Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » This just in… Leaders file pay lawsuit - Quinn responds - Topinka reserves comment - We Are One responds - Radogno: Suit addresses “legitimate issue” - Daley: “likely unconstitutional” - Nekritz responds - Cross: “may be a legitimate issue” - Rauner react
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This just in… Leaders file pay lawsuit - Quinn responds - Topinka reserves comment - We Are One responds - Radogno: Suit addresses “legitimate issue” - Daley: “likely unconstitutional” - Nekritz responds - Cross: “may be a legitimate issue” - Rauner react

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013

* 2:39 pm - From the Senate Democrats…

Speaker Michael J. Madigan and President John J. Cullerton today filed a lawsuit challenging Governor Pat Quinn’s unconstitutional action to suspend lawmaker pay. Their letter to members of the General Assembly and the official legal complaint is attached.

As the joint letter states, “the purpose of this lawsuit is to protect the independence of the legislature and preserve the separation of powers. It is our hope that the court will remedy this constitutional violation and that future governors will not feel empowered to use such coercive tactics.”

More in a minute.

* The lawsuit is here. It was filed in Cook County.

* The Cullerton/Madigan letter to legislators…

Dear Fellow Legislator:

As you know, Governor Quinn took unprecedented action when he used the line item veto to eliminate General Assembly members’ salaries for the entire year. This action was purely political and an unconstitutional attempt to coerce the legislature to comply with his demands. We write to inform you that later today we will file a lawsuit challenging Governor Quinn’s unconstitutional action.

This matter is of fundamental constitutional importance, as Governor Quinn’s action threatens the independence of each branch of government. The Illinois Constitution protects the salaries of members of the judiciary, the legislature, and the executive branch. These provisions were added to safeguard the people from a weakened judiciary, to ensure the legislature could not diminish the power of the executive, and to prohibit the governor from running roughshod over the legislature.

By eliminating General Assembly member’s salaries, the Governor has chosen to disregard separation of powers and its necessity if our government is to work properly and efficiently.

For us to ignore the Governor’s actions, or override the veto, would severely and irrevocably compromise the independence of the legislature and set a very dangerous precedent. Just as it would be inappropriate for the General Assembly to refuse to appropriate a constitutional officer’s salary simply because we disagree with his or her philosophy, it is no less offensive for the Governor to attempt to withhold legislators’ salaries because they have not complied with his demand for action on a particular issue. If unchecked, any governor could attempt to employ the same tactic to threaten the legislature, the judiciary, or another constitutional officer to accomplish his or her own personal agenda. In this case, the Governor is seeking changes to the pension system, but next time it could be tax policy, gun control, or education reform. The possibilities are endless.

The purpose of this lawsuit is to protect the independence of the legislature and preserve the separation of powers. It is our hope that the court will remedy this constitutional violation and that future governors will not feel empowered to use such coercive tactics.

* From the suit

* Statutory reasoning

* Constitutional reasoning

The suit asks for pay plus any back interest.

* The lawyers

* From the Twitters…


…Adding… From the Senate Democrats in response to that Tweet…

It comes out of the General Assembly existing appropriations.

* Gov. Pat Quinn’s response

“Today’s lawsuit filed by two members of the Illinois General Assembly is just plain wrong.

“If legislators had put forth the same effort to draw up a pension reform agreement that they did in crafting this lawsuit, pension reform could have been done by now.

“Instead of focusing on resolving the state’s pension crisis – which is costing taxpayers millions of dollars a day – legislators have chosen to focus on their own paychecks and waste taxpayer time and money on this lawsuit.

“My action to suspend the appropriation for legislative pay is clearly within the express provisions of the Illinois Constitution.

“Legislators should not be rewarded for an endless cycle of promises, excuses, delay and inertia on the pension problem.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with working people across Illinois who understand the importance of this issue. They work hard for their paychecks and they do what’s hard to support their families.

“They don’t get paid if they don’t do their jobs. And neither should members of the General Assembly.

“I will defend the interest of Illinois taxpayers in the courts. Nobody should be paid until the pension reform job gets done for taxpayers.”

Man, some of that is extremely childish. The same effort into the lawsuit as pension reform? Is he kidding?

Roddish.

And speaking of Roddish, from the lawsuit…

Oof.

* From Comptroller Topinka’s spokesperson

We’re reviewing the suit and will hold off on further comment. But as she noted last week, the Comptroller welcomes additional guidance from the Court.

* Sun-Times

At mid-afternoon Tuesday, Cullerton spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon said the case had not been assigned to a judge, leaving it unclear how quickly — or if — an injunction may be issued to set aside the governor’s action while its legality is vetted in court.

* From the We Are One Illinois coalition

“Today, legislative leaders sued over the constitutionality of Governor Pat Quinn’s line item veto of legislators’ salaries.

“We remind lawmakers that the entirety of the Illinois Constitution must be upheld for all citizens, including public employees and retirees — teachers, police, nurses, caregivers, and others — whose modest pensions are protected in Article XIII, Section 5.

“Legislators take an oath to support this constitutional provision — just as they promise to support all constitutional provisions equally.

“Lawmakers must not cherry-pick or apply a double standard in determining what parts of the constitution should be defended. They shouldn’t adhere to the constitution only when it’s convenient.

“To this end, we continue to urge adoption of the constitutional pension reform plan embodied in Senate Bill 2404, unchanged, and the closure of wasteful corporate tax loopholes to fund vital services.”

* From Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno

“A lawsuit now will unfortunately take the focus off pension reform, which must be accomplished. However, there are legitimate issues concerning a governor’s use of power to intimidate a General Assembly. If those issues are not resolved now, this practice could become more widespread and misused.”

* Bill Daley’s response

Governor Quinn’s governing by side show is doing nothing to end the pension mess that is hurting our school kids and stands in the way of creating jobs. The Governor’s action is likely unconstitutional and has not gotten us any closer to fixing the pension problem.

* With a hat tip to a commenter, the Tribune may wanna rewrite this false headline

…Adding… Ask and ye shall receive. Headline fixed.

* AP

But the 10 members of the bipartisan pension committee have repeatedly said that pressure from Quinn won’t rush their work. They say they are making progress on developing a plan to present to the Legislature but are waiting for actuarial numbers to come in.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a committee member and House point person on pension reform, called the suit and the pension committee’s work “apples and oranges.”

“I think the basis for the lawsuit is the separation of powers which had nothing to do with pension reform,” she said.

Nekritz said she knew the two leaders were considering filing the suit, but was not consulted about it.

“I do share the view that this is a very dangerous place for us to tread,” Nekritz said. “And it doesn’t mix with good government.”

* From House GOP Leader Tom Cross

“While there may be a legitimate separation of power issue, we need to make sure that we remain focused on what must be our top priority – finding a solution to our pension crisis.”

* Bruce Rauner

“Springfield has never looked more dysfunctional, and the people of Illinois deserve better. Instead of showing leadership and solving the pension crisis, the politicians running Springfield are once again pointing fingers at each other and are afraid to take on the government union bosses. This is why we need to shake Springfield to its core.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

172 Comments
  1. - Mason born - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 2:43 pm:

    Needed to be done. I may be disgusted with the GA but Quinns little trick is wrong in any kind of republic.


  2. - Anon - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 2:43 pm:

    Good to hear. Regardless of the inadequacy of the legislature on pensions, no one can deny this sets a dangerous precedent.

    “Pass ________ or you won’t get paid” shouldn’t be a weapon that can and will be used by future governors.


  3. - Rod - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 2:43 pm:

    Both Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton are doing the right thing with this lawsuit. Governor Quinn exceeded his constitutional authority it taking away the salaries of all members of the General Assembly.


  4. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 2:47 pm:

    Glad to see that the constitution matters to the speaker. It’s too bad it only matter when it is their paycheck , not discounting the serious separation of powers aspect of the lawsuit


  5. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 2:48 pm:

    I noticed the retirees pensions were missing from the list of Constitutionally protected salary expenditures. Guess some people are more equal than others.


  6. - Diver down - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 2:49 pm:

    “Unmistakable constitutional protections”….I love how Madigan uses that for his salary but disavows it for pensions.


  7. - Knome Sane - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 2:53 pm:

    =I love how Madigan uses that for his salary=

    Yes, because everyone knows the Speaker is living paycheck-to-paycheck.


  8. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 2:53 pm:

    Legislators should get paid because the constitution demands it.
    of course it also demands that pensions not be cut and that contracts, including collective bargaininh agreements not be impaired. Pay state employees the money they are owed, too


  9. - Decaf Coffee Party - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 2:53 pm:

    It is refreshing to know that Speaker Madigan acknowledges that there is a state constitution, and that it exists to protect people from governments or politicians that attempt to overstep their authority.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 2:55 pm:

    Impressed that the Leaders of the Chambers have taken this Constitutional question on themselves and I can not agree more that to engage this action with an Override of the Veto, the legislature acknowledges that the action (veto) was indeed proper and right and deserves relief through the legislative process of override!

    Well done.

    I have no clue how the courts may rule, given the questions and legal avenues others see, but the mere action of the suit, and the thoughts written as to why even engaging the Veto properly strikes at the heart.. of a terrible action.


  11. - horseracer - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:00 pm:

    The state’s pension catastrophe is not just “a particular issue”. It is not part of the Governor’s “personal agenda”. It represents an existential threat to all the priorities of state government. Suspending legislator pay is an extraordinary response to an extraordinary problem. It’s why all of the slippery slope rhetoric falls flat.


  12. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:00 pm:

    Leaders taking action and leading. Whodathunkit.

    So, when the unions take on the pension reform that ends up diminishing retirees income, will they be lifting language from this lawsuit regarding the unmistakable constitutional protections?

    Diver down and so many other inquiring minds want to know.


  13. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:01 pm:

    The courts will dismiss. A law isn’t a Public Act until the veto is overridden.

    The checks and balances argument applies just as much to overriding less than honorable gubernatorial action as it does to a court order.

    What Madigan and Cullerton are doing is filing suit so the courts will do their work for them without interrupting their summer’s to do the job themselves. We have options to override vetoes for a reason. It’s so the legislature has the *first* responsibility to hold the governor accountable.

    The courts are a recourse of last resort.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:02 pm:

    ===Yes, because everyone knows the Speaker is living paycheck-to-paycheck.===

    Buying apples by the bushel instead of daily … or so I hear, I don’t know.


  15. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:02 pm:

    As others have implied, this reads differently than the introduction to the pension bill.

    Nice of the Speaker to get this filed and moving towards the Supreme Court. (Does he know that four Justices support him?)

    Now if he’ll just move to get this expedited in the Circuit Court and get a direct, expedited appeal to the Supreme Court, we can have the precedent that constitutional guarantees are sacrosanct in place before the pension legislation gets there.


  16. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:02 pm:

    Out and about checking the pulse of the people for Willy. I look forward to reading this in greater detail when I get home.

    Quickly, this had to be done. Too bad our Governor can’t lead.


  17. - law abiding citizen - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:03 pm:

    Even if they win in court, they can’t get paid without an appropriation. At least that is what Afscme is told about their pay. Maybe they can choose to follow all of the laws, not just the ones that benefit them.


  18. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:04 pm:

    Interesting. Even Blago (may he rot in Colorado) who was impeached for (among many things) abuse of power didn’t create a situation like this. I’m not saying Quinn should be impeached, I’m just sayin’.


  19. - Former Merit Comp Slave - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:04 pm:

    Love this! We must not let that mean governor take away what is owed to us and protected by the constitution! Does anyone else see this lawsuit as a gift for the lawyers in the inevitable pension reform lawsuit?


  20. - Dave Victor - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:05 pm:

    Time well spent. We’re in the best of hands.


  21. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:05 pm:

    I guess we get to see now if the legal scollars here at CF are right since the leaders filed this suit without attempting to override the gov’s veto?


  22. - Dave Victor - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:06 pm:

    Who pays the lawyers?


  23. - Jake From Elwood - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:06 pm:

    Great. Five attorneys to represent the Plaintiffs, probably five more to represent PQ and JBT. And the taxpayers get to pay for all ten.


  24. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:08 pm:

    ===they can’t get paid without an appropriation===

    Or a judge’s order. You forgot that last part, which AFSCME has used in the past.


  25. - Jaded - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:11 pm:

    Asking for interest is a little much. The state doesn’t pay vendors interest until they are at least 60 days late. Why should GA members get interest?


  26. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:11 pm:

    “The suit asks for pay plus any back interest.”

    Now I hope these legislators know how AFSCME members feel. They should issue the back-wages appropriation.


  27. - foster brooks - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:11 pm:

    Maybe madigan wants to get this settled in case Bruce rauner somehow gets the the governors seat.


  28. - Elo Kiddies - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:12 pm:

    What does it mean that all of the lawyers are identified as “Special Asst. Attorney General”s? I assume this means they have the imprimatur of the state’s top lawyer? Or is it that they are acting in her place without her authorization (as can sometimes happen)?


  29. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:15 pm:

    So this was filed by attorneys in their capacity as asst AG’s? interesting.


  30. - Rusty618 - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:16 pm:

    It is interesting to see that Madigan and Cullerton can quote some parts of the Illinois Constitution but disregard other parts, like “employee pensions shall not be diminished or impaired”.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:17 pm:

    ===…to get this settled in case Bruce rauner somehow gets the the governors seat.===

    Yes.

    Even if you meant this as snark, - foster brooks -, the seperation of powers will be a severe problem for Rauner, given his ideas of how to govern, so settling this through the courts will decide for Rauner that this avenue, and possibly other Dopey ideas of shutting down government or bankrupting the pensions wil face legal options that the General Assembly is willing to face to right was is seen as a wrong, Constitutionally.

    The very short answer, is indeed, “yes”, snark or not. Great point.


  32. - too obvious - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:18 pm:

    Madigan and Cullerton have gone out of their way to look like the bad guys. I don’t get it.


  33. - Raymond - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:21 pm:

    === filed by two members of the Illinois General Assembly ===

    D’oh!


  34. - Jimmy 87 - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:21 pm:

    I think the Governor ends up winning this lawsuit. Article IV, Section 11 serves as a prohibition against amending a statue like the General Assembly Compensation Act and making those changes binding on current legislators.

    Article IV, Section 11 is not a constitutional prohibition on the Governor’s ability to veto legislative salaries. Taking Madigan/Cullerton’s lawsuit to its logical end, wouldn’t legislative salaries now be absolute? Would they not get paid even in cases where there was no appropriation?

    Finally, it’s patently false to say that the plaintiffs “have no adequate remedy at law.” They do. That remedy would be to override the Governor’s veto.


  35. - Unbelievable!!! - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:24 pm:

    Constitution…, monstitution.. Only matters when it affects the ruling classes money. State pensioners can just eat cake. What hypocrisy…!!!


  36. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:25 pm:

    I took this out to just make a point…apologies;

    ===“Legislators should not be rewarded for an endless cycle of promises, excuses, delay and inertia on the pension problem.

    “I’ve spent a lot of time with working people across Illinois who understand the importance of this issue. They work hard for their paychecks and they do what’s hard to support their families.

    “They don’t get paid if they don’t do their jobs. And neither should members of the General Assembly.

    “I will defend the interest of Illinois taxpayers in the courts. Nobody should be paid until the pension reform job gets done for taxpayers.”===

    You put Populist Pat Quinn on a Balcony, with Banana trees swaying, and the sun shining on him, while Quinn stands at a podium, with 1970’s microphones blasting this message in a Plaza as he waits for “new” legislators to be seated to do his bidding …

    Yes, we are that close to Pat Quinn sounding like a 3rd World Leader deciding that democracy is ok, as long as they vote the way I require.

    Disappointing, Governor Quinn …good for you … Populist …Quinn.


  37. - Frenchie Mendoza - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:29 pm:

    I’m sure Rauner is salivating right now. This is exactly what he plans to do from Day one — except Rauner plans this kind of attack on the state employees. I’m guessing Rauner will shut down government, fire all the employees, and then only hire them back if they agree to a 20-30% pay cut.

    Given Rauner’s comments about “shutting down state government for a few weeks to rewrite the contracts” I suspect this is *exactly* his plan. This “money-as-weapon” thing will get a workout if Rauner somehow wins — but it will be directed at every single state employee.


  38. - Dirt Diver - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:29 pm:

    Pretty sure this a good sign that pension reform won’t be passing both chambers anytime soon. Not shocking. I’m sure that various legislators will continue to act in the charade that something will pass soon.


  39. - Anon - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:31 pm:

    The Chicago Tribune has a headline up that suggests the lawsuit is over blocked raises. How did they get that wrong?


  40. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:31 pm:

    If MJM and Cullerton are just … “two members of the General Assembly” …

    Then Pat Quinn is the “guy with Office Space located in the Capitol.”


  41. - too obvious - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:33 pm:

    So lawmakers are willing to go to court to fight for the ability to be paid by the taxpayers, in exchange for doing no useful work.

    Quinn wins on the law and the politics.


  42. - Doug Harvey - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:35 pm:

    5 spec asst atty generals working to restore pay for lawmakers. 0 spec asst atty generals investigating metra. A clear indication of priorities.


  43. - A guy... - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:35 pm:

    The leaders appear to be in a cauldron and their members are short on cash, but long on firewood. They’re responding. I too think the court will kick it back and tell them to override it first. If that doesn’t work, a member will have standing at the place of last resort; the court. For everyone comparing this to other groups locked in the pension reform mess, I wouldn’t seek too much similarity here. It’s not the same and won’t be treated the same. Cullerton and Madigan are doing what they have to here. The principle being fought for is; a legislator is now feeling the pinch. If the court kicks it back, look for a few senators to look for a face saving compromise. Charity begins at home.


  44. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:37 pm:

    ===wouldn’t legislative salaries now be absolute? ===

    They already are in statute: “Each member of the General Assembly shall receive an annual salary of… [Salaries] shall be paid in 12 equal monthly installments.”


  45. - Madison - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:39 pm:

    i hope this puts an end to blagovichian moves and puts the hapless Quinn in the same category as Anthony Weiner and Rod Blagovich permanently.


  46. - BigDoggie - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:42 pm:

    Whichever late night talk hosts are not making fun of Illinois currently should be right on the bandwagon by tonight.


  47. - Mason born - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:45 pm:

    too obvious

    I believe there are three reasons why Cullerton and Madigan did this versus other members.

    a. Since they are the leaders of the respective houses they can use the seperation of Powers argument. While an individual legislator could claim it this is more official as coming from the GA and not Rep X.

    b. Since they are filing as speaker and Sen Pres the State picks up tab for lawyers. Normally I’d call it a low down trick but since they are standing up for seperation of powers (at least on paper) makes sense.

    c. To be frank Cullerton and Madigan have zero chance of this hurting their Re-elect chances.


  48. - Fed up - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:46 pm:

    I hope Madigans lawsuit is used against the state in any attempt to diminish constitutionally guaranted pensions.


  49. - lincolnlover - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:46 pm:

    Disgusting. Its the only word that adequately describes the leadership of the General Assembly. Madigan is the best argument for term limits EVER.


  50. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:49 pm:

    Quinn’s response is full-on red-meat faux-populist campaign nonsense.

    If he really believes he’s Illinois’ Juan Peron, then he should not be taking half measures.

    He should put on a uniform, call out the militia, declare martial law, toss the GA in Tamms and rule by decree — for the people, of course.

    Geez, is the governor’s field set?


  51. - Steve - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:52 pm:

    It’s hard to see how Madigan and Cullerton could lose this lawsuit. What would prevent Pat Quinn from cutting off the Illinois Supreme Court’s paychecks???? What if Pat Quinn thought the Supreme Court didn’t work enough days or didn’t like one of their court decision? Pat Quinn isn’t the only branch of government. The ends don’t justify the means- that’s why we have a constitution with enumerated powers. No word yet on whether Pat Quinn is violating the Illinois minimum wage law. If Pat Quinn can get the legislature to work for below minimum wage : can Wal Mart get away with this in Illinois????


  52. - Centennial - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:52 pm:

    In my humble opinion, this lawsuit does not set up legal precedent for the (likely) future pension lawsuit. Vetoing (i.e. eliminating) a legislator’s entire salary because they failed to pass a bill in a timely fashion is apples and oranges to reducing pension benefits.


  53. - Yossarian Lives - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:56 pm:

    “If legislators had put forth the same effort to draw up a pension reform agreement that they did in crafting this lawsuit, pension reform could have been done by now.”

    That’s just plain silly. The two leaders decided to file a lawsuit, put their best lawyers on it and had it delivered to the courthouse. Unlike pension reform, it didn’t involve getting to 30 votes in the Senate and 60 in the House.

    Speaker Madigan wields a great deal of power. But what’s much more intolerable than the power he wields is the power so many in this state - including insiders who should know better - think he wields. Neither he nor Cullerton (who, by the way, Rusty 618, has done his best to support pension reform that doesn’t violate the constitution) can snap his fingers and make pension reform happen.

    There are no shortcuts now, just the hard stuff.


  54. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:56 pm:

    I appreciate how Constitutionality for some topics get adjusted based on who wants something and who it effects. Constitution for pension - may require flexibility based on actuarial options, the cost, and what is right. Constitution for legislative salary - it’s a sacred bond that cannot be broken and a slippery slope that might change policy forever. Same Constitution but how it effects me is the priority. GA members getting their pay hit - serious problem. Retired workers seeing cuts - we’ll get to it.


  55. - Bill White - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:57 pm:

    A simple concise pleading. IMHO, Count I should prevail causing Count II to become moot.

    Oswego Willy is spot on regarding the decision not to seek a veto override.

    The line item veto of the salaries should be found to be a nullity - per Jorgensen - but what I look forward to are the legal briefs filed by all sides. Those arguments could very well be a “dry run” for future arguments regarding SB1.


  56. - Bill White - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:58 pm:

    Madigan and Cullerton filing as co-plaintiffs is laudatory, IMHO


  57. - woodchuck - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:59 pm:

    I don’t agree that Madigan is the best argument for term limits. For all of the imagery and hardball tactics, he is defending a legal principle that is more important and more statesman-esque than what Quinn is doing. Taken to the extreme, those who support Quinn on this would then be okay with the legislature zeroing out the Governor’s salary because they disagreed with him on a policy issue. It was Quinn who caused this and it’s Quinn who I thnk will ultimately be reprimanded by the courts, even if just in their decision. Quinn wins the bar room votes on this but this is not how you govern. It’s how you win junior high class president elections but not how to get adult problems solved.


  58. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:03 pm:

    I’m familiar with Kasper of course, and I’ve heard the names of a few of the others, but does anybody know why they need five firms working on one case? Do they have different fields?

    From a litigation management perspective, it sure seems like a mess.


  59. - Bill White - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:03 pm:

    Finally, I agree with this . . .

    >> Quinn’s response is full-on red-meat faux-populist campaign nonsense.


  60. - woodchuck - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:03 pm:

    I feel bad for Sheila Simon — second Madigan in as many weeks to ruin a major campaign announcement.


  61. - Bill White - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:04 pm:

    Term limits are a silly distraction

    Unless Madigan is deposed term limits are impossible; if Madigan is deposed, why do we still need term limits?

    And remember, Pat Quinn was a HUGE champion of term limits, back in the day.


  62. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:06 pm:

    ==Topinka reserves comment==

    She’s always the smartest person in the room.


  63. - Just Me - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:06 pm:

    It wouldn’t be Illinois without a Constitutional Crisis every now and then. Glad to see things haven’t changed much in the past twelve years.


  64. - Das Man - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:07 pm:

    I agree with Quinn. The GA is wasting time as usual, stunt for stunt.


  65. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:08 pm:

    - Bill White -

    Thanks for the props, appreciate that coming from you, given your analysis during this whole fiasco.

    To the Post,

    Bill Daley calling the action by Quinn unconstitutional puts a very wide river between Bill Daley and Bruce Rauner, who is silent thus far, but as advocated such tactics in his ideals and governing style.

    If comparing Bruce Rauner to Bill Daley were to end with just that statment and Rauner’s silence, that would speak volumes.

    Further, ho will be the first to ask Bruce Rauner if he agrees or disagrees with MJM and Cullerton, and if Rauner agrees with the Speaker and President, how will that effect how Rauner describes his onw “style”, which also has called into question …constitutionality.

    Bill Daley has just seperated himself, from the hip, of Bruce Rauner. Time will tell if Rauner will seperate HIMSELF from the Populist Pat Quinn…


  66. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:08 pm:

    ===why they need five firms working on one case===

    Madiar and Vaught are in-house.


  67. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    Maybe now that the Speaker and the President are speaking to each other on this matter, some progress can be made on the issue of pensions after they get paid…. snark.


  68. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    two points;

    ===stunt for stunt.===

    Constitutional powers and seperation of the branches of governemnt … ain’t no stunt. Sorry.

    And …

    === ==Topinka reserves comment==

    She’s always the smartest person in the room.===

    One word. Yes…


  69. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    Good move. Quinn’s childish whining doesn’t help him.

    “They don’t get paid if they don’t do their jobs.”

    Demanding work/compliance without pay is worse, especially as a political tactic.


  70. - Mason born - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:13 pm:

    – I agree with Quinn. The GA is wasting time as usual, stunt for stunt. –

    Really what if this was Bill Brady blocking salaries to demand a 33% cut in state budget. Would you still agree? The state budget being larger than income coming in that is also a crisis. Where does it end? What if PQ wants a AWB should he withhold all salaries till he gets it? How about a doubling of Tax Rates should he withhold for that?


  71. - Mason born - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:16 pm:

    Am i the only one scared crapless that no one (well except for majority of CapFax readers) sees the potential problems with this?


  72. - Centennial - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:19 pm:

    Mason Born - everyone should be terrified. I have been SO annoyed that the media is not jumping down PQ’s throat on this!

    It’s not populist. It’s extortion. Plain and simple.


  73. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:20 pm:

    ===why they need five firms working on one case===

    The 111 West Washington folks share office space. They, and their old officemate Bill Harte, have represented the Democratic party (and judges) for generations.


  74. - woodchuck - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:24 pm:

    Mason born — It’s too complex for most people especially those who don’t even know the state has a constitution. The Tribune couldn’t get even the headline right. I’ve been involved in or have followed state government for 20 years now and this is some of the most blatent disregard of the constitution I have ever seen — both Quinn and Blago — and both of them had pretty good law school background and legal experience. I guess you truly have to hit rock bottom to ever get back to the top.


  75. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:27 pm:

    woodchuck, LOL.

    To the Post, I heartily agree with all who write that PQ’s stunt could not go unchallenged.

    I’m wondering if Rauner is “listening” right now instead of leading. Whatever, his silence is telling.


  76. - Jorge - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:27 pm:

    Mason I’m with you. Most people (the average Joe) don’t care or understand the actions Quinn has done in office. Having an exec


  77. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:27 pm:

    John B: “The courts will dismiss. A law isn’t a Public Act until the veto is overridden.”

    If it’s not law, then how is it taking effect already?


  78. - moneygram - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:28 pm:

    We need a payday loan store right outside the capitol.


  79. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:29 pm:

    Jake, read the post…

    ===[Legal fees come] out of the General Assembly existing appropriations.===


  80. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:30 pm:

    Michelle Flaherty, excellent point. Line-item vetoes take effect immediately and stay in place until the GA acts.


  81. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:31 pm:

    - What if -

    What if, what if, what if, I’m sure next we’ll have dogs and cats living together in harmony.

    If you recall, Madigan was publicly supportive of this until now, must have caused some heat from his members. Too bad they weren’t able to put the same kind of heat on getting him to compromise with Cullerton on a pension plan.

    What’s everyone so scared of? If it’s unconstitutional, a judge can say so. If it’s not, the GA can override. The claims of third world style actions are a bit much, and a little insulting to political dissenters who have been tortured, murdered, etc.

    The GA has thought they can ignore or steamroll Quinn ever since he started closing their facilities, calling them out their ComEd ownership, or their inaction on pension reform. Now they’re front and center, and even more folks are paying attention. Call it a stunt all you want, but if pension reform doesn’t pass now the public is going to see where the GA’s priorities are.


  82. - Jorge - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:31 pm:

    **adding an executive is dangerous when they play create a law like Quinn has routinely done.


  83. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:34 pm:

    ===What’s everyone so scared of? If it’s unconstitutional, a judge can say so. ===

    If only your boss was so reasonable in public.


  84. - The Way I See It - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:34 pm:

    ===Madiar and Vaught are in-house.===
    Even though he is not in-house anymore, and is a lobbyist, you could still put Kasper in with them. He probably gets his on the back end of business.

    And as an aside, wasn’t it Forde who was involved in the suit against the state with the judges pay?


  85. - ugh - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:36 pm:

    = If it’s not law, then how is it taking effect already? =

    An appropriations bill becomes law when the Governor signs it, but any line reduced or vetoed does not become law. The rest of the bill became Public Act 98-64. The General Assembly has the ability to restore a line item veto by a three-fifths majority.

    This is why Quinn’s claim that he “temporarily” eliminated pay wasn’t remotely factual. He completely eliminated legislator pay. The only way to restore the pay is to override the veto or pass a new appropriations bill. Either way, he knew that would take 71 votes and put those members in a political pickle.


  86. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:38 pm:

    Rich, we’ve got courts for a reason, constitutions are subject to interpretation. It’s not the first time the executive and GA have had differing interpretations.


  87. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:39 pm:

    ==I feel bad for Sheila Simon — second Madigan in as many weeks to ruin a major campaign announcement.==

    My sympathy is also extended to Oswego Willy.


  88. - Mason born - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    STL

    Question i know you don’t want a what if. how about a pro-life Gov. with 45% support of one house in the GA decides to enforce a TX style Abortion ban by cutting salaries till he gets what he wants. They can’t override the Veto. As for a judge to rule unconstitutional it has to go to court first isn’t it better now then when it is something you care about. I’d like to see pension reform passed too but allowing Banana Quinn to succeed like this is wrong.


  89. - Bobbysox - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    ““I’ve spent a lot of time with working people across Illinois who understand the importance of this issue. They work hard for their paychecks and they do what’s hard to support their families.”
    =================================
    I wonder how many of those working people are teachers in the schools, state workers, or university employees?


  90. - Jake From Elwood - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:43 pm:

    A dollar appropriated is not necessarily the same thing as a dollar spent, right?
    I know this is not often the case in our state, but sometimes monies appropriated or budget to be spent are not actually spent.


  91. - mokenavince - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:43 pm:

    Cook County Court game set match for Madigan. No Judge will rule against him.

    Quinn will have to come up with another idea.


  92. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:48 pm:

    - Wensicia -,

    - Norseman - and - AA - have been scrambling!

    To the Post,

    I am glad you are posting - Small Town Liberal -, my question is as we face a constitutional question based on the actions of Quinn, at what level of concern should we show? The comparison on extortion is fair, and evn more fair given the quote Quinn gave on the move. Did Pat Quinn have to make a move to question the Co-Equal powers aspect of Illinois government, when it might have been easier to work as an engaged partner in the process?


  93. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:48 pm:

    The fears of the legislature that Quinn will do something like this again in the future are pretty well grounded. Didn’t Quinn veto the salaries of the elected Regional Superintendent of Schools last year? They went without paychecks for months until their pay was restored during the veto session.


  94. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:49 pm:

    To be precise, the rest of the bill that was not reduced is law. The reduced lines are treated as a veto would be. From the State Constitution:


    (d) The Governor may reduce or veto any item of
    appropriations in a bill presented to him. Portions of a bill
    not reduced or vetoed shall become law. An item vetoed shall
    be returned to the house in which it originated and may
    become law in the same manner as a vetoed bill. An item
    reduced in amount shall be returned to the house in which it
    originated and may be restored to its original amount in the
    same manner as a vetoed bill except that the required record
    vote shall be a majority of the members elected to each
    house. If a reduced item is not so restored, it shall become
    law in the reduced amount.

    You could make some claim to ambiguity there, but the statement in the lawsuit (made as a statement of fact, I may add) that says they have “no adequate remedy” is simply wrong. They can override the veto.

    Put another way, these reductionary vetoes are not necessarily permanent. At least not yet until the clock runs out on the time to act on it. Line-item vetoes take immediate affect only in the sense of no legal authority being able to do otherwise.

    There is no legal reason that the ILGA couldn’t just overturn the veto and they are going to face that very hard question in court. Now, if they let the clock run, they certainly could sue then.


  95. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:49 pm:

    Mason, again, I’m not into slippery slopes.

    The GA has overridden several Quinn AVs already, this one just has to do with their paychecks. Either do the same with it, or let the courts have their say. I’m not going to lose sleep over it either way.


  96. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:50 pm:

    Cullerton and Madigan are standing up for the IL constitution. They are correct, even though I love that they are getting a taste of their own medicine. I hope Madigan will start standing up for the IL constitution more often and specificaly in the case of pensions. MJM logic should be that we are in a crisis and therefore we accept Gov Quinn’s actions. :) It gets dicy and kind of complicated when you don’t follow the rule of law. MJM knows this, but to follow the law on pensions would be for him to accept responsibility for the pension mess. I thik he is afraid he would loose his majority if he said, “we spent the pension dollars to avoid raising taxes and get re-elected so now we have to pay the pensions that have been legaly earned. If that means higher taxes and other tough choices then so be it”.


  97. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:53 pm:

    This has also been a bad day for Tribbie Web headline people.
    Besides the faux pas noted above, they had a main header earlier today reading “Headline Test” accompanied by a photo of a cute little kitty. See www.gizmodo.com for a pic.


  98. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:53 pm:

    Kevin Forde, judicial pay, and Blago:
    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2003-11-25/news/0311250256_1_circuit-judges-illinois-appellate-court


  99. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:56 pm:

    OW - I’m sorry, but you act like everything the GA has said about PQ is true. Saying that he’s made no attempts to engage them over the past 2 years is just false. That’s just another excuse for their inaction.

    As mentioned several times, the GA has the power to override, so I’m not sure how their co-equal status is threatened just because an override would be seen as politically unpopular. They also can take it to court, as they’re doing now.

    So, no, I’m not too concerned. If a future Governor wants to try this over a divisive social issue, give it a shot, I doubt it will work out well.


  100. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:57 pm:

    I think someone should tell MJM that no provision of the IL constitution is abosolute and really who knows what the darn thing even says or means anyway. You can find lawyers on all side of this thing. We have a crisis and when you have a crisis you really can do just about anything you want. Forget that the pension clause was placed into the IL consitution so that when we faced a pension crisis the legislature could not diminish the underfunded benefits. I think only some parts of the consitituion are important and easy to understand. I guess the provisions that protecect the house and senate from loss of wages is clear and important…..pensions heck those wages don’t need protected.


  101. - JC - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:59 pm:

    Our state constitution seems to be under siege from many angles. I guess the courts need to get ready for lots and lots of action. First this particular lawsuit, then those regarding attempts at pension reductions.


  102. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:02 pm:

    ===I doubt it will work out well. ===

    One never knows about such things. You don’t think there are enough pro-life legislators to block a three-fifths majority? Think again. Y’all have opened Pandora’s Box with this stunt.


  103. - Been There - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:11 pm:

    ===the rest of the bill that was not reduced is law===

    And I say thank you very much. Our check just cleared.


  104. - Been There - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:11 pm:

    ===the rest of the bill that was not reduced is law===

    And I say thank you very much.


  105. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:15 pm:

    @John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 4:49 pm:

    What if you have a republican Gov. and a republican minority in the house and they don’t like how the democrates are runing things. They may not be able to overide the veto. The overide is not a remedy for individual members or for the body as whole to protect itself as a co equal in government. I understand your point about a legislative remedy but I beleive the court is the best place for this. If the legislature does overide then that presumes that the Gov. action is legal and would set a bad presidence.


  106. - Centennial - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:17 pm:

    “If the legislature does overide then that presumes that the Gov. action is legal and would set a bad presidence.”

    Yes!


  107. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:20 pm:

    I also just don’t think taking someones pay away is any way to get things done. We have elections for a reason. Also, doing nothing about pensions is also a plan and an option. Pay the pensions earned and find the money through tax policy and budgeting priorities. You can change the payment ramp as well. I am stating that the fact the legislature has not come up with a bill does not mean they are not doing their job. No bill is a legitimate result of their work.


  108. - Bill - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:22 pm:

    Maybe Quinn will claim in court that he has police powers to ignore the constitution in times of dire emergencies.


  109. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:24 pm:

    Of course, if Quinn loses, he will just be able to rant about how Illinois judges don’t care about the people of Illinois.

    It is consistent with the rest of his message.

    According to Quinn, only Quinn really cares about the people.

    It is amazing how much he learned from his time as Lt. Gov.


  110. - Rod - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:28 pm:

    I agree with “facts are stubborn things” that no provision of the IL constitution is absolute. But the separation of powers doctrine is deeply part of US Constitution and the basic doctrine of our republic. The Speaker and the Senate President with this case are defending very core values of our republic.

    The issues involved in the so called pension reform debate are very serious and they are not easily resolved. The Illinois General Assembly is simply at an impasse, which does happen in a democracy. We do not starve our elected representatives into submission, nor do we arrest the Speaker and Senate President and hold them in the old state capitol building until they submit. What we do in a democracy is vote those out of office who displease the electorate.


  111. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:30 pm:

    Want to alter the pay of legislators during session? “You can’t touch our paychecks, it’s unconstitutional.”

    Want to diminish the benefits of retirees? “No problem.”

    Mike Madigan sure has a funny way of interpreting the Illinois Constitution.


  112. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:37 pm:

    - STL -,

    As awlays, thanks.

    The reason the GA has not Overridden the Veto is because by doing so, the GA recognizes this “stunt” that even you called a “stunt”, as legitimate and there is no way, Constitutionally, that the GA can have that lever, a lever not even used by Rod, seen as legitimate too.

    Rich Miller, posting, said it so well when even going down that road of risking the Court Order or even using this lever in the future, against the Seperation of Powers our Constitution requires, and the USE…of this “stunt”;

    ===One never knows about such things. You don’t think there are enough pro-life legislators to block a three-fifths majority? Think again. Y’all have opened Pandora’s Box with this stunt.===


  113. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:39 pm:

    And …Please … Where O’ Where … is Bruce Rauner on this power struggle???

    Here is Rauner’s chance to put his thoughts and actions to where his quotes are … in real time … on a real issue … and the leverage Rauner would like to use … to govern …

    Bruce? Mr. Rauner?


  114. - woodchuck - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:41 pm:

    Interesting that none of the GOP candidates for Governor have yet opined on this, at least from what I can tell.


  115. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:52 pm:

    You never know what some of these judges are going to do.

    For all we know, the judge could uphold Quinn’s position on the basis that his actions do not violate the intent of that portion of the Constitution.

    That language was added largely with the intent of preventing legislators from receiving pay raises during the same session they passed the pay raise. There is no discussion or debate in the notes regarding a pay “freeze”.

    Ruling in favor of Quinn would open a dangerous can of worms, as many have noted above, but one never really knows until the verdict is rendered.


  116. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:56 pm:

    @Madison - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 3:39 pm:

    “i hope this puts an end to blagovichian moves and puts the hapless Quinn in the same category as Anthony Weiner and Rod Blagovich permanently.”

    Look, I think the Governor overreached on this one. But to put it in the same category as Rod and Anthony Weiner is just ridiculous.


  117. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 5:58 pm:

    A more practical possibility?

    The judge might dismiss the case because they filed it too early.

    The legislature isn’t scheduled to be paid until August 1st. The case was filed on July 31st.

    The plaintiffs in this case have not yet suffered any damages. They will have by the time the case is heard, but this may have been prematurely filed by a day or two.


  118. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 6:02 pm:

    For those who see a veto override as a remedy that needs to be attempted before the courts rule, you’re missing the point. Bill White is correct. Quinn’s veto is a nullity, and as such, a veto override is unnecessary and would by it’s existance imply that Quinn’s veto of legislative salaries was constitutional. A governor’s line item veto is constitutional only if it does not otherwise violate the constitution. Same goes for laws being a constitutional power vested in the GA…unless a law otherwise violates the constitution, like any law that would violate the constitution’s pension protection clause.


  119. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 6:05 pm:

    Rich, OW, I’m not going to change your mind, and you’re not changing mine. I don’t believe the public would stand for this being used over a social issue, especially in Illinois. And if over 2/5 of a GA is willing to do without pay, I’ll eat my hat.

    The GA has acted like they can ignore the Governor and blame him for their failure, well, 2 years of that is enough. Now the GA can pick their course of action.


  120. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 6:05 pm:

    And…the lawsuit is not premature. The constitution was violated when quinn “vetoed” the legislative salaries.


  121. - Ruby - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 6:07 pm:

    Illinois law makers have passed significant state pension reform. In 2011 the state of Illinois revised the pensions for new public employees, reducing retirement benefits. In 2012 they passed SB 1313 which would require state retirees to pay more for health care insurance. Illinois legislators have also passed a state income tax increase.

    Our legislators have not had an endless cycle of promises, excuses, delay and inertia on the pension problem as stated by Quinn. They have have passed significant state pension reform.


  122. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 6:11 pm:

    - STL -,

    I know, but I enjoy, with you, the discussion, which is why I ask the questions I wish Quinn would answer and you do a good service in your defense. Actually, I think you do a good servioe for all of us, including Quinn, becuase the narrative coming out of the Governor’s office needs some …and i do not mean this point specifically as snark, I ma making the point … since Quinn has no one in the General Assembly making his case on the floors of the chambers.

    Much respect and thanks, - STL -.


  123. - Bill White - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 6:22 pm:

    A metaphor worth pondering is the concept of vaccination.

    Some versions of vaccination are based on injecting the patient with a weakened or less virulent version of a virus or bacteria. After the immune system triumphs over the weakened version of the contagion it is better prepared to resist more virulent versions of the contagion.

    Pa


  124. - woodchuck - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 6:23 pm:

    After re-reading the court filing, it would appear that the appropriation in the budget for the GA salaries is really just a requirement to comply with the General Assembly Compensation Act. It would then seem logical that Act is the controlling statutory requirement and willful failure to fund the requirements of that Act would be violating the law itself. That’s not as sexy or relevant per se as the separation of powers issue, but perhaps this more of a question than a response. If the Compensation Review Board establishes the salaries and those salaries are required to be funded, then is the appropriation in the budget is just a compliance function? The sad reality is that this will be a temporary distraction and the court ruling will be another day of position statements, then it will be like Dale and Brennan from Step Brothers — they’ll all be good friends and laughing at some press conference.


  125. - Bill White - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 6:30 pm:

    Sorry for the premature posting at 6:22 pm . . .

    Pat Quinn’s line item veto is an appalling precedent that threatens the fundamental principles of representative democracy. His statement today merely rubs salt on that open wound. And yet, vaccination doesn’t work unless the less virulent version is successfully defeated.

    Bot Pat Quinn’s little stunt - and any subsequent judicial repudiation of that stunt - would appear to reduce the chances of SB1 style pension reform being enacted and permanently upheld.


  126. - Bill White - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 6:35 pm:

    woodchuck’s comment, extended and amplified:

    === After re-reading the court filing, it would appear that the appropriation in the budget for the GA salaries [or accrued and vested pensions] is really just a requirement to comply with the General Assembly Compensation Act [or the Illinois Pension Code]. It would then seem logical that Act [or the Pension Act and associated constitutional provisions] is the controlling statutory [constitutional] requirement and willful failure to fund the requirements of that Act would be violating the law itself. ===


  127. - wishbone - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 6:37 pm:

    “No bill is a legitimate result of their work.”

    Of course it is, and so is the ultimate “de facto” bankruptcy of the state.


  128. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 6:47 pm:

    I saw Rauner tweeted about 45 minutes ago …

    I am going to suprise everyone, Rauner does NOT address the issue, staying above the fray, and I gave props to Comptroller Topinka for doing the same, but here is the rub;

    Bruce Rauner wants to govern like Quinn in this instance, by decree, and by going around that pesky constitution. So, what does Rauner do different that Ms. Topinka?

    Rauner BLAMES …everyone.

    I know, shocking.


  129. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 6:48 pm:

    Wishbone,

    A bankruptcy occurs when no remedy other than absolving all, or a portion of an entity’s existing debts is possible. The state always has other remedies, so that horse of yours just won’t hunt. High time you got off it.


  130. - transplant - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 7:00 pm:

    I find it interesting that many are cheering Quinn’s move because they want the General Assembly punished for proposed pension cuts. But Quinn’s stated goal with his AV is to have lawmakers take action on pensions, which would in all likelihood result in pension cuts.


  131. - Downstate Illinois - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 7:11 pm:

    About time. The constitution gives the governor no authority to withhold the pay of lawmakers. Despite evidence to the contrary, Illinois isn’t a banana republic yet.


  132. - woodchuck - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 7:37 pm:

    Bill White — touche. Logic and Pandora’s box all in box witha bow on top of it.


  133. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 7:56 pm:

    If the Legislature simply did what THEY, and even PREvious Governors–NOT named Quinn–should have done years and years ago, and passed a reasonable Bill to fix the Pension Mess, none of this would be happening. It’s both a Joke and Tragic. They can sue all they want–either way, word from the People of Illinois to (and STARTING WITH) the Legislature, and THEN the Governor: for God’s, and the People’s, Sake, stop deliberately dragging your rear ends and just FIX THE PENSION PROBLEM already!!!


  134. - DuPage Dave - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 7:58 pm:

    Bravo to the Speaker and the President. This is a separation of powers issue that cannot be allowed to stand. I’m no Madigan fan but he’s right on the money here.

    This veto is a stunt performed by a petulant individual who has no respect for democracy. If this stands it is the end of the concept of co-equal branches of government. I think the judiciary is forced to stand with the legislative branch on this one in unity against the executive.

    It’s two against one now, Pat. You lose.


  135. - Soccertease - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 8:05 pm:

    No one has mentioned the “e” word-ethics. Our leader should not be striving only for “what can we get by with legally and constitutionally” but for what is the right thing to do. That is the root of all of Illinois problems.


  136. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 8:33 pm:

    At least Rauner is consistent- somehow working his tired line of “politicians running Springfield are once again pointing fingers at each other and are afraid to take on the government union bosses” into every statement he makes (”Don’t forget to remind people how I’m going to shake Springfield to it’s core!” Yes, Mr. Rauner- we put that in the press release too!)

    Yeah sure, its those greedy union workers and their bosses that are the cause of the lawsuit being filed by Madigan and Cullerton…


  137. - Wowser - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 8:35 pm:

    Pq did the right thing. It happens to be politically popular, and now the establishment wants to go cry to the courts. Points for pq. This simply helps him in the primary. Maybe as good democrats, that’s what madigan and cullerton are trying to do. Lol.


  138. - Wowser - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 8:42 pm:

    And this slippery slope argument is so funny to me. Yeah, the gov is not going to pay the ga so they will raise taxes, and outlaw abortions. When you folks say that out loud, do you not realize the absurdity of that argument? Look, the way retirees are about to get the shaft on this pension deal is sad and pathetic. However, this day has been coming for a long time. It is a real sad situation and a real failure of govt and leadership of prior leaders. Last time i checked pq didnt create and ignore this problem over the last 25 years


  139. - Anon - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 8:44 pm:

    Don’t typically comment on blogs, but as a recently retired state employee still have not received the pay increase due as of 7/1/11 (per the former and recent contact) because the GA has not appropriated the funds. I realize the basis for GA suit is precidentially based on the constitutional separation of powers issue but how ironic !!! Seems the GA can pick & choose approps for employee “contractual” increases but when Q vetoes theirs SHTF!!!


  140. - Wowser - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 8:50 pm:

    Maybe an unpaid citizen legislature is what this democracy needs.


  141. - foster brooks - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 8:57 pm:

    Bruce Rauners only response is going after the “union bosses that run the state”, thats starting to get stale.


  142. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 8:57 pm:

    - Wowser -,

    I think you need to read the filing, then you will understand all this seperation of powers issue, and constitutionality, and while your points about it going on for 25 years rings true, this idea of non-paid legislators is the solution, as if we don’t pay them everything will work makes no sense that getting a paycheck or not dictates good legislation or good legislative bodies.

    Also, read the Illinois Constitution, the parts that the filing points to, and the actions of Quinn that are not threatening the seperation of powers while you are reading.

    Then, look at your posts, and tell us in the light of the constitutionality of the filing, and tell us again the absurdity.

    Thanks.


  143. - wishbone - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 9:00 pm:

    ” The state always has other remedies, so that horse of yours just won’t hunt. High time you got off it.”

    The legislature will not approve tax increases that will insure they are voted out of office. I am the guy advocating relatively small across the board cuts now to avoid draconian ones later. I don’t see how ignoring that freight train barreling down on us “hunts”.


  144. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 9:07 pm:

    Let’s be quite clear, tonight as well …

    Bill Daley and Bruce Rauner are not the same, not one bit.

    Daley seems to understand the powers of the Governor, Constitutionality, and the need for a strong seperation of powers within our Constitution …

    While Bruce Rauner … just keeps blamin’ … everyone.

    Blaming everyone, as a response to this filing, reeks of someone not ready for Prime Time, no matter when Rauner’s commercials run.


  145. - WOW - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 9:10 pm:

    Total waste of taxpayer $$$$$. What a joke!! Quinn needs to pay them and end this nonsense.


  146. - Bill White - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 9:20 pm:

    Quinn signed the veto. Bell rung. Now, Quinn cannot fix this, only the judiciary can fix this. There is no “never mind” option available to Quinn, Cullerton or Madigan.


  147. - Wowser - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 9:41 pm:

    Hey Willy. Have you any response to all the retirees on here laughing (cause there are probably no tears left at this point) at the constitutionality argument? If u responded elsewhere to them, apologies.


  148. - Just Me - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 9:45 pm:

    Does anyone else take issue with the Attorney General (Executive Branch) making two employees of the Legislative Branch deputies? Something about that just seems a bit off to me.


  149. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 9:57 pm:

    - Wowser -,

    No problem. In the above post …

    ===Impressed that the Leaders of the Chambers have taken this Constitutional question on themselves and I can not agree more that to engage this action with an Override of the Veto, the legislature acknowledges that the action (veto) was indeed proper and right and deserves relief through the legislative process of override!===

    The seperation of powers, and the extortion of an outcome by the Ecxecutive to require the Legislative to do as the Executive wants has nothing to do with pensions, their guarantees and the matter causing the crisis of seperation of powers.

    Apples and Oranges.

    It is about the idea that extortion is not Constitutional, but a stunt a 3rd World “Leader” imposes when the elected leaders practice democracy.

    I think the left I wil leave up to you and your reading. The filing is pretty straight-forward.


  150. - Oneman - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 9:59 pm:

    It will be interesting to see if Sheila Simon dances around this tomorrow…


  151. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 10:20 pm:

    Wowser, there is no slippery slope argument. If this unprecedented tactic remains unchallenged, it will be available to future governors for whatever issues float their boats.


  152. - mid-level - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 10:22 pm:

    So who is going to argue Quinn’s position?


  153. - mid-level - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 10:28 pm:

    BTW, good hard work today Rich. Lots of good stuff on your excellent blog. Top notch.


  154. - Illinoisan - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 10:42 pm:

    Man, did Lisa dodge that bullet!


  155. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 10:47 pm:

    - mid level -

    Check out - Small Town Liberal - above.

    - STL - always does a fine job arguing for Quinn…

    Hope that helps.


  156. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 11:18 pm:

    Some commentators have said they don’t see the relevance of this current action to the pension issue. They might want to review the first post-1970 pension case: IFT v Lindberg. While not directly on point in terms of case law, there are some similarities.

    To summarize, the pension systems appropriation that year was AV’d downward by the current Gov (starting a trend that continued off and on for many years). In that case, the GA concurred with the AV by not overriding it.

    The unions went to court to restore the original funding approp. The SC said the funding level wasn’t guaranteed: “not establish the intent to constitutionally require a specific level of pension appropriations during a fiscal year.” But speaking to the intent of the writers of the pension clause itself and protection of the pensions, the SC also said: “members of pension plans … would receive the money due them at the time of their retirement.” Without much of a stretch, that statement implies the actual pension checks must be paid, regardless of appropriations.

    This whole pulling the courts in to resolve things IS a slippery slope. If the GA wins an order for payment of legislative salaries without an appropriation, I can see the Madigan / Cullerton case being cited as a basis for a new suit claiming the Comptroller, regardless of appropriation, must transfer funds into the pension systems at a level sufficient to prevent diminishment of the pensions themselves. I’m not saying the retirees would win such a case … but this current dispute would add some validity to such a claim.


  157. - Bill White - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 12:31 am:

    The briefs will make for interesting reading.

    Also too, the GA now has cover NOT to pass a pension reform bill until the litigation is completed. Even if there is a trial court injunction to resume monthly checks, the appeal(s) could take months.


  158. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 5:44 am:

    For those bashing Rauner –

    Remember, he’s running for governor. The “right” response is not the one that is legally correct.

    The right response is the one that the voters will like.

    And he’s taking a page from the Quinn/Blago playbook by going with the answer that may not have appeal to insiders but will have appeal to voters.


  159. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 6:19 am:

    Wishbone, that train you see coming in your distorted, austerian crystal ball is the economy gaining steam, which will dash your “the sky is falling” rants. Oh, and so you’re for small pension cuts? Hey! Thanks for watching out for the little guy! Your small cuts are just as unconstitutional as the governor’s legislative salary veto, and just as unconstitutional as SB1.


  160. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 7:32 am:

    - Skeeter -

    Agreed. Rauner thinks the Blago/Quinn playbook seems like a good avenue for him.

    My point in calling Rauner out, personally, is this tactic, is going to be in the playbook Rauner governs as, according to Rauner, so, how about Bruce Rauner stand up and be counted among the Quinn apologists?

    Rauner can’t. I get it. But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be called out on it, be it from a “stance” perspective on the issue, or from a “governing” perspective, as this is how Rauner will “govern” according to his stump speeches.

    I agree - Skeeter -, but as I agree, we can call Rauner out as to his thoughts…doesn’t mean any of us will know them, I mean, why start now, but I digress …


  161. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 7:43 am:

    Will somebody please let McKinney know that “Pat Quinn’s suspension of legislators’ paychecks” is incorrect. He out to know better. Quinn can’t reinstate the paychecks. He issued an Item Veto. thats it for his power.

    He should know better. It’s not like he works for Channel 20.


  162. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 7:44 am:

    @STL

    If you come back to check this this morning. I unplugged at 5 time to be with kids. However this statement of yours kind of disturbed me.

    –The GA has acted like they can ignore the Governor and blame him for their failure, well, 2 years of that is enough. Now the GA can pick their course of action.–

    A. I think you will agree that both sides here are blaming each other for failures. Whether it is PQ blaming legislature or legislature blaming PQ.

    B. The whole point of our system is that The Legislature is not beholden to the executive. The GA can ignore the Gov as is their right as a co-equal branch. Just as to some extent Quinn can ignore the Legislature and veto everything they pass. The legislature especially the House is closer to WE the People and therefore they are our voice. If the Executive is able to Extort the Action he wants whether through pay or any other means then where is the voice of the people??


  163. - Mason born - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 7:45 am:

    Anonymous at 7:44 was me.


  164. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 7:55 am:

    Oswego,

    I have serious concerns about whether Rauner has even a basic understanding of what it takes to govern Illinois.

    I don’t think he has a concept for leadership. I don’t think he knows much about Illinois law.

    But when has that mattered to voters?

    Brady’s problem was not with people like me who condemned him for having no budget or pension ideas.

    Brady’s problem was that people thought they knew specifics on abortion and related matters.

    Rauner’s trying to appeal to social moderates. Will he be a good governor? I don’t know. People can grow into the job.

    But we shouldn’t underestimate him as a candidate.


  165. - Mason born - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 7:56 am:

    @STL

    Let me expound if you see this.

    I see my House rep at the grocery store. I’ve stopped and chatted with the man. Can i go talk to PQ at shop and save in SPFLD today? I can go talk to my senator at regular townhall style meetings he sets up to get my input. How do i get Quinn to care about my, Mr joe citizen’s, thoughts? Can i meet him in a room of 50 or less to talk? The Legislature is our voice PQ’s extortion deprives me of that voice.


  166. - Mason born - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 7:58 am:

    @Skeeter

    I think you have hit on the Scariest part of Rauner. Populist with huge amount of Cash and willing to spend it.


  167. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 8:06 am:

    Rauner will have two races to win to get to be governor.

    As you pointed out - Skeeter -, the voters found out about one aspect,and maybe not the other, but to that point, Rauner’s “elephant in the room” is the blatent hypocricy that is Bruce Rauner, and Rauner needs to face two seperate campaigns to offset that walking hypocricy.

    To the Post,

    As for the example - Mason born - posted, we all don’t even need to g to that direct line. The second a branch of government loses its independence from the other two, the entire process is tainted and the ideals of our government are lost to the whim, in this case, the Executive. When you see that state Representative in the store, it is a direct link to state government, unlike a state judge you may never run across, or you may never have the opportunity to meet a governor. However, the second the Oath of office is complete, you are indeed close to theat state Representative, grocery store or not, medaphor or not.

    Extortion is not Democracy. It’s not.


  168. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 8:20 am:

    @Mason born

    A minor edit:

    [Phony] Populist with huge amount of Cash and willing to spend it.

    Notwithstanding Pat Quinn’a many faults, his goal is not to enrich a handful of billionaire insiders.


  169. - Mason born - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 8:37 am:

    Anonymous

    Believe me i know Rauner is no Populist but that is the tack he is trying. when you have those kind of cash reserves it is a lot easier to paint your own portrait.

    As for Quinn’s Goals i am pretty sure they start and end with Pat Quinn.


  170. - Roadiepig - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 8:39 am:

    Oswego Willy @ 8:06

    “Extortion is not democracy. It’s not”

    Amen O.W. this truly is bigger than the lack of pay (although that is also a concern). Forcing the GA to give him what he wants or no pay is a form of extortion, plain and simple, and anyone with a basic knowledge of the separations of powers can not be fine with the gov’s actions.


  171. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 8:59 am:

    Wow Billboards and CousinBrucey both use the same dysfunction word..Is Billboards auditioning for LiteGov….he would be perfect fit for the ticket.

    BTW Wall Street Journal reports Chase will pay $410 million fine for stealing over $100 million in crooked power sales in CA and unnamed Midwest States.

    Yikes hope that doesn’t include IL ’cause BankerBilly might have some ’splaiin’ to do


  172. - Realist - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    It was wrong of PQ to withhold the salaries, for all the reasons that have been stated so well. But as a state employee who should be able to retire within the decade with nearly 40 years service, I laugh and sneer at the utter gall displayed by M & C in their use of the constitutionality argument, ESPECIALLY Madigan. A hypocrite of the lowest sort.

    On the other hand, I am somewhat cheered, for if they win, it can only help State pensioners/employees when it comes time for us to sue against any unconstitutional cuts in our pension benefits.

    Then maybe the GA will finally move on to real budget and pension obligation solutions like reforming the tax code.


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