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No hearing this week?

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Twitters

* 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.

* Sun-Times

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.

* ABC7

“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.


  1. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 11:41 am:

    Can this be right? First scheduled hearing 11/27, as in the day before Thanksgiving?

  2. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 11:44 am:


    When cases are newly filed, they get an initial date. That gives the plaintiff time to have summons served.

    If the parties want relief before that time, they just file a motion. That initial date means nothing on a case like this. The date is just to make sure that eventually it does start moving.

    Also, I’m not sure I agree with Rich on the lack of conflict. Directly against her father when he’s a named plaintiff? It walks very close to a line. She might be better off farming this one out.

  3. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    Print media has a better chance to explain it, because it takes some background.

    Don’t expect much from the visual media; if it won’t fit into a 15 or 30 second sound bite, it won’t get explained. And, unfortunately, that (TV & youtube) is where a lot of people get their news …

  4. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 11:53 am:

    I checked the court’s docket.
    The November 27, 2013 is just case management.
    Means nothing on a case like this.

    If anybody is interested in the future, just go to Dorothy Brown’s website and check for the Electronic Full Docket Search. The case is pending in Chancery.

    Note that Brown is nowhere near as efficient as the clerks in federal court. The on line dockets are wrong as a matter of routine. It takes a long time for things to get entered and when they are, they are often incomplete at best. In federal court by checking the on line docket you usually know within an hour or two exactly what happened. Orders often appear on line before I can walk back to my office.

    But that’s another matter.

  5. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 11:58 am:

    Skeeter, thanks.

  6. - downstate hack - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    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.

    I agree Rich, but in reality this is a political story, and a political gambit by the Governor which indeed will affect voters choices. Quinn is probably very wrong on this issue but he will garner an uptick in the polls as a result of this veto. JMHO

  7. - Keyrock - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 12:08 pm:

    And they don’t have to wait until the assigned judge gets back. They could, if they want, request an immediate hearing before another judge.

  8. - Jackie - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 12:33 pm:

    I’m not terribly saddened at the thought of the legislature not being paid.

  9. - bigred - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 12:37 pm:

    what Judge is it assigned to?

  10. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 1:11 pm:

    Is there a conflict for the Asst AGs as counsel for Madigan/Cullerton when the rest of the AG’s office is counsel for Quinn/Topinka? Can one lawfirm (AG’s office) really represent both sides?

  11. - bored now - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 1:55 pm:

    if the governor wants to use this as a populist issue, then he’ll have to suspend *his* pay, as well. sure, he can argue that he’s doing his job, but he’s open to the charges that he’s just being vengeful for holding up their pay while collecting his own. if he suspends his own pay for the duration of this fight, he can argue “we need to do *our* job and we shouldn’t be paid if we can’t make the hard choices that we were elected to make”…

  12. - 100 Miles West - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    bored now, PQ is not taking his pay.

  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 2:07 pm:

    === Is there a conflict for the Asst AGs as counsel for Madigan/Cullerton when the rest of the AG’s office is counsel for Quinn/Topinka? Can one lawfirm (AG’s office) really represent both sides? ===

    No because there are not any assistant AG’s representing Madigan/Cullerton. The attorneys for Madigan/Cullerton were appointed special AGs - probably to avoid the conflict issue. They are not regular employees of the AGs office.

  14. - Kevin Highland - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 2:19 pm:

    if PQ was serious about not taking his pay we would’ve line item vetoed it also.

  15. - Conflicted Everywhere - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 2:34 pm:

    There are only 2 ways to become a Special AG. 1. File a petition seeking the appointment in the circuit court and set forth the conflict and let a judge decide (which they did not do) or 2. Lisa Madigan agrees to it and seeks the appointment. All bills must still be approved by a judge. Without this, the legislators would have to hire their own counsel, get volunteer legal services or use their in-house counsel and frankly none of the in-house counsel are qualified to try a traffic ticket. When did LM give this approval? and who spoke with her office and to whom? This is what the press should be following right now.

  16. - Lord Stanley's Cup - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 2:34 pm:

    Quinn had better hope the statutory argument regarding the “total line” doesn’t prevail. The appealing part of that argument for a Cook County Judge is it prevents him or her from getting to the constitutional question; they can toss on a technicality and say all the Governor had to do was spend an extra ten seconds crossing the total line. Better luck next time.

  17. - Just Me - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 2:35 pm:

    Here is what I don’t get: When Quinn vetoed their salaries, he must have known that the rest of the bill then became law, meaning if if the G.A. agreed that he had the authority to do what he wanted them to do, he must have known a supplemental approp was eventually going to be needed, right?

    Try to imagine that legislative debate, OR WORSE, try to imagine what other types of appropriation actions would have been included in that particular supplemental. They could have cut the Governor’s salary as retribution.

  18. - Anon. - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    ==bored now, PQ is not taking his pay.==

    The ITAP site shows his last check was $14,784.33, and he’s received $103,490.31 to date. That works out to 7 monthly paychecks, so it looks like he hasn’t missed any.

  19. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 5:43 pm:

    I believe GA system paychecks go out the first of the month. Elected officials like the Gov are parts of the GA system. Quinn won’t miss his first check until tomorrow.

  20. - Rollo Tomasi - Wednesday, Jul 31, 13 @ 8:57 pm:

    Wonder if Eric Holder did Madigan’s judge shopping for him?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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