* Let’s look at some stuff in the major media reporting that we didn’t have here yesterday. The Tribune writes about something that was first suggested here by a commenter on the day of the veto…
Beyond the legal rhetoric, Madigan and Cullerton allege that while Quinn vetoed out specific budget lines for the base salary of each lawmaker, he left intact in the budget bill the lump sum of $11.7 million for individual salaries. They also contend that while Quinn vetoed out individual budget lines for additional pay for party leaders and ranking committee members, he left untouched another line for the lump sum of $2.1 million in spending for those titles.
Because budget items that Quinn did not reduce or veto automatically become law, Madigan and Cullerton argue the $13.8 million in lump sums provide the spending authority for the court to order Republican Comptroller Topinka to issue legislative paychecks. Last week, Topinka said Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office advised her not to process lawmakers’ pay.
I doubt that’ll work. There’s a long history and an attorney general opinion on how the “total” lines don’t mean anything substantive. But one never knows.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office is reviewing the newly-filed lawsuit and has not yet determined whether she personally will represent the governor and comptroller in the case brought by her father and Cullerton, an aide to the three-term attorney general told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Obviously, it’s just been filed. We’re reviewing it right now, and we’ll work out the legal representation between the governor and comptroller’s office,” Madigan spokeswoman Natalie Bauer said.
In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Cross said any involvement by the attorney general could pose a conflict of interest given that her father is a plaintiff in the case.
“You can’t continue to have issues where there’s a conflict, and this could be – and I’m not saying it is – one of those where she’s not able to handle this because of the alleged conflict. And that’s not good,” said Cross, who at one point was mulling a 2014 run for attorney general but no longer is interested.
Another manufactured controversy. She’ll do what she’ll do, and it won’t be because of her father. Move on already.
“When you get into the weeds about the law and constitution you lose people. Voters are going to remember that they went into court to sue to get their money when they weren’t getting anything done in Springfield,” said Laura Washington, ABC7 political analyst.
That’s quite true. But it doesn’t mean the media has to abdicate its responsibility and settle for those sorts of explanations.