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Lesson learned: Don’t ‘Leave’

Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* The set-up (pun intended)…

Illinois State House members are advancing a bill that would devote $100 million toward a Barack Obama presidential library. The House Executive Committee meeting in Chicago today voted, by an official tally of 9-0, to authorize using state money for the library…Nine representatives were recorded as voting for the bill, even though there were five lawmakers in attendance at the hearing. That is because Rep. Bob Rita (D-Blue Island), who chairs the Executive Committee, employed a procedural move.

Rita used the attendance record from a previous hearing that occurred Wednesday as the vote for the presidential library cash. House Speaker Michael Madigan, who sat in on today’s hearing, clarified Rita’s maneuver, saying the attendance would serve as nine votes in favor of the library, even though the previous committee hearing was on a possible Chicago casino and not related to a presidential library.

No Republicans attended Thursday’s hearing on the presidential library.

This seems like a fair point…


Sullivan serves as the Committee’s Minority Spokesperson. Generally when the chairman asks for “Leave of the attendance roll call,” the question is posed to the person in that position. Sullivan did attend the committee’s previous meeting, which was not adjourned but simply recessed to the call of the chair. As you probably know, attendance is not taken at the start of a meeting when the previous meeting is recessed instead of adjourned.

Adding to the mixture is that committee chairs will often instruct clerks to mark committee members as being in attendance if they arrive after roll call. I haven’t spent nearly as many hours in committee as most of those of you likely to comment on this post, but I have yet to see a chairperson instruct a clerk to have someone removed from the roll call if they leave the room or are not present when a recessed committee resumes. That said, I have seen chairpersons exclude absent members from attendance roll call votes. Clearly that did not happen here, and it does not happen all of the time.

A full copy of House rules is here. Rule 21 starts on page 16.

More from the House GOP blog…

Under the rule of House Speaker Michael Madigan (D, Chicago), the House Rules committee often convenes throughout the legislative calendar to alter, change or suspend House rules to move various proposals. In this instance, even the stated rules appear to be violated.

Under current House rules, a committee cannot vote on measures unless a quorum is present and the proper posting requirements have been met. Under a parliamentary review, the following were violated: Rule 32 providing a majority of those appointed constitute a quorum of a committee, Rule 21 authorizing actions by recessed committees but requiring the House to be in session, and Rule 49 providing that no member of a committee may vote except in person at the time of the call of the vote.

From Dwight Kay…

“I’m not even a member of the Executive Committee and the Democrats chose to vote on my behalf, which is a blatant violation of House Rules,” said Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon). “This is typical Chicago politics at work. My constituents elected me to vote for them. They didn’t elect the Chicago politicians who stole my vote today.”

On Wednesday, April 16th State Representative Dwight Kay served as a temporary replacement on the House Executive Committee for a hearing in Chicago to discuss gaming expansion in Illinois. Rep. Kay participated in the hearing to express his opposition to an amendment which would exclude Fairmount Race Track from the proposed gaming expansion. After the hearing, Kay traveled back to his legislative district nearly 300 miles south of Chicago and was no longer a substituted member on the Executive Committee. Therefore, he was not present at Thursday’s recessed hearing to vote on the legislation to spend $100 million in public funds on the Obama Presidential Library.

Someone with more legal experience might be able to chime in, but I think technically since the Committee was recessed and Kay was not marked as being absent when it resumed, he would have still been a substituted member.

* Steve Brown on the whole matter…

A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan said Democrats weren’t trying to approve the plan in secret.

“Obviously, if that’s a problem, the committee will reconvene and take another vote,” spokesman Steve Brown said.

* What’s really interesting about the whole situation is that none of this was included in the AP Wire Story. All that story said about the vote…

The committee voted unanimously Thursday following a hearing in Chicago.

I would be surprised if there were not updates to this post later.

Related…

* Illinois House approves $100 million for Obama library in Chicago

* Madigan wants city to unite behind location for Obama library

* Dear Mr. President: Pay for your library yourself

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        


72 Comments
  1. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 7:13 am:

    Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    There still has to be a floor vote.

    Also, talk about bad politics. Steve Brown would much rather be talking about Obama than unemployment or Metra.

    In the words of The Gambler: “You’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold ‘em.”


  2. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 7:20 am:

    Whatever the rules or cause, the optics are foolish. The arrogance that that Chicago Democrats did this is an opportunity for the Republicans to gain more ground. You can’t say we are broke and cut pensions, education, services for the disabled….On and on… And spend $100 mil on a library? This was not a political issue to get behind, if the Democrats were really for the people of this state…. Any arguement they can possibly make will not hold water with average citizens. One of the biggest fundraisers in the history of their party could easily get the funds needed.


  3. - Upon Further Review - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 7:36 am:

    This is beyond stupid.

    The last two presidents raised funds to build their own presidential libraries. Obama does not deserve a penny from the Illinois taxpayers to subsidize his library.


  4. - Frosty-The Snowman - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 7:43 am:

    It is one thing to spend $100 million and more on a Barack Obama Library when the state is dying and drowning in debt. That is bad enough. But the way that Madigan and the Illinois Democrats are doing it by using the attendance record from a previous meeting is ludicrous. It is Madigan saying to the people of Illinois: “Up your nose with a rubber hose”. Madigan has made himself the King of Illinois and you had better accept this fact if you know what is good for you.
    This type of political hijacking by Madigan and the Illinois Democrat Party will make Bruce Rauner’s and the other Republican candidates quest to be elected that much easier on November 4th. Mike Madigan is the reincarnation of the ghost of Alphonse Capone. It is “his Chicago” and “his state of Illinois”. He will throw breadcrumbs from his table to those whose vote he needs. He smiles as they scurry like mice to lick up their entitlements off of the floor in order to survive. Welcome to Chicago and Illinois.


  5. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 7:52 am:

    You can’t be a party that say’s ” The temporary tax increase needs to be permanant to pay for the $450 million shortage for education.” Then say we need $100 for a library. This is an opportunity for someone, in either party, to be the grown up and come out strong against it. A week ago, Rauner went to the lion’s den. I would love to see the “Union Bosses” come out hard against this. Will they? Not likely. Teacher unions tread lightly, the average voter does not have at all what you have. This would be an opportunity for REAL collaboration for any common ground to start a conversation. The silence is deafening. This move strikes the common voter that we are not really in the mess we are in… Have fun pushing a permanent tax…. Rauner should start an ad in 3..2…1.


  6. - LizPhairTax - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 8:13 am:

    Procedurally, this is the correct result. If you reconvene the committee it will still pass but the Republican members will get their No votes on the record. 90% of success is showing up.


  7. - PublicServant - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 8:51 am:

    YDD has it right. You want to vote no? Show up. Typical Republican behavior. No alternate budget. Don’t show up to do their jobs in committee. Whine about the injustice of it all. Expect people to vote FOR you anyway.

    Still don’t get how they expect that last one to occur.


  8. - April Fool - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 8:56 am:

    The real story here is why was there not a single Republican that showed up for the hearing? People can complain about Madigan this or Democrats that, but at the end of the day, no Republicans showed up. They could have showed up, voted, and this wouldn’t be an issue. You know that MJM knows this - and the fact that the absent Republicans are going to have to “explain their vote” by explaining that “I didn’t show up”.


  9. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 8:58 am:

    I cant’ see why this $100 million is necessary for a presidential library. I smell a rat here somewhere. I’m guessing land acquisition, and professional service “planning” contracts.

    Rahm could raise that money in a heartbeat from his Wall Street buddies who weren’t criminally prosecuted by the Obama Justice Department for crashing the world economy.

    As far as the House vote, whatever, it will go to the floor.

    To GOP members, it’s really not a p.r. strategy to claim you’re a victim after you blew off going to work.


  10. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 9:02 am:

    It’s not about a vote or how they pulled a procedural move… What was this vote for? $100 mil to the party that wants to raise taxes in all areas of our lives. April Fool, I would take the side of explaing my not being at a vote that used trickery than the Democrats trying to explain “The sky is falling” and then waste $100 mil …. But if it is that partisan in your view, it’s your opinion.


  11. - April Fool - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 9:08 am:

    “April Fool, I would take the side of explaing my not being at a vote that used trickery than the Democrats trying to explain “The sky is falling” and then waste $100 mil”

    If I am your constituent I would want to know why you weren’t there to vote or at least speak out against what was going on. And its not that you decided to be absent because it was a vote that “used trickery”… the vote occurred because no opposition showed up!


  12. - Reader - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    If you don’t show up to vote, don’t be shocked when Chicago Democrats vote in your place. They’re been doing in our voting booths for decades!


  13. - Jacob S - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    The vote would have happened either way. You can not spend money that you don’t have. You can not go after Public Employee Pensions and School funding and then spend 100 million for the library.

    People who are not partisan are not going to look passed who wants to spend 100 million because some law makers did not show up.

    The law makers who are against this spending are on the right side of the average Illinois voter and public employee who see the State going after pensions and schools.


  14. - Jacob S - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 9:40 am:

    Look past


  15. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    I don’t see why the state is so eager to hand over 100 million. I wonder if it’s not just Illinois Dems throwing their weight around/embarrass the ILGOP superminority. Not only is it wasteful spending, but it’s wasteful spending that will celebrate a two term Democrat.


  16. - Jacob S - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    They are very unethical too.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    ===Illinois Democrat Party===

    Illinois Democratic Party. Please learn.

    ===Madigan has made himself the King of Illinois and you had better accept this fact if you know what is good for you.===

    Is that you John Kass?

    ===…will make Bruce Rauner’s and the other Republican candidates quest to be elected that much easier on November 4th. Mike Madigan is the reincarnation of the ghost of Alphonse Capone. It is “his Chicago” and “his state of Illinois”. He will throw breadcrumbs from his table to those whose vote he needs. He smiles as they scurry like mice to lick up their entitlements off of the floor in order to survive. Welcome to Chicago and Illinois.===

    “This type of ‘Talking in a phone booth to no one’ and the Illinois Democratic Party and its aparatus will make Bruce Rauner’s and the other Republican candidates quest to be elected that much harder on November 4th. ‘Bruce Rauner’ is the reincarnation of the ghost of the Real Bruce Rauner. It is “his Chicago” and “his state of Illinois”, once he buys it, or gets Rahm to understand the ‘Tom Hagen’ rules. Rauner would throw breadcrumbs from his table to those whose vote he needs. Rauner thinks he will smile as they scurry like mice to lick up their entitlements off of the floor in order to survive. Welcome to Chicago and Illinois.”

    Better.

    To the Post,

    If you want to see what would happen if My Party just doesn’t show up, here ya go.


  18. - persecuted - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    So what happens to the money when museum is built in Hawaii; of course, trips to Hawaii for grand opening.


  19. - Commonsense in Illinois - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    I normally don’t get too excited when things happen that don’t exactly conform to the Rules of the House (or Senate for that matter). But this is different.

    In this instance there is a committee “vote” for a $100 million project, and just under half of the committee members weren’t in attendance. While the chair can use an attendance roll call, Leave must be granted, and traditionally that means the minority agrees to the request. In this case that didn’t happen.

    I’m wondering if the Speaker had previously alerted the House Minority Leader of his intentions for the hearing? If not, my suggestion is the Speaker return the matter to the committee for another vote next week and issue an apology for the oversight.

    Regardless, on Tuesday there’s gonna be a ruckus on the House Floor.


  20. - Langhorne - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    Its not like its real money, right, bec its from capital projects. We need a library more than infrastructure like roads, bridges, etc.?


  21. - Downstate Illinois - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    April Fool, the real question here is why is the committee holding a vote outside the state capitol. It’s one thing to hold an information gathering hearing in another part of the state, it’s something else to conduct official business elsewhere.

    I realize it may be constitutional, but it doesn’t pass the smell test, especially since the rule seems to be we only hold a vote in Chicago when we need do so something hinky.


  22. - capjunkie - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    I have noticed that democrats seem to always show up for these hearings, but the republicans never do. What does that say about the GOP and their willingness to work?


  23. - April Fool - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    “April Fool, the real question here is why is the committee holding a vote outside the state capitol.”

    I don’t really understand why this is important. Can you explain?


  24. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    It say’s volumes of strategy and comments here. To try and make this obvious ploy as the Rebublicans not willing to work won’t play well with average citizens. It smells. I am waiting for one of the comments to address the issue that matters. Not how a vote past a committee in Chicago, but please, I want to hear how bad funding is in Illinois? Clearly, the Super majority by backing this, has a plan better they have for education than slashing. They have $100 mil for a library. This is a partisan move, there has to be a unified response from “union bosses” good democrats, and good republicans. I know all of them exist, time to show up…


  25. - April Fool - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    “I am waiting for one of the comments to address the issue that matters. Not how a vote past a committee in Chicago, but please, I want to hear how bad funding is in Illinois?”

    It is bad. I don’t think this bill passes the full House.


  26. - Not Five Thirty Eight - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    So the Republican legislators failed to show up for work…..

    Then to cover up the fact they were playing hooky they yell about what Dems did……

    While the GOPs were not doing their jobs?

    LOL.

    Nobody cares except rabid conservatives and people trying to make money off them.

    Expect a FOX Broken News alert any moment…


  27. - April Fool - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Or the Senate for that matter.


  28. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    What is bad? Funding? How is it bad if there is $100 mil for this? This is a simple question that every voter will ask when they go to vote for a school referendum. How can they REALLY need the money? A day after they said the sky is falling, they had $100 mil for a library. Retirees, schools, and all of the unions that represent are shown to be the sham they are by not responding now… Now, through that lens, either one of Bruce Rauner’s certainly has become that more enticing.


  29. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    Not five thirty…Let’s see how this plays out, it’s not about procedure… If you think Madigan would choose your line of response over the MONEY we don’t have response, we will see in days to come. If you have a super majority and you claim the sky is falling, they listened to only their point of view on this. This is ripe for a question of the day….


  30. - April Fool - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    “What is bad? Funding?”

    Yes, which is why I said I don’t think this bill will pass the full House or Senate.


  31. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    The committee vote is a non-issue in my mind, but I’m totally against $100 million in state funds for this project.

    Obama will have no problem raising private funds. If it takes $100 million in state funds to get him to choose Chicago, forget it. He can put it in Honolulu. Or Nairobi, lol.

    Strange fact: The Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library is located in Starkville, MS, home of Mississippi State University.

    Who knew Mississippians would be so welcoming of Grant? Got to be an interesting story there somewhere.


  32. - Walker - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    This has no actual impact, except for whining to the press. The votes can be reheld or changed for PR purposes. The final decision is on the floor regardless.

    Sullivan, as minority spokesperson, should have called Rita to let him know he wouldn’t attend, and Rita then should have discussed how to handle leave to continue with the roll. They’re both reasonable and responsible people.

    Of course, the House floor will blow up on Tuesday, with someone delegated to yell and throw papers up to the ceiling. Any bets on the ear-bending shrieker of the day? Or has Durkin toned the caucus down to audible arguments?

    Then hopefully all will get back to their jobs.


  33. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    I need to stop, I am sorry. I am just so frustrated… We should want better for our State and the future for our kids. We are in a mess and those who made it don’t care. Both sides of the aisle own that for many years.


  34. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    Should you show up to every committee hearing, business meeting, public hearing, caucus meeting, legislative session and work day? Yes.

    Is it dishonest and a misrepresentation of the facts to cast ghost votes? Yes.

    Bur it is fascinating to see some individuals focusing on anything and everything other than the core issue here:

    Who in their right mind thinks it is more important to spend $100 million that we supposedly do not have on a museum which is traditionally built using private funds rather than schools, medical centers, tax reduction, or any number of other things?

    Bizarre.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    - Formerly Known As… -,

    You are On It.

    However, the Post header speaks to the issue, for me.

    I totally understand, and am not in favor of $100 Million to a library, today, given any and all factors, pick yer avenue.

    To that, you can’t just not show up, whine and beat your chest, and expect reasonable people to take the outcry seriously.

    I grant the dissenters everything; Procedural “issues” might be at play, the real cost, is there a benefit, all of those, I give credence to, period.

    However, you ain’t there, you can’t claim the mantle of fighting for me in your absence.

    Lesson learned? I hope …


  36. - forwhatitsworth - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    I thought Illinois was broke!


  37. - Norseman - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    I’m not a fan of Obama, but he is president and there will be a museum. Financially, its better for Illinois if it’s in Chicago rather than Hawaii. I don’t begrudge a little seed money, but my eyebrows are raised by $100 million. IMHO, this is a tourist attraction and tourist funding could be the source for some funds. But as Word points out, there are tons of folks who would be happy to fork over money for Obama. Rahm can put the arm on his brother and their Hollywood friends and I bet a lot of money could be raised.

    If Obama wants to thumb his nose at the state where his political career started and blossomed and choose another location because the seed money from the state is less than $100 million, than that reflects poorly on him.


  38. - Wumpus - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    I am sure that PresBama can raise money on his own or with a committee and does not need to rob the teachers of their pensions or children of their school funds. $100 million buys a lot of dreams of my Father.

    It would create jobs and jobs are good.


  39. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    Illinois is BROKE only for certain people, like teachers, public employees, firefighters, police. Who cares about their services? When taxpayers are asked to pay more taxes, they need to remember the DePaul stadium, the Obama library things like this–NOT have the excuses blamed on those excessive 30K pensions retired public servants actually have to live on. Scamming (and skimming) has been honed to perfection in this state by our politicians.


  40. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    Anonymous… You should along with every teacher and union memeber in this state contact Union Leadership. And ask them, “What is your response to this?” Then they either file Slander charges against Rauner calling them “Union Bosses” or vote for anything but Democrat. Vote Willy if you must. But not reward this anymore. Union members and pension contributors which I am, should be appalled.


  41. - DuPage - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    What fund would they pull the money from? I could support it if they wanted to put a “would you like to voluntarily donate to” checkbox on the IL-1040 form. I could not support the money taken from other revenues.


  42. - MyTwoCents - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    @ Wordslinger, the US Grant Association used to be at SIUC then a few years ago the Association and all the papers moved to Mississippi St. I don’t remember all the details but if I remember correctly it had something to do with the head of the Association already being on the Faculty down there.


  43. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    – the US Grant Association used to be at SIUC then a few years ago the Association and all the papers moved to Mississippi St. I don’t remember all the details but if I remember correctly it had something to do with the head of the Association already being on the Faculty down there.–

    I’m guessing the people of Vicksburg didn’t take up a collection to encourage the move, lol.


  44. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    Oswego Willy - very valid points.

    What’s one of the first rules not just in politics but in life?

    Show up.


  45. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Walter Mitty

    I don’t want to vote for any of them. They’re all cut from the same cloth. Six of one and half a dozen of the other. Phone calls and lawsuits don’t seem to measure up to the deck stacked against us. It will take something much more than that.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    - Formerly Known As… -,

    Yeah. Good place to start, showing up.

    To the Post,

    I also believe - Norseman - has some valid points, as do others, about Illinois is the plce that brought Barak Obama to become President Obama, and Illinois is a beyond logical place for it.

    For the Committee/Commission to dismiss Illinois/Chicago becasue of the $100 Million not happening is their “call”, but it completely ignores the personal political history not having it in, at least, Illinois.

    Private fundraising could reach lofty goals. The tourism to the library would be a good selling point to donors, wanting to showcase Mr. Obama in his home state.

    Chicago and Ilinois should be on the list, but let’s figure out what that means to be on the list too.


  47. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    Oswego Willy -

    Yep. This museum is winding up in Chicago, regardless of whether or not taxpayer money is used abnormally to help construct it instead of, say, repairing schools. Especially after the fundraising record-breaking support major Chicago donors have provided over the years. Just look at who is leading the selection committee:

    “The foundation is led by Chicagoan Nesbitt, the co-CEO of The Vistria Group and treasurer of Obama’s two White House campaigns; Julianna Smoot, a co-chair of the 2012 re-election bid and the 2008 National Finance Director and J. Kevin Poorman, the Wilmette businessman who took over several companies run by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker when she stepped down to join Obama’s cabinet.”


  48. - PolPal56 - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    Since December 3, every time the Governor or the Speaker or anyone in the GA comes up with a new spending program, it makes me very happy.

    I envision the retirement system and union lawyers standing before the ISC, laying out all of these grand new plans that the State has to spend money while it is crying “we’re so broke we can’t honor our contract with our retirees!”

    And I smile, and I await the restoration of my pension…


  49. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    I wonder if HGOP isn’t kind of okay with this passing out of committee. It certainly fits in with their argument that ILDems are overblowing the cuts required from the state budget

    “Madigan and Quinn say the state needs every last dollar from your wallet for the schools and yet…”


  50. - Left Leaner - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    The politics and financing aside, this is a terrible way to get Obama’s presidential library going. Someone in the White House - someone who’s invested in the image and legacy of this president - might think about placing a few polite (or not so polite) “Ahem, uh guys…” calls.


  51. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 1:41 pm:

    Greg Hinz puts it really well in his column. I like his work in general, but this one was exceedingly good.

    @PolPal56 - don’t forget the $1.5 billion corporate income tax cut recently proposed. Funny how money just “magically” appears for certain pet projects and proposals.

    But yeah, we’re broke.

    Our only options, to listen to some tell it, are kicking orphans into the street or making the “temporary” tax hike permanent. No in-between or middle ground whatsoever. Listen to what I say, but pay no mind to what I actually do.

    Sheesh.


  52. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    PolPal56

    Agree with you-however they think we’re all too dumb to notice the discrepancy between what taxpayer money is/isn’t being spent on. And, apparently with all those Illinois is Broke billboards and Tribune editorials, some of us are just dumb enough to buy the idea that pensions are bankrupting our state but foo-foo like this is invisible in the budget.


  53. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    I’m wondering now if this state funding proposal has something to do with the heat the Clinton and W library committees took for raising money while both presidents were still in office.

    Donors can be anonymous, although stories were pieced together later that some big money for both libraries came from Middle Eastern oil sheiks while the presidents were still in office.

    Yeah, that’s not cool.

    If there needs to be seed money to get the ball rolling for the Obama library, I’m okay with that, as long as there’s an ironclad legal agreement to pay the state back.

    Neither Clinton or W had any problem raising private money. I can’t imagine Obama will.

    Heck, they should just tie it in with the “Star Wars” musuem Lucas is looking at Chicago for. The Jedi Master could bankroll them both out of pocket change.


  54. - A guy... - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    To anyone who is defending or justifying this parliamentary maneuver, shame on you. Using the open roll call of one meeting to sabotage the other party on another topic entirely is the height of hypocrisy and bad faith.

    Everyone wants kumbaya moments with people dancing across the aisle to embrace a good idea or positive policy. How in the world is this not “poisoning the well?”

    If you’ve watched the convoluted nature of committee work in Springfield over the years, this won’t surprise you at all. It’s chaos on a good day. If you had to show up to vote (even on the floor!) there would rarely be a full vote on anything. Members frequently vote each other’s buttons. If you have to go to the bathroom and you don’t want to misvote, you’d better take your key.

    Cute victory in committee. Can’t wait to see the wonderful acrimony this creates on the floor. Worse yet, every competitive Democrat will be tagged with this in literature, robo-calls and everything else in the November election. You’re already seeing it; No money for teachers, cops and firemen, but a cool 100 Mil for a Presidential Library for a President who got filthy rich becoming President. I’d say that guy owes this state a helluva a lot more than it owes him. He can afford to build it without a dime from the people of this state. How many visitors do you suppose it would have in Hawaii vs. Chicago. There would easily be 10x as many here. This guy’s all about his legacy. Let him pay for it.

    For God’s sake, no one should defend the little legislative coup. All it did was set any cooperation back even further. It makes me sick.


  55. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    –If you’ve watched the convoluted nature of committee work in Springfield over the years,…–

    You’d realize committee work is virtually meaningless.

    Brown said if there is a problem, they’ll reconvene the committee and take another vote. Balance in The Force will be restored.


  56. - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    ==For God’s sake, no one should defend the little legislative coup.==

    Oh please. It’s not the end of the world. As you said, committees can be convoluted sometimes. Hopefully they put it up for a vote again and we can move on.

    The hyperventilating on this issue makes me sick.


  57. - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    One more thing. It’s a committee. It’s pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Anybody who’s had the pleasure of attending committee meetings I’m sure has also had the pleasure of those occasions where committee members are replaced and committees are packed with members who will all vote one way or the other on a bill. This isn’t a big deal. The world will go on.


  58. - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    “pleasure of WITNESSING those occasions”


  59. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    ===It’s not the end of the world.===

    Agreed.

    If this was 3rd Reading and buttons were being pushed and verifications being ignored, then you have my attention.

    You don’t show up, you don’t show up, and something like this occurs.

    It’s more of a Lesson to My Party, than a legislative manuver to usurp democracy.


  60. - A guy... - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    ===wordslinger - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:20 pm:
    –If you’ve watched the convoluted nature of committee work in Springfield over the years,…–
    You’d realize committee work is virtually meaningless.
    Brown said if there is a problem, they’ll reconvene the committee and take another vote. Balance in The Force will be restored.

    - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:32 pm:
    ==For God’s sake, no one should defend the little legislative coup.==
    Oh please. It’s not the end of the world. As you said, committees can be convoluted sometimes. Hopefully they put it up for a vote again and we can move on.
    The hyperventilating on this issue makes me sick.===

    True Slinger, they’ll open it up and vote again. And the first “recorded vote” will cease to exist, right? (We both know the answer to this)

    Demoralized, it is not the end of the world. Though every comment you write belies that beautiful name you’ve picked out for yourself. What makes you hyperventilate there Demo? Is it Pension Reform, Education, Medicare, or Anything that we need our legislature to work together on to get right? This little “gotcha” moment set all that cooperation back. We’ll see how long. In the meantime, get back to the shallow end of the pool. You’re kinda heavy for the real swimmers to keep afloat.


  61. - A guy... - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:45 pm:

    Willie, the moment you stop being an apologist for all things “our party” will be the moment I think you actually are trying to advance “our party”. Buttons are pushed on third readings all the time by people whose DNA doesn’t match the elected member. In Illinois, it’s like Pirates of the Caribbean, not real laws, more like guidelines. They pulled one over on us. Just good old fashioned fun in Central Illinois. It’s no wonder the electorate is more sick of this than I am.


  62. - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    ==In the meantime, get back to the shallow end of the pool. You’re kinda heavy for the real swimmers to keep afloat.==

    Still arrogant as always aren’t you @A guy. I forgot you’re the smartest kid on the block. I’ll try to keep that in mind next time I comment.

    ==What makes you hyperventilate there Demo? Is it Pension Reform, Education, Medicare, ==

    Yeah. Those would be the IMPORTANT things to hyperventilate about, not some dopey committee hearing that means absolutely nothing. If you want to get your knickers in a bunch over it be my guest. It’s wasted energy in my opinion.

    ==Demoralized, it is not the end of the world. ==

    See. We sometimes agree.


  63. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    If this was 3rd Reading and buttons were being pushed and verifications being ignored, then you have my attention.

    You don’t show up, you don’t show up, and something like this occurs.

    It’s more of a Lesson to My Party, than a legislative manuver to usurp democracy.


  64. - A guy... - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    ++++Demoralized - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    Still arrogant as always aren’t you @A guy. I forgot you’re the smartest kid on the block. I’ll try to keep that in mind next time I comment.+++

    I could see how you might feel that way Demo, but no, I’m not the smartest guy on the block. If I’m lucky I get smarter talking to smarter people. I’m having no luck with you.


  65. - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    @A guy:

    I’ll be the bigger guy in this conversation since you continue to be so small.

    Have a nice Easter.


  66. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 3:04 pm:

    Do Arizona Bob and A Guy know each other?


  67. - A guy... - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    Does anyone know Anonymous? Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

    Demo, I accept your wishes for a nice Easter and wish the very same to you.


  68. - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    @A guy:

    You may make fun of my screen name but it was created shortly after my son was diagnosed with cancer. I never changed it because of the “sock puppetry” rule.

    As for the topic at hand, my only point is that in the grand scheme of things this isn’t a big deal. Do I find it tasteless? Yes. But it won’t keep me up at night. I wish, as you do, that our illustrious legislators might focus on more important things.


  69. - A guy... - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    Demoralized, In serious response to you: Your screen name means something different with the moving explanation of how you chose it. I’m very sorry to hear of your son’s situation. As it is the end of Holy Week, I shall remember you and he in my prayers. I shall refrain from ever mentioning the screen name again in jest now that I’ve been made aware of it’s origins. Retroactive apologies for doing so in the first place.

    To your second point, I frustratingly agree to a point. But if we can’t get past these terribly silly games, how can we confront the bigger things? It’s only a big deal because they refuse to deal with the real big deals and people’s lives and livelihoods hang in the balance. It’s cruel to be dishonest, even if the message is difficult, it’s more cruel to leave people guessing.

    My sincere wishes for a Happy Easter and my prayers will include both you and your son.


  70. - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    @A guy:

    It’s all good. Thank you.


  71. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 4:28 pm:

    The claim that it is somehow “OK” because it was “just” a committee meeting is disturbing to me.

    I understand that many here do not view it as a big deal to cast votes for someone if they tell you how they want to vote on something and have to step away from their seat for moment. I also understand their perspective that it would be even less of a big deal during a committee hearing, whether or not someone tells you how they want to vote on something.

    I cannot help myself though. I didn’t like it when someone voted Jacqueline Collins’ button against her wishes on the gaming bill, either.

    It just doesn’t feel like the way a healthy, honest and open system should operate, whether the intent is innocent or not, and whether it is “just” a committee hearing or not.


  72. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 18, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    - FKA -,

    The title of the Post says it all;

    Lesson Learned: Don’t ‘Leave’…

    This is an instance that has bad optics, but what it really is about is that if you are going to be against something in Committee, be there.

    It’s not trivial, it’s not disregarded, it’s just an instance where being lazy to the process and then complaining about it is bad form, but thank goodness, no harm in the long view.

    If the members were there, this would not be an issue or a partisan talking point to the Chamber.

    There is no delight.


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