Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Quinn vetoes campaign reform bill - Live blog of Quinn presser
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Quinn vetoes campaign reform bill - Live blog of Quinn presser

Thursday, Aug 27, 2009

[Bumped up so the live blogging is more visible. The governor’s Chicago press conference starts at noon and you can listen or watch by clicking here.]

* I told subscribers about this today, and the Tribune has now posted a story about how Gov. Quinn will veto HB 7, the campaign reform bill which has been whacked by just about everybody…

Gov. Pat Quinn today will veto the high-profile campaign finance bill that he once hailed as landmark, choosing to side with critics who say it is riddled with loopholes, an administration source confirmed.

“The governor made the decision to veto based on feedback from the community and legislative leaders and the belief that lawmakers can do better,” the source said. […]

Press aides for Madigan and Cullerton said they would attend Quinn’s announcement. Cullerton’s spokeswoman said he will attend the governor’s press conference to demonstrate he supports campaign finance reform and will continue to work on the issue despite the veto. […]

But it was unclear how Quinn’s change of heart will go over more broadly with fellow Democrats and whether it will spur lawmakers to pass a new version of fundraising restrictions when they meet in October for the fall veto session.

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno also supports the veto.

The governor’s press conference will be broadcast live today at noon. We’ll use this as a live blog. Click here to watch or listen. I’d suggest you just listen, since the video conked out during yesterday’s presser.


*** 12:13 pm *** The hour of noon having arrived, the governor’s presser has begun.

* Speaker Madigan, President Cullerton, Leader Radogno, Dawn Clark Netsch (who’ll provide reformer cover) and others are at the presser.

* A large good government coalition has just issued a press release supporting the veto…

CHANGE Illinois! is pleased to support the Governor’s decision to veto HB7, the legislation intended to establish campaign contribution limits for Illinois’ public officials.

Our coalition has repeatedly called on the Governor to either veto or amendatorily veto this well intentioned but flawed piece of legislation. His action today indicates that he and the state’s legislative leaders do want to create a workable and effective system of contribution limits.

Melissa Hahn of the Illinois Radio Network is live-Tweeting, as is Todd Feurer. Now, on to the live-blogging…

* Quinn admits he testified on behalf of the bill he’s about to veto, but says he said at the time that it was “not a perfect bill.”

* The governor said he believes the October veto session will be “noteworthy” for all it accomplishes. He wants a new reform bill during that session. We’ll see.

* He’s just announced he’s vetoing the bill.

* Speaker Madigan takes the podium: “I agree with the decision they have made… for the governor to veto the bill so we can go back to ground zero.” Won’t comment on specifics.

* President Cullerton: “We have asked the governor to veto the bill.” … “We engaged in lengthy discussion, it’s a very complicated issue… making some progress but we have not reached a final agreement yet… Timing of the bill having to be vetoed or signed [veto is the best way to go].”

* Leader Tom Cross: “We accept your offer to work with all the people involved… and pledge to work with you to have a real bill.”

* Leader Radogno: “I want to applaud the governor for taking this action… There was tremendous pressure on the governor to go ahead and enact a bill… [that could have] made it worse.” … “Very imperative that all parties be at the table.”

* Cindi Canary: “Very pleased and very proud to be up here today… I commend them for their willingness to return to the table… [Spring session] accomplished quite a lot.”

* AARP: “The governor and legislative leaders have recognized that HB 7 is not real reform.”

* Questions from reporters.

Quinn really needs to start answering questions from reporters, rather than just filibustering absolutely everything. Seriously, would it hurt too much to just answer one or two questions rather than droning on and on and on about nothing every single time?

Quinn on his reform commission, which is now actually defunct: “They’ll be involved in the process.” No commission members appear to be present at the presser.

Madigan won’t take reporters’ questions: “I’ve finished with my comments, thank you.” MJM said he had relied on Sens. Cullerton and Harmon to negotiate the bill and wants them to comment.

Cullerton: “I don’t think we should negotiate here the improvements.” … “The bill that passed did have campaign limits… and he praised that at the time. … We want to make sure there are no loopholes that are unintended. There are constitutional issues that are very tricky. … If the governor signed the bill and then we did a trailer bill, that might have sent the wrong message. That’s why we asked [Quinn to veto in total]. … The federal government has been used as a model by many people, but the federal laws have their own deficiencies… Sometimes you can look at the federal model and sometimes you can’t. … When I came to the Tribune editorial board… we hoped we could get an agreement by today. … I didn’t say there were any flaws, I said there are ways we could improve it.”

Quinn: “If you had said a year ago that this agenda would be enacted into law within a year, most people would not have believed you. By the end of October we’re going to have an even fuller of agenda of ethics reform. … Collaboration, cooperation, working together as a team, that moves Illinois forward.”

Quinn: “I’d rather make it better than to not do it right.”

Quinn: “I know from my travels across Illinois that people are very happy with my leadership. It’s steady leadership that’s getting things done.”

Cullerton: “We asked him, the sponsors, asked him to veto this bill. … He’s not flip-flopping, he’s doing what we’ve asked.”

Canary: “We often slam our elected officials for not having a backbone, for not listening to us, for flip-flopping. [Quinn and others] should be commended. … They’re doing something very brave today. … spent over two years on the pay to play bill… it can be frustrating, but people of good will can make a difference. … I would respectfully request that people withhold some of this judgment until October.”

Cross: “If you’re gonna do this in a bipartisan way, include everybody. … It needs to be done right and it needs to include everybody.” Cross also said today’s bipartisanship does not mean that an income tax hike is closer to reality. “No” was his answer.

End of questions. Nobody asked Quinn about his recent amendatory vetoes on the topic of ethics. Strange. Then again, he didn’t issue a press release, so most Chicago types wouldn’t know those AV’s existed.

* 12:57 pm - Quinn has just vetoed the bill. Thanked everyone for coming. End. The mic is still hot, so maybe we’ll hear something interesting. [Spoke too soon. Mic is now off.]

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - cassandra - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 11:35 am:

    Paying attention to legislators’ opinions on an ethics bill is like paying attention to the foxes’ opinions on the management of the henhouse.

    Oh well….it’s the immutable Illinois political system in full flower under our accidental governor Pat. Now, if we just give him billions of dollars to dish out to “campaign contributors”
    via his income tax increase, we’ll be back to normal.

  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 11:42 am:

    My guess is they’re going to say, “We’re going to improve it.”

  3. - Fed up - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:00 pm:

    Ill believe it when I see it. Bobby Rush might hold a news confrence saying this reform bill needs to be signed. Then Quinn will sign it while comparing it to the soldiers going to battle.

  4. - Chi Gal - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:18 pm:

    Debate in 1858 where Dawn Clark Netsch attended.

  5. - The Doc - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:20 pm:

    A flip-flop on “landmark” legislation? Hmm…

    Is vetoing the bill somehow less antagonizing to the GA than an amendatory veto? Or is Quinn passing the buck here?

  6. - reformer - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:36 pm:

    The challenge is how to craft a bill that doesn’t disadvantage challengers and doesn’t help one political party more than the other.

  7. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:41 pm:

    ooops, I forgot all about this and just tuned in.

    How many times did the governor say land of lincoln so far?

  8. - Niles Township - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:47 pm:

    Now that was interesting, seeing each of them up there for there own individual reasons.

  9. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:48 pm:

    quinn says that he’s travelled the state over and over and that people are happy with his leadership. really?

  10. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:49 pm:

    cullteron is wrong. the governor is flip-flopping again.

  11. - Niles Township - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:49 pm:

    Will County Woman:

    I love how you work the Hynes talking points so well. In fact, you do it better than Hynes himself. Maybe you should consider a run?

  12. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:51 pm:

    Now that we are approaching an election year, this bill just didn’t cut it for the political players in Illinois. By going back to ground zero, as Mr. Madigan calls it, we get to enjoy another campaign year, Illinois style.

    This also allows those who would have been cornered during the primaries to side step this issue, look like they are reforming our corrupted system, but get similar benefits as before. A veto makes sense.

    Blagojevich did these kinds of things to great effect. Yeah, while the bill closed the barn door after most of the horses were already galloping over the hill, the time came to debate the kind of lock to be used on the barn door because it seems that there were still a few horse left in the barn.

    Yeah, let’s not try this bill - let’s go back to doing nothing, but trying to do something, and getting re-elected at the same time!

  13. - N'ville - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:53 pm:

    So let me get this straight…the very same group of “leaders” that just 60 days ago crafted and passed a piece of major legislation to the Governor, asked him to veto it so they could go back to ground zero and get it right? Have we entered the Twilight Zone?

  14. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:53 pm:

    for the repub leaders today’s action does not move the repubs closer to supporting an income tax increase in the fall.


  15. - Chi Gal - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:54 pm:

    Canary is really quite the drama queen!

    Quinn is right, he listens to the people and then acts. He could use yesterday as an example… he listened to Bobby Rush and then flip flopped.

    So far, Cullerton comes off looking like the strongest one up there. He isn’t patting himself on the back like Quinn with his lame examples of his personal accomplishments, dating back multiple decades.

  16. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:58 pm:

    whatever governor ‘n’ crew. yeah, tell that canary chick that I’ll want to see the proof in the pudding come October.

  17. - Chi Gal - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 1:04 pm:

    Dawn Clark Netsch is hanging around to give interviews. You could tell she was dying to speak. If the Quinn group reviews the footage, they will never put her behind the governor again. Every time he said something lame, you could see her displeasure written all over her face. You could also see Madigan and Cullerton getting tired of her wanting to chat while Quinn was talking. Someone needs to roll her back into her cave. Clearly yesterday shook Quinn up a bit. He brought out everyone but his mother to support him today.

  18. - Ghost - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 1:11 pm:

    Quit the show of unity; if only we had the same atmosphere in negotiating the budget.

  19. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 1:11 pm:

    Only in Illinois can “landmark legislation” be vetoed to a standing ovation. The Democrats running this State with an iron fist have finally outdone themselves.

    Illinois. Still the laughing stock of the nation.

  20. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 1:16 pm:

    since quinn said over and over how he wants the public to pariticpate, and his cohorts today seemed to echo his sentiment, i encourage all illinoisians to write legislators and the governor that we want term limits for all office holders.

    the terms limits should be as follows:
    2 terms for governors
    4 terms for legislators
    4 terms for leadership poisitions
    yup, keep those doggies moving…

    without terms limits for all in elected office there can be no real ethics or reform in illinois government!

  21. - Niles Township - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 1:18 pm:

    without terms limits for all in elected office there can be no real ethics or reform in illinois government!


    Will County Woman: On this issue, we are in total agreement.

  22. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 1:18 pm:

    WCW, if you want to “urge” the general populace to do something, go out and organize. Don’t be a keyboard commando on my blog. Thanks.

  23. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 1:19 pm:

    Does this mean that the procurement reforms didn’t go through either. Or did the guv sign off on that

    If procurement reforms were stymied, I now understand everything.

  24. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 1:29 pm:

    I seem to recall that the governor did some minor AVs to the procurement bill.

  25. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 1:46 pm:


    Oh, I am on it! I hope they’ll be ready for me because I intend to be relentless.

  26. - Amalia - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 5:51 pm:

    Chi Gal, re your comments on Dawn, 1858, roll her into her cave? you wish you knew as much as Dawn knows about fairness, government finance, and law.

  27. - Chi Gal - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 8:35 pm:

    Amalia - There is no doubt that Dawn is a highly intelligent and well-meaning individual. That certainly can’t be taken away from her. But her day has passed and she refuses to step aside. I was embarrassed for her many times during the const. conv. debate and her behavior behind Quinn at the press conference was inappropriate. For God’s sake, she has taken a shot at Quinn at every opportunity for decades, but she stands there today. Why? So she can be in front of the cameras, like the old days? Just like the crazy aunt who was a knowledgeable and respected person in her day, there comes a time when center stage has passed them by. If you watched as the press conf. ended, she practically ran out and jumped reporters to get her chance to speak. It is time for her to retire with dignity and maintain the respect she probably does deserve.

  28. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 11:31 pm:

    The press conference was just weird. Everyone patting themselves on the back for killing something a few weeks ago many of them told us was landmark reform.

    What’s the next bill going to be, double-secret landmark reform? This state ain’t ready for double-secret landmark reform.

  29. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 9:45 am:

    Chi Gal… just cannot stop….crazy aunt, come on. refuses to step aside? embarassed during the Constitutional debate? anyone who knows Dawn knows that she is constantly called by the press, routinely asked for assistance by politicians, and valued for her brain which is still highly engaged. you sound petty and jealous and perhaps angry that her presence at the Quinn event, which is certainly surprising considering their difference in approach to government (Quinn the referendum guru, Dawn more the representative approach), lends an air
    of fairness and real feel to the attempt to reform. maybe they are more alike than we think….they are both White Sox fans.

    Dawn is not only the most amazing woman to serve in Illinois politics, she’s still one of the most amazing minds in Illinois politics. You don’t have to be elected to be valuable.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
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