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“Never bet against the Speaker”

Thursday, May 2, 2013

* This is exactly right, and applied even before Madigan got the top job

There’s a political axiom at the Statehouse that embodies House Speaker Michael Madigan’s record-setting tenure as the Illinois House’s overlord: Never bet against the speaker.

I’ve used that headline time and time again, including back in the days when Lee Daniels was Speaker. It’s a powerful office.

* But I’m not sure I go along with this second graf just yet

And so it goes with the pension-reform package that the Southwest Side Democrat muscled out of a House committee on Wednesday — putting it on a clear track toward Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk despite anger from unions and an uncertain reception in the state Senate.

There was no muscling in that committee yesterday. The die was already cast.

And the path to Quinn’s desk isn’t totally clear yet because Cullerton is still negotiating with the unions. If Cullerton fails to convince his caucus to go along and can’t pass a bill that Madigan can and/or is willing to pass, then, yeah, that path could very well be cleared. Time will tell.

…Adding… Good points

It may be a case of Madigan playing bad cop to Cullerton’s good cop, setting the stage for passage of a long-awaited pension plan.

Or a sign of deepening divisions in the stalemate that’s left Illinois with the worst-funded pensions in America.

* Madigan, however, made sure to woo the Senate GOP Leader

Even if Cullerton may be holding out hope for a bill that he thinks would better withstand a constitutional challenge, Madigan’s approach seemed designed to win over Senate Republicans and limit Cullerton’s options — down to using one of Radogno’s ideas.

There were 8 Senate Republican “No” votes on the Madicrossbritz bill last month, most of whom have lots of state workers in their districts. So Cullerton probably wouldn’t have to go it alone unless the SGOPs make opposition a caucus positiion.

* Then again, Madigan pretty much always gets what he wants. And if he really and truly wants his bill to become law, Cullerton may have no choice but to go along just to get something done. The unions know this, too, which is why they came up with a “credible” pension plan yesterday.

* And Madigan even went so far yesterday as to predict that the plan would attract a majority of the Supremes

Madigan said he believes a majority of the state’s seven-member Supreme Court will sign off on the legality of the legislation.

“I think there will be at least four members of the Illinois Supreme Court that will approve the bill,” Madigan said.

* Meanwhile, I wish more reporters would follow Kurt Erickson’s lead and put this sort of context into their pension stories

“I’m still bothered by the fact that it does not involve all five of our pension systems. The judges are not in this bill. We need to be fair across the board, all five systems,” said state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, who represents thousands of university employees, school teachers and retirees potentially affected by the changes.

Rep. Brady is using the judicial stuff as a cover. Good on Erickson.

* How not to do it

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, said he doubted he would support the bill crafted by state Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago. Bost said he questioned the bill’s constitutionality and wondered why individual aspects of the proposal were not given severability if challenged in the courts.

“If Madigan was real with this, and believe he’s the expert at this, he would have put a severability clause in it,” Bost said.

Bost also has “thousands of university employees, school teachers and retirees potentially affected by the changes,” but it ain’t mentioned. Just one excuse after another.

* Related…

* Illinois House showdown on pensions possible today: Among committee members from the suburbs, state Reps. Nekritz, McSweeney, Darlene Senger of Naperville, Tom Morrison of Palatine and Carol Sente of Vernon Hills voted for it. State Rep. Raymond Poe, a Springfield Republican, was the lone “no” vote. Despite his support, Morrison said he still has concerns. The Republican lawmakers has backed a plan that would move public employees to 401k-style retirement plans. “I’m still going to fight for the real reform I think is necessary,” he said.

* Madigan: Pension overhaul will pass muster with legislature — and court

* House vote expected Thursday on Madigan pension plan

* Amended pension reform bill passes House committee

* House panel OKs Madigan pension plan

- Posted by Rich Miller        

113 Comments
  1. - Liberty_First - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 9:37 am:

    The only positive thing about using political clout to ram the bill through is it will end up in the legal instead of the political arena. I still believe this could backfire on the legislature and force them to the realization they will have to pay the bill one way or another.


  2. - illinifan - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 9:48 am:

    Based on Madigans count of the Supremes it almost looks like he has talked with them, received guidance which may have been the reason for the preamble. Either that or his crystal ball is on overtime


  3. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 9:49 am:

    folks are really tiring of Boss Toss’ empty talking points. He is quickly emerging as a bigger windbag than the guy from Daville. They are also talking of running him around a little in’14


  4. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 9:50 am:

    Rich, That is an excellent point you note in “the fact that it does not involve all five of our pension systems. The judges are not in this bill.” If part of constitutional muster is fairness then this should be an easy decision for the courts to reject. I would also believe the judges are smart enough to realize their pension system would be next if they OK’d this current legislation that only pandering to this manufactured crisis.


  5. - walkinfool - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 9:54 am:

    This has been a long, hard, masterful management of processes and issues: with multiple meetings, test floor votes, stalking horses, airing of differences, co-sponsorship by minority party leadership, etc. It has resulted in a very tough bi-partisan compromise that actually could solve the problem for the long term. Everyone paying attention has been seeing the details of this plan coming together for many months.

    To call it “using political clout to ram the bill through” doesn’t reflect what’s been happening.


  6. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 9:56 am:

    ===judges are smart enough to realize their pension system would be next===

    Maybe. But they have added constitutional protection of their compensation. Plus, only RRB was stupid enough to go after the judges. Nobody else does, for reasons that are pretty obvious.


  7. - Montrose - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 10:00 am:

    *To call it “using political clout to ram the bill through” doesn’t reflect what’s been happening.*

    That is a really good point. There is nothing new or surprising here. Either in the content of the bill or how it is playing out. There is a reason Madigan gets what Madigan wants.


  8. - ProblemChild21 - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 10:03 am:

    Walkin - It would be nice to think that this legislation will actually solve the problem - but so far the numbers don’t add up. It may make the problem less onerous, but the legislature will have to come back to the well later. This is really a pitch at seeing if the legislature can erode constitutional principles and get away with it. If so, expect other constitutional items to be on the chopping block next.


  9. - Anonymous 1 - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 10:07 am:

    What will come next will either be an additional tax increase on our flat tax or opening up the constitution to join just about everyone else in the country for a progressive income tax rate. Because the bottom line is, even with any changes to the pension systems, our state doesn’t have enough revenue to pay for all of it’s wants. So taxpayers who think all will be well with pension diminishments, think further down the road.


  10. - just sayin' - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 10:09 am:

    If Mike Bost’s constituents wanted a credible voice on this matter they should have elected a credible state representative, and not the tirade prone hothead they keep sending back to Springfield.

    Just sayin’.


  11. - Bigtwich - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 10:09 am:

    The non severability clause is interesting, if any part of the acts found unconstitutional the whole act falls. At first I thought that was a big risk. It finely dawned on me that the possibility of having everything but the waver of sovereign immunity found unconstitutional might be a bigger risk.


  12. - NIref - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 10:09 am:

    Bost is the Republican dog-on-a-leash. When they need time, or someone to throw an angry tantrum, call him up; even when it does not reflect the overall ideology of the party. It provides a good cover for moderates to move with the Democrats without drawing attention to themselves.

    Frankly, his tantrums are getting annoying; his reputation is going down the tubes, and nobody wants to touch him. The number of cosponsors on his bills is starting to plummet, and now he cannot effectively represent his constituents.


  13. - rusty618 - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 10:13 am:

    Actually, I like Bost’s idea. I think it is likely that the bill will end up court because of the COLA reduction which is a diminishment. I really doubt that Madigan will win in court as he claims, so by having an option to severe part while keeping the rest in would make it work.


  14. - low level - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 10:13 am:

    “…they will have to pay the bill one way or another.” “manufactured crisis”

    Certainly these two comments reflect many folks’ attitude about the situation, but I always have to ask:

    Any politician, right or left leaning, wants to be seen as giving people something or protecting something that a group of people already have - especially groups of long time supporters/natural allies.

    They want to make their respective bases happy.

    Given that, why on earth would Democratic leaders be proposing such measures if they didn’t honestly feel there was a problem that had to be addressed? Especially when the one has a family member who may be seeking higher office?

    I understand the skepticism. I don’t understand the logic.


  15. - walkinfool - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 10:35 am:

    @ProblemChild: You’re probably right, this bill alone might not solve everything, but it will go a long way, and put us in sight of the goal. I was a fan of the “cost-shifting” piece of this, which would rightly shift some accountability to those who have the biggest impact on pension costs overall. Continued improvement in budgeting processes, which began two years ago, will also help.

    As to an attack on “Constitutional principles”, our problem is bigger than that. We have accumulated over time a bunch of specific restraints on typical and normal governmental choices, in our Constitution, which really don’t belong there. They aren’t “principles” under any reasonable approach to what a constitution is supposed to do. One example is specifying what the ratio of corporate tax rates should be to individual tax rates, which other states leave to the discretion of the legislature. I could name a dozen equally bad cases of mucking up the document with what should be covered in statutes, or established contract law. We should simplify and clean up our Constitution, for better government, and not view that effort as “eroding principles” in the usual sense of the words.


  16. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 10:47 am:

    CFS, “Boss Toss” is inspired.


  17. - 47th Ward - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 10:52 am:

    ===Rep. Brady is using the judicial stuff as a cover. Good on Erickson.===

    Agreed. A lot of these legislators talk a good game but in reality are doing everything possible to be on both sides of the issue. I understand it’s a tough decision, to do what’s best for the state or to do what’s best for the large numbers of affected employees in their districts. But there is no where to hide anymore.

    And as far as the judges are concerned, Rich is correct that they have additional constitutional protections against changing salary during their terms, but at the end of the day, the judges retirement plan is a small part of the problem.


  18. - ProblemChild21 - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 10:57 am:

    Walkin - Your comments about what belongs in the Constitution may or may not be correct. You are certainly correct that the proper method to approach such issues is to “clean up” the Constitution, but that requires a Constitutional Convention.

    I can make one prediction - with all of the damaging legislation being passed by the legislature (think SB7 & PERA, to name a few) regarding teaching and schools, in 10-20 years the state will be asking how we can get quality teachers again. Right now, the numbers of college students going into teaching is dropping radically. With no real incentives to enter teaching, reduced securities, and with the ability to earn higher dollars in the private sector, fewer and fewer students are willing to become teachers. That will soon be our crisis…


  19. - ProblemChild21 - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 11:00 am:

    Walkin - One other issue - while you may believe that items should not be in the constitution, it remains the fact that both the House, Senate, Governor, and a majority of voting populace approved of the items in the 1970 Constitution. As President Obama once famously stated, “Elections have consequences.”


  20. - Soccertease - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 11:01 am:

    Strong-arming politicians is one thing. Attempting to influence the judicial system is bribery. I think the decision to exclude the JRS will backfire. Generally, judges ethical standards are way higher than Madigan and the legislature.


  21. - Will Caskey - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 11:36 am:

    Honestly this headline still baffles me. What does that mean? Bet against the Speaker how? Like, against his ability to pass things out of his legislative chamber? Okay I won’t. I wasn’t thinking of doing so; any legislative leader of middling competence can do that.

    But to Rich’s point, that and three bucks will get you coffee once it comes to the senate, or the governor, or whatever.

    As maxims go it just doesn’t mean very much.


  22. - Joe M - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    ==We have accumulated over time a bunch of specific restraints on typical and normal governmental choices, in our Constitution, which really don’t belong there.==

    I disagree with that. Article I, section 10, clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution, put there by the founders, seems to apply here. It states that no state shall pass a law that impairs the obligation of contracts.

    And in cases involving that contract protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court has stated:

    “Contract Clause of [U.S.] Constitution limits otherwise legitimate exercise of state legislative authority, and existence of important public interest is not always sufficient to overcome that limitation……..”.
    also:
    “If a State could reduce its financial obligations whenever it wanted to spend the money for what it regarded as an important public purpose, the Contract Clause would provide no protection at all.”

    Although some jurisdictions still hold the view that a pension granted by public authorities is not a contractual obligation but is a gratuity, a majority of jurisdictions take the view that public employees have certain contractual rights in a public pension where a pension is part of the terms of employment. Thus, it is fitting the Illinois Constitution has a public pension protection clause - it builds on protections given in the U.S. Constitution long ago.


  23. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 11:53 am:

    What Caskey said.

    Never bet against the Speaker? Let’s be honest. Can anybody point to any major legislative accomplishments of the Speaker?

    In 30 years, what has he done?

    Pension reform? A problem 30 years ago. Still a problem.

    A casino in Chicago? A problem 30 years ago. Still a problem.

    A conceal carry bill that has a chance? A problem 30 years ago. Still a problem.

    Anything significant on the budget?

    His legacy will be “The guy that earned Democrats a wage working as Reps in Springfield.” He elects Dems to the House, who then accomplish nothing.

    Yet people are terrified of the guy. Of what? Of his ability to stop any progress? To do nothing? To make sure that today’s problems are also tomorrow’s problems?

    It is simply boggling.


  24. - Anon. - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 12:31 pm:

    ==Rep. Brady is using the judicial stuff as a cover. Good on Erickson.==

    Really? How is it good to invite an ad hominem evaluation of Brady’s remarks rather than to analyze the remarks on their merits? Besides, I’m sure Brady represents many more taxpayers than he does state retirement system members, so why not mention that, too?

    ==But they have added constitutional protection of their compensation.==

    Which says only that their compensation “shall not be diminished to take effect during their terms of office.” Whatever the General Assembly can do to retirees in SERS, TRS, and SURS, they can do to retired judges, too.


  25. - Cassiopeia - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    Everything ends at some point. Madigan today is not the Madigan of old. His days will eventually end. He may have stayed in the game too long already. We will know in a few weeks.

    Once power begins to weaken it crumbles, especially for someone that no one actually likes. Madigan doesn’t have any real friends.


  26. - MOON - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 1:41 pm:

    CASS

    I agree everthing ends at some point and his days will eventually end.

    Your statement about Madigan not having real friends is way off base. I for one know of hundreds of friends of the Speaker including myself.

    Madigan wants people to like him, but that is not going to sway his approach to solving problems. When tough decisions need to be made you can rest assured his choice will not be made with the purpose of making friends.

    In politics respect is much more valued than friendship.


  27. - Norseman - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 1:44 pm:

    Accidentally posted this on wrong thread.

    === The only positive thing about using political clout to ram the bill through is it will end up in the legal instead of the political arena. ===

    I would hope that would be the case, but the cynic in me fears that politics would play a role in the decision. There’s no better master at that then Madigan.

    Because he knows about politics, he and others made the political decision to not gore the judicial ox. Its one thing to get people to do a political nasty to others, its another to have them to it to themselves.

    Why am I dismissing the judges have special protection argument? If the reduction forces can argue that the extremely clear cut pension diminishment clause can be overcome through various legal fictions, I argue the judges provision is even weaker.

    The constitution states, “Judges shall receive salaries provided by law which shall not be diminished to take effect DURING THEIR TERMS OF OFFICE [emphasis added].”

    So you can argue that any change to current judges would become effective after their terms. Retired judges don’t have terms.

    IMHO, a legal based decision by the SC would clearly find Madigan’s bill unconstitutional.


  28. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 1:55 pm:

    –Honestly this headline still baffles me. What does that mean? Bet against the Speaker how? Like, against his ability to pass things out of his legislative chamber? Okay I won’t. I wasn’t thinking of doing so; any legislative leader of middling competence can do that.–

    Tell John Boehner and Harry Reid.

    Madigan is powerful, but not all-powerful. Any governor still has the hammer of a veto pen and big heat when it comes to jobs, contracts, grants, etc.

    But running the House Democratic caucus ain’t easy. Despite what some think, Cook County Democrats are hardly a homogenous unit (it was amazing how Council Wars was largely kept out of Springfield; that was dancing on the razor’s edge).

    Throw in collar and Downstate lawmakers, and you’re herding cats.


  29. - nikki - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 1:56 pm:

    i will bet against the speaker.my money is on cullerton and the unions.madigans days are behind him.he needs to retire.


  30. - Will Caskey - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 2:14 pm:

    Wordslinger: I don’t think the U.S. Senate, with its emphasis and necessity on unanimous consent, is comparable at all to the Illinois state house. And with regards to John Boehner…see my remarks re “middling competence.”


  31. - low level - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 2:27 pm:

    Clearly some folks commenting here are new to the state who would do well to research past Illinois Issues magazine to get up to speed before commenting.

    -A Chicago Casino was not in the cards (haha) 30 years ago.

    -C. Carry? Please, that was the time gun laws were becoming more restrictive (and, if you knew anything, you would also know that was the time the Chicago City Council passed the ordinance banning handguns within City limits that was the subject of one of the recent lawsuits)

    Along the same line of what wordslinger said, what are the past 30 years of governors known for? Well, the most recent 2 are obvious. But what is Jim Edgar known for? Some here may say good governance, etc. and that may be true. But how about the average voter, over 40, what would they say about Edgar?

    How about Gov. Thompson? Most would respond he is known for a large, hideous building in downtown Chicago that needed a lot of fixing up before it was even 5 years old.

    The point is that state leaders are never truly “known” for anything on the same level that national leaders are.


  32. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 2:36 pm:

    Low,

    The problem with calling people uninformed here is that generally the people commenting are remarkably well informed.

    You see, many of us realize that Mayor Byrne wanted to make Chicago “The Monte Carlo of the Midwest.” So yes, there was talk of a casino way back then. And no progress was made, just like now.

    So Low, you may want to stop typing for a while, and read some history. It would make your comments far more interesting.


  33. - Yes Pension - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 2:43 pm:

    Kind of hard to argue while yes there is a budget problem that you have to violate the constitutional protection of diminishment, while you have and are spending so much on pork.


  34. - low level - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 2:47 pm:

    As I remember it, Janie Byrnes proposal for a Chicago Casino never got off the ground. There was “talk” of one - the same way she would talk at press conferences about everything. Was there legislation? City Council action? Not that I recall. Am I wrong? MJM defeated a Chicago casino proposal?


  35. - Will Caskey - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 2:50 pm:

    low level: I believe the contention is that regardless of the Speaker’s ability to get casino legislation out of his own chamber, such a bill did not become law.

    Personally I wouldn’t say Illinois governors are particularly powerful or accomplished either. It’s not a very illustrious state, policy- or legislation-wise.


  36. - Norseman - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 2:51 pm:

    === the judges retirement plan is a small part of the problem ===

    GARS is even smaller. The numbers are smaller because there are fewer members. They still have a problem. JRS and GARS have the poorest funded ratios. JRS has an unfunded liability of $1.4 billion, while GARS’ unfunded liability is $250 million.

    I’m not arguing for judges to be included. I don’t believe the constitution allows any impairment of any system retirees or current members.

    I’m just saying that the judges are excluded from these bills for political and not legal reasons.


  37. - RNUG - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 2:52 pm:

    /snark … Even harder to argue with a straight face that violating the Constitution is the only choice when you also admit you (and the entire presnet and past GA’s and Govs) helped create the problem via systematic underfunding. /snark off

    Nobody ever knows what the Speaker’s actual end game is until the deal is done, but I’ve been convinced for some time the objective is to generate political cover, via rejection by the courts, for the tax hike that has to happen … be it just retention of the temporary income tax increase, a higher permanent income tax rate, an expansion of the tax base (services, retiree income?), moving to a progressive income tax, or any combination thereof.


  38. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 2:53 pm:

    @Anon. - Maybe it was just a typo or you forgot a word there but just checking that you realize state of Illinois retired workers are taxpayers too (at least as much as state farm retirees or other private sector retirees are taxpayers).

    Just hate seeing public workers get treated as if they are welfare cases of taxpayers rather than employees of taxpayers and the way this issue gets framed by some pension reformers creates that false impression.


  39. - RNUG - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 2:57 pm:

    If they are willing to be involved up front in the actual legislative process, twist some arms and use both the amendatory veto and full veto when needed, IL Gov’s can wield a lot of power.


  40. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 2:59 pm:

    Low,
    Which was my point.
    The problem was there.
    It was there was Jane was mayor.
    It is still there.
    Just like pensions.
    And the budget.
    And bad roads and bridges.
    And just about every other problem.

    Can anybody honestly say that since Madigan became Speaker the first time, conditions in Illinois are substantially better? That problems have been solved?


  41. - low level - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:03 pm:

    The big issues I remember from back then were: the state’s response to massive federal budget cuts, saving the CTA, and keeping Chicago Public Schools open- all against the backdrop of a bitterly divided IL Democratic party in the early ’80s.

    And I would submit that MJM did a pretty good job.


  42. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:11 pm:

    Low, you just made my point.
    The state budget.
    Keeping Chicago schools open.
    Keeping the CTA functioning.

    Were any of those problems solved, or even close to solved?

    Things are exactly the same, at best. With continued wear and tear, schools and the CTA are probably worse. And the pension crisis is definitely worse.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:12 pm:

    I kinda sat back and let this fester a bit, hoping for something better …

    ===Can anybody honestly say that since Madigan became Speaker the first time, conditions in Illinois are substantially better? That problems have been solved?===

    Then beat him.

    Beat him.

    Don’t “Fire him”, don’t attack his daughter, don’t rail on things that 1/2 of 1/3 of government is responsible for, Beat Him.

    Otherwise, “you got nuttin.” You got whining, you got anger, you got nothing of substance to say the MJM has done nothing but be unbeatable.

    This is so dissapointing. “Well, what has Madigan done?”, “He is just the person responsible for ‘X’, and is the worst”.

    Beat him.

    He gets what he needs to get done, with whomever can work within the parameter of the “Madigan Rules”;

    Do nothing to upset the Democratic Majority.
    Do nothing that upsets the future of the Democratic Majority.
    Do nothing that upsets the advancement, or tries to embarrass Lisa Madigan.

    Brent Hassert, Skip Saviano, …should I continue?

    These rants like above, are lazy and just more wordy than “Fire Madigan”, which is all you are saying.

    Beat him, then you have my attention.


  44. - Will Caskey - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:19 pm:

    Oswego Willy: Why? What on earth do I care one way or another who runs the state house, either as a Democratic consultant or as a voter?


  45. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:19 pm:

    Remember - HenryVK -,

    Republicans in starting in 1992 had a Republican House-Drawn map, and MJM still only lost the gavel for ONE term. He is just better… and all the blaming in the world…”For 30 years…” “nonsense”, (as Rep. Drury likes to say) is just Dopey rhetoric not helping My Party beat MJM, but loving to “Blame” Madigan because we can’t beat him.

    Food for thought.


  46. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:20 pm:

    Sure OW, but my rant was aimed at my Democratic friends.

    I get that the GOP can’t beat him. He’s really good at defeating Republicans.

    But I’m boggled by the fact that allegedly progressive Democrats continue to vote for him for Speaker.

    So other than ranting, what else can I do? The GOP can’t beat him. My Democratic friends seem to like him.

    And our state gets worse.

    We are at the bottom of so many economic indicators, and we deserve it. We voted for these people. What did we expect?


  47. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:23 pm:

    - Will Caskey -,

    Care, don’t care, rant, whine, cheer …

    Beat him. Until My Party understands that focusing in MJM gets us nowhere, and when frustrated Dems realize that, today, things are runs through Madigan because he runs and wins with Democrats so we better get on board … until then, all that is going on is the banging of the head against the wall, yeeling in the wind, and whining.

    Beat him. That is the reality. The rest is just to make those frustraed feel good to rant.


  48. - Ruby - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:28 pm:

    SB1 passed the house a few moments ago.


  49. - RNUG - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:29 pm:

    Love him or hate him, MJM stays in power for several major reasons:

    1) he is good at the political game

    2) starting with Quinn’s cut-back amendment, it became easier to concentrate power in the hands of the majority and minority leaders

    3) rules put in place after the cut-back, by both parties, made it even easier to further concentrate power in the party leaders’ hands

    4) MJM controls a lot of money via his campaign funds … and isn’t afraid to use it to help his allies and defeat his enemies (see #1)


  50. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:29 pm:

    ===But I’m boggled by the fact that allegedly progressive Democrats continue to vote for him for Speaker.

    So other than ranting, what else can I do? The GOP can’t beat him. My Democratic friends seem to like him.

    And our state gets worse.===

    Here is the reality for progressive Dems, Moderate Dems, heck the Conservative Dems downstate…

    If you are running for state Rep., and its tight, or you are behind, MJM is not going to lose his majority, so Madigan runs the races … Madigan wins the races … and the “Piper needs to be paid.”

    MJM will give cover for Targets, give that Rep good bills to win re-election, but the bottom line is, they are newly planted Mushrooms, and the Mushroom likes to be in the Green House, as opposed to losing the election to the State House.

    There is no, nor will there be a Coup. First, the Staff, who are ridiculously loyal (to their Credit, make no mistake!), so you have no Staff “assisting”, and everyone owes MJM for something or another. You have to say with the one that brung ya.

    Thems the rules. MJM can be flexible, and MJM can be thoughtful … within the THREE RULES.

    Follow the Three Rules, then you can get something done.


  51. - RNUG - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:30 pm:

    Ruby @ 3:28 pm:

    Now the real games will begin …


  52. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:30 pm:

    - RNUG -,

    WELL, well, said.

    That is how it goes, and if you think anything else, you are kidding yourself.


  53. - Anon. - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:33 pm:

    @hisgirlfriday == @Anon. - Maybe it was just a typo or you forgot a word there but just checking that you realize state of Illinois retired workers are taxpayers too (at least as much as state farm retirees or other private sector retirees are taxpayers).

    I think you missed my point, which is that pointing out that Brady represents a lot of retirees is less than useless.


  54. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:40 pm:

    Oswego,

    And that goes back to my point.

    If people want to make a living being a State Rep., then Madigan can see to it that the people get that pay check.

    But do they want a state pay check, or do they want to do something?

    The job pays pretty well. But it involves a lot of travel. Still, times are tough, and “State Rep” beats unemployed.

    But if people want to go to Springfield for a reason other than collecting that pay check, then the Speaker is not helping the cause.

    Again, look at the progressives. The ones that are lawyers could make more money as partners in decent sized firms. Heck, some associates at some firms make more than State Reps.

    So if you are a progressive and you have a law degree, why do you cast that vote for Madigan? Doing so means you will not accomplish any of your progressive goals. And that law degree means that the job of State Rep means low pay.

    So why bother? What’s the up side?


  55. - Will Caskey - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:45 pm:

    I think you’re confusing bemusement for complaint. My entire point is that everyone is all WHARRGARBLE MADIGAN and after seven years in professional politics here I am still like what is the big deal here.


  56. - reformer - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:45 pm:

    There’s no doubt about the Speaker’s ability to control the mushrooms in his caucus, who take umbrage at being called mushrooms even as they vote against their erstwhile union friends.

    Madigan also has clout with at least the four justices from the county of Cook. I have no doubt justices could rationalize diminishing everyone else’s pensions but exempting their own.


  57. - Where will it end - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:48 pm:

    SB1 passed. Right after the vote, MJM made a motion to “reconsider the vote”, it was second and tabled.

    What’s going on?


  58. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:50 pm:

    ===But if people want to go to Springfield for a reason other than collecting that pay check, then the Speaker is not helping the cause.

    Again, look at the progressives. The ones that are lawyers could make more money as partners in decent sized firms. Heck, some associates at some firms make more than State Reps.

    So if you are a progressive and you have a law degree, why do you cast that vote for Madigan? Doing so means you will not accomplish any of your progressive goals. And that law degree means that the job of State Rep means low pay.

    So why bother? What’s the up side?===

    Here is your REALITY. Ready?

    Today, and in the future, and until, basically, MJM decides NOT to run the Caucus …

    A majority of the HDem Caucus is never going to vote against Michael J. Madigan as Speaker.

    That is real. OK?

    Now, if you are a Dem, and you want to go down to Springfield, and “effect change”, be “agenda driven”, great. Follow the Three Rules, and …

    “You’ll be fine.”

    If you go down to the Springfield, with an agenda you THINK you can outmanuver MJM, you better have 36 other members voting against MJM for Speaker…

    THAT, is reality.

    The rest are just the “hopes” you outline, running against the reality of the Caucus, and what can be accomplished.

    The road is littered with “Former state Representative …”. So, stay within the Three Rules, and “You’ll be fine.”


  59. - Ruby - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:53 pm:

    Vote history for SB1 : http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/98/house/09800SB0001_05022013_003000T.pdf


  60. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:54 pm:

    Oswego,

    Based upon the tone and the ALL CAPS, you seem to think that we are in some basic disagreement.

    I’m not seeing where we disagree.

    If you want a job doing as the Speaker tells you, run for State Rep.

    If you are a progressive who cares about policy, don’t run for State Rep. unless you are going to have the courage to stand up to the Speaker.

    Are we really in disagreement over those points?


  61. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 3:54 pm:

    - Will Caskey -

    We’re all “good”, and I agree, its like Renault in “Casablanca” for me as well …

    “I am shocked to learn there is gambling here at ‘Rick’s’…”

    Seven years, is that “Steak knives” or “linens”, I get confused…


  62. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 4:00 pm:

    - HenryVK -,

    Oh, not at all. But the whining about Madigan, and the 30 years, and all MJM’s fault is just so “played”, it was used against the HGOP so well Madigan got a “Super Majority” and Dems who want to change The Speaker usually are the ones who turn to the Speaker for help when they get primaried after their 1st term, voting against the Speaker as often as possible.

    Blaming Madigan, ranting on about the 30 years, gets all of us nowhere, and all it does is make the grasp of The Speaker tighter on the Mushrooms against whatever the ranter is beefing against.

    Either beat Madigan, or work within the Three Madigan Rules and work to get something done.

    The rest is just wearing on those trying to either actually beat The speaker, or working within the rules to get something done.

    That is my point, and why I let the rants fester, but finally felt compelled to post.


  63. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 4:06 pm:

    Oswego,

    It sounds like our primary difference is that you still hold out hope.

    After seeing progressives like Cassidy and Williams and Feigenholtz vote for the Speaker, I have no hope.

    Do those three really need work? What is in it for them? Why make that long drive to Springfield to accomplish nothing?

    If those three will not stand up to him, we are doomed until he decides to retire.

    And knowing that people like those three will not stand up now does not give me much hope for when he does retire.

    Welcome to Illinois, where we are simply not very good at governing ourselves.


  64. - dupage dan - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 4:07 pm:

    So, because of PQ and his cut-back amendment (among other things), power is now concentrated in the Speaker position, currently held by MJM. This makes it particularly difficult, if not impossible, to defeat him. Yet, per OW, that is precisely what the GOP should do before they get any cred. Yet he likely could remain in his position (see RNUG) due to the immense power he currently wields - no matter what anybody does.

    Hmmmmm. I think we’re all Bozos on this bus.


  65. - Andrew Szakmary - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 4:08 pm:

    For those of you wondering about the impact of the COLA cuts in the Madigan Bill that just passed the House, as a Finance professor proficient with spreadsheets and time value of money calculations I can offer the following:

    In my case, retire at age 55, live to my life expectancy of 80, inactive member with 11 years under SURS, the bill diminishes the present value of my benefits over my expected lifetime by 21%. That calculation assumes a 7.75% discount rate (the same rate used to determine my benefit in the first place under the money purchase formula). Should the 7.75% discount rate be reduced, as suggested by the Madigan Bill’s proposed changes to how the effective rate of interest is set, then my initial monthly pension could also be substantially reduced and the total diminishment of my benefits would be far greater still, but I am gambling that this will not happen between now and my Dec. 1, 2013 retirement date.

    However, people retiring 2-3 years from now or later will probably be affected by the effective rate of interest provision as well, and may well see diminishments in the 30-50% range. On the other hand, those retiring soon at higher ages like 60 or 65 may see somewhat smaller diminishments because they will collect the pension for fewer years, thus reducing the impact of the COLA cap.


  66. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 4:15 pm:

    - dupage dan -,

    30, 60, Mansion.

    That is my mantra.

    Win.

    All the rest, the policy-driven Reps., the Slytherin Housers who require Purity, the “wide-eyed” optimists, looking to make a splash …

    30, 60, Mansion.

    Get 60 GOP members in the House, then you have something. Beat Him.

    - HenryVK -,

    You are a “True Believer”, and that is OK. The reality is that Cassidy and Williams and Feigenholtz get more done working the Three Madigan Rules, than trying to find 36 Members to depose MJM. You should be thanking them for understanding that working with the Speaker gets more done than fighting him tooth and nail … and Gavel.

    30, 60, Mansion.

    And, - dupage dan -, thank that HGOP “cracker-jack” operation for dropping all those seats, with no field operations, very limitied field support and no election day aparatus. You can’t beat MJM …Golfing… on Election Day.


  67. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 4:21 pm:

    Is it possible people are still talking about the Cutback Amendment?

    Christ was a kid back then. Moses was in short pants.


  68. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 4:28 pm:

    - wordslinger -

    I guess sometimes a history lesson is “needed”?, Since some feel the need to blame for 30 years of problems, and explaining “Caucus structure” is lost on some?…

    I just like to focus on 30, 60, and Mansion. Math is hard.


  69. - RNUG - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 4:33 pm:

    Where will it end @ 3:48 pm:

    Parliamentary maneuvering …


  70. - D P Gumby - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 4:43 pm:

    I, too, am concerned about the Speaker’s comment that there are 4 Supreme Court Justices who will support it. The Speaker does not say things unless he knows and that is something the Speaker shouldn’t know…but he probably does.


  71. - low level - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 4:54 pm:

    Henry- Please. I’ve lived in Chicago my whole life, and the schools and CTA are much better. But now you’ll say it had nothing to do with MJM, it was the work of others, which proves Oswego Willy’s point (I didn’t want to say it myself) everything else is ranting and whining. You’ll blame him for everything and credit him with nothing (aka-whining).

    “Solved”? Where in the country, with a large urban population, are any of those problems “solved”?

    (And if its that bad, and the things aren’t solved, then why can’t you beat him?)


  72. - Norseman - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 4:54 pm:

    === SB1 passed. Right after the vote, MJM made a motion to “reconsider the vote”, it was second and tabled.

    What’s going on? ===

    It’s an old legislative tactic to make it harder to reconsider an action. Now to try reconsider the bill, an opponent has to win two votes - one to take the motion to reconsider off the table; the second being the actual vote to reconsider. It’s called a lock up motion.


  73. - Where will it end - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 4:54 pm:

    Thanks RNUG

    But to what end will the parliamentary maneuvering help MJM?


  74. - MOON - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 4:55 pm:

    GUMBY

    The Speaker knows it because it is constitutional.


  75. - Fred's Mustache - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 5:01 pm:

    - HenryVK -

    Progressives have run for State Rep. They lost. Just look at 2012 - Wil Guzzardi? Lost. Rudy Lozano? Lost. Paula Basta? Lost.

    My point is that it takes more than some progressive ideas (even in really progressive districts) to win an election. MJM has the apparatus to do it better than anyone else in Illinois. If you are going to go against him, you better hope that you have the resources to be able to go it alone.


  76. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 5:05 pm:

    Fred,
    I don’t think anybody doubts that it is difficult.

    But unless they are going to do something when they get elected, why bother?


  77. - RNUG - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 5:12 pm:

    The current bill is clearly diminishment. The only way it is constitutional is if the court buys the “police powers” argument, hence the long preamble.

    We’ve had this “crisis” multiple times over the past 40 - 50 years. Remember 1970 when we all approved the income tax as a replacement for the personal property tax? That brought in so much money the State actually paid all it’s bills for about 4 years before the GA spent so much they had to start shorting the pension funds again. Then there was the 1995 pension ramp reset to freeup money. And the pension borrowing. And the recent 2% temp tax increase.

    The history matters. In all the other pension cases to make it to the IL SC, the court looked back … not only to the 1970 clause and it’s intent but also to pension and contract cases prior to 1970. You can bet the court will look at the history of games played with the funds since 1970. If, as MJM contends, the court will side with him, the court will have to ignore and rationalize away a lot of previous statements and decisions.


  78. - es - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 5:14 pm:

    It is amazing that we all keep blaming the workers in this state for our problems. The real blame is MJM he is the person who was behind all the failure to pay the bills legislation. He alone watched this happen and allowed it. Now he want the fools in our Illinois house to bail him out! Not only should he be thrown out of office, he should go straight to prison!!! He is corrupt, immoral and single handedly ruined the state of Illinois!!!!


  79. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 5:15 pm:

    Low Level,

    I note that your post does not reference what the rest of us would call “accomplishments” by the Speaker.

    Why can’t I beat him? I can’t beat him because I can make way more money doing what I’m doing, and at risk of offending some, I really don’t like Springfield.

    Why can’t others beat him? The fact that Illinois is last in just about every category seems like decent proof that we are pretty bad at governing ourselves. We are just not good at it. We would all be better off if we just acknowledged that we have certain strengths, but “electing good people” is not one of those strengths.


  80. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 5:16 pm:

    ===But unless they are going to do something when they get elected, why bother?===

    Well, then maybe all the House Members should just go home,…unless… they are willing to vote, in its entirety, for the Progressive Agenda, and make sure 100% of that agenda is voted on, passed and signed, otherwise, we need to shut down goverment, because what is the use, right!

    That sounds like democracy in action… or …

    Working together as a diverse Caucus, in the Majority, to move a more unifying agenda makes sense to KEEP the Majority, and have the voters agree with the Majority Party over and over to retain power …

    The first sign of a “True Believer”, is that their agenda, is the only agenda possible.

    There will never be 36 “Progressives” that will vote against MJM, because there are just not going to be 31 districts, out of a 60 seat majority, AND out of 118 total seats that will elect Progressives, today, withthe map as it is, and the politics as they are.

    Sorry, it’s just true.


  81. - Skeeter - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 5:17 pm:

    For those wondering about the constitutional issues, the Illinois Appellate Court today punted on a pension issue. Worth a read.

    http://www.state.il.us/court/Opinions/AppellateCourt/2013/3rdDistrict/3110865.pdf


  82. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 5:22 pm:

    ===The real blame is MJM he is the person who was behind all the failure to pay the bills legislation. He alone watched this happen and allowed it. Now he want the fools in our Illinois house to bail him out! Not only should he be thrown out of office, he should go straight to prison!!! He is corrupt, immoral and single handedly ruined the state of Illinois!!!!===

    Fire Madigan! Madigan is the root of All Evil and everything that is dirty on Earth over the past 30 years, including the Desingated Hitter in Baseball!

    Fire Him, Fire HIM!!!

    Dope.

    - HenryVK -,

    ===Why can’t I beat him? I can’t beat him because I can make way more money doing what I’m doing, and at risk of offending some, I really don’t like Springfield.===

    lol, for a Progressive, you sure love your MONEY!

    I will let you keep responding, undeercutting your own arguements, its fun, …thanks!


  83. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 5:24 pm:

    Oswego,

    You are not yourself today. Typically you read comments relatively closely and your responses tend to be measured. Not sure what’s going on today.

    In any case, I never said the entire progressive agenda must be accepted.

    I would take any part.

    I just can’t think of anything notable that the progressives have accomplished. Or that anybody in Springfield has accomplished for as long as I’ve been paying attention (roughly 1985).

    So if the progressives haven’t accomplished anything, and they haven’t really taken a notable stand to accomplish anything, why make the long drive to Springfield? To say “I was elected on this beautiful progressive platform, which I abandoned as soon as I was sworn in?”

    What’s the point?


  84. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 5:29 pm:

    Oswego,

    Since when is making money incompatible with being a progressive?

    It is the American dream. We should all have good schools and safe neighborhoods and clean air and water so that we can all make a heck of a lot of money.

    There is nothing at all incompatible with making money and being a progressive.


  85. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 5:35 pm:

    ======You are not yourself today. Typically you read comments relatively closely and your responses tend to be measured. Not sure what’s going on today.

    In any case, I never said the entire progressive agenda must be accepted.

    I would take any part.===

    Further …

    ===So if the progressives haven’t accomplished anything, and they haven’t really taken a notable stand to accomplish anything, why make the long drive to Springfield? To say “I was elected on this beautiful progressive platform, which I abandoned as soon as I was sworn in?”===

    Two points …

    First, if it does not need to be the entire agenda, what do want done that is not being done? Sounds like a great deal of whining about Madigan, and not much of what might be acceptables, which leads to Point 2…

    What is your definition of getting something done? What is NOT getting done that you want Madigan to do? Geez, you whine and cry about 30 years of nothng being done, now we need to fucus on the Progressive agenda has accomplished to suit your criteria? Yikes.

    Finally, I am sooooo tired of the whining, about 30 years ago, MJM is the sole person at fault, no one else was doing anything to ruin Illinois but MJM, etc.

    You got on that train, but under the guise of your Progressive agenda not being the focus. What do you want, blame, correction, or your Progressive Agenda?

    I know exactly what I am saying, how I am saying it, and responding to what you are saying, you need to realize whining about MJM, and 30 years ago, and the real crux of your issues is the fact Madigan is not Progressive enough for you, and the Progressives elected aren’t doing enough to satisfy you!

    Please, pick a lane…


  86. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 5:40 pm:

    - HenryVK -,

    You said …

    ======Why can’t I beat him? I can’t beat him because I can make way more money doing what I’m doing, and at risk of offending some, I really don’t like Springfield.===

    Sounds like if you are too busy making money, you are too busy for the Progressive agenda?

    So, if you are NOT busy making money, …you can fight for the Progressive agenda, and only then?


  87. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 5:49 pm:

    No Oswego, those are not my real issue(s). It seems like you heard “progressive” and all sorts of alarms went off in your brain and you stopped reading.

    My real issue is that Madigan has been in charge for 30 years, and Illinois has not improved.

    How about you, Oswego? Are things better in in Oswego now than they were 30 years ago? Am I mistaken on that basic concept?

    And yet people keep voting for reps that support him and that do not help our state move forward in any way.

    My real issue is that we have the worst credit rating and the worst budget issues and some of the worst schools in the country, and that’s been pretty consistent for as long as I’ve been watching.

    So what do you think, O. Have those things been improving?

    My real issue is that we seem to just accept it and keep voting for the same people and the result is that we continue to have the same budget issues and the same bad roads and the same bad schools and the same comparably high unemployment.

    If you are happy with how things have gone for the past 30 years Oswego, by all means stay the course. Keep doing the same thing. Don’t change at all.

    And most importantly, don’t complain. Because apparently you think that complaining about a bad budget and bad roads and bad schools is somehow (for reasons I admit I’m not following) the wrong thing to do.

    By the way Oswego, are you a Cubs fan? You almost seem to take pride in losing. We fail, and to you the biggest problem is not failing, but complaining about failing.


  88. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 5:53 pm:

    “Sounds like if you are too busy making money, you are too busy for the Progressive agenda?

    So, if you are NOT busy making money, …you can fight for the Progressive agenda, and only then”

    I don’t have a clue as to the logic that went into that one, Oswego. Seems like we are missing more than a few steps.


  89. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 6:04 pm:

    ===No Oswego, those are not my real issue(s). It seems like you heard “progressive” and all sorts of alarms went off in your brain and you stopped reading.===

    Nope, I am tired of veiled “Madigan is horrible, but here is my real aganda” posts, be they from Conservatives, Liberals, or Progressives. Blaming Madigan is not a strategy, its a crutch.

    ===My real issue is that Madigan has been in charge for 30 years, and Illinois has not improved.===

    Illinois government has been around the past 30 years, with Democrats, Republicans, conservatiives, even progressives. Everyone gets a “pass”, but… MJM? Really?

    ===And yet people keep voting for reps that support him and that do not help our state move forward in any way.===

    MJM’s District voted for him. Unless you live in his District, you don’t vote for or against him, ok? Further, the Caucus elects it’s party leaders, and unless you or I are in the caucus we are not voting MJM for any position, so you are mistaken, twice, that “people” elect MJM. Madigan’s voters are those in his district that send him to Springfield, and no one else, and THAT gets the ball rolling in the leadership spot.

    If you keep whining about how bad things are, fine, but blaiming ONE person for 30 years is utterly insane. Who signed those bills and signed off on those budgets? Governors. Daniels and George Ryan were Speakers, Pate Phillip, Phil Rock, none get any blame for the schools, roads, credit rating? Really?

    That is lazy, self-serving, and not helping in YOUR cause.

    ===By the way Oswego, are you a Cubs fan? You almost seem to take pride in losing. We fail, and to you the biggest problem is not failing, but complaining about failing. ===

    For someone who compliments HOW thoughtful I am in my posts and how precise I read others, you should know by reading any of mine how I feel about losing, what I think needs to be done to win, and I don’t blame ONE single person for all the ills of Illinois, all the “bad” others only see, and blame elected officials for not moving my agenda the way I think it MUST be moved.

    To paraphrase, the “Sole Person responsible for all bad in Illinois” to close how i took that last sentence …

    With kindest personal regards, I remain.

    Sincerely yours,

    Oswego Willy


  90. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 6:09 pm:

    - HenryVK -,

    You brought in about how much money you make, and how that prevents you from going to Springfield, which you don’t like…

    My response is exactly how you took it … what does all that mean? So you make money? How does that factor into anything you say? I didn’t ask you if you made Dollars, Yen, Euros, but you made the point you make too much money?

    What does that have to do with ANYTHNG you say or whatever point you are trying to make?


  91. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 6:10 pm:

    Seriously Oswego, this is not your best day here.

    You wrote: “Everyone gets a “pass”"

    Could you point out where I said everybody gets a pass?

    In fact, I thought I said the exact opposite. I could go back, but I’m pretty sure that I wrote (or at least I intended to) that I blame Illinois voters for voting for people who do nothing.

    Saying Illinois voters are bad at voting sure doesn’t sound like a pass to me.


  92. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 6:12 pm:

    My bad!

    ======And yet people keep voting for reps that support him and that do not help our state move forward in any way.===

    Run Progressives in the Primaries and beat MJM.

    Again, Beat him. Beat Madigan. Goes back to the first post I had…

    You don’t like it, beat Madigan. Beat his Reps, beat him on the street.


  93. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 6:15 pm:

    The money thing, Oswego?

    It was in response to a question about why I personally don’t solve the problem.

    And I answered — I don’t want the pay cut, and I don’t want to spend a lot of time in Springfield.

    That’s pretty accurate (although probably just a start on my list of reasons for not personally seeking office to do something about it).

    And then Oswego you decided that because I like making money, I must not be a progressive.

    But does that even matter? Call me a bad progressive because I make money. I really don’t care. I pretty freely admit that I’m not sure what label to apply to my own views.


  94. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 6:17 pm:

    ===Can anybody honestly say that since Madigan became Speaker the first time, conditions in Illinois are substantially better? That problems have been solved?===

    I keep looking for Thompson, or Edgar, or Ryan, Rod, or Quinn, or Cullerton, or Pate, or Daniels ….

    Sounds like quite a bit is solely at the doorstep of Madigan …


  95. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 6:19 pm:

    ===I pretty freely admit that I’m not sure what label to apply to my own views.===

    Then STOP labeling, be it yourself or others.

    Thanks.


  96. - HenryVK - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 6:25 pm:

    In response to your 6:17 post — have they all had control for 30 years?

    More importantly, is there now a perception in Springfield that if you annoy Pate, your career in Springfield may be over?

    Are people still mindlessly following Pate even though conditions have not improved since Pate took control?

    If we want to do an historical analysis of all the people to blame, we would probably start with the voters. They consistently vote for bad people. They get the government they deserve.

    Then we would go with the Speaker since he’s been the one constant. Then the others who have had control.

    We are a pretty screwed up state, so it would be pretty long list.

    But other than the voters, I probably would put the Speaker at the top of the list simply because he’s been in power for most of those years.


  97. - RNUG - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 6:37 pm:

    Should have added to my previous post to Skeeter:

    I’ve always said the Maag case should be decided on the basis of contract law … and the Marconi Appellate ruling seems to reinforce that viewpoint.


  98. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 6:39 pm:

    ===Could you point out where I said everybody gets a pass?===

    I post …YOUR post …

    ===Can anybody honestly say that since Madigan became Speaker the first time, conditions in Illinois are substantially better? That problems have been solved?===

    lol, I then post …

    ===I keep looking for Thompson, or Edgar, or Ryan, Rod, or Quinn, or Cullerton, or Pate, or Daniels ….

    Sounds like quite a bit is solely at the doorstep of Madigan …===

    lol, then you retort …YOU retort …

    ===More importantly, is there now a perception in Springfield that if you annoy Pate, your career in Springfield may be over?===

    …and …it’s my favorite…

    ===Then we would go with the Speaker since he’s been the one constant. …===

    You crack me up. Honestly. then we throw in the Progressives, but you don’t even KNOW what to call yourself or others, for not moving what you feel should be moved forward, AND … you bring up how much money you make, for no apparent reason but to sound like you hate all that is going on, but I am doing so awesome, making Cash, I have no time to fix it, but others better get to it?

    Yikes!!!

    You are a “True Believer”, honest. You believe you need others to think as you, and the politics of compromise for the betterment of all, even if it means working with MJM, is just not acceptable, and if you can’t be “true to yourself and your beliefs, why bother” … is the deifinition of a “True Believer” whose ultimate play is taking their ball and going home.

    Start looking at politics as a set of compromises to get the BEST deal for all, while sticking to your beilefs to get the best portion of what you want in the deal. Politics is NOT religion, and does not work with “only”, “must”, “never” or “always”.

    And stop blaiming Madigan, or to give you some benefit of the doubt, start spreading the “wealth” of the blame, and stop blaming Madigan for your agenda not going as planned, and the Reps you cite above, stop blaiming them. They are part of a diverse Caucus, and more gets done working the Three Madigan Rules, then working against those rules.

    Thanks.


  99. - RNUG - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 6:50 pm:

    OW … I’ve had a rough previous week, but you may be having a rough day. Politics is supposed to be a great spectator sport (even if you do participate occasionally).

    Take a deep breath, lay down the keyboard, and go for the recreational activity of your choice. That’s what I’m going to do; get the convertible out, go for a drive with the wife and have a late dinner.


  100. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 7:00 pm:

    - RNUG -,

    Are ya saying I was a bit rough? Sorry. At some point, “blaming Madigan” and then pretending you are not “blaiming Madigan” has to stop.

    My Party needs to stop so we can win, and non-GOPers need to stop to move the state forward. I know I am not as verse on pensions, for example, as many others, but I do know simplifying blame is not helping.

    Thanks for the “concern” (I hope its concern and not something else, lol) - RNUG -, as you know I am on 24 watch since Plummer ran for congress, so I will follow my medical orders.


  101. - low level - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 7:39 pm:

    Oswego Willy -

    Right on point today, especailly when you said:

    *”Start looking at politics as a set of compromises to get the BEST deal for all, while sticking to your beilefs to get the best portion of what you want in the deal. Politics is NOT religion, and does not work with “only”, “must”, “never” or “always”.*

    Yes, yes, yes. You said it right there. outstanding.

    And, as the vote today shows–

    Never bet against the Speaker.


  102. - Fred's Mustache - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 7:50 pm:

    === I just can’t think of anything notable that the progressives have accomplished. Or that anybody in Springfield has accomplished for as long as I’ve been paying attention (roughly 1985).===

    Im thinking you have a pretty short memory. Just a few examples: in 2010, Illinois passed the civil unions bill, and is working toward a gay marriage bill. In 2011, Illinois abolished the death penalty. In 2005, the General Assembly passed the All Kids program, which gave universal health care coverage to children under age 19. All of these things seem like those in line with progressive ideals.

    In a caucus as diverse as the House Democratic Caucus, nobody can get everything they want, but it seems like progressives have had their fair share of victories.


  103. - foster brooks - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 8:03 pm:

    anyone scared by madigans comments about the supreme court? i’m not…. i call your bluff


  104. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 8:04 pm:

    –My real issue is that Madigan has been in charge for 30 years, and Illinois has not improved.–

    Ugh. What does that mean?

    In charge? Like who? Stalin?

    Hasn’t improved? By what measure? Where? What was the unfunded liability in 1950? What was the economic growth in the 1990s?

    The Tribbies — who, over the years, have had a lot more pull than anyone — have convinced some that the economy and state fiscal situation is somehow dependent on an old Irishman from Midway.

    Are you out of your mind?

    It’s astounding to me, every day, how anyone can believe that Madigan runs the show, or that the state government means oogats in an economic world dominated by five big banks and the fed.

    Have you all lost your minds?


  105. - RNUG - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 8:23 pm:

    OW … yes, it’s concern … not too many of us libertarian leaning GOP’ers still around.

    PS: Got the dinner but the rain killed driving the convertible.


  106. - foster brooks - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 8:28 pm:

    As a person who grew up in west lawn(marquette park) speaker madigan is not going anywhere, as long as he’s on the ballot he’s “golden”. Anyone south of US route 30 remember mayor daleys? If anyone truly wants to know how illinois politics work run for precinct captain any you will get an education on politics far better than paul green will ever give you.


  107. - RNUG Fan - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 8:31 pm:

    precinct captains are not elected They are appointed. precinct committeemen outside the city are and many of not a majority are vacant


  108. - foster brooks - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 8:37 pm:

    maybe where your from(vacant)


  109. - ejhickey - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 8:40 pm:

    personally i would rather pay higher taxes than try to fix the pension problem with legislation that is clearly unconstitutional


  110. - east central - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 8:46 pm:

    A smart person in power maneuvers so that he/she wins no matter what the outcome is. Constitutional: Can reduce the temporary income tax and still maybe allocate GRFs to other purposes that will attract votes. Unconstitutional: Blame for extending the temporary income tax increase is on the courts.

    The GOP members cannot afford to scuttle the process. The GOP loses either way: The GOP is against pension reform or the GOP enables the Democrats to claim a victorious pension reform.

    I could imagine that Madigan would actually prefer a court ruling against the legislation, as it would dampen some of the hostility that retirement system members might feel toward the Democratic party and “Madigan” name in particular, for the remainder of their lives.

    The comment about the four Supremes could just be a set-up to eventually suggest that he really is not that powerful, which could suit his purposes.

    Woe the GOP, because the GOP is losing big in this.


  111. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 9:21 pm:

    - low level -, thanks.

    - RNUG -, I watched some golf channel to unwind, took my Plummer meds, and feel better. We all lok out for each other, don’t we?

    The good fight be back tomorrow, just like yesterday, and just like today…


  112. - chicagopublius - Thursday, May 2, 13 @ 10:25 pm:

    From time to time, Senators have asked the Attorney General to issue an opinion as to the constitutionality of legislation, and the AG is supposedly bound to give an opinion. Also from time to time, Senators have, during floor debates, asked the Senate Parliamentarian for such an opinion, and in those instances, the Parliamentarian has given an opinion. It will be interesting to see if any Senators, perhaps at the prodding of unions, ask the AG or the Parliamentarian for her/his opinion on the newest version of SB 1.


  113. - Anonymour - Friday, May 3, 13 @ 8:10 am:

    Excellent idea, chicagopublius. A Senator who asked that question of the AG would be doing a public service.

    Of course, the Speaker has a long memory.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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