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.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - More on the state grant suspensions
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraiser/event list
* How can we miss you if you won't go away?
* Question of the day
* Supreme Court justice ordered to testify
* Chicago downgraded
* Today's number: 4-6 weeks
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Human service cuts and state grant suspensions
* Stating the obvious
* *** UPDATED x1 - Double-down *** They really make this too easy...
* Crain's: "Market-based" solution is rigged
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Even more problems for Schock
* 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

          
        * IBM Expands MobileFirst for iOS Portfolio With Three New Apps
        * MediaTek launches MT6753 chipset with ‘WorldMode’ LTE
        * Android Pay Is Real, And Will Give Developers The Reins As An API
        * Apple-IBM Partnership Sprouts Latest Set Of Apps At Mobile World Congress
        * Withings adds Android support to Activite, Activite Pop
        * Apple Adds Vehicles To Its List Of Activities In Switzerland, Tim Cook Demurs On Car Rumors
        * Swatch rolls out Touch Zero One smartwatch

        * Medium at Large: Ev Williams Talks With Kara Swisher
        * Amazon Echo Wireless Speaker SDK Released To Developers
        * Google Plans to Be a Wireless Carrier, but at Small Scale
        * Build or Upgrade Your PC With Today's Amazon Gold Box
        * Make Your Appointments for 30 Minutes, Not an Hour, to Waste Less Time
        * Wacom Cintiq 13HD Touch With Multitouch Support Unveiled For $1,000
        * iOS 8.2 May Be Released Next Week

        * Minnie Miñoso an all-time great, all of the time
        * No one meant more to White Sox than Minoso
        * Beckham getting work around infield
        * Beloved Minnie was a Chicago treasure
        * Baseball mourns the loss of Mr. White Sox
        * White Sox players remember Minoso
        * Rodon will take Sale's spot in Cactus rotation

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


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

        Archives
        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


        * White Sox Legend Minnie Minoso Dies..
        * 10 stories you may have missed this weekend..
        * Amtrak ridership up; budget cuts on the table..
        * Amtrak service could drop under Rauner's propos.....
        * Mayoral runoff candidates vie for last minute s.....
        * GOP's Blind Hate of Labor Union Members..
        * Illinois hunters, outdoorsmen hope for ally in .....


        * Illinois lawmakers to propose measure to battle heroin abuse
        * US Paralympians share tips at track clinic in Vernon Hills
        * Eastern Illinois University to name new president on Monday
        * Lady Gaga, Vince Vaughn take charity polar plunge in Chicago
        * Major league baseball's 1st black Latino star Minoso dies
        * Garage fire victim died of smoke inhalation, burns
        * Rauner budget could mean fewer Amtrak trains
        * President Obama remembers Minnie Minoso as 'Mr. White Sox'
        * Peoria police expand use of gunshot detection technology
        * 16-year-old boy charged with murder in Aurora shooting death

        * Hunters, outdoorsmen hope for ally in Rauner
        * Tim Butler, congressional staffer, selected to fill former Rep. Rich Brauer's seat
        * Schock reimburses costs for lavish 'Downton Abbey' office decor
        * Brauer replacement could be chosen as early as Saturday
        * Quinn advocates consumer rights, blasts Rauner's budget
        * Rauner says he's 'staying out' of Chicago mayor's race
        * Quinn advocates consumer rights in Loyola speech
        * Judge won't delay sentencing for former state lawmaker Farnham
        * Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti says GOP should court women, Latinos
        * Explore salary information for the state of Illinois

        * Illinois hospitals, health care groups oppose Rauner's cuts to managed care
        * Why even mid-sized trading firms are hurting
        * What's happening with Chinatown's Tony Hu?
        * What's going on at Quick Leonard Kieffer?
        * National Louis University's radical rethink


          * Woman delivers baby girl in car off of I-290
          * String of residential burglaries hit North, West sides
          * CTA to double speed of some downtown buses that crawl at 3 mph
          * 2 men hurt in shootings on Far South, Northwest sides
          * Traveling Negro Leagues exhibit will be dedicated to Minnie Minoso
          * Missing boy, 12, located
          * Coaching legend Gillespie dies at 88
          * $75K bail for alleged DUI motorist accused of injuring elderly man
          * Autopsy: Minoso died from tear in pulmonary artery
          * Fans of Minnie Minoso pay tribute to player, baseball ambassador


          * WUIS / SJ-R Business Report - Sprucing Up Springfield; Karpman Furs Closing
          * Ex-Gov. Quinn Begins Collecting $137,000 Pension
          * Will Rauner Get Tough On Getting Tough On Crime?
          * AP: Lawmaker Aaron Schock billed private planes, concerts to taxpayers
          * White Sox icon Minnie Minoso dies
          * Chronic Mismanagement Drove State Into Its Fiscal Mess
          * People
          * Essay – Cashing In On Cutting Carbon
          * Lawmakers Aim To Prohibit Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy For Minors
          * Legislative Checklist March 2015


          * Jorge Chapa: Illinois' majority-minority future and the age-race shift
          * Quote of the Day: Monday, March 2, 2015
          * Hunters, outdoorsmen hope for ally in Rauner
          * Our Opinion: Looking for the leaders among Springfield's candidates
          * Statehouse Insider: That's not a nice thing to say
          * Rep. Rodney Davis and Rep. Mike Bost: Strong financial markets benefit Illinois
          * Quote of the Day: Sunday, March 1, 2015
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Report talk of Houston fundraiser just 'secondhand' info
          * Scott Zeramby: Consider the environment as marijuana industry emerges in Illinois
          * Tim Butler, congressional staffer, selected to fill former Rep. Rich Brauer's seat


          * Crime blotter 3/3/15
          * Eyesores coming down
          * Dwindling resources, funding as Unofficial approaches
          * Those Who Served: Iris Lundin
          * This day in history: March 2, 2015
          * Area history, March 2, 2015
          * Obama vs. Bibi
          * March arrives with another snowfall
          * Donna Giertz: Dodds site presents problems for Parkland
          * Mount Vernon officials: Water sale would mean more for customers


          * We missed big snow, but wintry mess heading our way
          * Veronica Roth working on new series; 1st book due in 2017
          * Where to find SBA lenders, loan information
          * 10 stories you may have missed this weekend
          * Flyers trade D Braydon Coburn to Tampa Bay for Gudas, picks

          * Congressional art contest for students set...
          * Congressional Letter Shows Bipartisan Supp...
          * Lipinski nominates 22 to service academies...
          * Editorial: Is the Ice Cracking? | Transpor...
          * Rep. Lipinski Leads Letter Urging House Le...
          * Rep. Lipinski Announces $2.9 Million Feder...
          * Shortline tax credit legislation enters Ho...
          * Rep. Lipinski Announces STEM Education Gra...
          * Rep. Lipinski Helps Spur Launch of New Dep...
          * Short-line tax credit extension bill enter...

          * Durbin: Constitution Was 'Fatally Flawed'...
          * The Constitution Was 'Fatally Flawed,' Dur......
          * USDA urged to create pathogen standards fo......

          * Durbin, Kirk back immigration reform once ......
          * Can Obama’s deal with Iran outlive his pre......
          * AIPAC’s three-pronged lobbying plan: Iran,......
          * DHS Funding Tests GOP Unity, Resolve...

          * Meet The White House's New Communications Director
          * The Mesmerizing Minnie Minoso
          * A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption
          * Why Did Obama Endorse Rahm Emanuel And Not Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia?
          * Illinois House adopts Bellock measure to encourage vaccinations
          * State Rep. Sosnowski: Public Notices and Common Sense Savings
          * Pasqual LoPresti: Some of our unions have become what we were always against.
          * Jim Keating: We’re all in this together. Don’t read about history. Make it.
          * Hultgren: We Must Defend Religious Freedom Against Islamic Terror
          * Congressman Davis staffer picked to replace state Rep. Rich Brauer


          * IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather - Tornadoes, floods and severe storms can happen any time of year
          * IDHS helps more than 5,000 individuals with disabilities find jobs - Program offers necessary tools to earn a living wage and become more independent
          * 24th Anniversary Desert Storm Remembrance Ceremony
          * Illinois Department of Human Rights Announces 2015 Spring Training Schedule
          * Snow and Freezing Rain to Impact Travel in Illinois - IDOT Crews Prepared to Battle Winter Weather this Weekend




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