image
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
About that “555-page bill”

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013

* Eriz Zorn’s unsolicited advice to Gov. Pat Quinn

Gaming Board chairman Aaron Jaffe said in a contentious Senate Executive Committee hearing last week that among his many problems with the current 555-page bill is that it could and should be far shorter — 30 pages or less.

Is he correct? Prove it. Give us that bill. Get a friendly lawmaker to introduce it for you. Put this issue behind us.

As with any legislation, most of the bill simply restates existing statutory language. You have to get to page 60-something before you even find anything new.

And, as with most legislation, there’s repeated language. The ban on campaign contributions by the gaming industry is repeated, for instance.

So, I copied all the new language, except for the repeated stuff on the campaign contribution ban, and pasted it into a text file, counted the words and divided by 270 (which is, more or less, about how many words are on a bill page as far as I can tell) and came up with 98.6 pages. [ADDING: Those first 60-some pages create a new entity, so add that to the total, which comes to160-something]. That’s more than 30, but certainly not 555 pages, a “fact” which is used mainly as a rhetorical device to undermine the bill by people like Jaffe, Gov. Quinn and the Tribune editorial board..

Also, Quinn doesn’t have any friendly lawmakers. He’s the first governor in forever who has no floor leaders. Besides, Quinn definitely does not want to “own” this issue by introducing a bill. He clearly wants any gaming expansion to be blamed on the General Assembly, not him.

* Speaking of which, here is my weekly syndicated newspaper column…

I’ve always believed that just because somebody claims to be a reformer, it doesn’t mean the person has the right solutions.

Many years ago, an activist named Pat Quinn came up with an idea to change the Illinois Constitution. He used the petition process to get rid of a third of Illinois House members in one fell swoop. This, Quinn said, would save money and make legislators more responsive to their constituents.

In reality, all that did was allow a guy named Michael Madigan to more easily consolidate his power. And one way he consolidated that power was by spending lots more money. Quinn’s plan backfired.

But even though this sort of thing has happened over and over again here, the media tends to give reformers a pass, almost no matter what.

So I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised when I read the major media’s news reports of last week’s Senate Executive Committee hearing. It wasn’t at all like the meeting I attended.

Admittedly, I arrived a little late and had to leave for a meeting before it was over, but from what I saw, Illinois Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffe’s years-long criticism of the General Assembly’s gaming expansion bills was exposed as hollow and not entirely fact-based. He badly stumbled through his testimony, couldn’t directly answer questions and despite long-standing public criticisms, a notebook filled with thoughts and a history as a state legislator himself, Jaffe seemed woefully unprepared for the hearing.

For years, Chairman Jaffe has criticized various gaming expansion proposals, which has made him a media darling. He comes up with great quotes, once calling a gaming bill a “pile of garbage.”

But he’s never once said how the General Assembly ought to actually write the bills. Instead, he has relied on media-friendly criticisms of the way the legislature has gone about things.

It’s not like Jaffe is completely blameless here. The people drafting the gaming legislation clearly despise the man and never really attempted to work with him, or even listen to him.

But last week’s Senate meeting was designed to finally provide Jaffe with a public forum to offer up some concrete solutions. He didn’t have any.

Over and over, Senators in both parties pleaded with Jaffe to offer up some specifics for how to make the gaming bill more acceptable to him, and over and over Jaffe simply could not do so.

Instead, Jaffe stuck to generalities and catch phrases.

Jaffe said he hadn’t read the full bill, saying it was too long and claiming that a better bill might be just 25 pages long, without explaining how less language wouldn’t create gaping loopholes and without admitting that many of the pages in the 555-page bill are simply filled with current statutory language restated without any changes whatsoever. Jaffe declared that there were no ethical improvements in the recently revised legislation, even though the new bill would ban campaign contributions from gaming interests.

Jaffe even urged legislators to outright eliminate some state agencies because they were impeding his agency’s staff hiring - even though existing personnel regulations were inspired by decades of state corruption. He bitterly complained about the projects in the bill inserted to attract more votes, even though those projects have no direct bearing on the Gaming Board’s mission. He complained that the Chicago casino language wouldn’t allow the Board to determine whether the region was already too saturated with gaming, but then said he had no philosophical problem with a Chicago casino. His testimony was, in sum, an embarrassing mess by a man clearly past his prime, but the media covered for him, focusing mostly on a one-minute spat between Jaffe and the bill’s sponsor.

The only real progress came late in the hearing when Jaffe’s administrator Mark Ostrowski seemed to pull an idea out of thin air to delete the Chicago management agency’s language and give full responsibility for all operations to the private casino management company that the agency was supposed to choose. The manager, Ostrowski said, would be far easier to regulate than a municipal entity, which could fight bureaucratic battles through the courts. If the Senators were paying attention, they may have found a solution to finally get Jaffe off their backs.

* Related…

* Gaming board, lawmakers aim to overcome insults

* Erickson: Sides lining up on state gambling bill

- Posted by Rich Miller        


15 Comments
  1. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 2:02 pm:

    Rich,

    I’ve always wanted to ask you (and the blog), is there any other industry in the state that is prohibited from contributing to campaigns, and is this an issue that may be an infringement on the 1st amendment rights, especially in light of Citizens United?


  2. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 2:06 pm:

    - You have to get to page 60-something before you even find anything new. -

    Rich, the first 63 pages of SA#1 create a new Act - the Chicago Casino Develepoment Authority Act. A new Act, which does not amend existing law, is set forth in plain text rather than the traditional underscoring and strikthrough.


  3. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===is there any other industry in the state that is prohibited from contributing to campaigns===

    Yep. State contractors can’t contribute to the folks who give out those contracts and the people running for those offices.


  4. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 2:07 pm:

    Anonymous, thanks. I was just breezing through it. I’ll amend.


  5. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 2:08 pm:

    Jaffe is an arrogant self absorbed incompetent manager. To testify that he is opposed to a bill he admitted he had not read nor obviously understood is ridiculous. Under his leadership the gaming board is becoming an ineffective joke.


  6. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 2:33 pm:

    Thanks, Rich, but the your answer confuses me. Can I have an example of such a person?


  7. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 2:36 pm:

    ===Can I have an example of such a person? ===

    A road builder cannot contribute to a gubernatorial candidate.


  8. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 2:57 pm:

    Thanks, R.


  9. - HaroldVK - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 3:29 pm:

    One of the criticisms we hear over and over is that a bill is too long or too complex.

    I really wish those people would grow up. Life is complex. Sometimes the law must be complex. I will take a 550 page bill that is clear over a 30 page bill that is ambiguous.

    A 550 page bill may be good or bad, but the fact that it is 550 pages is not relevant to the analysis.


  10. - DanL60 - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 4:07 pm:

    Jaffe may be past his prime, but did Ostrowski really pull that reasonable idea out of thin air, or did he bring forward an idea his boss ignored? You have to wonder how frustrated Jaffe’s own staff might be.


  11. - soccermom - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 5:01 pm:

    Jaffe needs to be replaced. Thank you Rich for shedding light on this.


  12. - Ruby - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 5:14 pm:

    Mr. Jaffe is doing an excellent job of keeping the Illinois gambling industry honest and ethical.


  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 7:12 pm:

    As Royko said “Lord save us from the reformers”


  14. - Ruby - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 8:44 pm:

    Perhaps it is still true as Alderman Bauler once said, “Chicago ain’t ready for reform.” But let’s hope the good ethics of Mr. Jaffe prevails.


  15. - soccermom - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 9:14 pm:

    Too many people confuse ethics and rhetoric.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Caption contest!
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* Prison contract work rules hit
* Question of the day
* Muttering, resignation follow new appointment
* Today's quotables: Rauner vs. Madigan
* *** UPDATED x1 - NWMC didn't advance *** Makanda: Oops!
* Rate Exelon's new TV and radio ads
* *** UPDATED x2 - Fritchey: More needs to be done *** Alvarez to divert low-level drug crimes
* $1.6 billion versus (at least) $2.2 billion
* Rauner is not a news junkie
* Rauner opens new campaign front in pursuit of grand bargain
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition, fundraiser list and more
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* 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

          
        * LG showcases the Watch Urbane in beautiful time lapse video of Barcelona
        * LG G4 free toys, Nokia smartphones, Android Wear update & more – Pocketnow Daily
        * Humble Bundle teams up with Tin Man Games for latest mobile bundle
        * Samsung launches “Next is Now” campaign for Galaxy S6, S6 edge
        * Google+ brings changes, Material Design to Communities pages
        * More OPPO R7 leaked pictures, bezel-less display is gorgeous
        * LG G4 leaks, Huawei P8, Nokia Alcatel | Pocketnow Weekly 144

        * To Make Breast and Ovarian Cancer Tests More Affordable, Color Genomics Raises $15M
        * Capture All Of Your Adventures With This WiFi-Enabled Full HD Action Camera
        * Oppo Outs Another Entry-Level Android 4.4 Smartphone For $111
        * Native Union Unveils iPhone Case Made From Marble
        * Disney Research Finds A Way To Make Dubbing More Believable
        * The problem with using Facebook to fight crime
        * Initial Apple Watch Production Speculated To Be Built-To-Order

        * Four-run ninth rescues White Sox in opener
        * Petricka back in the mix for reshuffled bullpen
        * Focus for Hahn, Ventura remains in dugout
        * Rodon to get feet wet in 'pen before moving to rotation
        * White Sox Minor League Update: April 19-25
        * Rodon's future lies in White Sox rotation
        * White Sox try to rebound vs. Tribe behind Danks

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


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

        Archives
        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


        * Miller: Gov. Bruce Rauner has big bucks behind .....
        * GOP’s Darin LaHood favored in race to replace S.....
        * Rauner opens new campaign front in pursuit of g.....
        * Rauner's dangerous talk of Chicago schools bank.....
        * Divided Rockford City Council endorses Rauner '.....
        * Rock Valley College's Citizenship program could.....
        * GOP's Darin LaHood favored in race to replace S.....
        * New IDOC director says union contracts causing .....
        * Racoons running rampant in Aledo..
        * Rockford City Council Talks Rauner Turnaround A.....


        * GOP's Darin LaHood favored in race to replace Schock
        * Trucker gets three-year sentence in fatal Tollway crash
        * Former Chicago Bears linebacker Doug Buffone dead at 70
        * Chicago police officer cleared in woman's shooting death
        * Madison man pleads guilty in fatal hit-and-run of teen
        * Chicago police officer cleared in woman's shooting death
        * Interim Chicago schools chief calls for independent audit
        * GOP's LaHood remains front-runner in race to replace Schock
        * Low-level drug offenders in Chicago to be treated not jailed
        * Autopsy set after man's body found in vehicle in Rock River

        * Davis: Improvement needed in Springfield VA clinic wait times
        * New IDOC director says union contracts causing problems
        * GOP's LaHood remains front-runner in race to replace Schock
        * Illinois House votes to limit specialty license plates
        * Senate Democratic leadership shuffle bruises Schumer-Durbin friendship
        * Hopes dim for school funding formula overhaul's passage
        * State education board member quits over superintendent hire
        * Statehouse Insider: We're getting to the bottom of this
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Bruce Rauner is no Jim Thompson on labor issue
        * Madigan forms committee to review Rauner budget activities

        * Caterpillar hikes CEO pay to $17.1 million
        * Tribune Media pays up for top execs
        * U of C Medical Center nurses prepare to strike next week
        * Mayer Brown picks new partner to lead Chicago office
        * Kraft Mac & Cheese shedding the dyes


          * Alvarez proposes steering minor drug offenders to treatment
          * Protesters gather after officer's acquittal in fatal shooting
          * Judge acquits Chicago cop in fatal off-duty shooting, sparking anger
          * Lawsuit over naked crime scene photos headed for trial
          * Police: Man shot in back dies, 2nd man injured in separate shooting
          * Trucker gets three years in prison for fatal I-88 crash
          * Judge says Berrios doesn't have to pay $10,000 ethics fine
          * Retired bishop recounts Cardinal George's final moments
          * 5th Schock staffer says he's been subpoenaed
          * Three charged in connection with Zion shooting


          * Emergency room visits for mental health skyrocket in Chicago
          * Rauner's first 100 days: The fight between unions and Rauner
          * New Illinois education chief is urban school reform leader
          * Emanuel tells Spike Lee he doesn't like name 'Chiraq' for film
          * Chicago police officer cleared in woman's shooting death
          * Portage Park church mourns 'favorite son' Cardinal George
          * CPS Board president says Chicago schools under investigation
          * Cook County prosecutor to try new approach to drug crimes
          * Cardinal Francis George helped 'make his people holy'
          * Remembering Chicago's Cardinal Francis George


          * Davis: Improvement needed in Springfield VA clinic wait times
          * Our Opinion: Springfield still struggles to be tourist friendly
          * Kathleen Parker: 2016: The woman trap
          * Quote of the Day: Tuesday, April 21, 2015
          * New IDOC director says union contracts causing problems
          * GOP's LaHood remains front-runner in race to replace Schock
          * Illinois House votes to limit specialty license plates
          * Senate Democratic leadership shuffle bruises Schumer-Durbin friendship
          * Matt Dietrich: The dizzying agenda of Bruce Rauner
          * Hopes dim for school funding formula overhaul's passage


          * Griggsville-Perry takes two against Pittsfield
          * Carrollton downs Lady Tigers
          * Local Scoreboard
          * PBL girls' basketball nets new coach
          * Monday's highlights: Fisher dominates on the diamond
          * Kroner: For Litchfield, waiting pays off
          * Area statistics: Boys' tennis (April 21)
          * UI roundup: Softball's Thomas wins two awards
          * Former Illini racing past her competition
          * Students lead sexual assault awareness efforts


          * Imrem: Bulls stand their ground vs. battling Bucks
          * 'Sad day for Bears Nation' as former Bears captain Doug Buffone dies
          * Butler, Bulls battle their way to 2-0 series lead
          * Wheaton North savors victory against Naperville Central
          * 3 years for truck driver in fatal I-88 crash; trooper ‘insulted' by apology

          * Bost Checks Out Traffic Safety Days
          * Davis: Improvement needed in Springfield V...
          * Transit representatives, state politicians...
          * Congressional Candidates Are Fundraising L...
          * Simple answers to complex issues?
          * Lawmakers urge Congress to 'man up' on tra...
          * Surprise! Couple's 'secret' twin birth rev...
          * Durbin: New mission needed for Springfield...
          * Students stress importance of 4-H to Congress
          * FD: Family dog dies in 'suspicious' fire i...

          * ROBINSON: Confirm Loretta Lynch now...
          * Sharpton: GOP Opposes Loretta Lynch To ‘Se......
          * Corinthian Colleges' Long And Winding Road......

          * Republicans Want to Add Jailed Reporter to......
          * US senators condemn reported charges of es......
          * Kirk, Rubio condemn reported charges again......
          * Procedural mastermind Harry Reid has a plo......

          * Track Demolition To Close Wilson For A Week
          * Pensacola Place Sells For $66 Million
          * The Weekend In Chicago Rock
          * CPS CEO Bryd-Bennett Taking Leave Of Absence During Federal Probe (UPDATED)
          * Report: 2014 Wall Street Bonuses Were Double The Earnings Of 1 Million Low-Wage Workers
          * Report Finds Illinois Emergency Responders May Be Unaware Of Chemical Dangers
          * Interim CPS CEO Wants Independent Audit
          * Parking 101: How To Keep Tow Trucks From Towing Your Car
          * Mayor’s Motorcade Caught Blowing Through Red Lights…Again
          * Report: Illinois Black Unemployment Rate Expected To Fall In 2015, But Still At 'Crisis Level'


          * Illinoisans Receive Governor’s Volunteer Service Award - 6thAnnual Awards Ceremony to be Held on April 20thin Springfield
          * Get Smart About College Planning During Money Smart Week® - College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program offers tips to plan for--and afford--the cost of college
          * Motorcycle Season Revs Up, Riders Urged to “Gear Up-Ride Smart” - New Campaign Touts Staying Safe Through Proper Gear, Education
          * IDOT’s Operation Teen Safe Driving Program Announces 2014-15 Winning Schools - Innovative Program Helps Save Lives, Promotes Safe Driving Habits
          * State of Illinois Takes Action on Medical Cannabis Dispensary Applicants





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