SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Reform and renewal

Monday, Apr 14, 2014

* Eric Zorn came up with a great analogy about Bruce Rauner’s proposed constitutional amendment for term limits, etc.

In one of the more memorable scenes in the 1971 comedy “Bananas,” Woody Allen’s character Fielding Mellish is perusing the magazine rack at a small store. He’s trying to sneak peeks at the erotic fare in a way that avoids the notice of a matronly woman at the nearby checkout counter (see YouTube clip below)

He settles on a plan. “I’ll get a copy of Time magazine,” he says, loud enough for the woman to hear, as he takes a copy off the rack. “I’ll take Commentary. And the Saturday Review. And, uh, let’s see, Newsweek, and just I’ll grab one of these…”

He slips one of the skin magazines into the small collection of periodicals he doesn’t really care about, then turns to the cashier. “I’ll take `em all,” he mumbles as the woman looks on from several feet away.

It’s a nice try at misdirection.

Zorn’s premise is that Rauner is attempting to get around the state Constitution’s limit of popular amendments to only “structural and procedural” changes in the the General Assembly’s Article by proposing a change in the number of House and Senate members and an increase in the number of votes to override a gubernatorial veto

So think of the term limits proposal as the equivalent of the pornographic publication in “Bananas” — the illicit yet true object of desire.

And think of the other two elements on the Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits petition as the equivalent of Saturday Review and Newsweek — conventional, but, really, beside the point.

Both are clearly constititutional.

* Meanwhile, the Tribune editorialized again in favor of a different constitutional amendment for redistricting reform

Next comes the inevitable lawsuit, challenging the constitutionality or the language of the amendment, or both. It would fall to the Illinois Supreme Court, whose members were elected with party support, to decide whether the measure stays on the ballot.

Then there’s the big disinformation campaign, on which millions will be spent to convince voters that the amendment is bad for them. Already, the state’s top Democrats are voicing disingenuous concerns that the measure could reduce minority representation.

Um, I wonder who’s gonna spend “millions” to fight this? The unions will be spending all they can to defeat Rauner. The House and Senate Democrats will be spending cash on their own races, along with the state party.

Is there a pro-status quo millionaire out there who will step in and throw big money away attempting to defeat a proposal which has overwhelming popular support? I kinda doubt it.

* And Paul Green, writing in the Daily Herald, gets the last word again

Reform is a many splendored thing. You want to be a reformer? It’s easy; simply call yourself one, e.g., every Chicago mayor since 1837 has labeled himself or herself — a reformer. As we meander into the Illinois General Assembly’s closing weeks of session and ponder the upcoming November general elections, once again its “Reform Time — Illinois Style”.

Some “reformers” want to change how Illinois legislative maps are drawn. Other “reformers” want to initiate term limits for state legislators, while almost everyone claiming reform DNA — constantly use the terms “transparency” and accountability” like those words have some biblical meaning to frame their intentions.

Statewide reform goals and philosophy aside, the main target for all this activity is Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Reformers lament and criticize “The Speaker’s” power, influence and durability, especially in his control of the Illinois House.

Alas, what is seldom if ever mentioned, is that Speaker Madigan was created — you guessed it — by reformers. Yes, my friends, over 30 years ago, a youngish reformer (who now happens to be Illinois governor) led a constitutional crusade to end cumulative voting for electing Illinois House members.

It was called the “Cut-back” Amendment” — it created single member districts, reduced House membership from 177 to 118 members and obliterated independent Republicans from Chicago and independent Democrats from suburban Cook and the Collars. And it gave a shrewd and workaholic Mike Madigan the opportunity to create a power base that would have been impossible pre-Cut-back.

Ergo, beware of reform promises. Or, said another way, if folks are promising a New Deal, make sure you cut the cards.

* Related…

* ADDED: House votes to make secret government severance deals public

* AARP backs changes to redistricting process

* Baar-Topinka tells broadcasters term limits are stupid

- Posted by Rich Miller        


25 Comments
  1. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    We’re in for a ride when MJM does step aside.


  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    –Then there’s the big disinformation campaign, on which millions will be spent to convince voters that the amendment is bad for them–

    That leapt out at me, too.

    Where’s the big disinformation campaign? How much is being spent on it? Who’s bankrolling it?

    Sometimes the Tribbies see what other’s can’t.


  3. - MrJM - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    “Reform”, like all once-and-for-all political solutions, is a juvenile fantasy. Political actors, bad and otherwise, will always adapt to the new landscape and develop one or more work-arounds. It’s what we do.

    Politics is a dynamic system and is resistant to silver-bullet pancreas.* Those who think differently snooze and lose.

    – MrJM

    *It is not resistant, however, to grotesquely mixed metaphors.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    The pattern continues with Both Rauners;

    Both Rauners tell you what they want you to know, while hiding in plain sight the question neither want to answer.

    Zorn is “on it”.

    To the “Paul Green” part of the Post,

    I really enjoy Prof. Green. He cuts to the quick the Political, and that hits me in the sweet spot I enjoy best to look at the issues and policy.

    Pat Quinn is the Gold Standart that Bruce Rauner hopes to run as;

    The Reformer who can make a change in how government goes about its business, and that change, WILL ONLY bring good to us all.

    Reform for the sake of those needing reform is risky to those who reform will impact most in the end.


  5. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    ===silver-bullet pancreas===

    I assume you meant “panaceas,” because a silver bullet to the pancreas would be pretty darned effective.

    Just sayin…


  6. - Elmira Eddie - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    Wonder what will happen when Mike M. steps down, as I recall a French King once accurately stated that “After me, the deluge!”


  7. - Nieva - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    So if MJM retires in the next few or is forced to because of term limits the state will fall apart? If he was a Cubs manager they would have fired him years ago.


  8. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    Rich - you just made me laugh out loud in a meeting - really unhelpful!

    In terms of these two amendments, I thought two of the slots are already occupied so only one of these may live, if either do. Am I missing something?


  9. - Bill White - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    I support using independent commissions to draw maps.

    That said, for all the praise the Chicago Tribune heaps on Wisconsin, perhaps they could take notice in Wisconsin maps are significantly more partisan than the Illinois maps.

    But that would be an inconvenient fact for their anti-Madigan narrative.


  10. - muon - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    CC - The limit on the number of amendments only applies to those that originate in the legislature and is a limit on the number of articles that the legislature can seek to amend.

    There is no number limit to citizen petition amendments. However, petition amendments are limited to the legislative article of the constitution and must deal with both structural and procedural changes.


  11. - Downstater - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    Let’s try term limits. What we have now definitely isn’t working.
    Those most concerned about term limits seem to be the ones who have the most to lose. The legislators and the entities giving them money.


  12. - cicero - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    == Let’s try term limits. ==

    The majority of voters in 1980 decided to give the Cutback Amendment a try. Most informed observers see Quinn’s Cutback Amendment as having damaged the legislature, not improving it. What evidence is there that term limits improve the legislative process? Esp. when there is already rapid turnover in Springfield without constitutional limits.


  13. - Demoralized - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    ==What we have now definitely isn’t working.==

    So why not get rid of elections altogether since you apparently don’t like the outcome of elections. Last I checked an election allows you to get rid of anybody you don’t like. Sounds like term limits to me.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    ===What we have now definitely isn’t working.===

    How is it not working?

    When the Cutback Amendment passed, that was suppose to bring democracy closer or something.

    ===Those most concerned about term limits seem to be the ones who have the most to lose.===

    I am opposed to it. I think elections are designed to provide term limits by the people. By not allowing me to vote for someone I feel best represents me by artifically deciding that serving longer is bad is quite ignorant to the idea of doing a job well matters little in a finite amount of time.


  15. - Walker - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    The term limit language on this kind of petition, is probably unconstitutional, if it is not combined with the proposed structural changes.

    So if the elements of the petition are separable, could the ISC allow us to go forward only on the structural changes, e.g. number of Senators, and not put the term limit language on the ballot? Or is it all or nothing?

    This is so obviously a campaign ploy by Rauner.

    I feel sorry for the well-meaning petition passers and signers. Even as most passers got paid a pittance.


  16. - Stones - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    Interesting dichotomy, most voters are happy with “their” legislators but dislike the institution that they are part of in general. People hate the idea of pork in government budgets but they want to ensure that their representative is bringing home his/her share of the bacon.


  17. - Arizona Bob - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    We have term limits in Arizona (two terms in the House or senate max)and my state rep (who’s running for state senate) said it actually made most of the GA LESS independent. Besides having people in charge of committees knowing how to manage things better with experience, more experienced elected reps develop their own campaign funding sources so they don’t have to “kiss the ring” of the House fund chairman as new candidates do. In Illlinois, few reps and senators could fund their campaigns on their own, so they’re bought and paid for by Madigan and Cullerton, and they OWN them. EG, if Franks and Drury were “term limited” Madigan would just have replaced them with someone who could be easily bought. Term limits centraizes MORE power in the hands of the power brokers, not less. Bad idea. keep it off the ballot.


  18. - Old and in the Way - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    Quinn sold the cut back of the legislature’s size as much on the cost savings as anything. The result has not only NOT saved us money but in fact is less democratic. PQ was in full populist mode and pushed it hard but there was very little organized opposition at the time. Certainly no millionaires were spending big bucks to get it passed or on the ballot……..


  19. - Southwest side guy - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    I would think Rauner would want his buddy Mr. Emanuel in office forever so he can benefit and make even more money.


  20. - sideline - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    If you want long term staff and lobbyists to have even more power and influence than they do now, vote for term limits. Oh and then when you have heart surgery make sure to ask for the guy who isn’t a career surgeon to do the operation and risk a court case on the guy who just practices law as a hobby to represent you. Politics is the only place where training and experience is a liability. Great.


  21. - david starrett - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    I agree with Green. Quinn’s “cutback amendment” made Speaker Madigan’s level of control possible. With 25-30 percent independent Democrats and Republicans on the House floor, the rules would never look like they do today, and organizations like IVI-IPO would be better able to live up to their names.

    With respect to term limits: we have them, they’re called elections. If the problem is that incumbents are better able to lavishly spend to essentially “buy” the office (like Rauner) then attack that problem. If the problem is that districts are drawn so that you can sometimes throw a baseball across them, then attack that problem. Term limits will only make staff and lobbyists (like me) more powerful, since we’ll be the only ones with any institutional memory.


  22. - VanillaMan - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    If term limits didn’t work, we’d see those states with them - drop them.

    But after over twenty years, they are not.


  23. - qcexaminer - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    Wowser! I can’t tell you how shocked I am that a lobbyist doesn’t want the status quo disturbed.

    Amazing!

    And incumbents “like Rauner” can buy elections? Really? Has the election already been held? What about unions buying elections? Okey-Dokey?

    Sorry pal, but with incumbents fully in control of all legislation, I don’t see reform that would hurt their job prospects on the horizon.

    And yes, you tipped your hand when you called Rauner an incumbent.


  24. - A guy... - Monday, Apr 14, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    He’s sorta gotcha on that one David S.


  25. - Jimbo - Tuesday, Apr 15, 14 @ 8:05 am:

    I really wish the SC would just rule it Unconstitutional already. This whole exercise is a waste of time.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Quinn presser raw audio
* MillerCoors matching donations for Equality Illinois GOTV efforts
* Question of the day
* Rauner takes batting practice
* Stagnant income, except at the top
* If the US Attorney doesn't believe he did it, that's good enough for me
* Today's number: 20x
* Cross endorsed by Democratic mayor
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Et tu, Cubbies?
* Cutting to the chase
* Welcome to the NFL, rookie
* *** UPDATED x1 *** This just in... Court keeps Libertarians on ballot
* Callis releases new negative ad
* FactCheck.org calls Schilling ad "shamefully misleading"
* Rauner zeroing in on 20 IDOT workers
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition: Crosstabs, mailers, latest cable TV buys
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* 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

          
        * What to do with your old iPhone
        * OnePlus will start time-limited pre-order in October
        * Galaxy Note 4 preorders, Galaxy Note Edge price, Nexus 9 date & more – Pocketnow Daily
        * Galaxy Note 4 available Oct 17, pre-orders starts tomorrow
        * Health Record Providers Cerner and Athenahealth Developing HealthKit Apps
        * Is Apple setting itself up for an iPhone mini next year?
        * Retail iPhone 6 Plus options tomorrow could be seriously limited

        * Rapid Heat Ceramic Glue Gun
        * iPhone 6 Plus Teardown Courtesy of iFixit (video)
        * Two New Destiny Public Events Announced By Bungie
        * Sony SmartEyeglass SDK Announced (Video)
        * Buying Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Will Net You A Final Fantasy XV Demo
        * A Minority Report Future?
        * Sony SmartEyeglass Transparent Lens Eyewear Developed

        * Hot corner belongs to Gillaspie on South Side
        * Predicting Jose Abreu's place in the American League MVP vote
        * Royals offense unflappable, even against Chris Sale
        * Konerko, White Sox stop at the Trop to face Rays
        * Sale roughed up by Royals, loses AL ERA lead
        * Royals 6, White Sox 2: Chris Sale roughed up
        * Abreu's stolen base overturned by Royals' challenge


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

        Archives
        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


        * World Peace Day Celebrations in Illinois: Findi.....
        * Clock ticking for Illinois to form state-run Ob.....
        * Advocacy Group: Time to Get WI Back on Track wi.....
        * Clock ticking for Illinois to form state-run Ob.....


        * Fake tweets stir debate about parody, lawsuit
        * Highland teachers accept new contract, end strike
        * GOP's Rauner not a fan of gambling, airport slots
        * Police commander indicted for alleged battery
        * Report: 6 SIU students arrested in sex assaults
        * 2 Illinois women die from West Nile virus
        * Emanuel backs away from naming school after Obama
        * Economy remains slow in rural parts of 10 states
        * Illinois jobless rate declines in August
        * Alleged gang member sentenced; judge cites murder

        * Sangamon Co. judge: Libertarian candidate for governor can stay on ballot
        * Illinois’ jobless rate continues 6-month decline
        * GOP’s Rauner no fan of gambling, airport slots
        * GOP’s Rauner no fan of gambling, airport slots
        * Jeb Bush headlining Chicago fundraiser for Rauner
        * Rochester resident to lead State Board of Elections
        * GOP appeal seeks to knock Libertarian gubernatorial candidate off ballot
        * Jesse White to focus on technology, highway safety if re-elected
        * Rauner’s ethics reform plan targets lobbyists, lawmakers
        * White to focus on technology, highway safety in fifth term

        * At McDonald's, the simple joy of a dividend increase
        * Oracle's Ellison, a CEO with Chicago roots, cedes post
        * Peak6 Investments sells off hedge fund
        * Rauner service tax proposal pushes a CEO toward Quinn
        * Home Depot says 56 million payment cards affected by data breach


        * Rauner needs to turn over new leaf on medical pot
        * Ald. Munoz: Democratic Party support for Emanuel in mayor’s race premature
        * Drug dealer held accountable in Chicago cop’s murder, gets 35 years in prison
        * Chicago Scots gather to await results of independence vote
        * Firefighter recounts harrowing aftermath of hurricane in Mexico
        * Amid controversy, Emanuel drops plan to name school after Obama
        * Illinois No. 4 in nation for rush-hour highway congestion
        * Kadner: Crestwood could pay $50K fine in tainted water scandal
        * Rauner unveils ethics proposals
        * NU prof realizing genius grant is no prank


        * Jimmy Fallon announces 'Tonight Show' return to Chicago
        * Arrests made after two sexual assaults at Southern Illinois University
        * Independence vote captivates crowd at Scottish bar in Chicago
        * Cops: Man grabbed boy and girl at recess in West Lawn playground
        * 4 wounded in city shootings, cop hurt in accidental shooting
        * 16 firefighters returning from Mexico after being stranded by hurricane
        * Gang leader held responsible in '08 slayings of officer, companion
        * Prosecutors: Health aide stole from 2 women, one of them on her deathbed
        * Brandon Marshall addresses history of domestic violence
        * Jury expected to soon get case of Romeoville shooting of girl, mom


        * The Best Music You've Never Heard
        * Climate, Space Create Challenges For Local Food
        * Can A Governor Really Create Jobs?
        * How do you find high school dropouts?
        * Governor's Race Has A Third Contender; Judge Keeps Libertarians On Ballot
        * Humanities Film Series Kicks Off In Jacksonville
        * Court Ruling Could Impact Governor's Race
        * Indicted police commander suspended from duty 11 times, records show
        * Despite Outbreak, Illinois Virus Cases Remain Low - Why?
        * Teen Arrested For Threat Against Glenwood High School


        * Sangamon Co. judge: Libertarian candidate for governor can stay on ballot
        * Our Opinion: Anchor’s cancer struggle hits home
        * Bob Gilligan: Advisory questions seek voter input — sort of
        * Illinois’ jobless rate continues 6-month decline
        * GOP’s Rauner no fan of gambling, airport slots
        * Esther Cepeda: Pity the vanishing bobolink
        * Jeb Bush headlining Chicago fundraiser for Rauner
        * Christopher Mooney: Evidence in policymaking — no cure-all, but better than the alternative
        * Eugene Robinson: Hillary Clinton needs to tell us her vision
        * George Will: Obama needs Congress to approve this war


        * Highland teachers accept new contract, end strike
        * GOP's Rauner not a fan of gambling, airport slots
        * Open Line
        * President, Congress should work together
        * The thrill of the theater still there
        * Looking Back (Sept. 19, 2014)
        * PCH employees participate in races
        * Chamber to host tour to secret places
        * Herrin Massacre tour available
        * Run for Hope to benefit Eagle House Ministries


        * Scots reject independence from U.K.
        * Bears' rushing attack will face tough test vs. Jets
        * Girls volleyball: Thursday's results
        * Girls swimming: Thursday's results
        * Girls golf: Thursday's results

        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * House Unanimously Passes Historic Resoluti...
        * Elizabeth Roskam Paints Capitol for Ukrain...
        * Illinois vote: Dems split on aid for Syria...
        * Democratic candidate Mason says he's 'flip...
        * Hultgren, Roskam to Host Service Academy D...
        * Ask Peter: Obamacare's Broken Promises - I...
        * Peter Roskam pushes for Alzheimer's resear...
        * Congressman: 'Some good stuff is going on'...
        * Enterprise Recovery Systems Hosts Congress...

        * 10 things you didn’t read today (but shoul......
        * 10 things you didn’t read today (but shoul......
        * Senate Democrats are going to wait until a......
        * Senate Democrats are going to wait until a......
        * Senate Democrats are going to wait until a......

        * Senators, Energy CEOs Call for Long-Term E......

        * Luftwerk's Film Noir Redemption in Couch Alley - only through Saturday
        * Skin color and support of the Republican Party...
        * Chicago Housing Activists Fight To Save A Rogers Park 'Community House' (VIDEO)
        * Emanuel Pulls The Plug On Plan To Name School After Obama
        * Members of Action Now protest for a $15 minimum wage at McDonald's
        * Rauner Doesn't Like The Idea Of Gambling, Airport Slots
        * "Your alderman is selling out Chicagoans," sign at minimum wage protest
        * Illinois Unemployment Rate Inches Down To 6.7%
        * Action Now protesters hold a rally for a $15 minimum wage outside McDonald's on the North Side
        * Judge: Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate Can Stay On Ballot


        * Quinn Misleads Public on IDOT Again
        * Governor Quinn Visits Chicago’s Hydro, Inc. as Illinois’ Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop - State Jobless Rate Reaches Lowest Level in Six Years
        * Rauner Launches New TV Ad: 100 Years
        * 100 Years
        * Bruce Rauner Announces Ethics Blueprint




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