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From the editorial board suggestion box

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* SJ-R editorial

We fear not having a budget has become the norm, and because the vast majority of people haven’t been personally touched by the lack of one, they feel no need to urge action.

That is unacceptable.

We need outrage. We need phone calls made and letters written and protests organized. And we need it from all corners of the state, and from people not directly affected by the budget woes. We see it from the social service agencies, small businesses and higher education institutions that rely on state funding. They are pleading for a resolution, because they don’t want to go back to the year of no budget (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016) and all the horrors that included, such as layoffs, serving fewer clients, or in some extreme cases, shutting down. We need it from everyone now.

It’s not too late for either Rauner or Madigan to do the right thing. Absent that, the rank-and-file legislators need to raise hell and get more involved. They need to be willing to sacrifice the monetary security Madigan and Rauner provide during campaigns to those they consider allies in favor of the greater good. They need to demand to be part of the budget process. It should no longer be solely hammered out by the leaders in private conversations with the governor. Not when we’re again on the edge of not having a fiscal blueprint for a significant amount of time. This is the public’s business, and it’s time it is done in the light.

* Sauk Valley Media editorial

When the election for House speaker takes place, minority Republicans should not do the same thing they’ve done for years – fruitlessly vote for their party caucus leader for speaker.

Instead, after some behind-the-scenes negotiations, they should announce the following:

“We are prepared to vote en masse for a compromise Democratic candidate for House speaker.”

That’s right, 51 Republicans voting for a DEMOCRATIC candidate who is not named Madigan.

Republicans could continue:

“We, in fact, will nominate such a person. We will then supply 51 votes, out of the minimum 60 that are required for election. That’s 85 percent of the total.”

Democrats disaffected by Madigan’s leadership would thus have an opportunity and a choice to bravely chart a new course.

It would take a coalition of only 9 Democrats to join 51 Republican colleagues to unseat Madigan as House speaker.

Nine Democrats who want Illinois to have fresh leadership.

Is this outside the box? Definitely.

Unorthodox? Of course.

But it could happen.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:11 am:

    I think Sauk Valley Media has an excellent idea and I wish I would have thought of it. It would put Democrats in a box politically, which would stoke fears instead of compromise, but if there isn’t 9 House Democrats willing to do the right thing, they deserve to be put in the political conundrum.

  2. - AlfondoGonz - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:13 am:

    Sure, why not. Let’s ask Rauner to hand the reins over while we’re at it.

  3. - Bobby Catalpa - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:13 am:

    Where did this idea come from that if Madigan is unseated then things will be different?

    Why would this happen? Is there a D somewhere that has articulated a course *different* from Madigan? If so — who? And what’s the course?

    Until that happens, nothing will happen. I’ve said this many times before — the only thing standing between Illinois and Kansas, Illinois and Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin — is Madigan.

    Why would anyone choose to remove the only person keeping Illinois from turning into these failed experiment states?

  4. - Bobby Catalpa - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:15 am:

    BTW — did not the Sauk Valley folks realize that the D’s would love this — 51 GOPrs voting for Madigan? Imagine the commercials in 6 months. (or 3 months).

    Now that — that — would be rich.

  5. - Matt Belcher - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:15 am:

    What Bobby Catalpa said.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    You could flip Drury, you could “one, maybe-maybe two” more…

    You’d need SIX Democratic House members to believe in Raunerism long enough to elect a Rauner-Approved Speaker (If this happened and 51 Raunerites vote, even for a Dem, that Speaker would be a de-facto Raunerites) to grab the gavel and then try to hold the coalition of 60 long enough to work the chamber as Speaker.

    Out of the box? The politics alone, let alone the governing challenges attached… out if the question.

    Find me 6 Democrats, then we can discuss “Phase Two”…

    “How would this all… work… now?”

  7. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:18 am:

    ===It would take a coalition of only 9 Democrats to join 51 Republican colleagues to unseat Madigan as House speaker.===

    I believe the issue with this that the parties are made up of folks that disagree on a whole host of issues besides who should be speaker. Even if one were to coax 9 Democrats to do so, which Democrat would those nine and the Republicans all agree to support?

    Similarly, I presume that if this new Speaker didn’t do exactly what Rauner wants to do that folks would just accuse Madigan of being in charge. So what’s the point?

    Mike Madigan isn’t the only reason why Democratic legislators aren’t rubber stamping Governor Rauner’s policies with the same delightful glee of the Republican legislators that don’t care about the institutions within their districts.

    Plus, I would imagine that the Republican legislators might have issue voting for a pro-choice and pro-equality House Speaker.

    Rauner keeps claiming to have anonymous support from Democratic legislators. Well. If they exist, maybe they should stop being anonymous. Either that, or he has mistaken polite courtesy for endorsement of his governing goals.

  8. - RNUG - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:21 am:

    == Your thoughts? ==

    Well, the Cubs did win the World Series, so anything is possible.

    It’s not a bad idea from the Day Valley Media. The real issue would be who the GOP could get behind that 9 Democrats would also support. If it is just a different name that will still support the D’s core beliefs, then nothing is changed.

    In some ways, it might be easier to co-opt 6 or 7 R votes to override Rauner vetoes.

  9. - Archiesmom - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:22 am:

    While Madigan holds the purse strings for the Democratic Party, I’m not sure it matters what position he has.

  10. - JB13 - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:24 am:

    Bobby Catalpa has it. Print the bumper stickers and T-shirts. “Keep Illinois Great!” Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  11. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:26 am:

    House Rule #3 might be a problem?

  12. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:26 am:

    The only Democrat that would make any sense in the 51 GOP votes for Speaker scheme would be Jack Franks and he’s leaving town.

  13. - Mr. Smith - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:28 am:

    Yeah. The Democrats should unilaterally disarm, just to show how committed we are to change.

    The Republicans will, of course, all lead petition drives in their districts to recall Gov. Rauner as part of this process, right?

    Dang. I’ll have what THEY are having.

  14. - cgo75 - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:29 am:

    It’s tough being GOP in Illinois but I’m not afraid to admit that Bobby is right. The problem isn’t Madigan, the stalemate is the result of a Republican Governor that wants to row the boat the opposite direction of everyone else. It’s hard for me to say it; but we need Democratic leadership in the Senate, House and in the Governors office or nothing is going to change.

  15. - m - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:30 am:

    Would be a great move politically for R’s, IF Madigan still wins. If the “compromise” dem gets it, then it just makes messaging that much harder for R’s, and harder to blame Madigan. But I would bet that Madigan still wins the vote, so maybe worth a roll of the dice.

  16. - Thoughts Matter - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:32 am:

    I agree with RNUG on this point- we can’t get 6 or 7 GOP reps to vote their districts rather than Rauner( and 3 of those Reps have districts full of union state workers). Now you want 51 of them to vote for a Democrat for Speaker knowing those votes will be repeatedly mentioned the next election cycle?

    When those Reps start voting on behalf of their districts and returning Rauner money, a budget will magically appear.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:34 am:

    ===In some ways, it might be easier to co-opt 6 or 7 R votes to override Rauner vetoes.===

    This is restaurant-quality - RNUG -.

    It puts front and center both the politics and the governing and doing so by highlighting the challenge both examples have a jump street.

    Yikes, that good.

    I would cite the Cowardly 7 and their Labor votes and override votes of Yellow. That’s just about as good as either example has.

  18. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    It’s happened elsewhere, that a rump group joined with the minority caucus to elect one of their own, and the results are not good. Votes to uphold the chair start failing, cohesiveness unravels, and nothing of substance gets to a majority vote because everyone starts thinking that if they hold out as a bloc they can get a better deal.

  19. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:37 am:

    They might as well say, ” Win one for the Gipper.”

  20. - Saluki - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:38 am:

    an interesting idea. What harm could come from it?

  21. - train111 - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:40 am:

    It’s happenned before. Downstate Dems and Reps joined forces in 1959 to elect Paul Powell (yes the shoebox guy)shouse speaker over a Chicago Dem.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:41 am:

    ===What harm could come from it?===

    Nothing gets thru the Chamber as the coalition of 60 can’t get a functioning House Chamber to do its business.

    “Other than that… ”

    We’re talking NINE members on the Dem side, not one or (gasp) two.


  23. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:44 am:

    === Downstate Dems and Reps joined forces in 1959===

    I don’t even think there are nine Downstate Democrats any longer.


    Other than that it’s a brilliant plan.

  24. - Norseman - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:45 am:

    What are they smoking up there? A Dem speaker elected by GOP votes and disgruntled caucus members wouldn’t be a Dem leader. Dems would resent this duplicitous act by the so-called winner. The result would be chaos. This ain’t happening. Join me in daydreaming about something more important - winning the lottery.

    PS A lot of you are forgetting that names you’re throwing out will not be a part of the next GA.

  25. - Roman - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 10:58 am:

    The conflict has become so binary that even if a Dem member was inclined to oppose Madigan, they can’t get around their fear of being viewed as “pro-Rauner.” That won’t work well in a Dem primary. Ask Ken Dunkin.

  26. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 11:10 am:

    SJ-R is free to organize the “March of Outrage”. They are not wrong, but how about some action to match the Sound and Fury.

  27. - G'Kar - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 11:10 am:

    And I could get a call from the Bears today asking me to be their quarterback.

    “Is this outside the box? Definitely.
    Unorthodox? Of course.
    But it could happen.”

  28. - Moby - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 11:26 am:

    I think something similar happened in Iraq in 2003. That tyrant Saddam was toppled to make way for the utopia that followed. Now Iraq has a balanced budget and a thriving economy. /s

  29. - don the legend - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    The sj-r has it right but I think they are dreaming. Of course people should be outraged and take an active role in what is supposed to be a participatory democracy. But We are so intellectually lazy that talk radio and Presidential tweets are the main sources of our “civics”.

  30. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 11:32 am:

    Here’s an idea:

    Illinois media could actually start reporting regularly on the actual human and fiscal damage being wrought by squeeze the beast, rather than playing everything as some shallow personality conflict.

    That would require some real work. And math.

  31. - walker - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 11:47 am:

    More likely to get a budget agreement than a new Speaker.

    Let’s create and explore shifting coalitions over proposed rule changes. No rules will ultimately be changed, but the jockeying could signal willingness to deal on other issues.

  32. - RIJ - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 11:47 am:

    In this era of stringent partisanship? I think not.

  33. - m - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 12:11 pm:

    They’re reporting on the real source of the impasse, not getting in depth on results.
    But if they do, who gets the blame and the pressure?
    You can frame this two ways, both of which are completely accurate.
    1.This mess is due to a Governor that is holding up a budget, creating destruction until he gets his political agenda passed.
    2.This impasse and destruction is because Democrats(or the Speaker) won’t even consider passing a handful of incredibly popular ideas that voters want.

    #2 is a much easier sell, particularly with the momentum that effort already has. So careful what you wish for.

  34. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 12:23 pm:

    Rauner will be running statewide, so, depending on Rauner looking at Munger’s loss as a positive or a negative, the governor may want so tangible victories.

    “Pay Quinn Failed” could be “Skyhook, in reverse”

  35. - anon - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 1:32 pm:

    IN past General Assemblies, the GOP minority leader who gets nominated for Speaker eventually makes a motion to unanimously support the Speaker. So Republicans in past sessions have voted for Madigan themselves.

  36. - Signal and Noise - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 1:33 pm:

    Someone took an episode of House of Cards a little too seriously.

    Despite what some peddlers of the Bogeyman Madigan theory may think, the vast majority of House Dems actually like and respect the man and are not pining to get out from under him so they can finally support Rauner’s agenda. This is silly fantasy.

  37. - Federalist - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 1:43 pm:

    “It’s not too late for either Rauner or Madigan to do the right thing. Absent that, the rank-and-file legislators need to raise hell and get more involved.’

    The rank and file don’t have the guts to buck their leaderships - and on it goes.

  38. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 1:52 pm:

    ==the rank-and-file legislators need to raise hell and get more involved==

    The rank and file can’t call bills for votes. If we were able to go without a budget for an entire year why would anyone think that the rank and file “raising hell” would matter to either the Governor or the Speaker?

  39. - Shemp - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 1:59 pm:

    ====Until that happens, nothing will happen. I’ve said this many times before — the only thing standing between Illinois and Kansas, Illinois and Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin — is Madigan.

    Why would anyone choose to remove the only person keeping Illinois from turning into these failed experiment states? ====

    Funniest. Thing. Ever. Seriously, you don’t think we’re not already the biggest failure??? By credit rating, debt, job creation index, budget deficit, pension liabilities, unpaid bills?

  40. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 2:29 pm:

    The last Democrat to be elected “Speaker” with GOP votes in any state was Willie Brown, and he did it twice (1980 and 1995).

  41. - JI - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 3:06 pm:

    Democrats did the same thing in Arkansas a few years ago, when Republicans first took control. Democrats convinced six Republicans to break from their party and join them in seating a moderate/liberal Republican speaker instead of the conservative pick of the GOP caucus. The few Republican defectors got powerful committee chairs out of the deal, as did many of the Democrats.

  42. - thechampaignlife - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 3:59 pm:

    ===House Rule #3 might be a problem?===

    I fail to see how leadership appointments are impacted by this. And the speaker vote is before the rules vote anyway.

    To the post, Champaign County Board has had this happen multiple times in recent years where a bare-minimum D caucus had a defector that the R’s backed. It has not exactly promoted unity.

  43. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 29, 16 @ 4:49 pm:

    “In some ways, it might be easier to co-opt 6 or 7 R votes to override Rauner vetoes.”

    I agree with 10:21 am, and in reality it might be better to co-opt 6 or 7 R votes to override Rauner vetoes to pass a balanced budget and tax increase.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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