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Oberweis: You first

Friday, Mar 8, 2013 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Covering the General Assembly tackle pension reform these days is a lot like watching a bunch of people standing on the edge of a cliff, with everybody hoping somebody else will jump first. Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) is no exception

The 25th District Senator said he is willing to work in a bipartisan manner to address Illinois’ budget crisis, but Gov. Quinn and Democrat legislative leaders first need to start working together.

“Not only do the Democrats have control of the Governorship, they have supermajorities in both the House and the Senate. The Governor must work with his leaders – with Mike Madigan and John Cullerton – to fix this problem,” Oberweis said. “And if they can’t come to an agreement, then it is time to let the rest of us come to the table with our ideas.

* Most House Republicans appear to be following Oberweis’ advice

For the second week in a row, the House Thursday devoted a segment of its day to considering changes in state-funded pension systems. Two of the three amendments considered by the House failed by wide margins, just as four amendments did last week.

However, lawmakers voted 65-7 in favor of an amendment that would cap a state retiree’s pensionable salary at the highest allowed under Social Security — currently $113,700 a year.

“This would remedy those situations where teachers and administrators later in their career have their salaries inflated to a significant amount and that salary becomes onerous upon the system,” said Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Chicago. […]

Two Republicans — David Harris of Arlington Heights and David McSweeney of Cary — voted in favor of the amendment. Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, a retired school teacher who received late-career salary hikes, voted against the amendment.

* Madigan’s response

When asked what the House’s next move on pensions would be, Madigan told reporters, “Well, the next move would be for you to go ask the Republicans why they don’t participate in voting.

“You know, in America you get elected through a Legislature to vote. That’s the American system, right? So, you should go over there and ask them, ‘Why aren’t you voting?’”

* The HGOP response to MJM

“We feel that this issue is far too important to try to piecemeal a bill together,” said Sarah Wojcicki Jimenez, a spokeswoman for Cross. She said Republicans instead prefer moving HB 3411 through the traditional legislative process.

* Back to the bill

Supporters said the measure would save $632 million in fiscal year 2014 starting July 1, which is small compared with a system of state pensions that is $96.8 billion short of full funding. The Illinois system is 39 percent funded, compared with the 80 percent considered healthy.

The approval gave hope to some lawmakers that wider reforms can eventually be agreed to.

“I think it demonstrates that the process that we’re going through, we don’t have to be so cynical about it, it can get us to a solution,” said Democratic Representative Elaine Nekritz, a leader in pushing for pension changes.

* Related…

* 4 Myths About Public Pension Retirees

       

68 Comments
  1. - Joe M - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 9:39 am:

    I assume all of these individual pension change ideas will eventually come together in one comprehensive bill that will be passed.

    Maybe that will make for only one constitutionality lawsuit rather than having to do separate lawsuits for salary caps, another for reduction in COLAs, another for increasing employee contributions, etc.


  2. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 9:40 am:

    Perhaps someone (i.e. Billboards or his minions) should drop in a discharge motion for HB 3411?
    Fire. Aim,Ready

    Some how enlisting ChopperJim as the chief strategist is a little scary


  3. - Roadiepig - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 9:46 am:

    Looks like most of the house republicans took Tillman’s memo to not vote to heart. Every time someone from the IPI is given time on our local news and are described as being from a non-partisan organization I am disgusted.


  4. - Skeeter - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 9:49 am:

    Sue Scherer is quickly becoming the biggest hack in Springfield. First her daughter gets a promotion to a job that shouldn’t even exist. Now she’s voting on a matter that directly impacts her and that was proposed for the purpose of banning what she did.

    Hopefully somebody is preparing a primary fight. Until then, she’s going to tarnish Illinois Dems.


  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 9:54 am:

    This bears repeating, from the “Governing” link:

    –One of the best-funded pension plans is actually in Illinois, a state that has become a poster child for underfunded pensions. The exception to Illinois’ inability to address its unfunded liability is the 90 percent-funded Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF).

    “We’re trying to distinguish ourselves from the headlines that typically occur in Illinois,” says Louis Kosiba, the fund’s executive director.

    The key difference between IMRF and Illinois’ other major pension plans goes back to management: IMRF has the ability to enforce employers’ payments into the plan. The state of Illinois has been notorious for not putting its required annual payments into its pension plan in recent years, a big factor in its unfunded liability, which hovers just above 40 percent.

    “It’s very easy for us to track if someone has fallen off bandwagon,” Kosiba says. “There is a culture here that you pay your required contribution.”–


  6. - Ruby - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 9:57 am:

    Republicans prefer voting on HB 3411, but that bill will never pass. Madigan is taking the best approach to finding what will pass. By not voting on these bills the House Republicans are only making themselves more irrelevant.


  7. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 10:07 am:

    MJM’s remark in re Republicans not voting is disingenuous, at best. I’m reminded of the Serenity Prayer: .. Grant me the serenity to accept those things I cannot change. The Dems. go the supermajority they wanted and the Republicans can’t change anything by themselves. The only way they could help the process is to vote with the Dems. and that vote isn’t needed if the Dems. vote together themselves. So MJM should look to his own troops. If he can’t convince them, why should Republicans give him coverage?? Whether it’s a China Shop or the Government - the rules are the same: “You break it - you own it.”


  8. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 10:14 am:

    –MJM’s remark in re Republicans not voting is disingenuous, at best. I’m reminded of the Serenity Prayer: .. Grant me the serenity to accept those things I cannot change.–

    Well, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.


  9. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 10:18 am:

    What, Jim? You don’t want to be a leader if it involves work?

    Got it.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 10:22 am:

    ===“You know, in America you get elected through a Legislature to vote. That’s the American system, right? So, you should go over there and ask them, ‘Why aren’t you voting?’”===

    THAT… will be in a mail piece.

    Not voting sends the wrong signal, and will be hammered home in the next cycle, not by how many bad votes the HGOP member had, but by how many NVs they have. Why bother being down there to argue the Republican side if you are NOT going to vote.

    Or, tell me, how is NOT voting going to help, politically?

    “Imagine if the GOP ever got power? What will they do, more of the same, nothing?”

    The HGOP members are going to get hammered either way, don’t you want to stand for something as all these “Litmus Testers” always say, “We stand for something!” Well, stand up, do your job that you were elected to, and vote and make the arguement.

    Lastly, ok, so now Oberweis, leading …again … this NV idea, so now what do you stand FOR? What is the political strategy, come petition time, come Primary time, come General Election time? What are the voters voting for, by voting for the GOP? What are the alternative bills you are pushing and would vote for? If you are not going to even VOTE for anything, do the GOP Caucuses have plans they can run on and say,

    “HB#### was our plan and with (Blank) as our New Governor, we hope to push the bill again, with your help electing (Blank) and H&SGOP candidates!”

    WE in the ILGOP have noe of that.

    So, again … now what? You played the NV “card”, now what?


  11. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    wordslinger

    Isn’t that the problem with politicians of both stripes?? They don’t have a problem - they have good jobs & great pensions - it’s the taxpayers who have the problem.


  12. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 10:28 am:

    Oswego Willy:

    There was a State Senator once who hardly ever voted. His name is Obama.

    There is a valid purpose in not voting now if you are a Republican: that is to force the Dems to define who they are, now that they have a super majority. MJM, Quinn and the Dems. own this mess.


  13. - Mama - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 10:35 am:

    Madigan is hand- feeding each amendment to his troops. This way they can not continue to say I did not know what I was voting on. Plus he is trying to figure out what they will vote for to resolve the pension crisis. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 10:36 am:

    ===that is to force the Dems to define who they are, now that they have a super majority. MJM, Quinn and the Dems. own this mess.===

    Ok, so now the GOP takes no responsibility, and further, will not discharge their duty, as an elected member of a body, 1/3 of the Government, because the BEST arguement is … “You fix it”?

    That is the textbook definition of “Taking your Ball and Giong Home”.

    Also, as you are “Defining” Quinn and Madigan, what does the GOP stand for in trying to make things better, throwing up their hands and hoping that the taint of the problems is greater than the lack of resolve the GOP has to looking for solutions to at least look … interested … in participating?

    That is not a strategy, that is called Despiration with a Hint of No Accountability.

    The front side of that mail piece will be a look from Podium Well of the House Chamber, with half of the house on one side full, the other side of the Chamber … empty seats …Heading?

    “Where was Rep. (Blank) and the HGOP when Illinois needed them most?”

    You defined them alright, we have their number.


  15. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 10:45 am:

    Oswego Willy:

    It is MJM who is playing games right now. The Republicans are simply refusing to join in. This crisis din’t happen overnight and it won’t be resolved overnight. MJM doesn’t need any Republican support if his troops would fall in line. They won’t, so MJM wants/needs Republicans to take their place, but he is thus far offering nothing in return. It is far too early to panic and vote for a bad bill just so it looks like you are participating in the process. When MJM gets serious and proposes serious legislation then and only then should Republicans respond. Oh and by the way - the Republicans can’t take the ball and go home - it isn’t their ball.


  16. - Mama - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 10:50 am:

    Both Republicans and the Dems own this mess by NOT funding the pension funds for the past 40 years! We all know the Dems did not run the show at the capital for the last 40 years. If a legislator just sits there and does nothing everyday, why are they still getting paid?


  17. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 10:55 am:

    Well, I will say this, I understand what you are trying to sell me, but when its sold to the voters, that HGOP took no action to try and fix this, and I mean, looking engaged in the process, that we all agree is theatre, but with a purpose, than hang on to that despiration that this “taint” will carry the day over “lazy legislators” in swing districts that have unemployed and people working 2 jobs, while Madigan easily points out how the HGOP members get a paycheck, do no work, and the voter gets nothing back from Republicans in the House.

    ===It is far too early to panic and vote for a bad bill just so it looks like you are participating in the process. ===

    If that Dopey Letter is part of this scheme to get to a point where the GA GOP might participate, when the “time is right”, heaven help us some next November.

    ===When MJM gets serious and proposes serious legislation then and only then should Republicans respond. ===

    That’s like kids saying, “When Mom or Dad get serious about something, then I will behave.”

    It’s not MJM’s fault the HGOP political got pummeled, its the HGOP.

    I get your point on the Ball-Home analogy, but my point is, isn’t usually the …losers … who takes the ball … and goes home, because their way just ain’t going to work?


  18. - dupage dan - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 10:56 am:

    As a seriously self misguided youth I refused to vote in elections as a form of protest. Nobody noticed or cared.

    There is no perfect politician. There is no perfect political party. There is no perfect law.

    Do. Your. Job. Or you will find out nobody notices or cares about you. Perhaps that has alredy happened.


  19. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 11:02 am:

    ===There was a State Senator once who hardly ever voted. His name is Obama.==

    That’s a stupid, factless thing to say. Do you know the difference between a Present vote and not voting at all?


  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    - Voice of Reason -

    With respect,

    Answer this.

    If Not Voting is the strategy, then why not go home and just Not Vote… there?

    Is it because the ILDems would RoboCall all the HGOP districts with…

    “Did you know YOUR state Representative (Blank) hasn’t been in Springfield in weeks, because Re. (Blank) feels its the Democrats place to fix Illinois? Call Rep. (Blank) and tell him/her to go back to work” ….?

    The HGOP would never go home becasue THAT is what they would face, so I ask, how is it different with the HGOP members being there, instead of being home?

    Just perception? Theatre? Grandstanding?

    Why NOT just go home?

    Those RoboCalls shouldn’t frighten them too much, since its the Dems job to fix things.


  21. - Rusty618 - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    I’m surprised that the amendment to raise employee contributions by 2% (didn’t think the 4% had a chance) was rejected. This is one of the measures that AFSCME has supported, along with the Martire amortization, to help resolve the pension underfunding.


  22. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 11:12 am:

    Willy:

    I respectfully disagree. We aren’t talking about being like Obama and voting present on virtually everything. We’re only talking about this current charade that MJM is trying to foist on us. If the legislation is serious and good, why can’t his party support him?? Silence oftentimes sends a message. The Headline I see is: Madigan and the Dems. have a supermajority and still can’t pass legislation. If they can’t lead when they are in complete control - why should they have that control?? They shouldn’t. It’s “be careful what you wish for”. They got us into this mess and they don’t have a clue how to get us out. Trust me: new leadership is going to emerge on the Republican side and change will happen in 2014.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 11:21 am:

    ===and voting present ===

    Voting “Present” … is voting …

    ===Silence oftentimes sends a message. The Headline I see is: Madigan and the Dems. have a supermajority and still can’t pass legislation. If they can’t lead when they are in complete control - why should they have that control?? They shouldn’t. It’s “be careful what you wish for”.===

    Sounds good, when the Dems start this “NV” and “not doing their job” spiel, I have no clue which side would win. Huge Gamble on Despiration. Winning Campaigns, more time than not, stand for something.

    Silence also sends a message to fed up voters too; “We sent a Republican down to Springfield to do something, and doing NOTHING is what is going on?!”

    ===Trust me: new leadership is going to emerge on the Republican side and change will happen in 2014.===

    If you are talking about Oberweis, McCarter, or McSweeney, (props to McSweeney for voting, however, at least you are not, NOT, doing anything!) then, - Voice of Reason - you may need to change that handle hanging with the “Litmus Testers” and “Blood Oathers”.

    Oberweis and the “Right” are not going to bring back the ILGOP, no matter how loud they scream.

    I appreciate the back and forth, as I hope you do as well. With much respect, - Voice of Reason -.


  24. - LisleMike - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    I can’t stay on the line here all of the time, but I do find the discussions enlightening.
    I am one of those who originally thought NV is the better way to go. MJM is a master of misdirection and we all fall for it. “Look at the Birdie” (see: “The Republicans won’t vote”) and we all fall for it. Some of the Reps I talk with tell me that a vote either way ends up in a mail piece against them in thier district. I now think, “Hey, guess what? It’s your job to vote! Just do it. If you worry about mail pieces before they go out, MJM is already in your head and you will never be effective.”
    Frankly, a reasoned vote should be defensible and not worth the worry of hurt at re-elction time.


  25. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 11:31 am:

    Willy:

    I said “new leadership” as in brand new and from the outside.

    You don’t seem to understand that Republicans don’t have the votes to do anything. Now, the voters could say - if they aren’t going to do anything lets get rid of them, but the problem with that is that the Dems would then have even more control, if that’s possible, and the Dems. can’t get anything done with a supermajority in both chambers and a Dem. Governor!! Please keep in mind that the pension mess is the outstanding issue, but not the only issue. By the way, Wisconsin and Indiana have pension plans that are virtually fully funded. They also have Republican Govs. Gee, I wonder if there is a relationship there.


  26. - Bigtwich - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    I like the no voting strategy. I hope the Republican base follows it up in the next election.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    ===You don’t seem to understand that Republicans don’t have the votes to do anything.===

    I do understand, I completely … unnderstand … asking the HGOP to vote and understanding their plight are two different things.

    ===Now, the voters could say - if they aren’t going to do anything lets get rid of them, but the problem with that is that the Dems would then have even more control, if that’s possible, and the Dems. can’t get anything done with a supermajority in both chambers and a Dem. Governor!!===

    Called a “political Gamble.” It is, when facing NVs as a member of the current HGOP Caucus, and new Nominees facing Dem incumbents. Risky.

    ===Please keep in mind that the pension mess is the outstanding issue, but not the only issue. By the way, Wisconsin and Indiana have pension plans that are virtually fully funded.====

    Biggest trap the ILGOP gets itself into when deciding political strategy and using WI or IN as the model. Chicago, and the collars are not Milwaukke and its suburbs, or Indianapolis in its, different animals.

    ===I said “new leadership” as in brand new and from the outside.===

    Rauner, is that you may be referring to? And by a Republican governor, from the “Outside” … is there another candidate, for Governor, from the “Outside”?

    Help me with this …you seem to be pointing at Rauner as your answer, is that the case?


  28. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 11:42 am:

    Stop beating a dead party. Stop quoting an idiot politician as though he is a party leader. It is wrong to spotlight multiple election losers like Oberweis and present them as something they are not. Beating the GOP over the head because of an ineffective millionaire idiot’s whack job statements is biased and dishonest.

    Oberweis represents nobody but Jim Oberweis. Stop listening to him.

    And stop taking their bait and jumping on the bandwagon OW. We all have read countless times about how much more brilliant you are to the straw man GOP you pummel every chance you get.

    We get it. Oberweis-stupid, Not Oberweis-not stupid.

    The only folks dumber than Oberweis are the ones discussing Oberweis.


  29. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 11:44 am:

    ===Stop quoting an idiot politician as though he is a party leader.===

    Um, Oberweis is on the Illinois Republican State Central Committee.


  30. - Been There - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 11:45 am:

    ==Do you know the difference between a Present vote and not voting at all?===
    While I agree the statement was stupid, when you are the one looking at the board for that magical number in the Yea column to hit 30 or 60 all that matters is a Yes. A No, Present, Absent, Excused, Not Voting all count the same for someone looking for the bill to pass. I guess you look with some more optimism at the Present votes if you fall short though.


  31. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 11:47 am:

    ===Oberweis represents nobody but Jim Oberweis.===

    He’s also a state Senator, so he represents his district and all of Illinois.


  32. - qcexaminer - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 12:02 pm:

    Gee Rich, you’re really getting pedantic and literal in your old age.

    When your long-time buddy, Mike Jacobs said anyone who disagreed with his vote for civil unions was “unpatriotic”, was your pal speaking for himself or for his entire district? I know he wasn’t speaking for me, except you seem to think he was.

    Well?

    Also, Mike is a state Senator so was he representing “all of Ilinois” as well?

    OK, it’s Friday—I’ll cut you some slack. lol


  33. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 12:06 pm:

    qcexaminer, from what I recall, you moved out of the district, so of course he doesn’t speak for you.


  34. - law abiding citizen - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 12:15 pm:

    can someone explain how capping the pensionable salary would save money next year? they can’t lower the pension of those already retired, and if anything it means they will be collecting less revenue from those whose salaries exceed the cap. I may be wrong but I thought you only have your pension contribution taken out of the part of your salary eligible for pension.


  35. - train111 - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 12:32 pm:

    I live in the 25th Dist. Oberweis definitely doesn’t speak for me!! Unfortunately (from my angle anyways) he does speak for the majority of voters in his district–enough of a majority that he can shoot off his mouth and say whatever crazy he wants and still get reelected comfortably due to the R behind his name!!

    train111


  36. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 12:46 pm:

    –Some of the Reps I talk with tell me that a vote either way ends up in a mail piece against them in thier district.–

    Geez, I think that’s about the saddest thing I’ve ever read here. That sounds like a nervous breakdown, not a strategy.


  37. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 12:47 pm:

    VMan, thanks for being courteous and open-minded.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 1:03 pm:

    ===That sounds like a nervous breakdown, not a strategy.===

    I think that is whay I am wondering what those HGOP Reps think is the End Game, governmentally and politically. Seems the strategy is not to be nervous or to be constantly nervous.


  39. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 1:18 pm:

    This is dysfunction defined.

    And, @Voice of Reason, then why don’t the Republicans just pack up shop and go home? I tire of the constant lamenting that the Republicans have no power. Very true. But not even voting? As I’ve said in previous posts on this topic: Republicans - go home and save the state some money if you aren’t going to participate at all.


  40. - qcexaminer - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 1:41 pm:

    I’d say the strategy is:

    1. Wait until taxpayers revolt against the Dems

    2. Slowly, surely build a plan that replaces the Dem on Dem violence apocolypse that is sure to happen.

    Stay low and keep your powder dry is my advice to the GOP. Your time isn’t now, but it is coming.


  41. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 1:48 pm:

    Rich:

    “Do you know the difference between a Present vote and not voting?”

    When it is a single vote, or a few votes I do, indeed. When, in the case of Obama it was hundreds of votes - no I don’t know the difference.


  42. - SURS retiree - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 1:51 pm:

    Somebody told me recently now that the GA has their backs against the wall they might act. In 95 their backs were there and a big deal was correctly made about the $20 billion unfunded pensions and about 50% funding ratio so they Edgar et al passed the infamous 50 year fantasy plan (no payment on the $20 billion or even all the interest until 2034). Then they were in the tank again in 2003 becausee of the fantasy plan deferrals, and passing more benefits and of course the “mild” recession - the unfunded was then about $42 billion and about 48% funding ratio so they did the $10 billion pension bond to pay for that year’s contribution plus an extra $7.5 billion that reduced the unfunded (that was about four years of contributions in advance back then). That actually stopped the bleeding for awhile and if you check the retirement systems the extra $7.5 billion was worth almost $12 billion by June 2012 (even a weak market year). So the pension bond did some good (and ourperformed the bond cost) - things would be much worse without that extra money. Then the “big” recession hit about four years ago but nothing has been done since (the 2010 for new employees is a big deal for the future - that took five years to do - a similar version was introduced in 2005) SO what really has to happen is more money - even if the Nekritz or Cullerton version passes (and survives) the savings will still leave us with 65 to 70 billion unfunded (and growing) due to the 95 “non-funding” plan. The state has to do what troubled companies have to do when in debt - big things - sell or use some assets to pay down the liability and commit a new revenue stream (say sales tax on services) as additional “catch up” funding for several years. In other words it’s going to take money (and dumping the 95 fantasy plan) - that’s what the GA and Gov have not faced or said - even though their backs are “through the wall”


  43. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 1:53 pm:

    - Voice of Reason -,

    Quick questions for clarification;

    Are you suggesting Rauner is the answer?

    How is it different with the HGOP members being there and “NV”ing, instead of being home?


  44. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    Law Abiding Citizen, the savings come over the long haul from never paying a pension over the SS wage base. They can’t collect contributions over that amount without violating Federal tax law.


  45. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 1:53 pm:

    How is it different with the HGOP members being there and “NV”ing, instead of being home?

    Per Diem…


  46. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    Willy:

    I believe that Bruce Rauner is the right man at the right time.

    In re how is it different being there and not voting and being home?? I believe it is far different. By being there they are willing to vote and able to vote - just deciding not to give credibility to a circus. Perhaps they should emulate Obama and vote Present, as Rich seems to think is radically different. Confronting a supermajority is a very unique experience. The Republicans are truly at the mercy of the bills that MJM decides to call. He is the ultimate politician and when he tries to bully his oppenents into voting it is for his benefit - not theirs. If he cared about the best interests of the state - we wouldn’t be in this mess. He marches to the tune of the Unions and Trial Lawyers. MJM and Quinn didn’t have any trouble passing a bill to give the Trial Lawyers more money. They just have trouble giving the suckers - er taxpayers an even break. It is disingenuous for them to blame the Republicans for this dilemma, but then it worked for Obama in the Presidential Election. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. “We can’t pass legislation when we have a supermajority - so let’s make it appear that it is the Republican minority that is the problem.The press always supports us - they will attack the Republicans for not voting on our ridiculous bills.”


  47. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:11 pm:

    ===The Republicans are truly at the mercy of the bills that MJM decides to call.===

    As were the Dems under Lee Daniels. Back then, if a HGOP was seen having dinner with a House Democrat, Daniels would haul that offender into his office for a browbeating.

    It is what it is.


  48. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:15 pm:

    God put our eyes in the front of our heads so we would look forward and not back. It was wrong for Daniels back then - it is wrong for Madigan now. Or it will be “an eye for an eye until everyone is blind”.


  49. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:18 pm:

    @Voice of Reason:

    I’m not sure by your comments if you are implying that Dems are the reason for all of the state’s problems or if you are specifically referring to the current GA. If it is the former then I would say you don’t know your history that well. If it is latter then I agree with you.


  50. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:22 pm:

    –God put our eyes in the front of our heads so we would look forward and not back.–

    No, I think it was because we were at the top of the food chain and could go rustle up some dinner.

    Those at the bottom of the food chain got eyes on the side, so they could see us coming (make it fair).

    As far as remembering and understanding history, that’s what we got a brain for.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:26 pm:

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    Abe Lincoln or Michael Corelone …(obvious snark!)

    - George Santayana


  52. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:30 pm:

    Demoralized:

    It is definitely the latter. There is plenty blame to go around. Having said that - this is the first time during this crisis when one party had a supermajority in both chambers and a Gov. in other words - they have the ability to pass legislation even without opposition support or a veto from their Gov. They sought the power - they got the power, but they can’t get anything done!!
    Many today are accusing the Republicans of shirking their responsibility by not voting - even though they don’t have sufficient votes to affect policy - yet seem to turn a blind eye to the Democrats how have the ability to make policy and can’t do so - except in the case of the Trial Lawyers et al.


  53. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:34 pm:

    @Voice of Reason:

    I would continue to disagree with you re: Republicans not voting. It is shirking their responsiblity as elected officials. They were elected to come here and vote. It matters not one bit whether they win those votes. If they don’t want to participate at all then my call stands: go home. The issue of Republicans voting is an entirely separate issue from the Democrats having a supermajority. Democrats’ ability to get things done has no bearing on Republicans doing their duty and voting.


  54. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:36 pm:

    Wordslinger:

    Your supposition doesn’t work in the political world. If it did, politicians would have eyes in the front of their heads and taxpayers would have eyes on the side of theirs. That is - if it was to be fair.


  55. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:37 pm:

    - Voice of Reason - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    Willy:

    I believe that Bruce Rauner is the right man at the right time.

    The Republicans are truly at the mercy of the bills that MJM decides to call.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Given that Rauner has said he’s going to go to Springfield and enforce discipline, how do you square the circle if the Dems are in charge? Seems like empty promises since Rauner has never dealt with the Springfield establishment. Can he build consensus? Where has he demonstrated this facility?


  56. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:37 pm:

    ===Many today are accusing the Republicans of shirking their responsibility by not voting - even though they don’t have sufficient votes to affect policy -===

    You can NOT not participate if you are in the minortiy, or even in the Veto-Proofed Minority.

    According to that logic, if the HGOP knows that all the votes on Wednesday are going to pass, they can leave Sprigfield a day early and not participate, because “why does it matter?”

    The people of the House districts “hired” the HGOP members to do a “job”, and part of that job is to vote, not, as a Caucus, collectively, deciding they don’t need to vote (NV) and just sit things out.


  57. - Voice of Reason - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:42 pm:

    Willy:

    We will have to agree to disagree. There are some questions and votes that are only designed to entrap you: “Do you still beat your wife??” Is it better to say yes, no or ignore the question??


  58. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:45 pm:

    ===“Do you still beat your wife??” ===

    When the HDems run HB7868584 which asks each legislator …

    “Do you still beat your wife??”

    Then I will agree with you.


  59. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 2:50 pm:

    - voice of Reason -

    As we disagree, I have enjoyed the discussion, and time will tell on this strategy, and on Rauner.


  60. - Endangered Moderate Species - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 3:01 pm:

    -Called a “political Gamble.”-

    OW,

    I’m not sure I agree that participating would be a good gamble. All of the answers to our current challenges will require unpopular remedies.

    The voters have chosen the Democrats to make these tough decisions. The voters are fickle, they will change with the wind once their own pocketbook has been affected.

    Keeping with the gambling theme. The GOP can fold this hand and watch the action with very little risk.


  61. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 3:09 pm:

    ===I’m not sure I agree that participating would be a good gamble.===

    Neither do I, read above. I think they need to vote, I was explaining how the other “side” of the arguement can justify their choice … as a “Politcal Gamble” - in quotes.


  62. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 3:12 pm:

    Sorry, misread.

    It is a gamble, I do not like, as you said.

    The MJM Quote about participation is what should scare the HGOP members, because they will see that in a mail piece. Better to stand for something, then seem like a Leigislator getting paid to do nothing.

    Time is going to tell which will work, like “Fire Madigan”

    Apologies on mis-reading you. My bad!


  63. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 3:18 pm:

    –Having said that - this is the first time during this crisis when one party had a supermajority in both chambers and a Gov. in other words - they have the ability to pass legislation even without opposition support or a veto from their Gov.–

    There’s the rub. The presumption is that the Democratic Party is some monolithic, controlled unit. Like Southern Illinois, the South Side of Chicago, Evanston and Tinley Park are all on the same page.

    The truth of the matter is that they reached this point, for the most part, because they didn’t have the “R” brand next to their name, which has become anathema to a great majority of Illinois voters, because of the Republican Party’s association with the GOP’s Southern brand

    But, you’re right, until the GOP can appeal to Independents (most of whom used to be “R”) and the Democrats who are real conservatives (think Reagan Democrats), but can’t tolerate the GOP Southern brand, the Dems are going to have to do most of the heavy lifting.

    The Illinois GOP is going to have to knock it out amongst themselves, just like the national party is, as to who they are. Are you the party of Richard Shelby, or are you the party of Mark Kirk? Who can bring them together?

    The GOPs most loyal voting block are the elderly that want Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits — but want fewer entitlements –, want more military — but less federal spending –, and want less government intrusion into private lives — but no gay marriage.

    Good luck, with all that.


  64. - Rod - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 3:30 pm:

    Sounds like confusion among Republicans, that’s good in general. I also am exceedingly pleased that Republicans are jumping on the Rauner bandwagon. I like a Rauner v Lisa race, my money is on the Madigans. Rauner is indeed the right man at the right time and Lisa is just the woman needed to put a whooping on him.


  65. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 3:51 pm:

    Preach it, - wordslinger -.

    Well said!


  66. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 4:05 pm:

    Jump!!!


  67. - Mama - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 4:13 pm:

    It sounds like ILHGOP are following the USHGOP. How is that working for the Feds? The USHGOP only passed 3 bills in the last 4 years! That is not even 1 bill per year! The GOP are not earning their pay at the federal level either. The GOP have the power at the federal level and they too doing nothing. I as a taxpayer would not get my moneys worth by voting for any GOP in any office, and I used to vote for the GOP!


  68. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 6:05 pm:

    Rusty618 - Friday, Mar 8, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    If I was guessing they voted against it for one of three reasons:

    1) It’s an unconstitutional retroactive change unless done voluntarily by the current employees.

    2) It doesn’t punish the employees enough (if you buy into that story line).

    3) Since the unions are volunteering it, adopting it would take away a lot of the “the unions won’t cooperate” story line.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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