Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Fumigation and reform
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Fumigation and reform

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009

* More fumigation

Four of the state’s largest public-employee pension systems would face a major shakeup at the top under a plan by key statehouse Democrats to purge holdovers from ex-Gov. Blagojevich’s scandal-tainted tenure, several sources briefed on the ethics proposal said Monday.

The plan, which will be unveiled today, would end the terms of the current gubernatorial appointees on the boards of the Teachers Retirement System, the State Universities Retirement System, the State Employees Retirement System and the Illinois State Board of Investment.

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column takes up the ethics issue and how it may play out in Springfield…

Both Gov. Pat Quinn and House Speaker Michael Madigan have said they’d like to see Illinois politics and government cleaned up before any deficit-closing tax increases are debated.

It’s doubtful, of course, that the two men are talking about the same sort of cleanup - with Madigan coming from the old school and Quinn being the decades-long reformer.

Madigan mentioned two targets for reform the other day when talking to public television: The pension systems and the state’s purchasing act. He didn’t elaborate much. A spokesman said ideas are being developed, but Madigan does want some of the state’s purchasing reforms from a few years ago applied to the state pension systems.

Quinn, meanwhile, has pushed binding public referenda, campaign contribution limits and a whole host of other ideas that are never very popular in Springfield. Good government groups and some newspapers have made contribution caps their top priority, partly because disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s campaign funding apparatus was so obscene.

So, where does it go from here?

Senate President John Cullerton may have pointed the way last week when he told a downstate newspaper’s editorial board that he believes campaign contribution limits will become the law in this state. Illinois is one of just a handful of states that places no limits on contributions. Cullerton didn’t elaborate about how high he’d place the cap, but Madigan has said he worries that wealthy candidates or interest groups could overwhelm opponents with a huge barrage of uncapped spending.

If caps are put in place, they will likely wind up being higher than the federal government’s $2,400 per election for individuals and $5,000 per year for political action committees. A starting point may be Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno’s proposal to limit contributions to $10,000 per year from all sources.

Despite what you may think, gigantic contributions of $100,000 or more are the exception, not the rule in Illinois. But $25,000 checks are more common. The despicable Blagojevich apparently set $25,000 as his ticket price for appointments to some state boards and commissions.

Cullerton and Madigan co-chair a special bicameral committee created to come up with ethics reforms. But that legislative committee has a competitor out there, a special citizens commission formed by Gov. Quinn and run by respected former federal prosecutor Patrick Collins.

As I write this, Collins is preparing to unveil his commission’s proposals. It’s widely expected the Collins commission will propose far more radical ideas than the Madigan/Cullerton committee, and members will be way more wedded to their recommendations. One member of the Collins-headed commission told a Rockford audience at a recent town hall meeting that he would feel “very disenfranchised” if the commission’s recommendations were swept under the rug.

Quinn is proud of his reformer reputation, so implementing real change is one of his top priorities. But he also wants to pass a multibillion-dollar, job-creating capital construction plan, and he absolutely must have a balanced budget by the end of this spring’s legislative session. He needs cooperation from the General Assembly and their leaders to succeed, so he has to be somewhat careful how he proceeds on his reform agenda.

Collins and his commission have been operating independently from Quinn. The governor’s office has been given no real idea how far and wide the commission will go. And if they go too far and push too forcefully, Quinn will be put smack dab in the middle of any potential clash between the commission and the Madigan/Cullerton committee. The governor’s own commission could put him in a major political bind.

A saving grace might be the fact that Collins didn’t put any members of the state’s “good government” groups on his commission. While they’re often ignored at the Statehouse, if the groups decide to act as a sort of referee between the “too tame” and the “not gonna happen,” they could help shape the final product’s outcome.

And Quinn may have given himself a somewhat graceful way out if he has to pull the plug on the reform push. The governor said last week that he would initiate a statewide petition drive to make contribution caps the law of the land if the legislature fails to act. He probably can’t do that under the state’s constitution, but it’ll be a fun summer project for the guy.

* Related…

* Reform group includes Harper in complaints on Illinois lobbying: A new report by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform set to be released today shows Harper officials increased their spending on clout-heavy lobbyists last year by 50 percent, from $84,000 in 2007 to $126,000 in 2008. The report analyzes lobbying efforts from dozens of governmental agencies to highlight how much taxpayer money is being spent to lobby other taxpayer-funded entities, and cites Harper’s lobbying expense as a troubling example of the practical costs of passing legislation in Illinois.

* Panel discusses ways to change legislative redistricting in Illinois

* IL Senate President Says Some Privacy Needed in Government: “You always have to have certain privacy with regard to legislative strategy but debating public policy should always be open to the public.” A spokesperson for House Speaker Michael Madigan says a state committee on political reform could look at the issue as well. But he says that might not be necessary because all final legislative decisions are made out in public.

* Reform Politics in Illinois

- Posted by Rich Miller        

11 Comments
  1. - Ghost - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:42 am:

    Quinn needs to move away from his “Ready, Fire, Aim” appraoch if he expects to get things done. Its ok to be thoughtful and have a 5 year plan prepared with care in place of a 5 minute plan prepared with reckless abandon.


  2. - Truthful James - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 11:47 am:

    The huge craving for campaign contributions is a direct function of the length of the campaign season. Shorten the period between primary and general, for instance, and the costs of being elected go down.

    In addition there ought to be two limits.

    First — like the luxury tax in baseball — if a candidate spends more money getting elected than his stipend over the full term, he shall provide to his opponent an amount equal to a fixed percentage of that overage.

    Second, in addition, should the incumbent at retirement have in remaining campaign funds an amount greater than $XXX (to be determined) he will provide the overage to the State political party of his choice.


  3. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 12:33 pm:

    Two comments?

    Sigh.


  4. - Ghost - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 12:36 pm:

    I can repost my comments in pig latin if that will help


  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 12:44 pm:

    Probably wouldn’t hurt. Those watching comments on RSS feed might wander over to see what the heck is going on. lol


  6. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 1:42 pm:

    FYI from the TRS website–

    Members
    TRS is governed by an 11-member Board of Trustees. Trustees include the state superintendent of education, four trustees elected by contributing TRS members, four trustees appointed by the governor, and two trustees elected by TRS annuitants. Currently, one appointed trustee position is vacant.

    The president of the Board of Trustees, by law, is the Illinois superintendent of education. The Board of Trustees elects its vice president from among its members. The Board of Trustees appoints an executive director who also serves as the secretary of the Board of Trustees. The executive director is responsible for daily operations at TRS.

    As an annuitant, I can vote for only two of the board positions. When I was still working, I could vote for four positions. Therefore, those whose pensions are in this system can vote for six in all whereas the governor appoints four members as well as the state superintendent.

    I would like to see the details of this proposal. Hopefully, they are meaningful and will cut down on the use of board appointments for personal gain.


  7. - carbon deforestation - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 2:44 pm:

    Harper College should have expected this kind of scrutiny years ago. Not because they hired a lobbyist, but because they hired someone who’s only qualification for helping pass legislation was that he raised gobs of money for RRB. Ronan is a real lobbyist, fine, but Milan Petrovich? Really Harper College? Really?

    Clearly the voters in that district should be asking more questions of their officials.

    Maybe it is all legal, but isn’t it time that we have a higher threshold for what our elected officials do on our behalf. I think so.


  8. - Leave a light on George - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 2:44 pm:

    I certainly hope this doesn’t stop with retirement board appointments. Dig into the agencies, deeper than the Director level and get rid of all Blago appointees.


  9. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 6:31 pm:

    Quinn also needs some real reform cover to deflect the shots he will take for what undoubtedly will be a very unpopular budget.

    He needs to show the electorate that he did something nice for them. Problem is, everyone knows it.


  10. - what's up - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 7:02 pm:

    Hey Rich,
    i am wondering why has madigan’s firing list not ben printed. It aeems from the stanley moore firing that he is targeting the african-americans who held positions under blago but not the hispanics? This will not bode well for his daughters run for governor!


  11. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:24 pm:

    Nothing but window dressing will have evolved from all of this. Whenever one door closes; another one opens. So long as the people who’s conduct you are attempting to regulate are in charge of making the regulations, then they will almost always build in the exception or the loophole which substantially mitigates the impact of the intended regulations.

    In the intervening period between the time the new law is enacted, and the first person is discovered to have bypassed its purported intent, all will be able to campaign on being a “leader” on reform issues.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Rauner calls on White House to end child separations at U.S. Southern border
* Pritzker campaign, Campaign Workers Guild clash over intern compensation
* Possible sale of Lincoln artifacts gets national attention
* Uihlein gives $1.5 million to Liberty Principles PAC
* *** UPDATED x4 *** Rauner claims he’s done more for black people than any other governor
* Does Walgreens post office move mean the end of HQ2 bid?
* *** UPDATED 4x - Pritzker buys FB ads, Rauner responds, a correction *** Gov campaigns, Illinois Congressionals respond to border policy
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* *** UPDATED 1x - Pritzker hits back *** Rauner goes statewide with “Porcelain Prince” ad buy
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* Rauner Calls Separating Families 'Wrong'.....
* Madigan relents, and hires an independent inves.....
* New western Illinois bridge having major impact..
* Trump health plan change may ease insurance cos.....
* Gov. Rauner says he's done more for African.....
* Rauner Tries To Flush Pritzker Down The Toilet .....
* Rauner says Trump should stop splitting families..
* Illinois governor says Trump should stop splitt.....
* Illinois Governor's Race Goes Down the Toil.....
* Pritzker campaign, Campaign Workers Guild clash.....


* Former Chicago tanning salon owner sentenced for sex assault
* Guilty pleas in illegal shipping of hazardous waste
* 3rd ex-Wheaton football player pleads guilty in hazing case
* Illinois governor says Trump should stop splitting families
* Lawsuit: Chicago police falsely ID thousands as gang members
* Section of I-55 buckles in central Illinois' heat wave
* Southern Illinois board sets meeting on removing president
* Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in Illinois
* Illinois candidate apologies for decade-old blackface photo
* Lawsuit: Many wrongly listed in Chicago gang database

* Illinois politicians seek answers to family separations at border
* 80+ years later, Meredosia woman sees the opening of another new bridge
* Chatham man wins Illinois Bicentennial coin design contest
* Rauner to consider allowing medical cannabis for opioid patients
* Bipartisan work yields gun bills, fate rests with Rauner
* Rauner names Justin Blandford curator of Governor's Mansion
* Rauner names Williamsville woman interim HFS director
* Both Rauner and Pritzker have donated to Mansion renovations
* Both candidates for governor have donated to Mansion renovations
* Illiopolis boy helps push bill to cover hearing aids for kids

* Dow shows GE the door and welcomes Walgreens
* Starbucks pumps the brakes in its home market
* Theranos didn't just harm investors
* Medicare readmissions program not causing observation stay spike
* Trump administration finalizes rule to expand association health plan access


* Number of missing from sinking ferry in Indonesia at 166
* After query, Ross shorted stock in Kremlin-tied firm: report
* DC voters OK pay shift for tipped workers
* Cruz’s flip-flop on family separation shows threat to GOP
* Person shot in Back of the Yards
* Youngest migrants held in ‘tender age’ shelters
* New Hellenic Museum exhibit explores impact of world refugee crisis via Greece
* Halting US-S.Korea drills risks weakening N.Korea deterrence
* Indians, Clevinger deal White Sox sixth consecutive loss
* Indians, Clevinger deal White Sox sixth consecutive loss


* Youngest migrant children are being held in 'tender age' shelters
* Artist Anish Kapoor sues National Rifle Association for using The Bean in 2017 video
* Canadian senate passes weed bill but legalization delayed
* United States leaving U.N. human rights council
* Chicago Aviation Dept. commissioner leaving this summer, mayor's office says
* Giants closer Hunter Strickland out 6-8 weeks after punching wall with pitching hand
* Paramedics under investigation after not immediately tending to teen with gunshot wound to head
* As governor, Rauner says he’s done more for African Americans than 'anybody'
* East Aurora school board grapples with whether to declare District 131 a safe zone from immigration enforcement
* Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish returns to Wrigley mound Wednesday for key simulated game


» Lawmakers To Hold Public Hearing Over CPS Sexual Abuse Cases
» Eddie Russell Jr.‘s Family Sues Peoria; Helping Veterans Graduate; Inmates And Mental Health Care
» Morning Shift Live From the Streeterville Farmer's Market
» Eddie Russell Jr.; Veterans in College; Inmates and Mental Health
» June 18, 2018 - Full Show
» Illinois Bicentennial Coin Unveiled
» Austin Texas, Like Chicago, Is Struggling With Pedestrian Safety
» Push To Bridge Gender Wage Gap Continues
» Pediatrics For Transgender Kids; ‘Pay What You Can’ Yoga Studio; Illinois Politics
» Dad-isms: Jokes and Lessons Our Fathers Taught Us


* Guest View: Addressing the higher cost of compliance with our ADA consent decree
* MArc Thiessen: But her emails? You're dang right her emails.
* Byron York: What Republicans suspect about the FBI's Trump-Russia probe
* Catherine Rampell: We'll be cleaning up Trump's mess for generations
* Illinois politicians seek answers to family separations at border
* 80+ years later, Meredosia woman sees the opening of another new bridge
* Chatham man wins Illinois Bicentennial coin design contest
* E.J. Dionne: GOP moderates fold to Trumpism
* Rauner to consider allowing medical cannabis for opioid patients
* George Will: Congress suffers arthritic knees from genuflecting to presidential power


* Large water main break floods, closes road in Belleville
* Water main break closes Belleville road
* Council hears gun violence concerns
* No snow, no problem
* Little League Home Run Derby 2018
* Stretch of road between U.S. 51 and Wyckles to close Wednesday
* Firm begins traffic study for potential Davenport Portillo's
* Belleville sex offender convicted of exposing himself to a teen girl for second time
* Murphysboro is getting a splash park
* Funnel cloud spotted near Decatur Airport as storms sweep Central Illinois


* Lynx hold off late charge for 91-83 win over Wings
* Indonesian officials raise number of people missing from ferry sinking in Sumatra on Monday evening to 166
* Chicago aviation boss resigns
* Clevinger strikes out 10 as Indians beat White Sox 6-3
* 12 arrested after drug, firearms trafficking probe in Elgin

* Border wall 'symbol of death'
* Caught on camera: Man swipes puppy from Sa...
* Fire Breaks Out In Rio Hondo Parking Lot
* The Man Behind KeyWiki
* This Life with Gracie: Of cakes, children ...
* 'I just want her back': Owner of p...
* Quigley: Trump has made our nation “sick”
* Cook County Board President Preckwinkle in...
* Roskam: Trump administration must stop tea...
* As outcry against separation of families a...

* City receives $500K to clean up contaminat......
* Congress flails as family separation crisi......
* New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border —......
* Illinois politicians seek answers to famil......
* State Of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D ......

* City receives $500K to clean up contaminat......
* Washington's Mayor Eyes a Second Term,......
* Power Breakfast...
* Illinois politicians seek answers to famil......
* Here's What Trump Actually Achieved Wi......

* In the digital age, the standard lecture may not be enough
* Bootcamps Go To College
* New free online courses launched to help Syrian refugees continue their education
* Imagining A Blockchain University
* Can Online Programs and Digital Tools Help Students Spend Less Money? #DLNchat
* Pearson Releases Study on Demand-Driven Education
* Chicago’s future.
* Jeff Sessions explains the difference between Nazi Germany and the U.S. under Trump.
* The documentary Uncle Fun: You're the One and more of the best things to do in Chicago this weekend
* Prog-rock wizards the Mugicians never released a note—but they may still unearth their dazzling early-80s demos


* New Illinois 104 Bridge Opens in Meredosia
* IL Department on Aging Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Month
* 2017 Wabash County Tentative Multiplier Announced
* Liquor Control Commission Underage Compliance Report for Cook County
* Liquor Control Commission Underage Compliance Report for Will Count

  
* Cubic to build Queensland's AU$371m transport ticketing system
* Micron says good times to continue for memory
* TENAA lays out details of Nokia 5.1 Plus
* Microsoft's latest Windows Server 2019 test build includes first preview of Hyper-V 2019
* Facebook has an AI solution for those who can never seem to keep their eyes open in photos
* Europe should see standard Xiaomi Mi 8 from August
* vivo NEX S in for review

* Indians beat White Sox 6-3; second inning hurts Rodon
* Rodon can't overcome 4-run 2nd in loss to Tribe
* Abreu widens lead in AL All-Star vote at 1st
* Thou shall steal: Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox lineu...
* Carlos Rodon looks to help White Sox halt 5-game losing streak
* White Sox's Jose Abreu leads AL first basemen in All-Sta...
* Lincoln-Way Marching Band To Perform At Chicago White Sox Game


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

Archives
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
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




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