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*** UPDATED 1x *** Quinn onboard; Rauner latches onto term limits proposal

Thursday, Apr 24, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* The latest proposal from legislative GOP leadership caps the number of terms an executive branch office holder may serve at two…

“I’ve been slow to embrace term limits because voters do have the power to reject candidates and oust incumbents. However, given the condition of Illinois, I think the time has come to give voters a choice on limiting terms of office for its constitutional officers,” said Radogno. “Coupled with an effort to have voters decide on legislators’ term limits, this could lead to a meaningful change in Illinois government.”

Durkin agreed. “The power of incumbency is particularly strong for those holding top executive positions like the Governor. Term limits will bring fresh perspectives to these offices and will make elections for these offices more competitive,” said Durkin.

Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 69 (SJRCA 69) would not only limit Executive Branch officers to two terms in office, it also addresses circumstances where an individual is appointed to replace a Governor or Constitutional Officer, whether due to a death or another reason. In that situation, if the acting Governor or appointee serves for more than two years of their predecessor’s term, then they will be limited to one additional term in office; in this way, no Constitutional Officer will ever serve more than ten years in that capacity.

While this proposal, had it been enacted years ago, would have kept Pat Quinn from running this year, it also would have prevented a third gubernatorial term for Jim Thompson, and another go-around for Judy Baar Topinka, who was in her third term as state Treasurer when she represented her party in the 2006 campaign against RRB.

Nevertheless, Bruce Rauner is running with leadership on this one…

“I strongly support this term limits proposal. It is the perfect complement to our initiative for legislative term limits, and as governor, I’ll limit myself to two terms no matter what.

Despite his current opposition to both term limits efforts, I urge Pat Quinn to take on his Party’s legislative leaders and side with the people of Illinois who support term limits across the board.”

The ballot is filling up fast for this cycle, but here’s Cullerton on the proposal…

The Quinn campaign did not immediately respond to questions about the governor’s posture toward the Radogno-Durkin plan, but a top aide to Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, expressed little interest in the Republican legislation.

“Voters have the opportunity to deny terms in every election,” Cullerton spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon told the Chicago Sun-Times.

*** 12:52 p.m. - The Governor issued today this statement…

“I led the charge to establish term limits for legislators through constitutional amendment in 1994; I successfully established recall for the office of governor through constitutional amendment in 2010; and I spearheaded the successful effort to reduce the size of the House by constitutional amendment in 1980,” the governor said.

“I hope voters have the chance to consider this constitutional amendment on the ballot,” Quinn said.

Cullerton has not budged.
End of update.

Related Round-up…

* Illinois republicans split on Rauner term limit proposal: An aide to Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno - who opposed lawmaker term limits a few weeks ago - confirms that Radogno now supports them.

* Proposed amendment would limit governor to two terms

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- Posted by Barton Lorimor        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 8:19 am:

    ===concluded that the six members were “ousted” because of their opposition to gay marriage. But the facts don’t line up with the conjecture. Only two signatories of the letter - Angel Garcia and Jerry Clarke - were not re-elected last week. Two others - Mark Shaw and Bob Winchester - remain on the committee. And signers Bobbie Peterson, Gene Dawson and Jim Oberweis (who is running for U.S. Senate) did not pursue re-election. And in at least one case an incumbent SCC member may have lost re-election because of her support of Pat Brady’s actions with regards to gay marriage.===

    “May have”?

    Clarke got 86′d, 3 decide that running for re-election just not their thing now? Oberweis was a Stain on the SCC, so I am sure his “decision” was met with sighs oh relief, and of the 6 gone, only Deb Detmers’ replacement has come out as a Slytherin Republican.

    Love this Brady quote; same cited article in Post…

    ===“There were some [SCC] people that have moved on that were great, and then there were others that were absolutely destructive and were not good for the party and they’re gone. All in all, it was a good night, (bringing in) a lot of new blood.”===

    I have had my own issues with Pat Brady, but Brady could not be more Spot On. Some were even Stains on My Party, that are still in the limelight. Some might have even tried to be a GOP Nominee for Congress and responsible for the “Clarke Map”. Some. Some may be missed, but new blood, through the Brady/SSM Prism is more than fine with me.

    The Reagan Rule won the day, and Slytherin House didn’t win the House Cup. Good on My Party.

  2. - 8 years - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 9:03 am:

    This so called TERM LIMIT constitutional amendment that is being pushed by Rauner is not what it appears. Come on serve out the term you have just been elected to. Then the term limit starts EIGHT years after that. So the majority of the Lifetime politicians currently in office will serve another TEN to TWELVE years. It will have little affect on the current office holders. Madigan will be in his eighty’s by then and would, my guess want to retire. So in December of 2024 we can start looking for a few changes if this amendment passes. We need an amendment where the current office holder servers out his/her elected term and if they have served over eight years they would be ineligible to run again. This does not need to happen a decade for now. The lifetime politicians will be be allowed to get a full pension and it will have very little affect on changes in the state. We need a part time Legislature, that is paid only when in session. No other benefits and perks should be paid and an eight year term limit. This would stop all the Nanny laws being written, to justify I am doing my job.

  3. - Walker - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    Easy to support a neat-sounding bill which won’t have any effect for over a decade.

  4. - Walker - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    ===Brady could not be more spot on===

    Same goes for O’Willy above.

  5. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    Three things here:
    Rauner is sincere in pushing term limits.
    Rauner recognizes term limits is popular and may help him in the election.
    Finally, term limits are in effect in many US states and have had no negative impact on them enough for them to drop term limits. It seems that these states have a pretty good record fiscally and politically. They run a better ship than here in Illinois. So, the idea is legit. The fact that it is being brought up by a major gubernatorial candidate doesn’t change those facts. People supporting term limits supported them before Rauner, and will do so after Rauner. It isn’t the end of the world if it passes in Illinois anymore than it was the end of the world for any other states that passed them.

    I wouldn’t mind the benefits found in term limit states if it was term limits that created those benefits. It is understandable why they are popular.

  6. - Walker - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    @VMan: We don’t always agree on specific issues, but you’ve got a clear view on what will work in the gubernatorial election. Your predictions have been spot on so far.

    I’m guessing you don’t fully believe that term limits actually “created those benefits”, but you make a good case that they have not been a disaster.

  7. - CollegeStudent - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 11:25 am:


    Again, what is the possibility that term limits have induced such legislative dysfunction that even if there was a push to drop them, it couldn’t be successful?

  8. - low level - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    I agree with Rodogno - Durkin. They should add the legislative piece also.

    Big problem with Rauner’s proposal: only applies to legislature, and increases veto threshold. No states with term limits have it for one branch and not the other, nor do any states I’m aware of have a 3/4ths veto requirement.

    Too much power in Executive Branch if Rauner proposal passes.

    Answer: amend the proposal, have it clean without veto change. Limits for both branches. Much better than current Rauner plan.

  9. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    Again, what is the possibility that term limits have induced such legislative dysfunction that even if there was a push to drop them, it couldn’t be successful?

    You are assuming that term limits have caused legislative dysfunction. Look at the states with term limits in place. There hasn’t been any legislative dysfunction. There are no movements to end term limits - anywhere.

    When a state government is unable to function, when it’s governors repeatedly end up in jail, when it’s massively successful economy falters for over a decade, when the same people sit in power regardless of how bad things get - people who believe in change are going to reach for some kinds of reform. Term limits have not been proven detrimental to an extent where we are seeing states with term limits doing anything at any level, to get rid of them.

    Honestly, not even a low level peep anymore.

    The dreaded fear of term limits was pushed exhaustedly while I was at university. I know all the reasons given by my professors that term limits are bad. But reality completely counters them, and the enactment of term limits within so many US states has certainly given us some real world results which do not give us reasons to fear term limits any longer.

    People just get it. The majority understands that even their most trusted friend can become corrupt after being in power for decades. We just know this is what can happen. Term limits seems as naturally acceptable to them as any of our other electoral reforms over the history of this country.

  10. - low level - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    One more thought: just pass it as a new statute. No need for the Con. Amendment.

    Just pass a bill with TL, effective date in 2018 to accommodate results of this year election. Dems should support as this would be much better than Rauner by keeping the branches equal. If Rauner passes and is allowed by courts, legislative branch would be weakened considerably vis a vis Governor.

    That would be the incentive for Dems to get behind this.

  11. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 11:50 am:

    Although I am not old enough to remember, folks a century ago strongly believed that Direct Elections of US Senators would end political corruption. It hasn’t, obviously. The expected benefits touted, or over-touted, haven’t occurred with the passage of the Constitutional Amendment to bring Direct Election of US Senators about.

    But it also hasn’t caused enough of a problem yet for us to really hear any significant support of the repeal of that Constitutional Amendment either. Direct election of US Senators, just seems natural to US voters and the idea of term limits for elected officials also seems to be just as natural to voters today, as well.

    While we can debate the problems caused by Direct Elections and by Term Limits, those problems have not been severe enough to see any reform movements to counter those changes.

    Fighting against Term Limits is as hard to do as fighting Direct Elections was to do a century ago. Both feel too natural to how we believe government is to operate to change enough minds on those issues.

  12. - low level - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    Exactly, VM. Just go with a change to ILCS - no supermajority requirement either like you have with a Constitutional Amendment vote on a SJRCA.

  13. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    The voters already have the ability to establish term limits through a process called elections. Periodically they are given the opportunity to remove those that don’t pass muster. Where term limits should be imposed are on legislative leaders, who are not directly elected by a majority of the voters, but who have tremendous power, sometimes more than the Governor, who is elected statewide.

  14. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    Term limits are opium for the lazy, eternal victims. They think if they get term limits, they can go back to sleep and not engage themselves in their own governance.

    The fact will still remain, if you don’t like the way government is run, you’re going to have to put on your big boy pants and outwork the folks who are running it.

    Term limits were a financial boon for Willie Brown. Freed him up to just make money, while continuing to pull the strings.

  15. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 12:25 pm:

    Quinn is now supporting the Radogno-Durkin term limits proposal.

    Good for him. One of the things you’ve gotten right, Governor Quinn.

  16. - Rufus - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    “While this proposal, had it been enacted years ago, would have kept Pat Quinn from running this year,”

    Perhaps my calculations are wrong,but Quinn was appointed (or elevated) to governor in Jan 29, 2009, and elected in Nov. 2010, and sworn in Jan 10,2011, which would be less than 2 year. Thus by the reading of the Constitutional Amendment 69, He can run and serve (if elected) the 2nd full term starting 2015.

  17. - D.P.Gumby - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    All term limits do is shift power to the unelected. It’s a shame that you can fool a majority of the people at election time.

  18. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    I don’t remember exec branch term limits being part of Radogno’s statewide bid a few years back.

  19. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    It should be noted that the proposed amendment would reduce the size of the Senate from 59 to 41.

    Going to be some awfully big senate districts Downstate. And fewer of them, too.

    Also, California has term limits and a “fair” map.

    Yet the GOP still gets their clock cleaned there. Didn’t used to be that way — California was bedrock GOP.

    If you got no game, changing the rules won’t help you win.

  20. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    Nice to see bipartisan support for an immensely popular reform idea.

  21. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 4:18 pm:

    Here’s hoping other influential Democrats and Republicans show the same guts as Quinn, Radogno and Durkin are.

  22. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 4:40 pm:

    ===California was bedrock GOP=== The GOP had a regular shot at the mansion there, Dukmajian, Wilson, Schwartzennegger, but not the assembly in many decades. Willie Brown was the original poster guy for term limits in states. He was more Madigan than Madigan there for a long, long time. San Diego, Orange County and most of the Monterrey Peninsula were Solid GOP and most areas inland (our version of downstate) Bedrock GOP? It’s been a long, long time.

  23. - CollegeStudent - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 5:10 pm:

    ===You are assuming that term limits have caused legislative dysfunction. Look at the states with term limits in place. There hasn’t been any legislative dysfunction. There are no movements to end term limits - anywhere.===

    Legislative productivity has taken a major hit in Missouri, among other places, following the passage of term limits. I define that as dysfunction. Of course, Missouri’s also threatening to impeach the governor because he (in part) decided to obey the US constitution, so there’s your definition of dysfunction.

    Do you think a bunch of term-limited freshman legislators are going to be better suited to make tough decisions on legislation to solve serious problems? Or are they just going to stick to partisan ideologies instead? It certainly doesn’t create any negative consequences for kicking the metaphorical can down the road.

  24. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 5:17 pm:

    The California GOP had the majority in the House there as late as ‘95.

    But Willie Brown picked off a couple of GOP malcontents and still got elected Speaker, lol.

    Willie Brown has been term-limited out of the House and San Francisco mayor’s office — and is as powerful as ever. Just sayin…..

  25. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Apr 24, 14 @ 8:18 pm:

    “I led the charge” for a Constitutional Amendment for Term Limits, way back in 1994, Pat Quinn points out. A major fact on this issue Rauner has not only not ever acknowledged but has outright ignored. Glad to see that the GOVernor has conSISTently held the same position for 20 years now…is that loud and clear enough for you, Brucie???

  26. - Rufus - Friday, Apr 25, 14 @ 7:08 am:

    “All term limits do is shift power to the unelected.”
    – In the state if Illinois, maybe that’s a good thing. :^)

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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