Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)
* The first time I ever heard tourism used in a pro-same sex marriage argument was more than five years ago. Since then, other Midwestern states, such as Iowa and Minnesota, have legalized same sex marriage. So if there is any part of this story that is surprising to me, then it is that something like this did not happen sooner…
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who recently married 46 same-sex couples following his state’s passage of a law legalizing gay weddings, will appear in a predominantly gay Chicago neighborhood Thursday to launch a campaign called “Marry Me in Minneapolis.” He plans to follow with campaigns in Colorado and Wisconsin, two other states that haven’t approved same-sex marriage.
Rybak is trying to convince Chicagoans that rather than take a long — and expensive — plane trip to one of the coasts, just drive six hours to his city.
One has to wonder if this will ignite similar campaigns by officials from cities even closer to Illinois than Minneapolis, like Des Moines or even Davenport.
I suppose some were expecting the Governor to be more upset with this campaign, and treat it like a Scott Walker or Rick Perry poaching blitz. But the Governor has lobbied for SSM since he signed the civil unions bill, and this campaign isn’t trying to pry dollars out of the Illinois economy like Walker/Perry. These are dollars, as the Governor and Mayor Emanuel stated, that Illinois is simply missing out on…
The mayor, governor and Chicago tourism advocates cited the potential economic impact of legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois, singling out a UCLA School of Law Williams Institute study.
That organization’s study estimated that Illinois’ wedding business would grow by $74 million during the first three years of legalized same-sex marriages. It also would generate $29 million in tourism dollars from out-of-town guests and boost state and local tax revenues by $8.5 million.
The Governor also blamed Republicans for not putting enough votes on the SSM bill in the House this spring. But as you know, and as subscribers know a little bit better, the HGOP not putting up votes was not the only reason that bill was not called for a vote.
*Bruce Rauner stood by his previous statements about same sex marriage during a radio interview yesterday…
Rauner: I will never…I have not supported gay marriage, and I will never advocate for it. What I’ve said is this should be decided through a voter referendum, and I will support what the voters decide through a referendum. If the majority of voters want to accept gay marriage, I will support them in that decision. If the voters through a referendum decide they don’t want to accept gay marriage, that’s what I will support.
Go listen to the whole thing if you’re not on a state computer. Rauner’s remarks about gay marriage start at about the 6:30 minute mark. The first half of the interview is devoted to his Legislative and veto override proposal.
* Speaking of which, Both Gov. Quinn and Kirk Dillard came out against the Rauner term limit proposal yesterday. First from the Governor…
“The Illinois Constitution was adopted by the people of Illinois in a referendum, and they decided — in their wisdom — that to override a veto it takes three-fifths of the members of the General Assembly,” Quinn says. “So I think that’s a pretty important provision … (and) I don’t think there’s a need to change that.”
Quinn says he also doesn’t see the need for another aspect of the plan, which would increase the number of representatives in the Illinois House, while decreasing the number of state senators.
And Sen. Dillard…
“I think it’s a real slap in the face to downstate Illinois to downsize the state Senate because the districts become so geographically large, your chances of having input face to face to your state senator are greatly diminished,” Dillard says.
* Bruce Rauner invites Gov. Quinn to join fight for term limits
* Martin: With term limits, boot out career pols
* Schoenburg: Rauner says tenure for college profs a ‘flawed concept’