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Rauner files over 591,000 term limits signatures

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014

* From a press release…

The Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits, chaired by Bruce Rauner, filed petitions today containing 591,092 signatures, nearly twice the statutory minimum, with representatives from the Secretary of State’s office at the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Term Limits and Reform has been collecting signatures in a statewide petition drive since September in order to place the Term Limits and Reform constitutional amendment on the ballot in November. Because of an outdated requirement for filing a petition with the State Board of Elections, left over from when petitions were divided by county instead of a single statewide filing, the 36-foot long, 67,976 page, 1,600-pound Term Limits and Reform petition was delivered to the Board of Elections by semi truck and required a team of over 20 to deliver.

The amendment limits state lawmakers to 8 years in the general assembly, while also making other structural and procedural changes to the legislature, including raising the threshold to override a gubernatorial veto to bring Illinois in line with 36 other states, and changing the number of state house and senate districts, saving taxpayers millions and bringing house members closer to home.

“All these reforms, especially term limits, will go a long way towards changing the insider culture of Springfield and send a message that power belongs in the hands of the people, not the career politicians and special interests,” Bruce Rauner said.

* From the Tribune

Rauner has made support for legislative term limits a major plank in his run for governor, his first bid for public office, and the wealthy Winnetka equity investor has given $600,000 of the more than $1.6 million raised by the term-limit committee.

All told, Rauner, national term-limits advocate Howard Rich, conservative donor Richard Uihlein and real estate mogul Sam Zell have donated 76.5 percent of the money raised by the term-limit group.

After the petitions are filed, the State Board of Elections will conduct a random check of 5 percent of the signatures to determine if the proposal has enough valid registered voter names to be submitted to voters for ratification.

The proposal still is likely to face a legal challenge before the Illinois Supreme Court over whether it meets the constitutional requirement to appear before the voters.

* Meanwhile

Wednesday in Springfield, Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno argued that limiting the Governor and other top officials to two terms in office would allow for fresh ideas.

“Sometimes we have good and useful people who feel they cannot possibly overcome the disadvantage of incumbency,” said Radogno. “and, this discourages people who are well qualified from running.”

But Democrats on the Senate subcommittee voted down the proposal 2-1.

The proposal never had a chance.

* More

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, said 35 other states place term limits on their statewide officials, and most of them are in better shape than Illinois. She said the overwhelming power of incumbency has scared away qualified candidates who might challenge the status quo. She also said voters are ready to “tear their hair out” over the lack of options at the ballot box.

Democrats, though, criticized Radogno for waiting until the last minute to introduce the amendment. Even if the Senate had approved the measure, the House would have had to add additional session days in order to take up the measure before Monday’s deadline. They also noted that a statewide official can pledge not to serve more than two terms without the amendment. Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has said he will not serve more than eight years. Gov. Pat Quinn has also said he will not run again if he is re-elected in November.

* And

“If you believe in it, you should practice what you believe,” Clayborne told Radogno, trying unsuccessfully to extract a promise from her that should wouldn’t run for re-election as a symbolic show of support for her concept.

Radogno said she would adhere to whatever voters decide on a separate amendment aiming to limit legislators’ terms, assuming it makes it onto the fall ballot.

* The group pushing to change the way the General Assembly draws state legislative district maps is filing its petitions tomorrow.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    “Sometimes we have good and useful people who feel they cannot possibly overcome the disadvantage of incumbency,” said Radogno. “and, this discourages people who are well qualified from running.”

    Better be careful Senator. This same reasoning can be applied to Senators:)

  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    Who is going to put their “Name” to the challenge, and which lawyers are going to represent both sides.

    That is going to be great theatre!

  3. - Oneman - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    Like how they have to all be in a single bound document 36 feet long…

  4. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    ===the 36-foot long, 67,976 page, 1,600-pound Term Limits and Reform petition was delivered to the Board of Elections by semi truck and required a team of over 20 to deliver.===

    12 yards and 8 tons; changing laws here is heavy.

  5. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    Let the lawsuits commence. The term limit proposal is convoluted, and a lousy idea. But it might make it to the ballot.

    “Bring house members closer to home”. This is rauner being “truthful”? Just a small sin of omission–skipping over the huge increase in the size of senate districts. Reducing the number of senate districts, combined w the increase in margin required to override a veto, also greatly increases gubernatorial power.

    The redistricting amendment is also convoluted, but greatly needed.

  6. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Have any resolutions been introduced to provide for drafting of the required voter (pro and con) info booklets. I am sure MJM will do a good job on explaining redistricting

  7. - Capo - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 10:35 am:


    Rauner was just on WLS with Kass. Typical love fest but what I found interesting is he alluded to the recent Arizona Supreme Court pension ruling and stated he believe the Illinois Supreme Court will come to the same conclusion. This guy is ruthlessly phoney. He basically seems to agree with just about everything RNUG has been reporting about this issue. Everything earned and promised already is constitutionally protected but going forward a new system is needed.

  8. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    “Sometimes we have good and useful people who feel they cannot possibly overcome the disadvantage of incumbency,” said Radogno. “and, this discourages people who are well qualified from running.”

    On average, incumbents raise an extra half million dollars in campaign funds and have a 94% success rate. Anyone interested in challenging an incumbent has to be David vs. Goliath and most people aren’t willing to take that on. This is keeping qualified candidates off our ballots.

    So - she is right.

    Will term limits fix that? Studies have shown that it definitely does!

  9. - Oneman - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Rauner was just on WLS with Kass. Typical love fest but what I found interesting is he alluded to the recent Arizona Supreme Court pension ruling and stated he believe the Illinois Supreme Court will come to the same conclusion. This guy is ruthlessly phoney

    Ok, what am I missing, if I recall correctly the AZ ruling made it more likely the current plan is going to get rejected… Rauner was against the plan, so is he being ruthlessly phoney for being against a plan the courts are going to strike down?

    What am I missing?

  10. - From the 'Dale to HP - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    Hey look, another horrible Bruce Rauner idea comes one step closer to happening!!! I’ve never seen someone with so many bad ideas but so many great TV commercials. It’s like Rauner sits in one of his mansions and thinks “How can I make Illinois politics worse?”

    This term limits idea basically guarantees government will be less responsive to the public/constituents.

  11. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    It might be executive term limits, or it could be the progressive income taxes in place in the overwhelming number of those same states that are why they are allegedly in better shape.

  12. - NW Illinois Dem - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    Illinois Democrats, and I’m one of them, need to look back to congressional democrats who stood against reform in the early 1990s. That’s how we look in 2014. Instead of pushing reform, being out front on reform, Illinois Democrats are allowing Republicans to be the party of change and reform. Not a good position heading into November.

  13. - Southwest Cook - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    “guarantees government will be less responsive to the public/constituents.”

    What state do you live in? This amendment will kick out the entrenched incumbents of both parties who are controlled by special interests and the likes of MJM. Will their replacements be any better? Let’s hope so.

  14. - Jorge - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    Term limits are good and bad studies show and aren’t the panacea term limit advocates claim. Too bad the average Joe isn’t aware of that.

  15. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    Perhaps we are seeing that when a state incarcerates more than two governors in a row, voters start thinking something has gone wrong?

  16. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    Not bad for a guy with no ground game…..

  17. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    I don’t believe term limits by public referendum are constitutional; I think the court will prevent this showing up on the ballot.

  18. - Jen - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    People do not realize the stress caused by changes at the Gov level. We went from running smoothly under Thompson to several years of upheaval under Edgar (which got resolved)- Edgar did not have the level of exp. Ryans first years were not problematic due to his background. Blago has been and continues to be a mess

  19. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    === Let’s hope so.===

    Hope is not a plan.

    Just sayin…

  20. - Capo - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:08 am:


    What you’re missing is Rauner was against the pension plan because it didn’t go far enough. He was previously in favor of more drastic pension reduction measures. No future COLAS for anyone. All current and future employees in a 401K type plan immediately. If Illinois goes the way of Arizona this won’t happen the way he wants. So yes he is changing his tune once again. Where is he going to come up with his big immediate pension savings if he now believes Illinois is on the hook for all current pension obligations with future increases? It will be many years down the road before his 401K type accounts provide for meaningful savings and these might be limited to new hires only. Remember in 2010 Illinois already changed future pensions for new hires. So down the road there is already substantial savings that will be realized. How does he intend on providing for the funding of the current obligations? The guy is a phoney. Haven’t heard him talk about the evil union workers recently either. I won’t vote for Quinn but Rauner would probably be even worse.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    ===Not bad for a guy with no ground game…..===

    Signing a petition, versus finding voters who agree to vote for a candidate, and then getting them to actually VOTE. Big difference.

    Plus, you get paid $2 a signature, you find anyone to sign, let your boss figure out if they are good.

  22. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    I don’t support term limits, but I am not opposed to them, either. If the only question on the ballot was about term limits I would not be that concerned. However, the other two parts of the amendment, shrinking the number of the Senate Districts and increase the percentage needed to override a veto are, imho, simply wrong and do give too much power to the governor.

  23. - WAK - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    I’m sure there is more research I have not seen but the political science I recall seeing has shown that term limits have the opposite effect in terms of changing the “insider culture” or promoting democracy. The increased turn-over rate empowers special interests who can afford well funded lobbying efforts, the bureaucracy and the executive branch. Term limits sound nice but they really are about consolidating greater power in the executive branch and outside special interests.

  24. - Walker - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    I have had a serious problem with this petition drive from the get go, term limits aside. We can argue term limits all day, and that is a worthwhile topic. As one straightforward simple proposal, perhaps it should be on the ballot.

    But to combine that issue with new senatorial districts, new rules for overriding the Governor’s veto, and the structure of the legislature, is a serious mistake. How much of those proposals were argued, analyzed in the press, and agreed to by the signers of the petition?

    Virtually none. They were ignored by Rauner and his hired petition passers, and not even mentioned by those few who solicited my signature, even after I led them with questions.

    These are serious issues, and should never have been virtually hidden within another proposal. I hope the courts can separate out these issues from term limits, for fair consideration by all.

  25. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    I hate to do this, but I want to add some common sense and reality to this debate.

    When was the last time Illinois had a Governor that served more than 2 terms ? I believe it was Jim Thompson, approximately a quarter century ago. Would other than the hardcore extremists have a problem with Big Jim ? Wasn’t he one of the best Governors in Illinois history ? Edgar, 2 terms. Ryan, one term them whisked off to Club Fed. Blago 1 term, impeached in his 2nd & now vacationing in Colorado courtesy of the Justice Department. The Treasurer & Comptroller offices are responsible for handling Illinois finances & paying the bills. They have very little to do with policy. The main function of the Secretary of State is to issue Driver’s Licenses, not policy making. The Attorney General is really the chief attorney for the state. The policy input from this office would be legal advice. Perhaps someone can enlighten me. When considering the above stated facts, exactly how would term limits had any impact on anything pertaining to the problems Illinois is facing over the past 25 years. Other than the secondary constitutional offices, there have been no individuals that have served more than 2 terms. Clearly term limits for these offices is not the issue.

    The amendment as proposed does not address where the problem lies, the legislative leaders, who are not elected by the voters, and wield greater power than any of the constitutional officers. Is it reasonable to look at the length of Mike Madigan’s leadership and question just what part his tenure had in creating the massive problems we are now attempting to solve. Where limits need to be created are in the offices that control what gets called for a vote.

    From realistic perspective, is it more likely for a constitutional officer to be defeated in a statewide race, or a legislative candidate to be defeated in a local race ? There is far greater turnover in constitutional offices than legislative. Most legislatore leave office through retirement, not election day defeat. So if term limits are going to fix the problems facing Illinois, why not crerate them for the legislators, who actually create the laws & policies ?

  26. - From the 'Dale to HP - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    @Southwest Cook, so it kicks out Madigan. That’s it. The GOP can’t beat MJM, so they’re trying to change the rules. That’s not how you bring about change. That’s being a sore loser.

    Everyone dislikes MJM, but everyone keeps voting for him and the Democrats. Funny how that works…

    And the unintended consequences of all this are astronomical. But of course no one wants to focus on that. I’m not even defending MJM here, but people want to blame him for everything right now. He’s not the problem, only part of it.

  27. - Anon - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    Two bucks a signature, geesh!

  28. - Southwest Cook - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    “Hope is not a plan.”

    Anything would be better than the status quo, but I’m not guaranteeing sunshine and lollipops. This at least puts an expiration date on MJM.

  29. - Federalist - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    So far, the only thing I have agree with that Rauner has espoused. And even then I doubt that changing the number of districts will produce any cost savings. We have been down that road before and then concept did not work.

    By the way, I assume that this will be immediately implemented and that those with more than 8 years in the GA will not be allowed to run again. After all, the 3% AAI was made to cease for those already retired and surely Rauner and other politicians would want to set an eve higher standard in ‘government reform.’

  30. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    Whoops, I was commenting on the term limit bill that failed, not the Rauner plan.

  31. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    Is it “Legislative Reform and Term Limits” or “Term Limits and Reform”? And are these seriously the people running such an operation?

    ==Perhaps we are seeing that when a state incarcerates more than two governors in a row, voters start thinking something has gone wrong?===

    Who are the three consecutive governors incarcerated?

    ==Most legislatore leave office through retirement, not election day defeat. So if term limits are going to fix the problems facing Illinois, why not crerate them for the legislators, who actually create the laws & policies ?==

    What is the average or median term of a state legislator in Illinois? Just because a handful of people stay around a really long time does not mean that you take a crosscut saw to the legislature.

  32. - Person 8 - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    *** Where limits need to be created are in the offices that control what gets called for a vote.***


  33. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    I don’t believe a legislative term limit would prevent MJM from being head of the Democratic Party, and therefore still continue to exert some influence over fellow Dems.

  34. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    ===I don’t believe a legislative term limit would prevent MJM from being head of the Democratic Party===

    Or Senate President.

    Just sayin…

  35. - OldSmoky2 - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    I’m still waiting for Rauner or anyone else to explain to me how these things we call elections don’t give voters the chance to limit an official’s term. Perhaps, quite simply, incumbents who don’t get defeated manage that by keeping a majority of their voting constituents reasonably satisfied. I’ve had the same state rep for almost 20 years; she responds when I contact her, she votes the way I’d vote a great deal of the time, she works hard, and she’s constantly out in the community meeting with constituents. And she wins overwhelmingly every single election. The idea that Rauner and other people who live outside my district could force her out of office seems like the opposite of representative democracy to me.

  36. - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    What’s the problem? Once you’ve been termed out, you become a lobbyist, or an elder states-person. Springfield’s power brokers seldom leave; you can find them at all of the nice restaurants.

  37. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    ===Or Senate President.

    Just sayin…====

    Someone just spit in the punch bowl. lol

  38. - Perceval - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    The irony is that people are signing petitions like this in an era of record low turnout. If they would just show up on Election Day this may not have been necessary.

  39. - Federalist - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 3:34 pm:

    @Keyser Soze

    Once you’ve been termed out, you become a lobbyist, or an elder states-person.

    Great Comment.

    I agree that that no lobbying activity or any association with any lobbying for at least 10 years after serving should have been in this legislation. Unconstitutional? I don’t see logically how, but who knows with the courts

  40. - Oh Come On! - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 6:42 pm:

    Bruce Rauner meet Michael Kasper — lawsuit expert for Michael Madigan. It may be awhile before your petitions are shredded.

  41. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 30, 14 @ 9:00 pm:

    I would have loved to sign that petition, as well as my wife and others I know.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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