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Marriage bill adds a new co-sponsor - but may have lost a potential supporter, or not

Friday, Oct 25, 2013

* From the Illinois Unites for Marriage website

Big momentum from Springfield this week — and not just from the thousands of marriage supporters who marched on the Capitol!

Rep. Deb Conroy (D-Villa Park) announced that she will now cosponsor the marriage bill! She adds her name to the growing number of Illinois representatives who are standing on the right side of history and committing to passing this crucial legislation this year.

In announcing her support of SB10, Rep. Conroy said Illinois families can’t wait any longer for the freedom to marry:

    “This is the right thing to do. We have waited too long. I think it’s the civil rights issue of our time and we need to move past this.”

Conroy had already been listed as one of the 34 solid supporters of the bill by the Windy City Times. And despite the fact that she represents DuPage County in the House, she defeated a Republican opponent with 58 percent of the vote last year.

Even so, it’s time that more “ducklings” start stepping forward here.

…Adding… From the Windy City Times

Dist. 60, Rita Mayfield ( D ): Mayfield’s stance has frustrated LGBT organizers and sponsors of the bill, but she remains a target. She said she wants to vote “yes,” on the bill but will not. She says that her district does not support the measure and that she will vote “present” so as not to betray the will of her constituents.

Rep. Mayfield is listed on the paper’s “target list” - those who may yet be persuaded to vote for the bill. But that’s not what she told an opponent from Lake County this week

In meeting Representative Rita Mayfield in the tunnel from the Capitol Building to the cafeteria, she informed Bonnie Quirke that she would be voting “no,” as this is how her constituents want her to vote in Waukegan, IL.

…Adding more… I’m getting some pushback from the pro gay marriage forces who contend that Rep. Mayfield has never been considered a possible “Yes” vote. From what I’ve heard, she’s been all over the place, but they’re right that in the past four or five months she’s leaned mainly toward a “Present” vote, which is really just a polite “No.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


21 Comments
  1. - MrJM - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 11:55 am:

    Huzzah for Deb Conroy.

    – MrJM


  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 11:57 am:

    Couple thoughts;

    Discussing “how the ’sausage’ is made” sometimes leads to the sausage never getting the to grill.

    Applying pressure is good, but how hard you apply that pressure to points can lead to a backlash by the very “noses” you are trying to count.

    Also,

    Keep in mind, if you are looking to count “new noses” and those noses feel they need cover, do not abandon them after you, the party asking for the support, get what you want from those who help you achieve your legislative goals.

    You weant more to stand with you, then you better be there to stand with them, when their hour of need arises.


  3. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 11:59 am:

    The Lake County News-Sun issued a strong editorial in support of the marriage bill — and explicitly called out Mayfield. http://newssun.suntimes.com/opinions/23197923-474/time-to-pass-illinois-marriage-equality.html


  4. - RNUG - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 12:00 pm:

    It’s the age old debate of do you vote your personal belief or do you vote for the wishes of the electorate? The true test of courage for a politician is to vote their conscience when it goes against the wishes of their district.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 12:03 pm:

    - RNUG -

    Yes, remember the Edmund Burke quote;

    “A representative owes the People not only his industry, but his judgment, and he betrays them if he sacrifices it to their opinion.”

    On Point, - RNUG -, we will see if those wavering understand Mr. Burke as well.


  6. - A guy... - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 12:06 pm:

    RNUG, it’s debatable, but I’m not sure voting against your district is a measurement of courage. Deb has a race where her opponent is strongly on the other side of this issue. She’s already in the camp, so she might as well tend the fire. I think having a co-sponsor from DuPage County (in any party) is meant to ‘carrot and stick’ others in the county to follow suit. We’ll see what happens. I’m guessing…nothing.


  7. - A guy... - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 12:09 pm:

    Addendum to RNUG, I’m also not sure if Deb’s district is opposed to SSM. It’s an interesting swatch of Dupage County that tends less conservative. Just the way it was drawn.


  8. - Northsider - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 12:26 pm:

    Rita Mayfield: A true profile in courage.

    /snark


  9. - Bill White - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 12:29 pm:

    If Jim Durkin truly cares about the future of the ILGOP, maybe he should do more than oppose primary challenges to representatives such as Sandack and Sullivan.

    Perhaps the minority leader should acknowledge the arc of history and commit himself to vote “yes” for marriage equality.

    After all, as Edmund Burke said (and as approved by RNUG and Oswego Willy):

    “A representative owes the People not only his industry, but his judgment, and he betrays them if he sacrifices it to their opinion.”


  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 12:41 pm:

    - Bill White -

    Funny thing about that quote, it relates to the Representative’s beliefs differing to his (C’mon its 18th Century, ok!) constituency, which may be at odds to what may be considered the correct way to vote.

    If Leader Durkin, like former Leader Cross, feel, personally, that they are against SSM, vote that way, vote against SSM.

    Rita Mayfield, I would like to think, is whom Mr. Burke is targeting;

    A representative, voting only the district, when in their own thoughts and beliefs, that vote may be against their personal better judgement.

    - Bill White -, My Party has a long way to go, and I have pushed for those that may be in Rita Mayfield’s “spot” to look to Mr. Burke, as I have asked those supporting SSM to remeber those who stood with you, when they need others to stand with them.

    I would like to think Mr. Burke’s quote is to wake the conscious of those wavering. I see less of a value using the quote to aid those voting their conscious and their district. The impact is greatest upon those who have interanl comflict, not those who do not have an internal confluct to resolve.

    Much respect …


  11. - Bill White - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 12:48 pm:

    Oswego Willy,

    I see marriage equality as inevitable and just. And, demographics always wins. Always.

    Therefore, to fight a rearguard delaying action to postpone the inevitable wastes time and resources and delays the necessary re-invention of the party. If someone high within the IL GOP were to acknowledge this and accept the inevitable, the IL GOP can focus on battles that maybe they can win.

    I also tend to think that if Rep. Durkin polled his entire House District (Ds & Rs) opposing marriage equality would not be a high priority for them.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 12:56 pm:

    ===Therefore, to fight a rearguard delaying action to postpone the inevitable wastes time and resources and delays the necessary re-invention of the party.===

    Illinois … is still waiting to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Change is on the timetable of those willing to make change, not the timetable of those requiring change at their own request.

    ===If someone high within the IL GOP were to acknowledge this and accept the inevitable, the IL GOP can focus on battles that maybe they can win.===

    Remember, the HDems, they can’t pass this on their own, and they have 71 votes. What does that tell you?

    I have said that the HGOP should make the deal to put enough votes on the bill so it can pass, under the idea that Rep. Harris and Speaker Madigan, publically thank the HGOP and call SB10 a “bi-partisan success”.

    When you have a diverse Caucus like the HDems, you can’t get to 60 on SSM, so asking a non-diverse HGOP Caucus to step up, is a bit naive to the process.

    ===I also tend to think that if Rep. Durkin polled his entire House District (Ds & Rs) opposing marriage equality would not be a high priority for them.===

    Isn’t the Burke quote about … voting against your district, and internally having conflict with that vote?

    If the districts are 60-40 for SSM, but they are opposed to SSM, isn’t that Burke in reverse?

    Understand Burke, then use that to sway. Polling and shoving results in Mushrooms faces at the same time envoking the Burke quote is a bit ignorant to what Burke is trying to pass on to the confused Representative.

    With respect …


  13. - The DuPage Bard - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 1:00 pm:

    DuPage changing? Should we see if Ives jumps on board now?


  14. - Bill White - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 1:03 pm:

    Point taken, Oswego Willy

    Votes on issues such as marriage equality, death penalty or reproductive rights shouldn’t be triangulated or poll driven. Votes should be conscience driven.

    And every representative needs to take that to heart.


  15. - Wensicia - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 1:08 pm:

    “she would be voting “no,” as this is how her constituents want her to vote in Waukegan, IL.”

    Mayfield is wrong about Waukegan; it’s a few black ministers, many from outside of Waukegan, that she’s afraid to disappoint. “Illinois Unites for Marriage ” has been campaigning heavily against her through the mail.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 1:09 pm:

    - Bill White -,

    That is what I think, (I don’t know I am is the dark as much as anyone), Rep. Harris and the Speaker are doing;

    They are gauging those whom need Mr. Burke to reconcile and vote “yes”, and then need those supporting SSM to “Be there” for those voting in favor of SSM, but might get challenged for voting what they think is correct, but might not be agreeable in a Primary fight, be it in a Dem primary OR a GOP Primary.

    All good, - Bill White -, and take solace. Speaker Madigan and Greg Harris, can’t think of a better combo on this issue to make it get to a vote, and get enough votes to get the Bill passed.


  17. - walkinfool - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 1:36 pm:

    My guess is that Mayfield’s closest supporters might be against it, but the bulk of her district is trending positive. Opinions are changing on this issue with great speed.


  18. - jake - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    I am going to say something that may get both sides mad at me. I agree completely that Rita Mayfield and others should have the courage to vote their conscience on this issue, and also agree that “yes” to marriage rights for all is the right vote. But I think the bill’s supporters should realize that it is tough for legislators in some districts to “come out” in support of this issue in a way similar to how tough it may be for a gay person to come out. It isn’t only votes but also receiving a lot of grief from people you may otherwise like and respect.


  19. - Daniel - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 3:22 pm:

    What seems to be lacking in Illinois Unites’ game plan is any effort to go after Democratic legislators who declare themselves opposed or who refuse to say. Right after their defeat in June, a group called “IL Fights Back” was formed and a website set up. This is exactly what gay marriage advocates did in NY, RI and CO after suffering initial defeats.

    But in those states, the “Fight Back” groups raised money, endorsed primary challengers and knocked off a few incumbents while giving a few others a close scare. These efforts led to success in each of those states shortly thereafter. But in IL, the Fight Back IL site has remained inactive. There is no indication that IL Unites is making any effort to encourage primary challengers to file or that it will be backing those who have filed. Accordingly, the anti-equality Dem legislators can declare their opposition without fear, while the yes votes openly worry about primary challenges.

    It is a lack of competence on the part of these pro-gay marriage groups that is hampering passage of this bill.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 3:58 pm:

    - Daniel -,

    Lemme understand this. You are going to ask for support, by threatening House members who will either be supported by Speaker Madigan, who is a supporter, or take on members who are unbeatable and will turn on you by bullying them to vote for… “Fairness”??

    lol

    How about you leave the strategy to Rep. Harris, who is considered on of the best House members to get a Bill passed, and the Speaker, who, so I hear, is pretty good at counting “noses” and knowing when a Bill is ripe.

    Threatening the HDems Political Arm to a campaign battle? Really? Lemme guess this too, - Daniel -, Rep. Harris should be Primaried too?

    Geez. Learn. Illinois is not like any other state, period.


  21. - reformer - Friday, Oct 25, 13 @ 4:09 pm:

    Conroy is certainly considered a target, as the first state rep elected from an all DuPage district since Pat Quinn ended the old Big House. Her Yes vote may reflect that Madigan is allowing targets to vote for something controversial. When the civil unions bill came up in 2010, Dem targets were urged by staff to vote NO.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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