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Severin: “When I walked off the floor I walked off for my people”

Thursday, May 18, 2017

* Remember the story from Tuesday about how Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) took an excused absence rather than vote on a bill to save some nursing jobs at the Department of Corrections?

Well, Williamson County Democratic Party Chairman Cody Moake had this to say

The reality of the situation is that Severin was elected by his constituents, not House leadership. If he cannot in good faith, complete the job he was elected to do, he should step down,” Moake said Tuesday. “While I did not vote for Mr. Severin, I expect from him, and everyone in the 117th should expect from him, to represent the best interests of the district on every issue that comes to a vote. We need someone to represent our area, home of some of the highest unemployed counties in the State. If he is not willing to stand up for these nurses, I want someone in there that will at least take a stance, not run away. If Mr. Severin is too much of a coward to stand up for what’s right, I urge him to step down and I challenge the Republican parties in the 117th district to appoint a representative that will keep our best interests in mind, and take those tough votes.

* Severin’s response

In my short time in Springfield, I have seen the political games being played by Speaker Madigan nearly every day.

What was omitted from the previous reporting is the fact that prior to the bill being called, the administration informed me that they would rescind the corrections nurses’ layoffs and go back to the negotiating table, thanks to the urging of a number of my colleagues and me.
Knowing this fact ahead of time gave me the peace of mind I needed to know that the bill would not be necessary and was in fact yet another attempt by Speaker Madigan to drive a wedge between myself and my constituents for political purposes. Negotiations are continuing as we speak and I encourage both sides to stay at the table until a deal is reached.

* He then issued a follow-up statement through an unnamed spokesman

“Williamson County Democrats are still trying to adjust to life without a Madigan enabler in office so I can understand their frustration. With that said, their calls for my resignation are bizarre, at best.”

* From The Southern

Severin said he thought that leaving town made a louder statement than voting ‘present’ and he also said he surmised more people would ask him why he did it, giving him a chance to explain his predicament. Severin also said that when he left town, he had a private commitment from an aide to Rauner’s administration that the Illinois Department of Corrections intended to rescind its layoff notice in an effort to continue talks with the Illinois Nurses Association, which it has since done. Severin said he wasn’t allowed to say that at the time, because it had not been communicated to the INA. That decision was made, according to Severin, “thanks to the urging of a number of my colleagues and me.”

“Knowing that fact ahead of time gave me the peace of mind I needed to know that the bill would not be necessary and was in fact yet another attempt by Speaker Madigan to drive a wedge between myself and my constituents for political purposes.” Of note, during the campaign, Severin called a press conference at which he signed a blown up “Fire Madigan” pledge.

The INA, despite the rescinding of the layoff notice, has expressed its desire that the legislation proceed regardless, because there’s no certainty about what the administration will do with regards to privatizing the positions in the future, which was the plan IDOC announced in late March. The bill would require IDOC to maintain nursing staff levels as they were in January 2016. Severin said he’s not ready to say what he will do if Rauner vetoes the bill and its called for an override vote in the House. Newspaper ads purchased by the INA in recent weeks have asked Severin and other lawmakers to reconsider their positions. […]

And despite the criticism suggesting that he left town because he lacked the backbone to buck his own party’s leadership, Severin maintains that’s just not the case. “When I walked off the floor I walked off for my people,” he said.

I have been around this business a very long time and I have never seen anyone say they took a walk on a bill “for my people.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

19 Comments »
  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    Mr. Severin, here, took a walk to keep Gov. Rauner from making him a former legislator.

    Raunerites like Mr. Severin aren’t worried about their districts, “nurses”, their “people”… Raunerites like Mr. Severin is worried about displeasing the $71 million dollar hammer that make shake him out of his seat.

    Mr. Severin served his constituent well, he just can’t say that.


  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    Not voting is the same as a “no” vote. The arithmetic, at least, doesn’t lie.


  3. - Saluki - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    Moses in reverse…or something. What a weird guy.


  4. - Jocko - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 11:16 am:

    As seen in The Princess Bride…it sounds like Dave Severin is using “Vizzini-level” logic to explain his actions.

    goo.gl/a5yrq9


  5. - Commonsense in Illinois - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    Rookie mistake…let’s see what happens next. House democrat campaign staff has many, many more tricks up their sleeve.


  6. - don the legend - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    More evidence that we live in a bizzaro world of politics. How is publicly announcing that you will abdicate your duty and responsibility as a legislator not seen as completely unacceptable?

    Thanks to Trump who has given dozens of bizarro examples and Rauner who cries victim everyday, Severin’s behavior goes unnoticed. Sad.


  7. - Biscuit Head - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    I’d love to see Sam McCann comment on Rep Severin’s ridiculous logic.


  8. - TS - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    Oh, cowardice certainly does speak louder than voting present. What it says is where he’s wrong.


  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 12:03 pm:

    Trumpian logic


  10. - Highland Il - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    Another example of governing is harder than campaigning….


  11. - Collinsville Kevin - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 12:34 pm:

    If he did it for his people, that makes him a populist!


  12. - Jocko - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 12:40 pm:

    As George Costanza said, “Instead of castigating me you should all be thanking me! What kind of topsy-turvy world do we live in where heroes are cast as villains? Brave men as cowards?”


  13. - Thoughts Matter - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 12:45 pm:

    For the Representstives. and Senators reading this, your voters aren’t impressed. We elected you to represent us by voting on bills. We understand NV if you are absent. We understand NV or P if you can’t decide which way to vote. However, those usually count as a no, so you must not be all that conflicted, right?

    The rest of the time, we think NV or P means you care more about party leaders, donors or lobbyists than your voters. And we aren’t impressed.


  14. - Annonin' - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    Anybody get the name of hustler who made the offer?


  15. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:31 pm:

    First time I’ve heard of a pol run FROM office…


  16. - Just maybe - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 1:58 pm:

    Severin also once bragged about hiding in the bathroom at the Marion Chamber luncheon from the Governor, like it’s a good thing. I really don’t think he gets it.


  17. - Nikolas Name - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 2:34 pm:

    Two observations:

    - Had Severin stood up for his people he would’ve just voted.

    - Proof that Rauner doesn’t gover. He rules over people.


  18. - Shake - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 3:07 pm:

    Same Playbook As Rep. Tim Butler..


  19. - Get it Solved - Thursday, May 18, 17 @ 4:16 pm:

    Definitely not standing up for his people by taking a walk. This certainly won’t be the last time a member does this, but have some guts to vote one way or the other. Tim Butler and Bill Mitchell have pulled the same stunt in recent years on key votes.


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