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Check the laws first, please

Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019

* We discussed this column yesterday, but let’s circle back

And when Democrats skipped pension payments for two years after that, and borrowed repeatedly to paper over deficit spending, Republicans should have said, hell no. They didn’t. The unfunded liabilities have soared. […]

[Rep. David McSweeney’s] departure from the General Assembly means there will be one less person in Springfield riding herd on fiscal sanity.

Um, Rep. McSweeney was one of just a tiny handful of Republicans who voted to override a 2016 Gov. Bruce Rauner veto that allowed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to delay hundreds of millions of dollars in increased pension payments. He said at the time he voted to override the veto in order to spare Chicago a massive property tax hike. But he really just helped the mayor delay a big day of reckoning until after Rahm Emanuel was out of office.

State law at the time required Chicago to start paying all normal costs to the pension funds plus whatever would be sufficient to get the fund assets up to 90 percent of total actuarial liabilities by 2040. The new law, passed with McSweeney’s vote over Rauner’s veto, delayed the start of that steep ramp to tax levy year 2020 and delayed the end date to 2055.

Gov. Rauner’s response to the override

“It’s unfortunate that the legislature voted again to allow the City of Chicago to borrow $843 million at an interest rate of 7.75% from their pensions, putting an additional $18.6 billion on the backs of taxpayers.”

The Tribune editorial board often bemoans the increased pension payments that new Mayor Lori Lightfoot is faced with. Well, that 2016 veto override contributed heavily to the hole she’s in now.

* Meanwhile, states with early presidential primaries usually hold two primaries: One for presidential candidates and then another for everyone else. South Carolina, for instance, is holding its presidential primary on February 29th, but then the rest of the candidates down the ticket in that state will have their own primary on June 9th, with a runoff on June 23rd.

Illinois has a unified primary where all candidates compete. That primary is set by statute

(10 ILCS 5/2A-1.1) (from Ch. 46, par. 2A-1.1)
Sec. 2A-1.1. All Elections - Consolidated Schedule.
(a) In even-numbered years, the general election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November; and an election to be known as the general primary election shall be held on the third Tuesday in March;

Notice the word “shall.” Biennial primaries are mandatory.

* With all that in mind

Republican leaders in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Kansas are reportedly poised to scrap their primaries and caucuses, Politico is reporting. That has Trump’s long-shot opponents — including former Illinois congressman-turned-conservative radio show host Joe Walsh — crying foul.

While it’s not without precedent, canceling a presidential primary also isn’t typical, so The Spin checked in with the Illinois GOP to see where the local party stands.

State Republican Party Chair Illinois Tim Schneider said, “I don’t think there’s even a question,” about whether there will be a GOP primary in March. “No, we’re not going to do that,” he said of the four states opting out. “We’re just going to follow our typical process with the primary, including the important job of electing delegates.”

Schneider couldn’t cancel the primary even if he wanted to.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Not Again - Wednesday, Sep 11, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    Spare the property tax hike… Wonder if he supports the congestion tax or would vote “hell no” on it?

  2. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Sep 11, 19 @ 11:26 am:

    Which Eastern Bloc Republican will be the first to file a bill allowing the GOP to opt out of the primary?

  3. - Norseman - Wednesday, Sep 11, 19 @ 11:27 am:

    The cancellation of some state primaries demonstrate the GOP’s continued march to violate all tenants of our democracy. They’ll do anything to attain and retain power. Abe is rolling over in his tomb.

  4. - SpfdNewb - Wednesday, Sep 11, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    -The cancellation of some state primaries demonstrate the GOP’s continued march to violate all tenants of our democracy.-

    It is not a GOP problem. Democrats have done the same before when they held the WH. Here is a Times’s article about state primaries

  5. - Huh? - Wednesday, Sep 11, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    Norseman - there are news reports that some states canceled their 2012 democratic primaries to aid Obama.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 11, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    “We’re just going to follow our typical process…”

    That’s gracious of you… to follow the law.

    Illinois is lucky that you lead one of its political parties.

  7. - Norseman - Wednesday, Sep 11, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    SpfdNewb and Huh, there were no primary opponents deprived of a vote through the cancellation of primaries when this happened for Clinton, W. or Obama. Try your whataboutism on someone else.

  8. - Huh? - Wednesday, Sep 11, 19 @ 1:24 pm:

    Norseman - All I did was merely state that the democrats cancelled presidential primaries in the past.

    I do agree that the republicans are being undemocratic by depriving citizens of the opportunity to cast a vote for Sanford, Weld and Walsh.

  9. - Scott Cross for President - Wednesday, Sep 11, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    GOP Chair Tim Schneider: “… the important job of electing delegates.”

    Sorry to core6you, Tim, but this is an important difference between Illinois Dems and Republicans.

    Democrats elect their delegates.

    Republicans select their delegates.

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