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*** UPDATED x4 *** Services and succession

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

* Comptroller Topinka made it abundantly clear long before she died that she wanted no funeral and no wake. I’m told, however that when her family read her last will and testament today, she did allow for a memorial gathering. I’ll let you know the details as soon as I do. It’ll probably be next week.

* From a very high-ranking Republican source…

“For the sake of continuity in the office, and out of respect for the wishes of the Topinka family, we believe that the temporary appointment by Gov. Quinn should be Nancy Kimme.”

It’s my understanding that Gov.-elect Rauner would definitely support that appointment. Kimme was JBT’s longtime chief of staff.

* The comptroller’s spokesman told me this afternoon that state checks already in the hopper can still be issued because they were technically approved before Topinka’s death. The checks require the signatures of both the treasurer and the comptroller.

So that means there is no immediate need to replace JBT, but a new comptroller will be required sometime very soon. We’re waiting on input from the attorney general’s office as to the exact date.

* The Senate Republicans spelled out their version of the succession process in a memo to members today…

As you are all aware by now, Illinois lost a very dedicated public servant in Judy Baar Topinka today. She will be sorely missed in Illinois.

As for succession to her unexpired term that ends January 12th, it is clear that Governor Quinn has the authority under the Illinois Constitution to make the appointment for Comptroller Topinka’s unexpired term.

As for the new term that she was elected to that is to begin at Noon on January 12, 2015, we believe that Governor Rauner has the authority to make the appointment to fill her new term of office because the vacancy in that office will occur after Governor Rauner takes the oath of office.

* But it may not be that simple. From the Illinois Constitution

If the Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller or Treasurer fails to qualify or if his office becomes vacant, the Governor shall fill the office by appointment. The appointee shall hold office until the elected officer qualifies or until a successor is elected and qualified as may be provided by law and shall not be subject to removal by the Governor. [Emphasis added.]

* From state statutes

When a vacancy shall occur in the office of Secretary of State, State Comptroller, Treasurer or Attorney General, the Governor shall fill the same by appointment, and the appointee shall hold his office during the remainder of the term, and until his successor is elected and qualified.

The appointment holds office until a successor is both elected and qualified, according to the constitution and state statute. Quinn may indeed get this pick.

Right now, the attorney general’s office says Gov. Quinn has the authority to appoint a successor. The office is researching questions regarding the length of the appointment. [This paragraph was changed after further consultation with the AG’s office.]

Illinois being Illinois, we’ll probably have a fight. Let’s hope not.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Citing common law, the Senate President’s office believes that Gov. Quinn only has the power to appoint a replacement through the end of this term. Gov. Rauner would then get the four-year appointment. This is, however, a preliminary view. It could change.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Speaker Madigan’s spokesman agrees with Radogno’s and Cullerton’s interpretation

“That’s the law, I don’t have to agree with it. I’m in the agreement with the law. The law is the law,” said Madigan spokesman Steve Brown. “Both governors will have an opportunity to fill the vacancy,” Quinn in the near-term and Rauner in the long-term, he said.

*** UPDATE 3 *** This is, indeed, under consideration

State lawmakers may be asked back to Springfield for a special session to consider whether to enact legislation calling for a special election to fill constitutional office vacancies, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Nobody has ever been appointed to a four-year term for any elective office in Illinois. So, the idea is to allow Rauner to appoint someone, but then hold a special election in 2016.

*** UPDATE 4 *** And this from Jim Durkin means all four leaders are on the same page…

While it is my preference to focus today on the achievements and memory of my friend, Judy Baar Topinka, and to celebrate her extraordinary life, the debate has already begun about the succession process.

I interpret the law to say that Governor Quinn has the authority to appoint a successor in the short-term through the end of her current term, and Governor Elect-Rauner has the authority to pick her successor to fill the four year term for which she was just re-elected.

[ *** End Of Updates *** ]

* There are plenty of rumors flying already about four-year successors, but people ought to just calm the heck down. There will be time for that. Let’s keep that stuff out of comments as well.

* Also, the Illinois Senate’s US Flag is flying at half mast above the Statehouse today. The flag is typically only flown during session days, but Senate President Cullerton ordered an exception.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

112 Comments
  1. - The Captain - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    Unless someone wants to use this to make a power play here’s a simple solution:

    Have Governor Quinn appoint Rutherford to fill out Topinka’s remaining term and have Governor Quinn appoint Frerichs Treasurer to get started there. Then let Governor Rauner fill the subsequent Comptroller vacancy.

    Advantages:
    - Rutherford’s signature is already on file, his autopen plates already exist. The cost to add Frerichs’ is pending anyway.
    - Both offices will be filled by people the voters elected to a fiscal office.
    - The office of the deceased stays in the hands of the same political party.

    Of course this is Illinois so nothing will be that simple.


  2. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    Classy move by the Senate President. Correct decision and I’m glad he did that.


  3. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 2:57 pm:

    How about Paul Vallas?


  4. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    No constitutional atty, but it seems like “the appointee shall hold his office during the remainder of the term, and until his successor is elected and qualified” means whoever gets appointed is in until the next election. Quinn can’t not appoint someone and he does not get to determine the length of the term.

    I wonder if the GA can pass a bill calling for a special election. If they can do that, it may alleviate some of the issues over the appointment.


  5. - Knome Sane (now known as "The Real Sock Puppet") - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    =I wonder if the GA can pass a bill calling for a special election.=

    The House adjourned “sine die”. I don’t believe they can come back.


  6. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    Also, the law appears to dictate the appointment of a man. What’s up with that? Let’s update some pronouns.


  7. - Knome Sane - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    Furthermore, I support appointing Evelyn Sanguinetti. It will give her something to do and save on the cost of running a “do-nothing” Lt. Gov’s office.


  8. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    Of course Lisa is going to angle for the Democratic party. It’s pretty clear that Quinn gets to appoint fir the remainder of the term. That term ends on 1-12-14 then it’s vacant again allowing Rauner to appoint.
    The same way Quinn’s term ends in January so would the replacements term. Even Lisa has a term that’s expiring and then must be sworn in for her next.


  9. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    Could Quinn appoint himself to the 4 year term?


  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    ===It’s pretty clear===

    Not really: “the appointee shall hold his office during the remainder of the term, and until his successor is elected and qualified.”

    Elected and qualified. That means four years from now.


  11. - Knome Sane - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    The problem are the tricky words “until a successor is ELECTED”.

    So, make this as partisan as you want but the statute’s wording mean something: “The appointee shall hold office until the elected officer qualifies or until a successor is elected and qualified”.


  12. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    ==I don’t believe they can come back.==

    LOL Of course they can…

    Actually, “sine die” only means that no day has been set to return. Such a day can be set later.


  13. - Anonymoiis - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    It would seem odd that the intent would be to have someone in longer than a normal term. To me it’s more logical that the intent was for the remainder of the term, they just failed to anticipate this possibility to clarify that point.

    If Nancy would accept the appointment I agree that would be a reasonable solution. Whether Quinn would offer it I doubt. Isn’t she currently heading Rauner’s transition?


  14. - Come on man! - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:10 pm:

    I would predict the Leg. being called back by the Gov. under the guise of “Let’s pass a tribute for JBT” and pass something that has a special election that coincides with the 2015 Municipals. Much like the congressional specials we seem to be accustom to in our wonderful Illinois winters. Rauner gets his appointment for most of the legislative session and can spend a ton of money getting that person through the Special.

    Not to have a bad case of the true believers but to have someone hold a constitutional office without a single vote cast in their name your are disenfranchising the voters.


  15. - Southwest Cook - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    I see it as 2 separate vacancies: one for the current term (1 month left) and one for the next term. The “elected and qualified” successor to any Quinn appointee would be the person who was elected in the November 2014 election (JBT). Being unable to take the oath, a second vacancy would occur and Rauner would be able to appoint a successor.

    If Sheila Simon had won, would Quinn be able to appoint anyone he wanted for the next 4 years since the election occurred before the vacancy? That’s nonsense.


  16. - Come on man! - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    Rich- IMHO but “elected and qualified” only means that there needs to be an election. There is nothing that says when that happens. I am not an attorney and a casual observer so as the adage goes “Opinions are like…”


  17. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    Southwest Cook —

    If Sheila Simon had won, she would have been elected and qualified as of Jan. 14. Gov. Quinn would only have needed to appoint someone to handle the office for the next month.


  18. - so... - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    ==If Sheila Simon had won, she would have been elected and qualified as of Jan. 14. Gov. Quinn would only have needed to appoint someone to handle the office for the next month.==

    By that token, JBT was elected and qualified too. She, unfortunately, won’t be there to take the oath for a new term, so it falls to the Governor (Rauner) to appoint someone.


  19. - Esteban - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    We’re dealing with TWO vacancies here, not just
    one-the balance of JBT’s term in office AND the
    new, four-year term. The statute and the constitution appear to only address the matter of a vancy when the officeholder has not finished his or term of office; there is no vacancy, at this point, in regard to the four-year term. This
    matter of someone dying between Election Day and their swearing-in ceremony doesn’t seem to be addressed in the laws cited.


  20. - Southwest Cook - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    Soccermom -

    Exactly. My point is that the certification of the winner of the November 2014 election will cause any appointee to be termed out on Jan. 12th. JBT is the elected and qualified successor to the appointee, but cannot take office for the new term. A second vacancy would occur.


  21. - Nick - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    so…”By that token, JBT was elected and qualified too.”

    Not to be too blunt, but JBT isn’t qualified anymore.


  22. - Knome Sane - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:22 pm:

    =If Sheila Simon had won, she would have been elected and qualified as of Jan. 14.=

    And if the Queen had a ****, she’d be the King.


  23. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:22 pm:

    Both Odelson and Kasper have opined today. Both state the law is very very grey. However both stated the issue is what term are we talking? Are we filling this one or the next? They both agreed that it is more likely TWO terms which means both will get appointments.


  24. - IrishPirate - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    The State Supreme Court will likely decide this issue. The ultimate question(s) is will Roland Burris be available?


  25. - so... - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    ==Both Odelson and Kasper have opined today. Both state the law is very very grey. However both stated the issue is what term are we talking? Are we filling this one or the next? They both agreed that it is more likely TWO terms which means both will get appointments.==

    Exactly. Quinn can’t appoint for a term that hasn’t started yet.


  26. - 4 percent - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:29 pm:

    And Lou Bertuca already has a new job. Who will PQ appoint - Roland Burris, himself?


  27. - Mouthy - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    There will be a new set of vouchers electronically sent to the office today for processing from various agencies. This happens every day. These will not be in the hopper. These can number a few thousand or tens of thousands and warrants for approved vouchers are written overnight. I don’t think these new vouchers can be paid without a new Comptroller.


  28. - Gooner - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    I have to agree with Knome Sane.

    I think the key is the reference of until the successor is elected.

    I also think the emphasis on “qualified” is over-stated. I haven’t gone over the qualifications of the office, but I suspect that goes no further than being an Illinois resident, etc.

    And at risk of discussing the appointment, I know Illinois has a reputation for some partisan extremism (and we’ve seen it this past week or so with Quinn making controversial picks). However, Judy was one of the few in Illinois who was so well liked across party lines. I would hope that on this appointment Illinois could actually find a consensus candidate. It would be great if Rauner and Quinn could agree on a person.


  29. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    Personally, I think setting an early election would be the best course.


  30. - Mason born - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    Any chance Nancy will take it and volunteer to resign on Jan 12th if Bruce doesn’t ask her to stay?

    Could get over the silliness.

    It would be nice if Quinn would be magnanimous and appoint a place holder or an agreed individual. I don’t think i’ll hold my breath.


  31. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    first, look at plain reading of the words, then if they are ambiguous….. They don’t appear ambiguous to me


  32. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    ==It would be great if Rauner and Quinn could agree on a person.==

    That would be a tribute to Judy.

    I know some are saying Quinn should hold off on making the appointment, but they aren’t counting on getting a check from the State.


  33. - Jaded - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:38 pm:

    ==Not to be too blunt, but JBT isn’t qualified anymore.==
    Right, but she won’t actually be “unqualified” until she fails to take the oath of office at that time there will be a vacancy, and the governor will appoint. Rauner should make sure he is the first person sworn in that day, so he will officially be governor when the vacancy occurs, and he will appoint. Again, very gray area, but that is the way it should work.


  34. - Anonymoiis - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:41 pm:

    ==. They don’t appear ambiguous to me==

    One part of the sentence says until the end of the term, and another says until someone is elected. In this case, those do not say the same thing, making it seem pretty ambiguous to me


  35. - Gooner - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    The updates are really interesting. I don’t agree with their interpretation, but as a practical matter I’m glad they are taking that position.

    Hopefully the whole process will go smoothly.


  36. - Western Ave. Doug - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    ==Rauner to appoint someone, but then hold a special election in 2016==

    That makes a lot of sense. It will cost the state very little in that there already is an election, and the people will have a chance to be heard.


  37. - WOW - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    Nancy Kimme is the best option, she is a great person and has been with JBT for a long time. I hope this situation in respect for the employees of JTB does not end up being a power struggle. JBT would not have wanted that.


  38. - Come on man! - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    ==Rauner should make sure he is the first person sworn in that day, so he will officially be governor when the vacancy occurs, and he will appoint. Again, very gray area, but that is the way it should work.==

    OH JEEZ…that is interesting.


  39. - Amalia - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    Ducky LaMoore for the win….Vallas. raised by the fiscal policy goddess Dawn Clark Netsch, Vallas would bring a long, long view of fiscal issues in Illinois, from back in the 80s.


  40. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    The legislature cannot limit the specific language in the constitution. Quinn’s appointment would stand until a next election.


  41. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    The statues are pretty clear. The next Comptroller will be appointed by Governor Pat Quinn, to a four year term.

    But, isn’t it interesting that both Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton would want a Republican Comptroller — interesting.

    Hold a special election? Change the law?

    Whose side are they on anyway?


  42. - PI59 - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    I realize the Illinois Constitution deals with the selection of legislators and statewide officials differently, but as I recall, something similar happened back in 2002, when Rep. Tim Osmond passed away a couple weeks after being elected to another term. Joann Osmond was appointed and went on to serve for 12 years (obviously being repeatedly elected). Clearly the law deals with the two types of vacancies differently, but I wonder if that process may somehow be instructive here. Was Osmond appointed once or twice?


  43. - Empty Suit - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    Gee it would be nice if they could at least get the poor lady buried before they give away her clothes.


  44. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    Does anyone really think that Governor Pat Quinn will bolster up the Republican Party? I mean really?


  45. - Jaded - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    State lawmakers may be asked back to Springfield for a special session to consider whether to enact legislation calling for a special election to fill constitutional office vacancies, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.==
    Why do they need to come back to Springfield to pass a special election bill for 2016? That could be done in January or February. Since the House is sine die, they may need to start an entirely new bill. That would mean a 6 day special session at minimum. Brutal. Just wait for the new GA.


  46. - Bill White - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:06 pm:

    == Quinn can’t appoint for a term that hasn’t started yet. ==

    Agreed.

    However, whoever Quinn appoints stays in office until

    “the elected officer qualifies”

    JBT cannot “qualify”

    or

    “until a successor is elected and qualified as
    may be provided by law and shall not be subject to removal by the Governor.”

    Quinn cannot appoint for the term beginning in January but the person Quinn appoints for the remaining portion of the existing term remains in office until a successor is elected and qualified.


  47. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:09 pm:

    ===Why do they need to come back to Springfield to pass a special election bill for 2016? That could be done in January or February===

    They would have to pass this legislation into law before a new comptroller takes office - whether it’s PQ’s four-year-plus appointment or Rauner’s four-year.


  48. - ??? - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:11 pm:

    Anonymous @ 3:57 - I initially thought it was pretty clear, too, but Southwest Cook’s comments gave me pause. He/she raises a good point. A successor WAS elected.


  49. - Hoping for Rational Thought - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:11 pm:

    In my little world of the school board, an appointment lasts until the next schedule election or end of the vacated term. Using that model an election could happen in 2016 for the remaining 2 years if there was a desire not to have a special election. Of course if they move quickly couldn’t they have a special election at the same time as the muni election on April 7, 2015?


  50. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:14 pm:

    Is elected and qualified the same as sworn in?

    Does elected and qualified mean certified — which happened the other day?


  51. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    “A successor WAS elected.”

    But that successor is not qualified…


  52. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    I agree with Bill White

    Otherwise, a Rauner appointment assumes some power not identified in the constitution.

    Whatever happens, the general public will forget about it in a few months.

    Whatever happens, Quinn should act immediately.


  53. - Mason born - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:20 pm:

    Something tells me this is going to turn into a nightmare.


  54. - RMWStamford - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:20 pm:

    What qualified means is the devil in the detial


  55. - Anonymoiis - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:26 pm:

    ==r. I just heard that Quinn’s appointment must be ratified by the Senate. ==

    I don’t believe that is the case


  56. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:27 pm:

    you just heard wrong


  57. - Jaded - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:29 pm:

    ==They would have to pass this legislation into law before a new comptroller takes office - whether it’s PQ’s four-year-plus appointment or Rauner’s four-year.==

    Ok, I get that, but if Quinn appoints before the special session bill is passed, then wouldn’t that be a moot point? Because according the “Quinn has the right to appoint” crowd, his appointee will be sworn in upon appointment until January 2018 and will not have to be inaugurated in January. The real question is who has the appointment power for the next term, and I am not sure the GA can settle that fast enough if Quinn wants to push the envelope. In theory, Quinn could appoint tomorrow and argue his person is in until January 2018.

    The only way this works is if EVERYONE agrees that Quinn appoints until January 12; then Rauner appoints; and in the meantime the GA passes a special election bill. What a mess.


  58. - Jaded - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    I meant January 2019.


  59. - illini - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    I find this discussion troubling, but not necessarily surprising, given the fact that JBT has just passed. I do agree the statutes do seem to be somewhat ambiguous in that they do lack some specificity and may appear to be contradictory.

    As a practical matter, and looking at this from a much more local level, if a vacancy occurs, say with a County Board seat, the chairman of that counties Central Committee will nominate an individual from the same party to fill out the remainder of the term. And even more local, the same holds true for vacancies at the Township, Village and School Board level where appointments are made.

    However, there is a requirement that if more than half of the original term remains, the appointed individual must run for the remainder of the term at the next General election. These kinds of appointments can never be for a full 4 year term, and the appointed successor must run in the next election.

    Sorry to be having this discussion so soon.

    RIP JBT.


  60. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:38 pm:

    With all due respect

    Both my old man and my mother said “no funeral, no wake.”

    Kind of a Norske thing, where it’s considered good manners that you get all Lutheran and pretend that you never existed.

    Yeah, right. They didn’t mean that .

    Thank God for the Irish and Italians in our lives! Those crews know how to check out.

    We totally blew off my parents wishes (they didn’t really mean it, anyway).

    My folks died 20 years apart, and both times it was a week-long party.

    People coming from all around. Saints,sinners and all points in between. But, geez, they were all our peeps, and you loved t

    Lot of ham, Lot of lasagna. Lot of booze. Neighbors, friends and family knocking on the door and just reflecting on our good lives together.


  61. - Hacksaw Jim - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:40 pm:

    === Both Odelson and Kasper have opined today. Both state the law is very very grey. However both stated the issue is what term are we talking? Are we filling this one or the next? They both agreed that it is more likely TWO terms which means both will get appointments. ===

    The Constitution and the Election Law are clear that Quinn can appoint a replacement and the replacement can hold office during the remainder of the term, and until the successor is elected and qualified. I don’t necessarily think that is what was intended, but rather was a major oversight. With that said, the major oversight is the law as it reads.

    I think Cullerton’s response is very interesting and very telling. The rationale for two separate terms is some unnamed common law decision. I think this explanation is nonsense until Cullerton gives an explanation. I think the position taken by him and MJM is purely political in an effort to stave off the hysteria that is certain to begin over the appointment talk.


  62. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:42 pm:

    Where did Kasper and Odelson weigh in? I haven’t seen that.


  63. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:44 pm:

    “Ok, I get that, but if Quinn appoints before the special session bill is passed, then wouldn’t that be a moot point? Because according the “Quinn has the right to appoint” crowd, his appointee will be sworn in upon appointment until January 2018 and will not have to be inaugurated in January.”

    It might be a moot political point, if the GA is happy with Quinn’s pick. But if the GA wants an election (and I think it would be best), I think it would work. The Constitution says “…until elected…” but doesn’t specify when that election should occur. Yes, it can be the normally scheduled election, but I don’t see what would preclude a special election.


  64. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:46 pm:

    ===The Constitution and the Election Law are clear ===

    Not really: “When a vacancy shall occur”

    Does that mean now or does it mean now and then again on inauguration day?

    This thing is heading to court.


  65. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:48 pm:

    Odelson on Fox tv noon with mike flannery and Kasper the radio I believe wbbm or wgn.


  66. - Hacksaw Jim - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:48 pm:

    === I don’t see what would preclude a special election. ===

    Currently there is no statute that provides authority for a special election in this case. The GA would have to pass one before there can be a special election.


  67. - Anonymoiis - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:49 pm:

    Unless whoever is appointed now is sworn in on Jan 12, a vacancy would occur at that point. On what (or whose) authority would the reason appointed for this term be sworn in for the next term?


  68. - Anonymoiis - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:50 pm:

    *person, not reason


  69. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:51 pm:

    If it’s heading to court in this state , then save the time and just ask Burke and MJM what they want, and that’s what will happen because they control all the courts. To


  70. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    Southwest Cook is right it seems. Just go back to the idea if Sheila Simon had won!!!!!


  71. - Hacksaw Jim - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:55 pm:

    (10 ILCS 5/25-2) (from Ch. 46, par. 25-2)

    Sec. 25-2. Events on which an elective office becomes vacant. Every elective office shall become vacant on the happening of any of the following events before the expiration of the term of such office:
    (1) The death of the incumbent….

    The office became vacant when JBT passed away


  72. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:55 pm:

    Gosh, would it be possible to settle this thing like — you know, humans? Governor Quinn appoints Nancy Kimme immediately, so the checks can be signed. She accepts, but says publicly that she plans to serve only at the pleasure of the new governor. Governor Rauner either does or does not very quietly ask for her resignation sometime early in his term. She complies with grace.

    No Constitutional crisis. No special session. No wars. No nonsense.

    I am as partisan as the next person — if the next person is, say, Nancy Pelosi. But in this case, the voters made it pretty clear that they want a Republican in that office. And the Constitution makes is pretty clear that this one is the Governor’s call.

    So how about coming up with a solution that respects all of the above, without having the kind of time-consuming, wasteful fight that JBT would have abhorred?

    Yeah, I get that this would be giving Rauner a “plum”. But it also could be a first step toward combining the comptroller’s and treasurer’s offices, which would be a great thing.

    Can’t we all just get along?


  73. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:55 pm:

    JBT said this or that, but I’m certain she would not disapprove of a celebration of her virtues and values.

    If should be done under the Dome. She rocked it for a long time.

    The favorite aunt line sticks in my mind, but she was much more than that.

    Tough. Smart. Sweet. Happy.

    Splendid behavior.


  74. - VM - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:56 pm:

    I think we are talking about two terms — one until January 12, 2015, and the other 2015-2019.

    I think the ambiguity lies in when the 2015-2019 happens. The Election Code says:

    “Whenever it is alleged that a vacancy in any office exists, the officer, body, or county board who has authority to fill the vacancy by appointment, or to order an election to fill such vacancy, shall have power to determine whether or not the facts occasioning such vacancy exist.”

    It seems pretty clear that a vacancy already exists for the 2015-2019 term. It also reads pretty clearly that the current Governor determines whether the vacancy exists. If so, unless there is something I am missing, Quinn could have an argument that he can appoint someone to the already-existing 2015-2019 vacancy.

    On the other hand, the correct thing to do seems to be to have Quinn appoint the term that ends on January 12, and Rauner could appoint the 2015-2019 term. One way to do that and avoid any ambiguity about what the words “until a successor is elected and qualified” mean is to be very clear in declaring the vacancy: there is a vacancy until the end of the current term. The new Governor will then declare a vacancy at 12:01PM on January 12 (or whatever the correct time may be), since no one took the oath of office for the new term.


  75. - Hacksaw Jim - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 4:58 pm:

    And as a result, the appointment is good until a successor is elected and qualified.


  76. - railrat - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:01 pm:

    perfect time to merge Treas. and Compt. to one office


  77. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:01 pm:

    The problem is that the statues say “elected and qualified.” This makes it a voter issue — in the hands of the voters — with that said, I don’t think Quinn will trade the voters responsibility for one man’s preference (Rauner).


  78. - Hacksaw Jim - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:01 pm:

    === On the other hand, the correct thing to do seems to be to have Quinn appoint the term that ends on January 12, and Rauner could appoint the 2015-2019 term. ===

    Correct in what way? If it’s not legally correct then isn’t it just someone’s opinion as to what should happen in this circumstances?


  79. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:03 pm:

    According to the current law, would there be a vacancy if Quinn appointed someone?

    The criteria seems to be “elected and qualified.”


  80. - ZC - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:04 pm:

    I suppose whomever Quinn appoints could turn around and resign after a month. Not saying it would happen, this being IL, but it might obviate all the constitutional difficulties.


  81. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:06 pm:

    Of course a special election could possibly benefit the Democrats during a Presidential election.

    Hmmm


  82. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:08 pm:

    All of this compromise language i.e. quinn appoints, then rauner appoints — has nothing to do with the constitution and the right of the people to elect and qualify the next comptroller.


  83. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:11 pm:

    The option’s seem to be one man’s preference — Quinn’s — or another man’s preference — Rauner’s. And the voters have made it pretty clear that, from 2015 to 2019, they want Rauner to make these kinds of decisions. (The voters were wrong there, btw…)

    JBT was a Republican. She also had a decent track record of bipartisanship. So could we please just honor her memory and the voters’ intentions and sort this thing out like sensible people? Maybe for once Illinois could be a model for the rest of the country, showing that Republicans and Democrats can work together for the benefit of the voters and the state…


  84. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:14 pm:

    ===office became vacant when JBT passed away===

    Well, geez, that’s brilliant.

    The real question is whether there’s another vacancy on inauguration day.


  85. - Jaded - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:15 pm:

    It hasn’t happened often, but I agree with Soccermom. However, I don’t think Rauner should get to appoint for 4 years. I really think a special election needs to happen in 2016, and who cares who it benefits, because there will be another election in 2018. Lets get past the politics for a change, and do what’s right for the state.


  86. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:18 pm:

    Anon 5:06, do you have any understanding of what a disgusting punk you are?

    What kind of fever or brain tumor do you have?

    Celebrate JBT. She was the goods.


  87. - Amalia - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:19 pm:

    everyone has an opinion on this cause it is murky. anything past an appointment that Quinn will make…and he will make an appointment….will be probably be litigated, unless the AG’s assessment is taken by everyone. the 2 relevant passages as written propose something that seems unpalatable…that an appointee will serve until an election. it’s an historic situation.


  88. - Mouthy - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:21 pm:

    Down at the office they are no doubt dealing with the loss of their beloved leader, there’s uncertainty in the air, and to a person they are wondering how they are going to get the citizens of Illinois due a check paid. A very sad day. I wish the outgoing Governor and incoming Governor elect could get together and work this out for the good of the State. Many people’s lives hang on a timely check..


  89. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:22 pm:

    As usual, it seems like every change within state government in recent years has to be decided or approved by a judge.


  90. - Lawman - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:26 pm:

    Article V, Illinois Constitution:

    If the…comptroller…fails to qualify or if his office becomes vacant, the Governor SHALL fill the office by appointment. The appointee SHALL hold office until the elective officer qualifies or until a successor is elected and qualified as may be provided by law (ie. election) AND SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO REMOVAL BY THE GOVERNOR. (emphasis and commentary supplied).

    In other words, if the GA wants to really play hardball, they could fail to schedule a special election and let it ride until the next regular election for that office in 2018 and Gov. Rauner COULD NOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.


  91. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:27 pm:

    It ain’t been 24 hours yet and the ghouls are out hunting for jobs.

    What’s the matter with you?

    Seriously, she died this morning.

    Whats wrong with you?


  92. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:28 pm:

    If you read through the relevant statute, it seems pretty clear that a special election is to be held only if the Governor is unable to serve out his/her term. Otherwise, it’s by appointment only.

    The law isn’t murky — it’s just unpalatable. The options are: A lame duck governor makes an appointment to replace a beloved GOP politician, presumably appointing a Democrat in her stead. That appointee serves a full term plus one month, with no voter input whatsoever.

    OR

    An incoming GOP governor with a reputation for being something of a bully starts his term by waging a court battle over his predecessor’s appointment to an office that probably shouldn’t even exist. The Democrat-controlled General Assembly responds by passing a law requiring a special election. The Governor files suit to stop it. Complications ensue.

    Or, you know, people could behave sensibly and work out a compromise that is relatively acceptable to all concerned, including the voters.

    Because with huge budget cuts looming, about the last thing I think the State should spend money on is a court battle to decide the next occupant of an office that most Illinoisans cannot spell, pronounce or explain.


  93. - Emanuel Can't - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:34 pm:

    It’s been a while since I practiced law, but I do recall that ascertaining legislative intent involved reviewing some history. I suspect this very issue was addressed by the General Assembly before it enacted this law.


  94. - Bigtwich - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 5:46 pm:

    The Constitution provision is,

    The appointee shall hold office until the elected officer qualifies or until a successor is elected and qualified as may be provided by law and shall not be subject to removal by the Governor.

    We seem to be looking at “or until a successor is elected”. If the incoming Governor sought to appoint someone, well, that person would not be elected.

    Obscure principles of interpretation may control. Get out the minutes of the constitutional convention. This belongs on a law school exam not in real life.


  95. - I got a C in con law - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 6:38 pm:

    Rich is right - it will be litigated. And the clause is vague enough that it probably should be. The situation is rare, but not necessarily once-in-forever, and sometimes you just can’t forsee issues before they are on the doorstep. Reading both the Terms clause and the Vacancies clause makes one think that it comes down to the meaning of qualified and qualifies. That may be in the case law Cullerton cited.


  96. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 6:43 pm:

    I don’t know what to say, truthfully.

    I’ll let Leader Durkin speak for me;

    ===“Judy Baar Topinka died this morning. The fact that people are already jockeying and talking about her succession, to me is disrespectful and a bit ghoulish,” Durkin said. ” The woman served for decades in the state. I think it would be better off reflecting on her contribution to the state of Illinois rather than … a convoluted selection process.”===

    I’ll leave it there.


  97. - Scooby - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 6:43 pm:

    Rich where is susanne mendoza’s tribute. It was truly from the heart.


  98. - I got a C in con law - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 6:48 pm:

    The real irony here, just for the record, is that MJM adjourned sine die as an olive branch to Rauner. Now only Quinn has the power to call a special session and it’s against his best interest if he wants his appointee to serve the full term. So instead of the GA coming back to enact statute allowing for a special election as early as the spring municipals, Rauner and his appointee (or their proxy) will be stuck in a legal fight as a result of MJM’s olive branch to them.

    Also just for the record, I think it’s two separate terms and therefore two appointments. But then again, I’m not a judge.


  99. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 6:58 pm:

    Why discuss it so soon? Simply put, the bills need to be paid, which mean that Quinn needs to appoint someone very quickly.

    In this situation, the term of appointment is VERY important. The appointee for a one month term is obvious: the current Chief-of-Staff. However, if the term is four years, that is a very different appointee with long-term implications. And, once Quinn appoints someone, that appointee will have legal standing to fight a subsequent Rauner appointment even if everyone agreed that he could make one. What Cullerton’s lawyer and Madigan’s lawyer think the law says is irrelevant if it goes to court.


  100. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 7:03 pm:

    OW: I wish that it were otherwise, but I think the discussion needs to begin now with an appointment in less than a week. It is unseemly, but the requirements for paying bills drive the process forward quickly, and the ambiguity of the length of term push these questions up.


  101. - Been There - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 7:59 pm:

    ===What Cullerton’s lawyer and Madigan’s lawyer think the law says is irrelevant if it goes to court.===
    If the leaders all agree, along with the AG, then this is done (not sure if they are but assume). Who else is going to spend money litigating this thing?
    I guess whoever they first appoint could demand the AG defend them if they tried to stay. But I doubt it.


  102. - Jaded - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 8:00 pm:

    I see why you got a C in con law. You sure it wasn’t a D? Cullerton and Madigan can also call a special session by joint proclamation. Look it up.


  103. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 8:24 pm:

    ==I guess whoever they first appoint could demand the AG defend them if they tried to stay. But I doubt it.==

    That is why Quinn has to take great care with this appointment. I’m not sure who else might have standing in court.

    ==MJM adjourned sine die==

    It does not mean there cannot be another session, it simply means there are no plans for another session. That can change.


  104. - Hacksaw Jim - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 8:26 pm:

    OK Rich, maybe I should have posted the entire section.

    “(10 ILCS 5/25-2) (from Ch. 46, par. 25-2)
    Sec. 25-2. Events on which an elective office becomes vacant. Every elective office shall become vacant on the happening of any of the following events before the expiration of the term of such office:
    (1) The death of the incumbent.
    (2) His or her resignation.
    (3) His or her becoming a person under legal

    disability.
    (4) His or her ceasing to be an inhabitant of the

    State; or if the office is local, his or her ceasing to be an inhabitant of the district, county, town, or precinct for which he or she was elected; provided, that the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to township officers whose township boundaries are changed in accordance with Section 10-20 of the Township Code, to a township officer after disconnection as set forth in Section 15-17 of the Township Code, nor to township or multi-township assessors elected under Sections 2-5 through 2-15 of the Property Tax Code.
    (5) His or her conviction of an infamous crime, or of

    any offense involving a violation of official oath.
    (6) His or her removal from office.
    (7) His or her refusal or neglect to take his or her

    oath of office, or to give or renew his or her official bond, or to deposit or file such oath or bond within the time prescribed by law.
    (8) The decision of a competent tribunal declaring

    his or her election void.
    No elective office, except as herein otherwise provided, shall become vacant until the successor of the incumbent of such office has been appointed or elected, as the case may be, and qualified.
    An unconditional resignation, effective at a future date, may not be withdrawn after it is received by the officer authorized to fill the vacancy. Such resignation shall create a vacancy in office for the purpose of determining the time period which would require an election. The resigning office holder may continue to hold such office until the date or event specified in such resignation, but no later than the date at which his or her successor is elected and qualified.
    An admission of guilt of a criminal offense that would, upon conviction, disqualify the holder of an elective office from holding that office, in the form of a written agreement with State or federal prosecutors to plead guilty to a felony, bribery, perjury, or other infamous crime under State or federal law, shall constitute a resignation from that office, effective at the time the plea agreement is made.
    For purposes of this Section, a conviction for an offense that disqualifies the holder of an elective office from holding that office shall occur on the date of the return of a guilty verdict or, in the case of a trial by the court, the entry of a finding of guilt.
    This Section does not apply to any elected or appointed officers or officials of any municipality having a population under 500,000.”

    I don’t see where a vacancy occurs simply because it is inauguration day (and a previous term expires).


  105. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 8:29 pm:

    Wow, I’m amazed that there is is this level.of maneuvering so soon after the passing of someone who seems to have been liked by both sides of the aisle.

    The wheels of government must continue to ture, so PQ needs to make an appointment to fill this vacancy soon. Whether this person serves through January or further will be decided later.

    A moment of respect, please.


  106. - me - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 11:28 pm:

    I can say thing with clarity. This conversation here is the last thing that Judy would have wanted.


  107. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 10, 14 @ 11:52 pm:

    ==Whether this person serves through January or further will be decided later.==

    For better or for worse, the answer to that question will have a huge impact on who gets appointed.

    ==This conversation here is the last thing that Judy would have wanted.==

    I did not know Judy personally, so I don’t know. But she would certainly have appreciated the need to take care of this quickly and correctly. And that requires an open discussion.


  108. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 11, 14 @ 6:53 am:

    From Fox:
    The relevant law says: “The appointee shall hold his office during the remainder of the term, and until his successor is elected and qualified.”

    “Until his successor is elected and qualified. So, the appointee word is not there,” election law expert Burt Odelson said.

    I wonder what Odelson thinks about a comma in a sentence — in fact, one might think the sentence is too wordy to use appointee twice in the same sentence. I wonder if the courts review issues like this when pondering over legislative intent.


  109. - 75th district - Thursday, Dec 11, 14 @ 7:39 am:

    Two key words “elected and qualified” nothing grey about that. P.Q. will appoint someone until the position/ person becomes duly elected. The S.C. will decide this one.


  110. - sparky791 - Thursday, Dec 11, 14 @ 8:11 am:

    Wow. Not surprising. But just Wow. RIP Judy


  111. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 11, 14 @ 9:12 am:

    Let’s all step back and take as an assumption that Article 25 of the Election Code, Section 2, makes clear that there are 2 vacancies. One, being now, upon JBT’s death, and another upon her inability (refusal or neglect) to take her next oath for her new term.

    Now, let’s look at Section 5, about the appointment of a comptroller’s successor. The “elected and qualified” language is still a problem. I understand that if someone else were elected, then this issue would be moot, because a person has been elected and will be qualified (sworn in, etc.). However, JBT’s election isn’t the whole thing. If we were to say that the appointed replacement serves until only one of those things happens, then JBT’s appointee could never take office, because someone has already been elected. That clearly doesn’t make sense, so given the language of these provisions, I think it is highly likely that we will have 2 comptrollers taking their case to the IL Supreme Court.

    Quinn’s appointee has Section 5 to hang his/her hat on. The person appointed has authority to serve until his (or her) successor is elected and qualified.

    Rauner’s appointee points to Sections 2 and 5 of Article 25. Paragraph (7) establishes a vacancy when JBT is incapable of renewing an oath and when there is a vacancy, the governor shall fill by appointment.

    Of course people could wonder how long we’d have to wait for a vacancy under paragraph (7). What if the successor was sick and couldn’t make it? Do they lose their elected office because they couldn’t make it to inauguration day? In this case, it’s not a problem, but a court would have to think of a dozen such cases to determine how to handle the conflict in these provisions


  112. - yyz - Thursday, Dec 11, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    PQ appoints himself. Sheila becomes governor.
    Rauner appoints somebody else, and they have to fight Pat in court for the seat. Only barrier to this plan is whether Pat would want Sheila to become governor!


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