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Question of the day (second try)

Thursday, May 9, 2019

* Let’s try this again, shall we? Press release as sent…

State Representatives Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) and Tom Demmer (R-) today called attention to the heavy handed tactics Governor Pritzker has used to handle dissent from pending board appointees. Hammond and Demmer spoke out against the public actions taken against board members who act against his wishes.

“Board members need to know they have the ability to do their job and make tough decisions without fear of reprisal from the Governor’s Office,” said Hammond, who represents Western Illinois University, whose board members remain unconfirmed in the Senate.

Governor Pritzker withdrew the nominations of two members to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board after they voted against delaying the closure of Westlake Hospital. The board vote was unanimous, but because their appointments were not yet confirmed, Governor Pritzker was able to take retributive action. Pritzker also recently removed two members from the Teacher’s Retirement System Board. Both members had raised opposition to the Governor’s controversial decision to shortchange the pension systems.

“The Governor’s decision to rescind the appointments of qualified candidates can only be seen as an act of political retribution,” Rep. Demmer said. “The Governor is able to make appointments as he sees fit, but they are not meant to be rubber stamps for the Governor. Pending nominees should be qualified individuals who can make decisions independent of fear of their nomination status.”

There are over 150 appointments still pending in the Senate with just 14 days left in session. Many of these will likely not be dealt with before the end of session, leaving these tenuously appointed members on uncertain grounds.

“The issue is not just the Senate’s inaction, it is the Governor’s public actions to withdraw nominations based on a single decision,” Hammond continued. “I have a tough time believing the Western Illinois board will be able to operate independently and for the betterment of University, not the Governor’s office.”

In case you’re wondering, Rep. Demmer lives in Dixon.

* The Question: Do you agree with the Republicans or with Gov. Pritzker on this point? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please…


survey services

- Posted by Rich Miller        

48 Comments »
  1. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:15 pm:

    Members are appointed by the governor to carry out his agenda. It is 100% his prerogative until they are confirmed and even then they are there for that purpose. That coordination is always there. Bite the hand that feeds you at your own peril.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:19 pm:

    Aren’t these the same folks that wilted to “no $&@%# problems” under the previous governor?

    What utter phonies, LOL

    They stood up, to be tools of a destructive governor, when if they had “courage” they would’ve fought back.

    They stood by as the likes of Rep. Andersson was all but ostracized by the caucus.

    Right, Mr. Demmer? Right, Ms. Hammond?

    Exactly right.

    They wouldn’t know standing up and facing backlash if…

    Enough with these former Raunerites “teaching” about working against a governor and backlash.

    Tell that to former… Representative Steven Andersson.

    Voted with “Pritzker”… because irony.


  3. - Norseman - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:20 pm:

    I’m disturbed by any governor for simply removing folks for following rules. I haven’t researched this issue to make a judgment as to whether that is applicable now. I know Hamos and Gelder to be fine folks who have been involved in efforts to improve healthcare and was troubled by the withdrawal.

    On the other hand, leaders act and respond to the needs of the community. This certainly was a forceful action that is sometimes required by leaders.

    With respect to the GOP, spare me the hypocritical complaints. They would be standing behind their guy justifying his action.


  4. - I Miss Bentohs - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:21 pm:

    If given directive and then you accept that directive but fail to follow through on that directive, you are no longer appointed. Not too hard really.


  5. - Moe Berg - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:26 pm:

    Often, board members want to be reappointed. So, they are sensitive to a governor’s wishes. Of course, there are lots of issues a governor doesn’t care much about. But, for those s/he does or might, it’s best to run the traps.

    In the case of Hamos and Gelder, given their backgrounds, one might figure they’d be a little more politically astute. OTOH, given their backgrounds, one might have more rightly figured exactly the opposite.


  6. - Perrid - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:26 pm:

    I wonder if Hamos and Gelder really went off on their own without any kind of coordination, or if they were just thrown under the bus when JB made a mistake. If the former then I can almost see JB’s withdrawl as being OK. The latter is inexcusable, though not really surprising from any politician, sadly.

    But generally, I agree with the Republicans here, I think appointees should do the best job they can without fear of reprisal from the governor. You can coordinate policy without someone fearing the loss of their job. I don’t like the idea of “yes men” who refuse to tell the governor when he is wrong.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:27 pm:

    ===…should do the best job they can without fear of reprisal from the governor. You can coordinate policy without someone fearing the loss of their job. I don’t like the idea of “yes men” who refuse to tell the governor when he is wrong.===

    Huh. Must’ve missed the whole 99th General Assemby.


  8. - Father Ted - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:32 pm:

    I voted that I agree with the Republicans in large part because Julie Hamos was one of those removed by JB. I know her to be a smart, fair and measured person who I can only assume looked at the facts presented to her and voted based on how she saw it.
    I feel that if board members are well vetted by the governor or the governor’s advisory staff, they will be aligned with the governor the majority of the time. If they’re trusted to be placed in the position, their votes and positions should be trusted.


  9. - OneMan - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    Looking at these arguments, why have boards and terms?

    Just let the governor decide who to send to each meeting.

    Also if someone votes along the lines of the law and you don’t like the result, change the law. It seems you are setting the state up for legal action if you are sending a message directly or indirectly for board members to ignore the law on stuff.


  10. - Adm Stockd'le - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    Voted for the board members - neither vote was close: of course the pension payment shouldn’t be skipped and of course a hospital that is ill-equipped shouldn’t operate…


  11. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    The “Onion” like irony will be the Republicans winning the day on this question and folks like Mr. Demmer and Ms. Hammond showed a lacking of standing up… time… after time… after time… and after time.

    Higher education votes come to mind, but let’s talk about how governors shouldn’t be able to this or that and no one should face repercussions as wilting to a former Governor was a calling card for their caucus.

    Tough to forget.


  12. - Madame Defarge - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    It is certainly his right to do so, but it sets a bad precedent for JB to own every “bad” decision made by a board or a cabinet member that he appoints. There will be times that he may under the table want a decision that he can not be seen supporting but that never the less advances another higher goal of his administration. He also risks paralyzing those same people from acting independently or without strict oversight and control of the Governor’s staff.


  13. - Wylie Coyote - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:44 pm:

    JB underestimated the backlash. Took the easy way out at Julie’s expense…


  14. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:51 pm:

    –JB underestimated the backlash.–

    A press release from a couple of GOP mushrooms which reads like it was written by an intern?

    I don’t think you can “underestimate” that “backlash.”


  15. - Annonin' - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    This has to be one of the best laughs of the year, Hammond/Demmer, two front seaters in the GovJunk clown car now want independence. Hammond allows GovJunk to pound Western into dust and now worries. We know they have very little to say, but this is too rich.


  16. - Medvale Skool for the Gifted - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    Republicans complaining over Trump-like retribution.
    Precious.


  17. - Anon - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    Appointees are supposed to be there because of their credentials and because they support the Governor’s policies and philosophies. But, they should be free to act without reprisal. Clearly, the Governor was trying to send a message. Only he can say what that message was and who it was meant for.


  18. - 47th Ward - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:01 pm:

    I don’t think I know enough of what actually went on between the Governor’s office and these nominees to say whether I agree with it or not.

    I’m pretty sure the same is true of Demmer and Hammond.


  19. - RNUG - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:08 pm:

    This is politics. The position is appointive. You’re expected to dance with who brung ya.

    Don’t like it? Change to board to be elective.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    ===Hammond allows GovJunk to pound Western into dust and now worries.===

    Here’s where the “Onion” type hilarity ensues;

    Ms. Hammond can say, “No, I voted as I voted on my own”… meaning voting countless times against Western purposely.

    “Did i say that, I mean, I followed what the governor wanted, as others who didn’t were primaried or forced to retire… “

    Kinda like…

    “If you gave an order that Santiago wasn’t to be touched, and your orders are always followed, then why would Santiago be in danger? Why would it be necessary to transfer him off the base?”

    So…

    “If you were so independent, why would you continually hurt Western? If you weren’t in fear of retribution, why would you not vote to save Western?”

    But, please, let’s talk about retribution and this need to be independent, lol


  21. - Illinoised - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:17 pm:

    I am a Macomb resident and I side with Pritzker on this issue. I wish Ms. Hammond would have been publicly concerned about WIU during Rauner’s administration. She had plenty of chances to decry the long term damage inflicted upon WIU by Rauner’s refusal to sign proposed budgets, but we heard nary a peep from her.


  22. - Medvale Skool for the Gifted - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    -Skeptic-
    The GOP excels at character-assaults in these kinds of appointments. It’s like they have a whole staff of record-keepers who collect stuff about people whose characters they may wish to assassinate some day. Then, years later, they dredge it up and fling it, hoping it splatters all over their target.
    It is what the GOP does best.


  23. - illini - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    Let’s be honest. JB missed many opportunities by leaving those Rauner hold overs in high level positions within some departments and agencies. Some may be understandable, but others are hard to justify.

    To this post - what is disturbing to me is the fact that there are over 150 appointments that are still pending, and there may be even more.


  24. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:23 pm:

    Assistant minority leader Demmer is a “mushroom”?


  25. - Number 9 - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    The practice of holding appointees on a short lease by appointing, withdrawing, and reappointing before Senate takes action is particularly egregiously for agencies like the labor board called not merely to implement the administration’s policies, but often to adjudicate between the administration and other parties. The Senate should act more quickly for these agencies regardless if the Governor is not pushing for quick action. By failing to do so, Senate Dems were complicit with past administration.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    ===Assistant minority leader Demmer is a “mushroom”?===

    How did Mr. Demmer vote on higher education in the 99th?

    For downstate economic engines or for a governor concerned about closing universities.

    Mushrooms are gonna mushroom


  27. - Klaus VonBulow - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:33 pm:

    This is an excellent example of how this governor governs. Everything is designed for press releases and all else is unorganized and micromanaged.

    We are seeing his tax proposal et al unraveling because of his staff. What do they do? They send out a press release instead of a telephoning dissenting legislators.

    Selecting appointments should had been a process going on the day after the election with interviews and committees and involvement from all kinds of parties and stake holders ders. This sort of thing is crazy malfeasance.


  28. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:34 pm:

    –Assistant minority leader Demmer is a “mushroom”?–

    I think it’s assistant to the minority leader.

    Perhaps you could expound on the big heat of the position in this GA.


  29. - pool boy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:48 pm:

    This is common in state, local and federal government appointments. Although I don’t agree with it, he is doing what his predecessors did. 150 pending appointments seems a bit much.


  30. - Hard D - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 3:53 pm:

    It was obvious that games would be played when they overturned The Illinois Toll Authority Board. Few folks knew that the whole boards terms were to expire May 1st. The only one who wouldn’t expire was the Chairman Bob Schillerstrom.
    That coup had nothing to do with good government it was to get a hold of all the jobs and contracts.
    JB’s agenda concerning boards was evident when that coup happened. I’m worth billions and just like Rauner it’s my way or the highway


  31. - WIU prof - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 4:02 pm:

    I never thought I’d be defending Norine Hammond, and I agree with all the previous comments pointing out the irony of her being the one to raise this issue, given her unwillingness to stand up to Rauner on behalf of her constituents.

    But this is a loophole that needs to be closed. What happens if the Senate is always “too busy” to confirm board members? The governor then gains de facto control over each institution for his entire term? That certainly was not the intent of the legislature when they granted the governor power to appoint board members.

    I think that once an appointment is formally pending before the Senate, the governor should not have the power to retract the appointment. That would solve the problem, and what downside would it have?


  32. - Smitty Irving - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 4:39 pm:

    WHEN did Rip & Ripa Van Winkle wake up? January 2019? /s


  33. - You Bet - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 4:51 pm:

    Demmer is Deputy Minority Leader. A title both be and Rep. Dan Brady hold.

    Despite the hand wringing here, Hammond voted yes to end the budget stalemate both on the bill and the override. She also stuck around and was re-elected.

    Demmer is a thoughtful, intelligent, capable guy who is the antithesis of the Eastern bloc nut jobs.

    These are the “good guys/gals” left in the ILGOP. Willy, if you don’t like these two in the context of what is left, just pick up a D ballot next time. These two are as close as you are going to get to what you daily pine for in the GOP.

    Given the current reality, both seats will go to the crazies when they leave and you will miss them when they are gone my friend. The replacements will be like jumping out of a tall building with no parachute.


  34. - Eire17 - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 4:56 pm:

    J.B. won. He gets to appoint people who will assist in carrying out his agenda. When an appointee fails to understand that J.B. is totally within his “rights” as it were to replace that person. The real mistake was naming Gelder to do anything.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 5:07 pm:

    === Willy, if you don’t like these two in the context of what is left, just pick up a D ballot next time. ===

    LOL

    Keep shrinking that tent…by defending hypocrisy and the arsonists.

    Yep, don’t heal where those who voted to hurt this state purposely… I have the receipts.

    Nope… “pull a D ballot”

    Says more about you than you realize.


  36. - You Bet - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 5:14 pm:

    Dan Proft openly despises Demmer. In the context of who is left standing, attacking Demmer and Hammond makes you an accomplice of the enemy.

    These folks will be openly attacked from the new, know nothing right. They are exponentially closer to what you desire than the new breed is my point. Out and out moderates in the new world order.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 5:23 pm:

    This is solid comedy writing.

    ===Demmer is a thoughtful, intelligent, capable guy who is the antithesis of the Eastern bloc nut jobs.

    These are the “good guys/gals” left in the ILGOP. … These two are as close as you are going to get to what you daily pine for in the GOP.

    Given the current reality, both seats will go to the crazies when they leave and you will miss them when they are gone my friend. The replacements will be like jumping out of a tall building with no parachute.===

    “Demmer is a thoughtful, intelligent, capable guy who is the antithesis of the Eastern bloc nut jobs.”

    That’s the bar? Still voted continually to purposely hurt Illinois for an ideology and cash. Thoughtful? Tell that to all those the votes hurt, and no mea culpa to boot.

    “These are the “good guys/gals” left in the ILGOP.”

    No. They’re not. They are barely one step above Mr. Barickman. They want people to “forget”, thank goodness, the votes that hurt the GOP GA, but nothing learned, no mea culpa, and still the loud voices are those Eastern Bloc members.

    “These two are as close as you are going to get to what you daily pine for in the GOP.”

    These two are nothing like Beaubien and Murphy, Mulligan and Pedersen. If anything, their owned switches are the antithesis of those four and when the HGOP held the majority.

    “Given the current reality, both seats will go to the crazies when they leave and you will miss them when they are gone my friend. The replacements will be like jumping out of a tall building with no parachute.”

    That speaks volumes to their own leadership and to the shrinking of the GOP to be a regional, angry, rural, white, party. I won’t miss them, they aided a governor that led to the party’s demise.

    We are not going to rehabilitate and rewrite history. I have receipts, they need to atone.

    Phony stunts like this with appointments and “independence”… nope. I won’t miss them, they are the ingredients to the party shrinking.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 5:27 pm:

    ===…openly despises Demmer. In the context of who is left standing, attacking Demmer and Hammond makes you an accomplice of the enemy.===

    LOL

    Nope. The party imploded with Proft, and the enablers of the governor. Good try. No… and no.

    ===These folks will be openly attacked from the new, know nothing right. They are exponentially closer to what you desire than the new breed is my point. Out and out moderates in the new world order.===

    They are not heroes, they are the other end of the implosion.

    Yet, they think people forget that.

    Mea culpa. You hurt this state purposely. They were wholly complicit.


  39. - You Bet - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 5:52 pm:

    While we agree entirely on where we prefer the ILGOP to be, we differ on the current reality.

    David Reis was defeated to his right (an entirely laughable notion 10 years ago) - by an Eastern bloc anti-vaxxer.

    Cheering on the replacement of Hammond and Demmer by two more of these crazies is not productive and pushes us farther from where our party needs to reside.

    If you get that time machine fired up to the days you refer to, let me know as I am all in. Short of that, how a out not making it worse?


  40. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 6:15 pm:

    Willy is on fire and he is right. WIU prof it might be better if the Gov is in direct control of WIU. Rauners board kept delivering blows while he claimed he supported it.


  41. - You Bet - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 6:27 pm:

    Sorry if two posts that said essentially the same thing were sent. My bad.

    Signing off - while Willy waits for an apology, the GOP goes down to 38 members. Good luck with mea culpa approach.


  42. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 6:30 pm:

    ===Cheering on the replacement of Hammond and Demmer by two more of these crazies is not productive and pushes us farther from where our party needs to reside.===

    Only if you ignite the wholly complicit way both Demmer and Hammond helped the former governor.

    In reality, until they admit their mistakes, instead of trying to pretend they didn’t, they are NO better then the crazies, as all of them are then detached from the reality they all caused.

    ===Short of that, how about not making it worse?===

    Your forgiveness of the arsonist, it’s cute. This idea they are the “best we have” and I need to “not make it worse” orcas you suggested “pull a D ballot”…

    … all this suggestions aren’t gonna make the ILGOP better

    Until some decide “we need to atone and make peace with women, minorities, the collar counties, Demmer and Hammond ARE the problem.


  43. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 6:30 pm:

    This debate should be put to bed. Illinois has too many public universities. Close one and be done with it.


  44. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 6:34 pm:

    ===while Willy waits for an apology, the GOP goes down to 38 members. Good luck with mea culpa approach.===

    LOL… it’s not me “waiting”, it’s the voters.

    That’s why they sit at 44 seats.

    Keep up.


  45. - You Bet - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 7:35 pm:

    “Demmer and Hammond ARE the problem”. “They are no better than the crazies”.

    Jesus, dude . . . . . .poke some air in your jar.

    No weed until after dinner your arrogance . . . . . . . .


  46. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 9, 19 @ 7:42 pm:

    ===Jesus, dude . . . . . .poke some air in your jar.

    No weed until after dinner your arrogance ===

    Tell that to the social services that closed.

    You’re welcome.


  47. - Anonymous - Friday, May 10, 19 @ 7:55 am:

    In regards to WIU - Would everyone feel different if they knew that the University President was specifically lobbying against certain board members to be appointed just so he could keep his job? If the President was doing his job there wouldn’t be a controversy about board appointments.

    WIU’s problems are not about Rauner or even the budget impasse. It has always been about poor leadership.

    The board should act independently and make the choice to change leadership regardless of their appointment staus.


  48. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 10, 19 @ 8:15 am:

    ===WIU’s problems are not about Rauner or even the budget impasse.===

    … and yet, not fully funding WIU caused severe damage, so much so, other universities were concerned about closing.

    We are not going to gloss over the damage the past Governor did, or what the enablers did to help with the damage.

    The irony, with this question Rich poses is how wholly owned Demmer and Hammond were, to a fault, and *now* they are perplexed that a governor doesn’t want independence and Demmer and Hammond feel this ironic need to “teach”


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