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Question of the day

Friday, Jun 16, 2017

* Chris Kennedy…

* The Question: Setting campaign politics aside, is this a good policy idea? Click here to take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - PJ - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:05 pm:

    Yes, it’s good public policy.

    Perhaps better public policy; elected officials should not be able to act as paid lobbyists for other levels of government. State reps lobbying city councils, county commissioners lobbying states reps … it’s gross.

  2. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:08 pm:

    No. Once you start down the road of banning certain professions, or in this case, a specific area of practice within a profession, it’s hard to know where to draw the line. How about insurance brokers too? That’s an easy way for an elected official to profit from influence peddling.

    Why not simply ban outside income? That would have the advantage of being fair.

  3. - Back to the Mountains - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:10 pm:

    No, it is not good policy. You can’t ban someone from running for office because of their career, nor can you ban someone from choosing a particular career simply because they have run for office. My firm belief is that a court would ultimately find this to be unconstitutional. And, if you were required to think of the most likely group of people to test that theory, it would be a lawyer. This is one long, expensive lawsuit the state can avoid.

  4. - Harvest76 - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    It isn’t the governor’s job to decide who is an acceptable representative of a district, what professions they should have, nor how long they should serve for that matter. That is the job of the electorate.

  5. - Perrid - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    Theoretically, our representatives should act in the people’s best interest regardless of other employment. Naive yes, I know but still. We almost have to make that assumption, unless you ban members of the GA from having any other job. Or do you not care that a doctor passes a law affecting healthcare, or that a business owner passes regulations about his/her field. I don’t know that we need to single out property tax lawyers.

  6. - SOIL M - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:13 pm:

    No. It starts us down a slippery slope of deciding what professions are allowed and not allowed to run for office. Perhaps a better approach would be to further define what is considered conflict of interest.

  7. - A guy - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:14 pm:

    Yes. Insofar as they’re banned from practicing in this area while serving. The conflicts aren’t just obvious, we have several “case studies” here.

  8. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:20 pm:

    Sounds nice, but cuts against the well-established principle of a client being able to hire the attorney of their choice. Placing restrictions on what work a lawyer may take on (absent a direct conflict such as working both sides of the same case) is subject to court scrutiny.

  9. - Dirty Red - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:22 pm:

    I’m not against it in concept, but how in the world would you define and enforce it?

  10. - Oneman - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    A reluctant no…

    Think 47th is onto something with it being a full-time job.

  11. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:29 pm:

    –Yes. Insofar as they’re banned from practicing in this area while serving.–

    Yeah, it would be a little bit extreme to bar someone from practicing their profession when they’re not serving in the legislature.

    You can’t do it, unless you’re going to mandate full-time legislators and no outside professions. Every profession has potential conflicts when you’re creating laws.

    St. Patrick of Fitzgerald was U.S. attorney for two years. He had the ways, means and time to take down two governors. I’m guessing he took a good long look at Madigan.

  12. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:38 pm:

    The appeals process was created to offset the problems with an inherently subjective tax system. That process has been shown to be inadequate.

    Taking elected officials out of the process is a good first step.

    I have posted before that I think the legislators should be paid large sums ($250,000 per year with no pension or medical) but banned from outside employment. If your legislator, who is spending about $36 billion a year, is not worth the pay, vote in someone who is worth it.

  13. - Whatthewhat - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:40 pm:

    I don’t think this is possible to do. The Supreme Court regulates the practice of law, so you can’t tell lawyers they can’t run for office. The Illinois Constitution sets out the criteria for executive and legislative officers, as well as some local officers.

  14. - Joe M - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    I assume Kennedy is talking about appealing assessments, not appealing property taxes. He seems to constantly be confusing the two. I wasn’t even aware there is an avenue to appeal one’s property taxes?

  15. - Free Set of Steak Knives - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 3:49 pm:

    Bad public policy, and Kennedy conceniently ignores a much bigger potential conflict: Real estate deals themselves.

    Hundreds of billions changing hands every year. Much of it, as highlighted in the Thompson Center deal, can be greatly impacted by zoning decisions. Most of it, because it doesn’t happen at the Chicago City Council, receives very little sunlight from the media.

    Further proof of how desperate and out of touch Kennedy is.

  16. - wondering - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 4:00 pm:

    So, he will, will he? By executive order? Sounds like he needs a remedial civics lesson…only the G.A.has that power.

  17. - Just Observing - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 4:02 pm:

    Obviously its a gimmicky distraction from bigger issues, but who cares… the voters will like it… and Kennedy knows it.

  18. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 4:05 pm:

    I voted “no”. I don’t see how you can ban anything for an elected official. If he/she meets the constitutional requirement they can run. Also as previously posted lots off people in insurance business got rich while in elective office.
    I think there is going to have to be one heck of a constitutional convention because graduated income tax term limits redistricting outside jobs pensions all seem to be constitutional matters

  19. - Signal and Noise - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 4:35 pm:

    Good talking point maybe. But likely not legal. What other occupations will electeds be banned from?

  20. - RNUG - Friday, Jun 16, 17 @ 4:37 pm:

    == think there is going to have to be one heck of a constitutional convention because graduated income tax term limits redistricting outside jobs pensions all seem to be constitutional matters ==

    No need for a Con-Con. If the GA would propose and pass it, each of those topics could be dealt with by presenting individual amendments to the voters at a general election.

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