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Not taking the bait

Friday, Apr 11, 2014

* The best way for the Democrats to use this “voter suppression” amendment to gin up turnout is to hope that somebody, somewhere trashes it and they hype that negative comment in hopes of angering their base. The Republicans have mostly refused to take the bait so far. Sun-Times

Without opposition, House Speaker Michael Madigan’s plan to amend the Illinois Constitution to ban voter-suppression tactics passed the Senate Thursday.

The measure, which needed 36 votes to pass in the Senate, cleared the chamber 52-0 and will appear on the November 4th ballot after having passed the House earlier this week. […]

Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, said this would allow voters “unfettered access” to exercise their voting rights.

“We take seriously that fundamental, quintessential concept of the right to vote,” he said. “We can send a message and make clear with this bill right here that it doesn’t matter what your surname is, if you have earned that right to vote, you will not be impeded in any way in exercising it.”

* Even tea party Sen. Kyle McCarter held his tongue

“We’ve heard the stories from around the nation of states implementing laws specifically to limit the right to vote,” said Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago. “This is definitely intended to discourage voter ID laws because of their disparate impact.”

Statistics have shown the poor, elderly and minority voters are less likely to have the photo IDs needed in some states in order to vote.

“In the county where I reside, we’ve had issues,” said Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon. “If a (photo ID) is not available, we should make it available. I firmly believe we should have a voter ID law that does not discriminate.”

McCarter did not vote on the amendment.

* Meanwhile, a handful of liberal Democrats were crushed in the House yesterday

Spurred by a gun-rights activist’s scrape with the law, the Illinois House voted Thursday to block state conservation police from going into someone’s home or onto their yards to enforce state hunting laws without search warrants.

The measure sponsored by House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, arose after National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde was cited last December by Department of Natural Resources police on private hunting ground. […]

(S)tate Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, another gun-control advocate, rose up to raise questions about the precedent the House was setting with the issue and voiced concern about any similar, potential efforts to water down safety components of the newly enacted concealed-carry law, which Vandermyde helped draft.

“I don’t think the best genesis for changing those laws is something that stems out of a violation,” Williams said.

House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, and Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, were the other “no” votes on the legislation, which Durkin said was supported by state conservation police.

The bill passed 102-5.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - circularfiringsquad - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    House wing nut David Reis tried to stir the pot suggesting the Voter Rights Amendment might clog the ballot and prevent the paid solictors pushing term limits and remap amendments. Reis apparently the day in Constitution Class when the dual amendment process was discussed.
    When it comes to voter suppression perhaps we can hope for fresh antics from Lake Co’s Willard Helander or a bit of expert commentary from the guy who was in Champaign County. They were at the top of the Illinois heap for keeping voters away from the polls.

  2. - oz - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    heh of course,

    everyone knows that voter suppression tactics must be controlled by career politicians here. Flood the voter ballots with nonsense to keep legitimate issues from getting a referendum on the ballot.

    It’s ‘for the children’

  3. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    == “I don’t think the best genesis for changing those laws is something that stems out of a violation” ==

    Sometimes that is the best way to identify flaws within our system. The person or group behind a plan, whether it be Todd Vandermyde or Monique Davis, should have less to do with one’s decision than the merits of the plan itself.

  4. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    ===Flood the voter ballots with nonsense to keep legitimate issues from getting a referendum on the ballot.===

    The next person who makes this idiotic, uninformed comment about how these GA amendments will keep popular amendments off the ballot will be banned for life.

    It’s completely false. Read the freaking Constitution. And don’t come back until you do.

  5. - Leave a Light on George - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    What a waste of time passing a state law that says Conservation
    Officers can not go into your home without a search warrant. The US Constitution and a current state law already state that. Here is the current state statute.

    (520 ILCS 5/1.19) (from Ch. 61, par. 1.19)
    Sec. 1.19. All authorized employees of the Department are empowered, pursuant to law, to enter all lands and waters to enforce the provisions of this Act. Authorized employees are further empowered to examine all buildings, private or public clubs (except dwellings),…

    Conservation Officers have some expanded authority due to the unique nature of their job but entering your home without a search warrant has never been one of them. That’s why DNR did not oppose this bill and took their public spanking in silence.

  6. - Upon Further Review - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    Rich’s analysis of the placement of amendment referenda on the ballot is correct.

    It does make me wonder about how many people will actually bother to vote on these constitutional matters?

    If a long ballot is crowded, many people will not vote the entire ballot and the fall off could be considerable.

    We will have to wait and see.

  7. - Walker - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    Smart statement by Murphy.

    Of course the local GOPers are supporting this — but they won’t admit that efforts in over a dozen states specifically to diminish Dems’ likely turnout, via structural changes to elections, are really ” voter suppression.”

    They cannot, because it is too shameful.

  8. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    At least a lot of Illinois GOPers are smart enough not to take the bait. The backlash in Illinois for supporting voter suppression efforts would be severe, I believe.

  9. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    Have DNR officers really entered private residences without a warrant? That’s happened?

  10. - x ace - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    Much more time should be dedicated to amending the Conservation laws:

    One Example is: You can end up with a Criminal Record without ever appearing in Court and in turn not getting your constitutionally required Art IV Supt Court Rules Admonishments.

    Dept jacked up offenses from Petty Offenses ( same as a minor traffic ticket) to Criminal Misdemeanor Offenses ( possible jail time )

    But procedures for posting cash bail with disposition without Court Appearance.

    Result: You now unknowingly have a Rap Sheet showing a Criminal Record

    ( see Cons. Code Misdemeanor offenses, plus Sup. Ct. Rules 501 (a) & (b), 503(a) 3 , 526 ,527 (a) , 529 ( b )

    DNR needs further legislative prodding.

  11. - plutocrat03 - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    Have there been voter suppression attempts in Illinois?

    I have been asked for ID when voting. Was that an attempt at suppression?

  12. - Judgment Day (Road Trip) - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 1:41 pm:

    “At least a lot of Illinois GOPers are smart enough not to take the bait. The backlash in Illinois for supporting voter suppression efforts would be severe, I believe.”

    Actually, the screaming ideologues are missing the problem. In most Counties, the funding for elections is basically stagnant. No new money.

    Any new budget money (particularly in IMRF counties; which is like, 101 out of 102 counties) is going for IMRF funding of pensions. Talk to the County Clerks and County Boards.

    Problem isn’t going to be voter suppression here in IL - it’s going to be the end of voter outreach efforts - not going to be affordable. Or have fewer places to vote. There’s only so much money, and property tax increases are not popular withe the citizenry.

    Anyway, whatever. Pass some more laws. we’ll figure out where to cut someplace.

  13. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    It’s great that Republicans support voting rights in Illinois because it refutes and repudiates other GOP voter suppression efforts in other states.

    I agree that the Republicans are smart for distancing themselves politically. I believe that it’s better policy than politics to strengthen voter rights.

    I wonder how many African Americans will be inspired to vote not because of politicians attacking the amendment, but to support voting rights.

  14. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 3:18 pm:

    ==I have been asked for ID when voting. Was that an attempt at suppression?==

    You don’t have to show a photo ID. There are a variety of options. The voter ID laws in other states are specifically requiring photo IDs while simultaneously taking away substitute requirements and in some states even closing down licensing bureau offices, making it harder for people to get IDs.

  15. - Leave a Light on George - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    “Have DNR officers really entered private residences without a warrant? That’s happened?”

    Sure. So have lots of officers from different jurisdictions state and federal.

    Might have been invited in. Might have talked their way in. Might have entered with landlords but not tenant’s ok. Might have lots of different ways. Some running right up to the line of good search/bad search.

    Question is what has this new law got to do with an influential lobbyist be given a ticket out in an open field? Other than make the lobbyist feel good.

  16. - The Dude Abides - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    I’ve never heard of a DNR officer entering someones home without a warrant but I can’t say that it’s never happened. I was at a friends house when a DNR officer came on the premises to check him out without due cause but he didn’t enter the house. There were no citations issued because my friend hadn’t violated any regulations. This same officer on another occasion checked this same friend out while he was hunting and everything checked out. When the officer was informed that I was also hunting with my friend he ordered my friend to direct him to my deerstand, a half mile walk into the woods. Upon arrival, he checked me out but no regulations were violated. It did kind of mess up the morning hunt however.
    Just last week I found out that DNR forced this officer to resign because he had been cited for trespassing, hunting on private property without permission. I know there were a lot of hunters in that area that weren’t too upset to hear the news because many law abiding hunters have been harassed by this guy. I also have met the other DNR officer who worked in that county at the same time and he was a real decent guy.

  17. - A guy... - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    If you vote early, you are asked for ID. It’s part of the convenience for not having to go to “your” polling place on Election Day. A small price to pay for that convenience. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone asked for ID at a polling place on Election Day, but I have seen people with it ready just in case. Some very conscientious older folks even bring their voter’s registration card…If only everyone treasured this right so dearly!

  18. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    ..And, as to the Post, it would be sheer Idiocy on the Republicans’ part if some extremist(s) try to make hay out of this–otherwise, the hay WILL get lit up and start burning fast–you could BANK on it, and the GOP would NOT be happy once that wild, “liberal” fire starts to spread and they view the resultant Destruction to key Offices on November 5th…! Shucks–it could happen ANYway, but why pull out that “BIC FLICK” or other fire-starting device just to see how it works…?!

  19. - Wumpus - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 4:59 pm:

    Smart GOP? Am I in IL? I have seen several steps in the past month that they surely would have messed up as recently as a year ago.

  20. - Walker - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 5:10 pm:

    Wumpus: You’re right, things have improved for ILGOP in the past year, and they changed leadership in the House, and the State Chair, in that time period.

  21. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 11, 14 @ 10:30 pm:

    The motivation for picture voter ID laws is suppression of black voters.

    It ain’t a point of dicussion. Google, “gop admits voter suppression” and it goes off the charts.

    The movement to bring back Jim Crow around the county is one of the most despicable things I’ve ever seen. Puts my blood pressure to stroke.

    I am so proud that a majority of Illinois GOP GA members want nothing to do with it.

    Good on you. That’s where you should be.

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