robbery reported in Chicago Heights
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for Dec. 8, 2016
* Dear Abby: ‘Orphan’ at 55 feels like he’s hit bottom
* 7 people shot Wednesday on South, West sides
* 13-year-old girl disappears from Uptown
* Trump chooses hardliners but talks softer on immigration
* Aroldis Chapman signs five-year deal to return to Yankees
* MGM National Harbor ready for its Maryland debut


* 8 wounded in shootings on West, South sides
* 13-year-old missing from North Side medical facility
* Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years
* Hoax beliefs fueled death threats to Sandy Hook parent, Florida woman charged: Feds
* Campus officer shot teen armed with knife at Nevada high school
* New York restaurant threatened by Pizzagate hoax callers
* Don't dismiss Vic Fangio leaving Bears just yet
* Trump retaliated against Carrier's union leader on Twitter. Then his phone started to ring.
* Ohio legislators approve what would be the country's toughest restriction on abortion
* Crowd braves cold to remember slain Dolton rapper


The widget AQL4JYGHIY powered by Feed Informer does not exist.


* Bernard Schoenburg: Bustos gets leadership post, criticizes Rauner
* Our View: Lawmakers should withdraw their lawsuit over paychecks
* George Will: The sensitivity police strike again
* Eugene Robinson: The proliferation of fake news presents real perils
* Guest Column: The Trump Administration faces extremism/terrorism
* Springfield-area veterans join pipeline protest
* Rauner asks Democrats for budget proposal, cancels meeting
* Comptroller: State employee bonuses on hold during impasse
* Rauner signs Exelon subsidy to spare 2 nuclear plants
* Rauner to sign Exelon subsidy to spare 2 nuclear plants


* Amanda's picks: 5 things to do this weekend
* Inaugral Christmas stroll planned in Harrison-Bruce Historical Village
* Ronald Taskoski
* Wendell Davis
* Mary Foehner
* Paul Youngblood
* Margaret Osman
* Maryann Mercer
* Steven Kelley
* Shirley Jones


* Dawn Patrol: Kane County chairman accuses state's attorney of buying loyalty
* Capitals lose 3-goal lead, recover to beat Bruins in OT
* Review: 'Hairspray Live!' pushes the boundaries and wins big
* Plum's 30 leads No. 11 Washington women to 101-44 win
* Extra effort in Wauconda's win

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Durbin's debit debacle - Washington Examin......

* Sen. Mark Kirk Praised During Senate Floor......

* Girl, 13, Missing From Uptown Hospital
* How times change; Rahm now our ally in upcoming political fight w/ Trump
* Santa Sleighed
* Roller Skate With Santa At Margate Park
* Illinois Bible Colleges Head to Court of Appeals
* Thorner: Grassroots pushback essential for Trump to appoint pro-life nominee
* IL GOP jabs possible Dem gubernatorial nominee, three more lawmakers
* Trump taps Iowa Governor Branstad for Ambassador to China
* Chicago YPN raises more than $400 for Salvation Army
* Governor Announces Appointments to Illinois Bicentennial Commission


* Governor’s Export Awards Recipients Announced
* Governor Signs Legislation to Protect Jobs, Ratepayers and Taxpayers
* Give The Gift Of A Lifetime With A College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan - College Illinois! can help limit or even eliminate future student loan debt
* Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Hosts 75th Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Ceremony
* IDHR Issues Reminder of Fair Housing Rights During Holiday Season - State law prohibits targeted, discriminatory restrictions on decorations and celebrations




      Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller