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GOP Rep. takes sick day after pressure from above

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

* GOP Rep. Dave Severin was listed as having an excused absence (click here) on a recent House floor vote to prevent the layoffs of some Department of Corrections prison nurses. Here’s his explanation

“I did what I did for one reason and that is so people would ask me why I walked off,” said Severin, R-Benton.

Severin said his decision April 6 to leave Springfield was specifically related to a pending vote that afternoon on Senate Bill 19, which would require the Illinois Department of Corrections to maintain staffing levels at what they were in January 2016 for registered nurses and medical technicians — affecting about 300 positions. […]

Severin said he wanted to support the nurses but faced pressure from Republican Party leaders for him to vote against the bill. Therefore, he decided to skip town that day instead of voting for or against the bill.

“I refused to vote against the nurses,” Severin said. “I didn’t think it was the thing to do but there also was pressure on me not to vote for it. I said, ‘Here’s what I’m going to do then. I’m walking off the floor because I refuse to vote against those nurses.’” […]

Severin said that it is a “fair question” for people to ask him why he didn’t vote in favor of the legislation if he believed in the intention of the bill, regardless of what pressure he felt from his party leadership. Severin did not specifically say who in the Republican Party leadership pressured him to vote against the bill, or in what way they pressured him. He only would describe the pressure as coming from “the Republican Party.”

Any guesses?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - No Longer a Lurker - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    Any guesses? Yep, from the guy who writes the big checks.

  2. - AlfondoGonz - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    Profiles in Courage.

  3. - Ole' Nelson - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    “Any guesses?”

    Follow the money….

  4. - Hit Em With the Hein - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    I’m not good at guessin’

  5. - AC - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    To quote Church Lady: “Could it be. ..SATAN?”

  6. - Juice - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    Anyone care to explain to the representative that for the constitutional purposes of passing a bill, taking the walk is the same as a no vote?

    Speaking of, what’s Ken up to these days?

  7. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    Meh, another profile in courage. Legislators walk out on tough votes all the time. It’s like they misread the job description before filing their petitions. If he couldn’t stand the pressure, maybe his voters ought to find a candidate with a spine.

    It makes me angry that some of these people are so afraid of losing their jobs that they refuse to do their jobs.

    It’s gutless and weak, but Severin isn’t the first and surely won’t be the last.

  8. - AC - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    I don’t think it was the ghost of Abraham Lincoln.

  9. - Wow - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    My bet is the Governor blames Madigan for this.

  10. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    In other words, I wanted to be a good boy and vote for my district and those hard-working nurses but daddy wouldn’t let me.

    He should have either remained quiet or revealed specific names.

  11. - Slugger O'Toole - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    Sorry, Rep. Severin. I can’t accept this as an excuse. You still gave the people pressuring you a victory. Your no show is not an action in support of nurses, but an action in personal cowardice. Not to rehash a worn out slogan, but seriously. Show up. Do your job. And vote.

  12. - The Dude Abides - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    I’ll bet Sam McCann has the answer.

  13. - The Captain - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    I get why he did what he did, I don’t get why he’s telling people about it?

  14. - Anonin-aint-easy - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    Rauner, No one is going to be surprised by me saying that right?

    If I may go on a tangent, does anyone else find it funny that Rauner spends millions talking about how corrupt and controlling Speaker Madigan is while he himself is turning into the Republican version of him?

    Vote for something I don’t like? Get ready for so much money to get spent against you it could physically crush you to death.

    Have a skit that criticizes me? You republicans better not be in it if you know what’s good for you.

    Don’t want to vote for something I want? Well you might as well miss the vote because your opinion does not matter.

    Rauner is so two faced it makes me want to gag.

  15. - Saluki - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    Severin is the Republican version of Gary Forby, without the charm or intestinal fortitude.

  16. - Norseman - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    Severin, the latest recipient of the profile in cowardice award. 🥇

  17. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    Taking a walk is the same as voting against the nurses, Einstein. No difference, at all.

  18. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    “If I may go on a tangent, does anyone else find it funny that Rauner spends millions talking about how corrupt and controlling Speaker Madigan is while he himself is turning into the Republican version of him?”

    Worse. Democrats twice voted for major legislation–pension reform–that angered their public union funders and supporters. The ILGOP is owned outright by Rauner and will for all intents and purposes never defy him (not counting Sen. McCann). And I thought ownership of human beings was outlawed by the 13th Amendment.

  19. - Annonin' - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    Maybe Rep. Severin ought ring up the Sangamon County States Attorney to discuss the extortion attempt.

  20. - Shake - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    Wonder If He Learned That Move From Tim Butler? Two Peas In A Pod..

  21. - Cheswick - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    What, does he want people to think he did some kind of noble thing? He didn’t. But thanks for the info.

  22. - Belden Ave. - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    “Severin is the Republican version of Gary Forby, without the charm or intestinal fortitude.”

    Saluki, you’re wrong, Gary Forby has a spine and never walked away from a tough vote

  23. - Nobody Sent - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    If he can’t stomach it, he can always resign - that would have been the honorable thing to do.

  24. - Reese's Pieces - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 10:31 am:

    If this isn’t “Pay to Play” then I don’t know what is!!

  25. - zatoichi - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    Don’t want to be stepped on later so I will just not be here. Easy out.

  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    Mr. Severin is no Sen. Sam McCann

    I’m sure, if the need arises, Mr. Severin will gladly take Raunerite money or support.

    That’s the only, the only, reason you walk and not vote to help the nurses.

    Actually, telling us all this, it’s kinda pathetic.

    The inky way to seem owned but independent is to not stand up and be counted on the House floor?


  27. - Texas Red - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    The 117th house seat was a GOP pick-up, he defeated the Dem incumbent by 5 %. This is his attempt to appear balanced. His district includes US prison Marion, he can rightfully claim he did not vote aging the state dept of corrections nurses. The goal is to hold the seat.

  28. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    ===…attempt to appear balanced.===

    Yep. A phony attempt. “Look at me, I didn’t help you, but I did t hurt the governor who’s money I may need” Thoughtful to his own preservation, but you address that…

    ===…he can rightfully claim he did not vote aging the state dept of corrections nurses.===

    Those appearances didn’t help the nurses.

    ===The goal is to hold the seat===

    … for Bruce Rauner.

    Not voting for his district, but not voting to hurt Bruce Rauner, then talking in the subject. That’s embarrassing to the idea of “independence”

  29. - walker - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    Minority Caucus Leaders usually act more like arbitrary “bosses” to their members, than Majority Leaders/Speakers. With less power, it must be more concentrated and strictly directed.

  30. - the Cardinal - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 11:18 am:

    “If I voted for it, No wait I couldn’t vote against it, No wait !!! Oh never mind.”
    Stand Up and be counted.

  31. - Flynn's mom - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 11:19 am:

    Does anyone find it ironic that yesterday we had a story about jail guards calling in sick and today we have a story about a legislator calling in sick so that he didn’t have to vote regarding prison staff?? I wish he would have stayed and voted his conscious. He seems like a man without a spine to walk out. Why is he telling this story?

  32. - GA Watcher - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    Damn that Speaker Madigan for allowing that bill to be called. /s

  33. - Sigh - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    Just a few weeks ago he refused to talk about the budget when the local tv station wanted to provide an update to their viewers.

  34. - Saluki - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 11:28 am:


    You misread my post. Forby had a backbone and Charisma, yet lacked a mastery of the english language.

    All I was trying to say is that Severin is like Forby in lacking eloquence, but dislike him in the areas that matter.

    In short, we agree.

  35. - Anon221 - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    So “Sidelines” Severin thinks this is a reasonable explanation, huh? He wants us to read between the lines of a “Because Rauner”? Weak.

  36. - The Southern - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    Can we bring back John Bradley? At least you always knew where he stood on the issues.

  37. - Belden Ave. - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    Got it Saluki…Go dawgs

  38. - Get real - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 12:44 pm:

    “Bring back John Bradley” - said nobody else on either side of the isle. EVER.

  39. - The Southern - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 12:47 pm:

    Get Real: *aisle

  40. - GOP Extremist - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    Cowardly, Severin “buckled” under the pressure of Boss Rauners wallet.

  41. - Juvenal - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 4:08 pm:

    Does not seem like an “Excused Absence” to me.

    “I only want to do my job on the days that it is easy” isn’t much of an excuse.

  42. - 1212e - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 4:23 pm:

    I’m in his district and acquainted with him, but this really disappoints me. Instead of disappointing one side or the other he pretty much disappointed both sides to keep the Rauner support which he may lose afterall since he refused to vote along with Rauner.

  43. - The Southern - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 5:17 pm:


    In an updated story, he said he was told that the layoffs were being rescinded. Can you run down the timeline on that? Or is it an easy lie?

  44. - Generic Drone - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 7:28 pm:

    Way to man up Severin! .. cant….lift…..Rauners….wallet…. sigh.

  45. - Cardsfan - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 7:45 pm:

    He stole a play straight out of the Tim Butler playbook! Vote the Rauner way, not what’s in the best interest of your constituents.

  46. - SI Guy - Tuesday, May 16, 17 @ 9:34 pm:

    Like someone said profile in courage. Now claiming that he was notified of the layoffs being rescinded makes it all better. This is the same guy who hid in a bathroom so as not be be in a picture with the gov during the campaign. He campaigned that Bradley was a lapdog and yet he was on the receiving end of the same thing. Not voting is as good as no as everyone says. So, you did what your leaders asked you to do. This walk out does not help your standing as not being a career politician. This is a move of someone protecting the job.

  47. - Tinsel Town - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 6:51 am:

    A lack of courage, if the legislation failed, being absent is the same as voting no.

    This confirms the fact, Rauner is no better than Madigan. Madigan uses political influence, Rauner has no influence only a checkbook.

    Rauner will go down as a failure in Illinois politics, just below Quinn in ranking.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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