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Question of the day

Thursday, Jan 7, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) has filed a new bill to amend the Illinois Constitution to ensure public accountability by making all Illinois elected officials subject to recall. The proposal, House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 44, was filed this week and is co-sponsored by Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) and Representative Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove).

Specifically, HJRCA 44 provides for the recall of all State Executive Branch officers and members of the General Assembly; changes the signature requirements for affidavits and petitions for recall of the Governor and expands them to include all State Executive Branch officers and members of the General Assembly. The amendment also provides for the recall of all elected officials of any school district, community college, or unit of local government.

“Simply put, recall is good policy and would ensure a greater degree of accountability than we have now,” Rep. Batinick said. “Having a comprehensive recall law in place would give voters an important tool to keep their elected officials at levels accountable at all times, not just before an election.”

The Illinois House of Representatives returns to session on January 13 at which new bills can begin to receive consideration. Rep. Batinick will continue to add co-sponsors and build bipartisan support for his recall proposal in the coming days and weeks.

* The proposal (click here) would remove the existing and onerous gubernatorial recall requirement of signatures from 20 House members and 10 state Senators (half from each party).

For legislative recall, the minimum petition signature standard would be 15 percent of the total votes cast for Governor in the member’s district. But if the total is at least 10 percent, then a recall election would be held during the next statewide election - and that applies to statewide and local officials as well.

The governor would appoint the successor for any statewide official who is recalled until a special election could be held.

* The Question: Do you support this idea? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

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  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 12:44 pm:

    No. Regular elections, plus the expulsion and impeachment processes are good enough for me.

    Recalls are faux-populist,side-show time-wasters.

  2. - Anon - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 12:48 pm:

    No. Not unless this is going to be tied to significant campaign finance reform. It would make it much, much to easy to target a legislative seat for recall, push the recall with a lot of money from outside groups, and then provide the governor the ability to hand pick the successor until the special election is held?

    There is simply too much room for seats to literally be bought.

  3. - burbanite - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 12:49 pm:

    What a potential waste of money. Tool for personal vendettas, why should the Gov have power of appt. especially if the official removed is not from the Gov’s party. So in theory you could replace a bunch of Dems with Repubs?

  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 12:49 pm:

    Voted “No”


    Every two and/or every four years there’s the opportunity to recall any elected official.

    Even Gov. Rauner, today and anything resembling today does NOT warrent recall, and I would work to help Rauner stay. Period.

    ===…would remove the existing and onerous gubernatorial recall requirement of signatures from 20 House members and 10 state Senators (half from each party).===

    There’s a real reason for this ridiculously high hurdle; its to prevent from wasting time by everyone and staving off recall/impeach/removal tin foil hat wearers from yrying to remove snyone who looks at them odd.

    Voted “No”

    Making it easier to make political ramifications becoming governmental removals is a terrible road to go down.

  5. - The Captain - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 12:50 pm:

    No. Elections shouldn’t have mulligans. If you don’t like the way things are going go win the next election.

  6. - Person 8 - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 12:53 pm:

    The part of it I do support is having something on the books for local recalls. Put in a part that says, “..if no recall law is on the books…”. In alot of smaller parts of the state it takes someone going to jail, or waiting out the current term before voters can get rid of a current official.

  7. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    No. Elections and impeachment already exist.

    If this were to go forward, it seems that standardizing on the 8% of votes that independent candidates need to get on the ballot would make more sense. Also seems that precinct committeemen should appoint the successor.

  8. - Anon221 - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    Voted No. Can someone explain the reasoning behind why Article VII (recall of local officials) uses the Gubernatorial votes as the basis for the required petition signatures? We’re talking LOCAL here. Some vote total may well be under 500!

  9. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 12:55 pm:

    I favor term limits, because it has been shown to increase racial, occupational and gender diversity in states where it has been enacted.

    But not this. What we’ve seen in states with the recall is an ugly political circus. Wisconsin spent millions and locked themselves up in partisan fights that continue today. California spent even more and ended up with a movie star governor powerless and without credibility to govern.

    Recalls in practice result in a weak governor perpetually focused upon campaigning and not governing. We got a governor like that now without a recall, why do we want more of this?

    Elections within the constitutional framework infer credibility that a highly partisan recall election does not. In a way, we’ve repeatedly seen recall-election winning governors seen more as a Lt. Governor, a Vice President, or just a political hack backbencher keeping the office warm enough for the next real election, than as a real governor.

    This is not reform. This is political pandering on a political perception which doesn’t really exist. There are no solutions in a recall, just more unintended negative consequences, piled upon an atmosphere which drove the recall to succeed, making the entire situation poisonous.

    Yeah - you are the “reformers” guys - but this isn’t reform. Promoting this makes you look like you don’t really know what reform is.

    Try governing instead of grabbing a news cycle? As of today, you people promoting this reform have about as much credibility in governing as Rauner - zip. Nada. Get out of here!

  10. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 12:55 pm:

    Is this a hidden attempt to open the IL Constitution so they can change everything they don’t like??????

  11. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 12:55 pm:

    “Every two and/or every four years there’s the opportunity to recall any elected official.”

    End of discussion.

    – MrJM

  12. - Jerry Callo - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 12:57 pm:

    Hard to see how a rep should be recalled when a rep’s term is only two year in duration.

  13. - NoGifts - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 12:57 pm:

    We should take our votes seriously and have to wait until the next election.

  14. - plutocra03 - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 1:02 pm:

    Reluctantly voted no. In principle it could be a good idea, but with the cold blooded politics practiced in Illinois, reformers could be ousted as easily as bad players.

    Elections have consequences.

  15. - walker - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 1:05 pm:

    Dear God! Standard political pap, that occurs every cycle.

    These sponsors should be ashamed, if they’re capable of it.

  16. - NorthCenter - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 1:12 pm:

    I would probably have voted yes if this would just apply to major statewide offices.

    I think local elected officials would be too vulnerable to frivolous attempts of recall. A group of NIMBY’s might have a lot more sway in a small local recall election with extraordinarily low turnout.

  17. - Archiesmom - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 1:19 pm:

    No. This is why elections exist.

  18. - Benniefly2 - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 1:20 pm:

    This bill would set the threshold for recall in local legislative Districts would be set so low as to make it easy to continually harass reps and lower officials with constant, nuisance recall elections if so desired.

    Count me in the “Elections have consequences” crowd.

  19. - Archiesmom - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 1:20 pm:

    I’d like a few of these yes votes to explain why they support recall.

  20. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 1:24 pm:

    I voted no. I’ve never been a fan of recall. I’m not really supportive of do-overs. Of course I’m also not a fan of term limits. I’m supportive of elections. You get your chance there. Don’t like it? Tough. That’s our system.

    If you want to change the system work on the real problem which is map drawing. Don’t try to look for ways to limit who I can vote for or get a do-over if you don’t happen to like what an elected official does.

  21. - Bill White - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 1:35 pm:

    = = This bill would set the threshold for recall in local legislative Districts would be set so low as to make it easy to continually harass reps and lower officials with constant, nuisance recall elections if so desired. = =

    If the going rate for signature gathering is $1 a pop, a PAC could routinely offer this proposition:

    “Accept this $5,300 from us and support our bill or we will spend $10,600 and within six months you will face a recall special election.”

    Hey, the choice is yours . . .

  22. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 1:50 pm:

    No. It’s a costly waste of moola to say ” We really can’t stand this person”.

  23. - Been There - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 1:53 pm:

    I agree with what Word said. Plus
    ====- Jerry Callo - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 12:57 pm:
    Hard to see how a rep should be recalled when a rep’s term is only two year in duration.====
    Reps are pretty much in campaign mode only 6-7 months after getting sworn in. Recalls would be a joke

  24. - George - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 1:58 pm:

    This is such a BAD idea.

  25. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 2:16 pm:

    I voted yes, but would have preferred an option to recall executive positions but not legislative. Two year term is short enough. That said, I strongly support the executive aspect. Being able to recall mayors, governors, clerks, etc. is a worthwhile endeavor.

  26. - train111 - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 2:28 pm:


    All the money and drama from north of the border a few years ago show the faults of ‘recall’ elections for anything–having lots of money and a grudge.
    Impeachment and removal are better.

  27. - Jimmy0 - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 2:38 pm:

    Does anybody else think he’s got something sly planned with the “Governor picks the replacements” part?

  28. - Jimmy0 - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 2:46 pm:

    So if this passes he gets his choice of who he props up in Chicago? Pass.

  29. - Big Joe - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 3:04 pm:

    Voted NO. Voters should have to live with the official they elected. If you don’t like the job they are doing, vote them out next election. Recall is just a waste of money, and it could just be a way of big money guys like Bruce and his cronies to take out someone and replace them with one of their lackies.

  30. - olddog - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 3:07 pm:

    Voted no. All I had to do was look at the sponsors.

  31. - princess buttercup - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 3:10 pm:

    I totally, jumping-up-and-down, happy-dance support a recall mechanism in our political voter-elected public official system. If we have that mechanism, term limits issue becomes moot. You serve at the behest of the voters. Period.

  32. - Anonin' - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 3:31 pm:

    We voted yes because
    A.more work for consultants
    B.quickest way for the 1%ers totally wreck the state and then sanity can return

  33. - Annon3 - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 3:31 pm:

    Voted no recall elections don’t work.We have recall and they are regularly scheduled elections.

  34. - good ole boy - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 3:44 pm:

    Another unfunded mandate proposed by the General Assembly member. I thought the Guv’s plan was to rid us of unfunded mandates…..

  35. - Wensicia - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 4:13 pm:

    No, voters already decide who goes and who stays; the recall process known as an election. Impeachment for egregious, criminal behavior, with help from the feds at times, is enough.

  36. - Cheswick - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 4:13 pm:

    I was “maybe”, “maybe not” until I got to this part: “The governor would appoint the successor for any statewide official who is recalled until a special election could be held.”

    Then I was a definite no.

  37. - Dilemma - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 4:18 pm:

    My concern is that it makes addressing some unpopular problems cause for recall. Legislators in Colorado faced recall because of their support for stricter gun regulations. I fear this could lead to even more stagnation and gridlock, not to mention governing based on polling.

  38. - The Muse - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 4:39 pm:

    No. If they won the election last time, you can always vote them out next time around.

  39. - Anon - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 4:41 pm:

    No. In Illinois, where nearly everything these days is hyper-partisan, throwing another lit torch into the mix will serve no one. An out-of-control governor (like Blago) could potentially be taken care of with the provisions as they are for legislative recall. That should suffice. Representatives and some Senators have to run every two years anyway. As we’ve seen in other states, recall just allows wealthy individuals or groups to distract officials from what they’re supposed to be doing, regardless of how well or badly they may be doing it. For Illinois, I see this as another way to make things even worse than they already area.

    For emphasis: Absolutely not.

  40. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 5:06 pm:

    It’s a close call - voted no. But it’s pathetic and funny at the same time to read the commenters who are passionless about gerrymandering claim to be all about the voters. (The same voters who favor all sorts of reforms that their beloved Mike Madigan opposes).

  41. - Payback - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 8:28 pm:

    Yes. I used to oppose Dan Biss in his effort to eliminate or streamline township government. My romantic vision of townships as the last vestige of true Norman Rockwell government close to the people was unsullied.

    After interacting with the local township road commissioner, and finding out that his father and grandfather had the same job, which makes him think that the roads are “his” roads, I’ve come to see some of the worst cronyism, waste, destruction of property and corruption I’ve ever seen at any level of government.

    This in a township where the HQ has no lettering or signage on the building to indicate that the taxpayers own it, where no public notice of the next township meeting is posted anywhere, and of course no website. I’ve come to find that township government in IL is the last holdout of 1970s style patronage and cronyism. The first Mayor Daley would be proud of the township “machine.”

  42. - NewWestSuburbanGOP'er - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 9:52 pm:

    Yes, especially if it comes back to bite the co-sponsors in the ass and they get recalled!

  43. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 7, 16 @ 10:32 pm:

    Concept is ok, but Gov. should not get to fill vacancies and should not apply to offices with a term of 2 years or less.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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