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Uphill battles

Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* Kurt Erickson used the top of his Sunday column to talk about the challenges Leader-elect Jim Durkin faces…

Rank-and-file members emerged from Thursday’s king-making session saying they want to gain seats and become more relevant under the Statehouse dome.

But that leads to another one of Durkin’s problems. He inherits a campaign warchest that is lagging behind the money House Speaker Michael Madigan has at his disposal.

It probably was smart of Durkin to not make any pronouncements about how many seats Republicans might have a shot at picking up in the 2014 election.

From Riopell…

On pension reform, Durkin has voted for a sweeping package of benefit cuts backed by House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, while Rep. Raymond Poe of Springfield, a downstate favorite for House GOP leader, voted against each of the pension reform bills that came to the House floor this year.

Durkin is like Cross in that respect and might be expected to follow the same path on an issue that has not only split the two parties but also has caused internal fights among both Republicans and Democrats.

Finke provides more context on the HGOP and pension reform…

Cross, the current leader, is also a strong supporter of SB 1. So what happened when the bill got a vote in the House in May? It passed, but only 22 Republicans voted for it, despite the leader’s support. Another 24 voted against it. Cross’ position was no guarantee the rest of his members were in lock step.

Moreover, if the business community wants to retaliate against Republicans they think are on the wrong side of pension reform, they already have their list of targets. Threatening Poe supporters seemed rather pointless.

The Champaign News-Gazette in an editorial said Durkin was “clearly the best choice.” But given the information here, which shows division among Republicans on pension reform, does that statement still hold up?

* Natasha Korecki has numbers…

Last session, the House Republican Organization, a fund-raising arm for members, closed out with a paltry $21,000. Though now there’s fund-raising hope with the Reform PAC that’s called on big-name donors, including gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, to pump money into Republicans running for the Illinois House. There’s $100,000 and counting since the PAC’s Monday filing. Durkin officially takes the helm on Sept. 20.

* A Political Action Committee chaired by Bruce Rauner is also planning to put legislative term limits on the November 2014 ballot. As Kerry Lester says in her report, this is not the first time this issue has come up, and it’s generally a populist issue. Gov. Pat Quinn has also said he favor term limits.

The reported challenge comes from a past Court opinion and getting enough signatures…

But history shows that it will be an uphill battle in Illinois, the biggest hurdle being a 1994 state Supreme Court ruling that stopped the initiative by Quinn, now the Democratic governor Rauner is aiming to unseat.

“How are you going to get around that decision?” asked Charlie Wheeler, who teaches public affairs reporting at the University of Illinois at Springfield. “A precedent is a precedent.”

To get the term-limits question on the 2014 ballot, proponents would need to gather signatures totaling 8 percent of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election, in this case roughly 288,000.

Rauner campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf would not reveal details of the new campaign or what maximum term it would seek to impose. If elected, Rauner pledges to serve a maximum of two terms in the governor’s mansion, but the state constitution would restrict any term-limit initiatives to legislators.

Discuss.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        


13 Comments
  1. - sideline watcher - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 7:29 am:

    Why won’t people look to states that have term limits to see how they work in reality? The states that have them don’t like them once they realize that all they did was make the staff and lobbyists even more powerful than they are. If its really about Madigan, then stick to term limits for leaders and get the same bang for your buck. Still populist if you think that’s good.


  2. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 10:55 am:

    Term limits are a dumb idea. We already have term limits and they are called elections. Term limits are the battle cry of people who don’t like the outcome of elections and want to stomp their feet because the same people keep getting elected and they are not happy about it. If you don’t like our system I encourage you to suggest a better one.


  3. - shore - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 11:31 am:

    Not a fan of term limits. we have elections. Lots of rostenkowskis and cranes have lost over the years.

    As for Durkin my advice to him.

    1. Hire someone to help you become a more aggressive and articulate public speaker. One of the things that has doomed Republicans in Illinois is the inability to generate leaders who can make a forceful case on tv/radio in the chicago area. Cross looked and sounded like a country bumpkin. Radogno has an angry standoffish face and tone and is virtually invisible. You can’t win if you don’t show up.

    2. You need to start your day with a massive red bull injection. My memories of you from your 2002 campaign were that you had the energy of a 3 on 3 hoops game played by 85 year olds.

    3. Don’t sell out. You don’t have to be sarah palin hbut the party needs to show that it’s a credible alternative, not just a wingman to chicago democrats.


  4. - qcexaminer - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 12:12 pm:

    Lots of rostenkowskis…have lost over the years.”

    LOL on steroids!

    From Wiki:

    “Rostenkowski’s political career ended abruptly in 1996 when he pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud and was fined and sentenced to 17 months in prison.”

    Which reinforces my opinion that the only way politicians in Illinois leave office is:

    1. Death

    2. Prison

    “Lots of Rostenkowskis” in Illinois, for shore.

    LOLOLOLOL


  5. - Federalist - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 12:13 pm:

    The Republican part in this state is clueless and rudderless.

    And the demographics are against them and will be even more so in the future- particularly if amnesty is granted.

    Neither Poe nor Durkin have the stuff to turn things around in even a modest way. Durkin may get the Civic Committee and Chamber of Commerce to give some money but that won’t translate into votes.

    I like to have alternative suggestions as to whom the new leader should be when I criticize, but I don’t. And that for me is rather discouraging.

    I would like the Republicans to be amore viable force, not overwhelming, in this state. But all I see is total domination by the Democrats for the future.


  6. - Veritas - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 12:28 pm:

    “Rauner campaign spokesman would not reveal details” because there ARE NO details from Rauner on anything including term limits!!


  7. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 12:29 pm:

    What’s with Rauners proposal to cut back the size of the senate?

    Is his strategy just aping old Pat Quinn ideas or trolling him?


  8. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 12:42 pm:

    girl, that’s a good question. Having too many senators has never seemed to be the source of Illinois’ woes.

    But Rauner thinks unlike most of us. He can fill his money bin with profits from the retirement savings of our public workers and that’s ok, but now that he’s out of that game the system is “broken.”


  9. - Stones - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 12:47 pm:

    What Demoralized said….


  10. - titan - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 1:20 pm:

    +++ - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 12:29 pm:
    What’s with Rauners proposal to cut back the size of the senate? +++

    The State Constitution (as previously interpreted by the Illinois S. Ct.) is very restrictive about the constitutional amendment referenda that can initiated by petition of the people. The structural change to the GA is intended as a way to bypass/satisfy those limits.


  11. - Snucka - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    The Senate thing is just something he threw in there so that the amendment would change the structure of the legislature, which is one of the requirements in order to get an amendment on the ballot. No real benefit to it that I can see.


  12. - Just Me - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 2:13 pm:

    This must poll very well.


  13. - Downstater - Tuesday, Sep 3, 13 @ 4:02 pm:

    Since Illinois has one of highest salaries and benefits for legislators(politicians), term limits would be extremely detrimental to many of them. It is there livelihood. Therefore term limits would be good.


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