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Legislator says comptroller, governor engaging in “extortion and corruption”

Monday, Aug 8, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Refresh your memory and get some background on this post by clicking here.

From Rep. Bob Martwick’s Facebook page

Offering a financial incentive to an elected official to secure their vote on a subject is corruption. If you do that, you will go to jail. Withholding pay in order to force a vote is no different. Our impasse in Springfield has nothing to do with being able to do that math. Instead it is about one side wanting to impose profound change to our system and is trying to force the other side to do it against the wishes of the people they represent. Politicians in Illinois are not very popular. I often hear “you should work for free.”

Of course if we did that, then the only people who could serve would be people like Rauner, Madigan, Cullerton, and me. Shouldn’t everyone have the opportunity to serve? Do you really just want a bunch of wealthy businessmen and lawyers making the laws that affect your life? Wouldn’t you rather have some representatives who know what it means to struggle from day to day so that when they vote on laws, they can relate to the issues you deal with?

Jaime M Andrade Jr. is an extremely effective, smart and hard working representative. He has an understanding of the legislative process that is unparalleled. By denying him pay, Leslie Geissler Munger and Bruce Rauner are trying, and succeeding, at putting him in a very difficult financial decision. That is extortion and corruption. Plain and simple. Kudos to Jaime for being willing to do whatever it takes to stay true to the people he represents.

       

73 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:08 am:

    “If you say extortion again, I’ll have your legs broken”

    To the Post,

    Vote accordingly. It appears if you don’t vote to destroy social services or close state universities, you can’t get paid(?)

    I think if I were a state Representative of a state Senator on the Democratic side, I’d think about November and Mendoza…

    … you know… as a choice.

    Ugh.

    Extortion. Is. Ugly.

    That’s all this is now. Period.


  2. - illinois manufacturer - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:13 am:

    Well the constitution gives them the power to end it.


  3. - illinois manufacturer - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:14 am:

    And there are a lot of people hurt worse.


  4. - Honeybear - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:16 am:

    Wow. well said Rep Martwick. I hate what Rauner and his owned are doing to our state.


  5. - so... - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    Representative Martwick is free to propose legislation putting legislators at the front of the line for payments. I’m sure his constituents would love it.


  6. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    – Offering a financial incentive to an elected official to secure their vote on a subject is corruption. If you do that, you will go to jail. –

    Unless you call it a campaign contribution.


  7. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    I agree with Illinois Manufacturer. The GA has the ability but not the collective will to act.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:20 am:

    - illinois manufacturer -

    You like the Executive extorting the Legislative for a result.

    That’s EXACTLY what’s happening now.

    The stopgap wasn’t enough. So, squeeze the legislators.

    Until there was a stopgap, this not paying legislators made total sense in the Que.

    Now… now this is forcing an issue.

    But, - illinois manufacturer -, if you want your governing by extortion, this works. Don’t pay ‘em… until… or until… or until.


  9. - Formerly Known as Frenchie M - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:20 am:

    I’m guessing that Rauner thinks Andrade’s Uber gig is funny. Like laugh out loud funny.

    Someone will bring this up at the next press conference, and Rauner will smile and then laugh. Rauner doesn’t get it.


  10. - Cubs in '16 - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:22 am:

    The flip-side of Martwick’s argument is legislators who are not independently wealthy are more prone to accept money/favors in exchange for votes. Wealth (or lack thereof) isn’t necessarily the primary issue. Integrity is.


  11. - LessAnon? - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:22 am:

    If memory serves, all legislators’ paychecks are being handled the same way. It’s not a surprise that some here assume every Republican is wealthy enough to go without pay, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is a bi-partisan problem that hinges as much on Madigan as it does on the Governor.


  12. - Spiritualized - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:25 am:

    Wondering if Andrade has second thoughts now about voting for regulations that would have made Uber more expensive for him to drive.


  13. - Norseman - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:27 am:

    Extortion? Yes, the political kind. The kind that is frequently used by Dems as well as the GOP.

    Any legislator has a right to challenge the comptroller’s action. Nobody has because of politics. A legal challenge would subject the legislator and that legislator’s part to political criticism.

    I feel sorry for those legislators that don’t have another income, but I also feel sorry for those who have suffered adverse effects from the impasse.

    My only regret is that Rauner can’t be made to suffer as the chief culprit in this debacle.


  14. - downstate commissioner - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:30 am:

    Give the man credit for saying that he doesn’t need the paycheck. If all legislators were that honest, things might be a lot different in Springfield.


  15. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:30 am:

    Animal House, Ftw


  16. - Amalia - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:31 am:

    “He has an understanding of the legislative process that is unparalleled. ” that takes it a bit too far.


  17. - Moe Berg - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:32 am:

    What Rauner and Trump are demonstrating is the fragility of our democratic institutions and processes. In Rauner’s case, he didn’t want to do the hard work of getting to know people, persuading, building consensus and gradually moving things his direction. Instead, he just started throwing money around, going for broke, and not caring who gets hurt in the process.

    There is no respect for the institutions of government when it comes to Rauner; he doesn’t know much and he’s not curious about them. (And, to anticipate the counter-argument, that doesn’t mean I’m saying things were going so great before, but simply that the framers of the U.S. and state constitutions understood the importance of checks and balances and proceeding in a thoughtful, deliberative fashion.)


  18. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:34 am:

    The Bruce Rauner playbook.

    “We’ll hurt you and your family.”

    “I will bury her.”

    “She will never get another job anywhere, ever. I will bankrupt her with legal fees.”

    “I don’t know if she has a family or not, but if she does, she better think twice about this.”


  19. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    Maybe this will cause the majority of the legislature to feel the pain of the state’s vendors who have been being paid late for a very long time. Unbalanced budgets have very unpleasant consequences for all involved.


  20. - Juice - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:40 am:

    LessAnon?, while true that all legislators pay-checks are being treated the same, I suppose it is also relevant that the Governor has given campaign contributions to nearly all of the GOP members, and some (or at least one) is using his campaign account to loan himself money until the IOC releases the funds.


  21. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:44 am:

    I didn’t support withholding legislators pay when Quinn did it, and I don’t support it now.

    The GA has remedies other than passing Rauner’s legislation. But that requires them actually working together.


  22. - Demoralized - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:45 am:

    People’s paychecks, no matter who they are for, should never be delayed. This is a political stunt - nothing more.


  23. - Joe M - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:46 am:

    Rauner gave out some money to each GOP GA member, strictly for tough votes. It was not campaign money. If that wasn’t illegal, it should have been.
    https://capitolfax.com/2015/05/15/rauner-drops-400k-on-gop-legislators-this-week/


  24. - James Knell - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:46 am:

    I wish I could say to those people telling state reps that they should work for free, what complete fools they are. I wish they would get what they deserve. Instead, those who have anything to do with the state government and the public colleges & university get what the fools deserve. In this state these days, it’s good to be a poorly educated fool.


  25. - Boone's is Back - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:49 am:

    Good luck getting Illinoisans to feel sympathy for their state reps’ financial conditions. That’s a tall order.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:50 am:

    I didn’t like when Quinn did it illegally…

    I thought it was savvy when Munger put them in the Que.

    Now, the legislature got a stopgap, what Rauner “wanted”, but Rauner wants more, so after Munger’s COS went out if his way and said…

    “Reassess”

    That’s extortion, not savvy politics.

    Governing should never be about extortion.

    Munger is now Pat Quinn(?)

    I’ll “reassess” this as the extortion continues.


  27. - illinois manufacturer - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:50 am:

    Last Bull Moose got my point.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:52 am:

    ===Maybe this will cause the majority of the legislature to feel the pain…===

    Extortion is extortion, is extortion…

    Always wrong.


  29. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:54 am:

    The citizens of Illinois pay our part time legislators quite well. With pension and health care benefits they are paid over $100,000 per year, the fifth highest salary of any legislature.

    We elect them to make tough choices and pass a balanced budget. They have failed miserably before Rauner was elected and after. Absoluety nothing significant was accomplished in the spring session. Now we wait until after the election. We deserve so much better.


  30. - Sir Reel - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:55 am:

    I’m sure there’s a distinction somehow, but I don’t get why State employees are being paid on time but the General Assembly isn’t.

    And I do get it that vendors, college students, etc are being stiffed.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 10:57 am:

    - illinois manufacturer -

    So extortion is “cool” if extortion if there’s a way to free the extorted?

    Go it.


  32. - Norseman - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:02 am:

    === I wish I could say to those people telling state reps that they should work for free, what complete fools they are. ===

    Who said that? Quinn tried that and his action was struck down by the courts. Most of the commenters so far in this post were critics of the Quinn action.

    They are not getting paid on a consistent basis like so many others during this mess.

    Finally, you’ve missed the point that they have a the right to seek legal redress for the problem. They haven’t sought to avail themselves of that right.


  33. - Silas David - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:02 am:

    “Of course if we did that, then the only people who could serve would be people like Rauner, Madigan, Cullerton, and me.”

    Martwick lists four people and only one is not currently an elected official and also an attorney practicing property tax appeal law in Cook County.

    In that one sentence, Martwick unwittingly but precisely makes Rauner’s broader point and nails the message of the Turnaround Agenda: Insider politicians whose family power extends over several generations can become independently wealthy by manipulating the property tax system for the benefit of their clients and themselves.

    You walked right into it, Rob.


  34. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:04 am:

    Extortion is illegal. Pretty strong word to throw around for someone with no legal training. Care to state the statute the Comptroller is violating?


  35. - facts are stubborn things - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:06 am:

    When you have a Gov. that holds the budget hostage this is what you get. The number one problem facing the state of Illinois, as MJM has said for a year, is the lack of a budget.


  36. - Enviro - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:07 am:

    The GA could pass the state income tax increase we need to pay state bills and run state government.


  37. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:08 am:

    The que was savvy in that the casual voter who hears about it may think, ok, that makes sense. Will it sway votes in November? It wasn’t savvy in that it told every legislator, D and R, that they won’t be paid until Rauner agrees to their budget, or Munger loses. Which of those two outcomes is easier to accomplish?


  38. - Keyser Soze - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:09 am:

    I don’t sense, in this State, and in this lousy economy, that the public (not the political class) has a boatload of sympathy for the legislature. Hundreds if not thousands of vendors are owed billions of dollars. How would it look to the public if the captains of our government enterprise were to be paid ahead of the vendors and their working class employees. Borrowing from one of the Godfather films, aggrieved legislators might take solace in the line….”this is the life we have chosen.”


  39. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    ===Care to state the statute the Comptroller is violating?===

    It’s “probably” along the same line that the Governor can’t take ZERO salary… but already knew that.

    Article IV, Section 11… give that a read.

    Thanks.


  40. - BK Bro - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:15 am:

    I understand the logic (politically) of this post. For those that actually know how politics works in IL, welcome to the reality. Unions and trial lawyers heavily influence democrats with incentives, business and other groups influence republicans with incentives. Welcome to reality - many of the legislators in IL are bought and stay bought.


  41. - Ghost - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:15 am:

    Noresan spot on.

    Lucky Pierre when Quinn left office the average delay was under 60 days. so thos ver long time of payment delays is just the manufactured delay of Rauner; whose own budhet is 7 billion over income but has no actual revenue generation proposals


  42. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:16 am:

    The Illinois Constitution is taking a beating…


  43. - A guy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    ===By denying him pay,…===

    He’s not being “denied” pay. None of them are. The pay is delayed in conforming with a bill paying process.

    Right or wrong? It could go either way. I do sympathize with the people who are waiting for payment- all of them, legislators and service providers. It’s a tough situation. I also admire Rep. Andrade for what he’s doing about it; he’s working in a pretty darn productive way. He’s getting more valuable input than he ever has.

    I think Rep. Martwick is using Rep. Andrade as an example because he’s a popular guy doing something productive. I really get the sense that he’s speaking for others here, not Jaime.

    It’s arguable what effect this is having and whether it’s positive or negative. But, it is having an effect.


  44. - wondering - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    OW, don’t be coy, give it to them: ” A member shall receive a salary and allowances as
    provided by law” It is clear, Munger has no authority to abrogate the state constitution, period. This is about an independent legislature. One of these retiring legislatures should take it to court and stuff it up Munger’s nose.


  45. - Matt Vernau - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:29 am:

    Ok. extortion is bad. The question might be who should we vote for? The rich and perhaps some of the retired could very well run for these jobs even if there was no pay check involved. The only other choice would be to vote for those who would call you out on the extortion issue because they need the check, because extortion is wrong and because they don’t give a darn about any political repercussions resulting from proving once again that extortion is bad. Personally I don’t trust rich people and I try to avoid the company of cowards. Who is left.


  46. - Empty Suit - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    So when did the law and constitution mean anything in the G.A. I suppose next you’ll want them to use common sense too.


  47. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:33 am:

    The word is Queue. Que is “what” in Spanish.


  48. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:36 am:

    When you get a nickname, I’ll fix my shorthand, lol.

    One could argue now that “reassess” is shorthand for deciding that the Illinois Constitution isn’t something a Constitutional Office feels… less inclined to follow(?)

    Thats fun. Still extortion, but fun.


  49. - wondering - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:42 am:

    correction, retiring legislators, not retiring legislatures. The only retiring legislature that I am aware of is the soon to retire Republican U.S. Senate.


  50. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:44 am:

    ===The pay is delayed in conforming with a bill paying process===

    No.

    No other state paychecks are currently being delayed.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    ===
    ===The pay is delayed in conforming with a bill paying process===

    No.

    No other state paychecks are currently being delayed.===

    That NO other…

    “Reassess” equals extortion.

    “Simple”


  52. - Demoralized - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:51 am:

    ==The pay is delayed in conforming with a bill paying process.==

    Paychecks aren’t like any other bill. We are going down a road we shouldn’t go down here.


  53. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    Golly. Why don’t Rauner and madigan just flip a friggin coin as to who ‘wins’? Then one can save face by blaming the coin


  54. - Norseman - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:06 pm:

    === No.

    No other state paychecks are currently being delayed. ===

    I thought she put the executives in the queue as well. Am I mistaken?


  55. - so... - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:08 pm:

    ==No other state paychecks are currently being delayed.==

    No other state paychecks have a continuing appropriation either.


  56. - Ahoy! - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:15 pm:

    Legislators are not being withheld pay, they are receiving their checks just like everyone else is who is owed money by the State. Is it late? Yes it is, just like all other payments. Yes, no other paychecks are put in the backlog system, but I believe the legislators should have to live with the financial hardships they put others through.

    If this is against the law, they should file it in court and let the judicial system provide it’s checks and balances against the Comptroller.

    If they still think it’s unfair, they could always go out and get a job and become productive members of society.


  57. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:23 pm:

    ===Legislators are not being withheld pay, they are receiving their checks just like everyone else is who is owed money by the State.===

    The Illinois Constitution makes clear they get paid. Not a law, its constitutionally protected.

    Then, arbitrarily, the Conproller’s Office has decided to “reassess”, I guess, the Comstitution, as all other state workers are paid.

    Now, after a stopgap, that pesky Constitution isn’t enough for the Comptroller Office to fulfill the Constitutionally mandated payment.

    If the Comproller and the Comptroller’s Office is playing “chicken” with their own duties and feel ignoring the Constitution is fine…

    What is it going to take for the Comptroller and the Office of the Comptroller to decide to fulfill the requirement of payment to legislators.

    ===they still think it’s unfair, they could always go out and get a job and become productive members of society.===

    Is this part of that Lincolnshire Right to Work thingy that the Comptroller won’t answer…

    Very confusing.


  58. - northsider (the original) - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:28 pm:

    Would someone–anyone– with standing please file suit on this issue? Please, please.


  59. - A guy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:29 pm:

    We’re splitting hairs pretty thin now. I agree that this is a symbolic gesture and concede it’s not being equally applied. If other state payees were being delayed their payroll, there would be chaos (rightly so!)

    Few people feel sorry for legislators. In a strange way, this is at least a little pressure release valve for them. They can accurately tell people “they are victims of this too”.

    They’ll be made whole. In truth, there’s been very little “public” squabble about this. I’m sure there are close to a hundred or more private conversations going on in households around the state.

    Making payroll is important. I tend to agree that this shouldn’t be part of the solution. But, they aren’t being “denied” pay. And, to call this “extortion” is seriously overshooting the runway. It isn’t.


  60. - Thoughts Matter - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:30 pm:

    Last I knew it was neither immoral mor unethical to be a legislator. They are productive members of society. If you prefer not to be represented by legislators, there are several foreign countries run by dictators or kings that you can move to. Not rushing out to pack? Well, then, legislator duties are a necessary function of our society and should get paid. Not paying them on time can lead to corruption- just like poor credit us a reason not to hire bank tellers, or bookkeepers. Munger doesn’t get to pick winners and losers in a battle started by Rauner.


  61. - Politically Incorrect - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:42 pm:

    @Rich Miller:
    While the average state worker is getting paid without being stuck in the queue, there is a difference. They have to work or be fired (no one wanted a layoff).
    The members of the GA have a constitutional protection on their pay. But it does not mean they get to skip to the front of the queue. They just have to be paid. Putting them in the queue is not a violation of their rights. And they have much more ability to fix the problem that Joe State Worker does not have. It is fair and legal to be just in the queue.
    And remember, the IL Supreme Court recently hinted that it may be unconstitutional to be paying the average state worker.
    Troublesome times brought on by the GA as well as the Governor.


  62. - Politically Incorrect - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    It is hard to have any sympathy. The State employees have no power to change the result.
    The GA members do, have at least a voice if not a vote.


  63. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:57 pm:

    ===And remember, the IL Supreme Court recently hinted that it may be unconstitutional to be paying the average state worker. ===

    Right, because there was no appropriation. The GA has an appropriation for salaries.

    Try to get your spin straight. You’re talking out of your hoo-ha.


  64. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 1:08 pm:

    ===We’re splitting hairs pretty thin now.===

    Nope.

    Constitutional continued appropriation being held, “reassessed” at the discretion of the Comptroller’s Office and their criteria even they haven’t made public….

    … and Rauner’s appointees in agencies… getting paid.

    Never thought constitutionality was splitting hairs. Ever.

    ===But, they aren’t being “denied” pay.===

    But they are. Constitutionally mandated in a continual appropriation… with no clear criteria… as other state employees are being paid.

    ===And, to call this “extortion” is seriously overshooting the runway.===

    Nope.

    Even the stopgap wasn’t “enough” to follow the Constitution? So, to get paid, legislators, to get their constitutionally protected salary, must… what?

    The constitution doesn’t list a criteria. Why is the Comptroller’s COS deciding to “reassess”?

    “If you say extortion again, I’ll have your legs broken.”


  65. - Demoralized - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 1:26 pm:

    Whether the public thinks this is a good idea or shouldn’t make a difference. The GA pay issue is petty and it’s political. Saying they should just go in the queue like everyone else shows a complete lack of understanding of the issue. Who’s pay gets held up next because someone wants to make a statement?


  66. - Mama - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 1:41 pm:

    I’m surprised she has not started delaying the state workers (union) paychecks too.


  67. - Mama - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 1:45 pm:

    “The GA pay issue is petty and it’s political. Saying they should just go in the queue like everyone else shows a complete lack of understanding of the issue.”

    Demoralized, it is not petty or political to the people whose paychecks are being delayed for months.


  68. - Mama - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 1:47 pm:

    Delete the words “or political” because it is political.


  69. - zatoichi - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 2:15 pm:

    Our company is one of the 4,000 state vendors waiting to get paid. We already put cash out to buy the products we sold, packed, shipped, and billed to the state. I have no doubt our suppliers, employees, and the state taxes we pay will totally understand if we tell them we will pay our bills when we appropriate the funds. The Governor could easily resolve all this with a constitutional act.


  70. - The Fool On The Hill - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 3:33 pm:

    He’s not called ‘Brucie Bats’ for nuthin ‘.


  71. - Big Muddy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 3:37 pm:

    Martwick ain’t wrong. Not paying Madigan’s mushrooms or the Raunerites is clearly illegal. However, none will stand up and file an actual suit. That would be political suicide.


  72. - LTSW - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 5:51 pm:

    There is not an employer-employee relationship with legislator pay. They are elected officials and do not pay FICA on their salaries. So there is no violation of state or federal labor laws as there would be if state employee pay was held up.
    There are lots of mandated transfers and payments in Illinois statutes, but they are only made when there is sufficient cash to make them. Yes the Comptroller is mandated to issue the legislator’s salaries, but there is no time limit mentioned.
    The Comptroller becomes a much more powerful official during a revenue crisis like Illinois currently has. Other than debt service payments, Ms. Munger gets to decide who is paid and in what order. We haven’t seen a lawsuit because she is likely on good legal footing.


  73. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 7:16 pm:

    BOB Martwick…heha


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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