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Question of the day

Thursday, Dec 19, 2013

* Tribune

Two decades after proposing that state elected officials be limited to eight years in office, Gov. Pat Quinn says he still supports term limits but won’t pledge to make his next term his last should he win re-election next year. […]

A hot topic during the 1990s, the term limits issue has been resurrected for the 2014 campaign for governor by wealthy Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner, who is making it a major platform in his bid for the Republican nomination.

A new Rauner TV ad labels Quinn “a career politician who failed to deliver term limits.” Rauner also is chairing a political action committee that is working to put on the ballot a limit on state lawmakers’ time in office. In addition, Rauner has pledged not to serve more than eight years as governor if he wins.

“Quinn is acting like a typical politician, wanting one set of rules for himself and another for everyone else,” Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf said in a statement Wednesday.

Quinn has definitely flip-flopped on term limits, at least as far as he, himself is concerned.

But Rauner says in his new TV ad that term limits should apply to all state politicians: “Every politician in Springfield, eight years and you’re out. You’re done, you’re out.”

What Rauner doesn’t say in the ad is that his specific proposal only applies to legislators, not to the executive branch. Rauner says he’d term limit himself, but can a voluntary pledge like that be believed?

* The Question: Assuming he’s elected, do you trust Bruce Rauner’s word that he’ll limit himself to two terms? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

web surveys

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:18 pm:

    ===but can a voluntary pledge like that be believed?===

    Somebody should ask John Shimkus what he thinks about voluntary term limits.

  2. - Samurai - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:21 pm:

    Eight years he figures and the thrill is gone anyway.

  3. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    Sorry, to the question, I voted no. It’s going to take more than two terms for Rauner to turn Illinois into the Mississippi of the Midwest. I mean, he wants Illinois to be a right to work state, correct? How long will that legislative battle go on? He wants all state employees in 401 k plans, like he wasn’t paying attention to how difficult it was to pass pension reform.

    If Rauner really plans to keep all of his unrealistic promises as Governor, he’s going to need a lot longer than 8 years to get er done.

  4. - MrJM - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:25 pm:

    Assuming he’s elected, do you trust Bruce Rauner’s word that he’ll limit himself to two terms?

    Or — in the lingo of our buddy Bruce’s campaign — would Rauner #HammerAndShake himself?

    – MrJM

  5. - Toure's Latte - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    Eight years? If elected at all after four years of Madigan slapping him around he’ll split.

  6. - OneMan - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:33 pm:

    Figure he would be done after 8…

  7. - Huh? - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:33 pm:

    Since when can you trust what a politician says. It is all puffery anyways,

  8. - Skeptic - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:35 pm:

    Like “@Huh” said. “Q. How can you tell a politician is lying? A. His lips are moving.”

  9. - Just Me - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:37 pm:

    He’ll be so sick of being Governor and realizing not everyone automatically does what he says he won’t run for re-election after one term!

  10. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:38 pm:

    Voted “No”.

    Use the “search” key - “Michael Bloomberg term limits”, and read.

  11. - Demoralized - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:39 pm:

    I voted no. People like power once they get it. He’s spending an awful lot of money to be Governor. I’m pretty sure that if he can stay he will.

  12. - x ace - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:39 pm:

    No - Don’t Trust No 1%ers +(he’s .0000001%er)= Heck No

  13. - Norseman - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:40 pm:

    Definitely no. The only thing you can trust a rich guy to do is take your money.

  14. - Ready To Get Out (very soon) - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:42 pm:

    No….Politicians say anything to get elected.

    In Rauner’s case, hopefully we will not have to worry about it!

  15. - MOON - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:50 pm:

    I voted yes.

    With the over sized ego Rauner has I believe he has his sight on a bigger prize if elected governor…..that is president.

    In my opinion after 1 or 2 terms, assuming he is elected he would be bored with the job of governor.

  16. - Pete - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:50 pm:

    Seven Year Itch.
    He’ll go from Governor to Senator, or make a White House run.

    Any GOP that can break the Democratic stranglehold on IL will be a force of reckoning.

  17. - Joe from Joliet - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:52 pm:

    Yes. Eight years, probably four, will be plenty long enough to determine if he can run for president. If he can’t, he won’t want to wallow in this stuff very long. I don’t believe we need to worry about that, tho.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:53 pm:

    To be very fair, I can see “Yes”, and for the reasons of Rauner being tired of butting heads, and dealing with a Democratic Majority in the General Assembly, even if his PAC is successful, but one of the very small reasons I voted “No” had to do with $20 Million or so to get there, and no Michael Madigan, or Co-Equal Branch of government is going to run “We” out after dropping that much coin and ego to get there.

    Plus, Rauner’s “retired”, when you are a Billionaire, or close to it, what else are you going to do?

  19. - Wensicia - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:55 pm:

    No, Rauner thinks he’ll be king, not governor by the way he talks about what he’ll do if elected. I don’t think he’ll step down voluntarily.

  20. - votecounter - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:56 pm:

    I am sure he will push it in the GA but it will never get out of there. So he lives up to his word and he can blame the Democrats.

  21. - Anon - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    Newt’s Contract with America included term limits. Few Republican congressmen abided by the voluntary limits. Besides, as I recall, Rauner once talked about serving only one term.

  22. - dupage dan - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    Rauner and Quinn both supported term limits when they were on the outside looking in. How else to unseat incumbents who otherwise would remain in office until their memorial services are held, or they begin to serve their sentences?

    Seriously, how does Rauner expect to enact a term limit law if he is elected governor? Executive discretion?

  23. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:59 pm:

    Yes. His plan is to be governor of every state where he has a home valued at more than $1.5 million. So one-and-done in Illinois, then on to New York, Florida, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah.

  24. - Anon III - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 1:59 pm:

    Voted yes because I can’t see anyone wanting to take on the job for more than eight years. But in general would not trust such a pledge.

    Former Speaker of the House, Tom Foley (1929-2013), opposed term limits for federal elected officials. He was defeated by George Nethercutt, who pledged to serve not more than three terms in the House. Nethercutt ultimately served five terms.

  25. - dupage dan - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:00 pm:

    Sorry - to the post, I voted no.

  26. - Marie - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:02 pm:

    I voted no - his ego would want him to continue if he had any success - but since he won’t have much success - he may leave after 4 years

  27. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:02 pm:

    - wordslinger -,

    Bruce Rauner and Julie Oberweis can slug it out for Florida governor at some point I guess… how fun.

  28. - Hans - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    I guess the “I’m a citizen….” won’t sustain the traction Rauner needs to make it past the primary.

    Rauner is reaching for issues, and maybe this one will help him in the primary if Rutherford, Dillard, & Brady play along and act like it’s important to them.

    I didn’t vote. Probably won’t vote in the GOP primary, either, unless one of the candidates makes full legalization of cannabis a priority.

  29. - Quizzical - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:10 pm:

    I voted yes like others who suggest that he won’t like the job very much. After a few weeks listening to arguments about where to place highway exits, who should provide food service at state prisons, what the statutes of limitations should be before the pollution control board, etc. he would realize it’s a lot more fun flying around the world moving piles of money.

  30. - LGHB - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:14 pm:

    Voted no. My Congresscritter said he’d serve two terms & would go home. That was 1996. He’s still in office.

  31. - Madison - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:15 pm:

    No, because he doesnt have a chance. No conservative Republican has been elected statewide in at least 20 years, and the last Brady-Plummer dream team lost without the benefit of an army of union activists from all over America showing up to GOTV on election day. Gratefully, Rauner will also stick a knife in the back of every down-ballot Republican on his way back to the farm.

  32. - downstate demo - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:16 pm:

    Congressman Skinmuas and State Representative Bill Mitchell have served beyond the time and number of terms they promised to serve when they first were elected. You’re reformer until elected.
    Quinn is a prime example.

  33. - Midstate Indy - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    Yes. I see a Rauner winning then becoming 1 one term Governor due to absolute public anguish at his job performance, thus both defeating his argument of the necessity of term limits, and inherently fulfilling his oath to serve no more than 8 years.

  34. - onevoter - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:28 pm:

    If he is so sincere, why wouldn’t he have included the executive branch on his petition for term limit?

  35. - Ole Professor - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:31 pm:

    Yeah… Shimkus.. the “old ” SJ-R said it best when referring to him as Shamekus. Too bad it didn’t stick.

  36. - Darienite - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:33 pm:

    Yes, in fact he would only serve one term. I think it might be a reason MJM is hanging around - to “break in” the new governor.

  37. - walkinfool - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:35 pm:

    No. This is a commonly-broken campaign promise, especially from the right, when they have made it part of a larger platform.

    On the other hand, he might be so frustrated that he chooses to leave after one.

  38. - Rod - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:44 pm:

    I do not think Mr. Rauner can beat Pat Quinn, but I am pleased that more Republicans on this blog are resigning themselves to the probability that he will be the Republican standard carrier in the general election which is all good for Pat. Since Rich is posing a hypothetical question, I will address it.

    Mr. Rauner if elected would become immensely frustrated by his inability to control elected Republicans and would likely not even run for a second term. There is nothing in the DNA of Rauner to act like Speaker Madigan who has vast abilities to gain control over his herd of cats in the House.

    I also agree with another poster that if Rauner were to become Governor the Speaker would make his life hell, which is all the more reason to walk away.

  39. - Soccermom - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:46 pm:

    I don’t think he’ll last past four years. Talking about governing is very different from governing.

  40. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:46 pm:

    ==Plus, Rauner’s “retired”, when you are a Billionaire, or close to it, what else are you going to do?==

    Get bored and run for senator or vice president or president. God help us.

  41. - SirLankselot - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 2:56 pm:

    I voted no, but I’m a cynical, jaded whippersnapper.

  42. - Soccertease - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 3:13 pm:

    I said yes. #1, there will be so much gridlock that he wouldn’t get re-elected; and #2 he will get so frustrated not being able to get things done, he gladly gets out.

  43. - muon - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 3:13 pm:

    onevoter - A citizen initiative petition can only affect the legislature. That’s why Bruce’s term limits amendment doesn’t appply to statewides.

  44. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 3:13 pm:

    If he actually is elected and voluntarily leaves after 8 years, it won’t be because he believes in term limits. He’ll either have his eyes on a bigger prize or he have hated his time in office.

  45. - A guy... - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 3:21 pm:

    He hasn’t experienced the “one election after another” experience most people who run for a higher office do. 8 years would put him in his late 60s and still able to go back to private industry and be successful. I think Quinn would honor it too.

  46. - Just Observing - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 3:22 pm:

    From what I’ve read in the past, a great number of politicians who voluntarily pledge to abide by a term limit, go back on their word once they are in office.

  47. - Belle - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 3:49 pm:

    I think he would get bored by all of the process and lack of flexibility that he has outside of gov’t.

  48. - railrat - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 3:56 pm:

    voted no, my opinion is once elected whether a politician, chairman of a corporation, president of a financial institution and especially a union boss once the taste of power and the recognition, positive or even negative, becomes part of the fabric that person(s) takes on the “breathing of their own oxygen” and stepping aside becomes mute.

  49. - dupage dan - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 4:14 pm:

    There seems to be some confusion here. The question is related to how many terms Rauner would like to have. The fact that he could be voted out of the office after 1 term seems to be irrelevant to the question.

  50. - dupage dan - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 4:18 pm:

    === You’re reformer until elected ===

    My basic mantra is that any candidate who tells me (s)he is a reformer I scratch them off my voter list. If their lips are moving that ain’t rain on my shoes.

  51. - Jimbo - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 4:44 pm:

    I’ll tone it down. No, because I do not trust any words that come out of his mouth. I’m shocked anyone does.

  52. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 4:46 pm:

    Yes, big time.

    Sticking with anything long-term is not in a private equity guy’s DNA. Buy, fix, sell is the mantra and they have to do it all in less than 8 years most of the time to get the big payday.

  53. - Henry Clay - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 5:02 pm:

    I may be gullible but I think that Rauner is probably serious about term limits. After 8 years as governor, Rauner will probably be inclined to say “I have had enough”. This is a guy who doesn’t need to worry about his next job or where his next paycheck will come from. I like that concept.
    I know very little about Bruce Rauner other than the numerous television ads for him. Initially, Rauner struck me as just another guy like Gidwitz who was simply running to soothe his own ego. But–now I am not so sure? Why would a guy that is as wealthy as he is subject himself to the crap that he is going through as a candidate other than to “right what he considers wrongs”? Maybe it is just a gut-feeling but I think that maybe this guy is really out to make a difference. I wish he would have his wife in a couple of his political ads for himself. My wife was swayed to back Bill Brady once she heard and met Bill Brady’s wife Nancy. Nancy Brady is the best tonic for Bill and his “Groundhog Day” campaign. Is Bruce Rauner’s wife casting her own vote for Pat Quinn? Rauner should have his wife make a political pitch for him as Governor of Illinois to convince the female voters in Illinois. All she would have to say is “I was once a Democrat but now I have been saved. Bruce made me see the light.”Dillard once did a commercial for Obama when Barack ran for President. Is Barack going to return the favor and endorse Dillard? Inquiring minds would love to see Dillard send Barack a letter asking him to “return the favor”.

  54. - Rod - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 5:02 pm:

    Rich you should post a link to your speech to the city club, it up on their site. You had a great deal to say about Mr. Rauner that was very interesting that your readers would be interested in.

  55. - Jimmy Baseball - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 6:29 pm:

    No way. This is more of the same pathetic rhetoric people have been using for years that Rauner thinks will fool people into voting for him. I don’t believe anyone that makes this promise, but I especially don’t believe him. Unfortunately, as many people have previously mentioned, people seem to keep falling for it.

  56. - Anon - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 6:47 pm:

    He’ll be so frustrated after 8 years, he’ll definitely want out. Or, he’ll want to move up.

  57. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 8:19 pm:

    Hard to say, but probably. After 8 years there, he’d probably be freakin’ out anyway…!

  58. - OLD BRASS - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 9:04 pm:

    It takes one full term to learn how to be a “politician”. It’s the second term where they apply what they learned in the first term. It is the second them that we should be worried about.

  59. - MEP - Friday, Dec 20, 13 @ 5:36 am:

    I voted no because while I believe that Rauner would not run for a third term if given the opportunity that he would do so out of boredom with the job rather than a “I’m only serving 8 years.”

  60. - PublicServant - Friday, Dec 20, 13 @ 6:51 am:

    The answer is Yes. Spoiled, self-absorbed plutocrats get bored and move on to other toys once they’ve proved that elections can be bought. He’s ultimately just looking for another trophy for his hall of shame, err fame.

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