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Republicans object to ethics commission

Friday, Nov 15, 2019

* We talked a bit yesterday about the legislative ethics bill, but not much about the new ethics commission. Jerry Nowicki at Capitol News Illinois

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, of Western Springs, questioned why language adding requirements to lawmakers’ statements of economic interest was removed from the lobbyist disclosure bill, Senate Bill 1639, by a late amendment Thursday.

Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, who carried the bill in the House, said economic interest disclosures would be discussed by the commission created in House Joint Resolution 93.

“Do we really need a commission to be able to come up with a solution that is, I would say, practical but also the right thing to do?” Durkin asked. “I’ve seen commissions come and go over the years. Many of us look at those commissions with jaundiced eyes because generally they don’t produce the positive results that we think are important.”

The commission’s role would be to study ethics reforms and report its recommendations on specific pieces of legislation to lawmakers, who would have the ultimate authority to enact the measures.

* Finke

Legislators also created an ethics commission that will develop more comprehensive ethics reforms that lawmakers can take up during the spring session. Gov. J.B. Pritzker will appoint some members as will the four legislative leaders, Secretary of State Jesse White and Attorney General Kwame Raoul. […]

While the ethics bill itself did pass with wide, bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate, the resolution creating the ethics commission did not. All of the Senate Republicans voted against the measure, saying the makeup of the commission is too heavily weighted in favor of Democrats.

“We need to do something, but we need to do something that is balanced,” said Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington. “Corruption and ethics aren’t partisan. This is an unbalanced, partisan commission, though.”

Republicans objected to White and Raoul, both Democrats, having appointees to the commission. However, Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said the secretary of state and attorney general’s offices play a role in ethics and ethics enforcement and both offices should be represented on the commission.

* Dan Petrella and Jamie Munks at the Tribune

In response to those criticisms, the final measure requires Raoul and White to name the inspectors general from their offices as one of their two appointments. Pritzker, who gets four appointments to the commission, could name up to four Republicans but only two Democrats.

That wasn’t enough to appease Senate Republicans, none of whom voted in favor of the measure creating the commission.

Republican leader Bill Brady of Bloomington said it would create an “unbalanced, partisan commission.”

“That’s what the people will see, and that will disgust them,” Brady said.

I dunno, maybe run better statewide candidates?

* Meanwhile

Rep. Tim Butler asked rhetorically, “We’re allowing someone who is a lobbyist in the state of Illinois to appoint a co-chair?” Cullerton is a registered lobbyist with the City of Chicago (he has not logged any lobbying activity since 2016). “There needs to be more balance. I will vote for this because this is a step forward, but hopefully we can address some of those situations,” Butler said.

Cullerton spokesman John Patterson said the city has a much broader definition of lobbyist and that Cullerton is registered out of an abundance of caution “given the legal work he does as a lawyer in Chicago.”

“Obviously he will not appoint a lobbyist to the commission,” Patterson said.

…Adding… Another view…

Kyle lobbies for the social workers.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:50 am:

    === I dunno, maybe run better statewide candidates?===

    Without “googling”, who were the SoS, Treasurer, and Comptroller Raunerite candidates in 2018?


  2. - Not a Superstar - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:55 am:

    I object that there are no appointees by the Leader of the Eastern Bloc.

  3. - NotRich - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:55 am:

    “Obviously he will not appoint a lobbyist to the commission” Of course not, why put someone on the commission that will deal with regulating lobbyists. Absurd that we should get input from an industry that will be 50% of the commission’s work.. 177 hypocrites on the 3rd floor, and many on the 2nd floor..

  4. - Tim - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    Even though they got elected I am not sure why anyone would assume the Democrats in the statewide offices are good candidates themselves. Just saying…….

  5. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:01 am:

    Not Rich, the law specifically prohibits state-registered lobbyists from serving on the commission.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:04 am:

    - Tim -

    They were good enough to win, lol

  7. - lake county democrat - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:12 am:

    How about we just dust-off the blue-ribbon Quinn commission’s recommendations? Or ask the guv and legislative leaders which parts that weren’t implemented they object to and why.

  8. - Froganon - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:17 am:

    We are a superminority in both houses and hold no statewide offices and demand a majority on the ethics commission. The logic/consequences train derailed…again.

  9. - Chicagonk - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    @lake county - That would be too easy. Honestly Illinois would need a commission to study legislative commissions.

  10. - Rabid - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    Elections have consequences , don’t blame democrats, thank govenor junk

  11. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    ===dust-off the blue-ribbon Quinn commission’s recommendations===

    That commission was somewhat odd. Illinois had just impeached and removed its governor and only a fraction of the report dealt with the executive branch.

  12. - City Zen - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    ==why put someone on the commission that will deal with regulating lobbyists==

    Even Vegas hires ex-cheats to spot the cheaters.

  13. - SSL - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    The whole thing is a waste of time. The power brokers need money to keep the game alive. They’ll ensure there are enough ways to keep the game going. And it would be the same if Republicans held all the cards. It’s the Illinois way.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:40 am:

    Dear Mr. Butler,

    Even Mr. Wehrli, the looney tweets notwithstanding, voted for the ethics bill.

    Raunerism got you to 44, closer to 40 than 50 for cripes sake.

    You want balance.

    Win elections.

  15. - Bertrum Cates - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:46 am:

    = dust-off the blue-ribbon Quinn commission’s recommendations =


  16. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:53 am:

    Now that the GOP has laid down their marker in terms of proposals, they should cooperate with the process and support what they can support. If they think the process drags on or produces only show legislation that doesn’t sufficiently cover legislators as well as lobbyists they can make their case to the voters. That along with the fact that the current targets are Democratic should make for a pretty good case. Until they screw it up.

  17. - Obamas Puppy - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    Lobbyist ethics reform -aka- the guilty get off and the innocent get punished.

  18. - R A T - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:04 am:

    I am confused about the part regarding statements of economic interest. Isn’t this something State employees have to do? IF so, then two things:
    1) legislators work for the state
    2) anything that is ethically required of those lesser than you, must be applied to you. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander applies to all businesses (including gov’t)

  19. - JS Mill - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:19 am:

    Durkin isn’t wrong about commissions, they are pretty much a dog and pony show.

    =Republican leader Bill Brady of Bloomington said it would create an “unbalanced, partisan commission.”=

    I was impressed by Brady’s statement with regard to Cullerton, sounding statesman like. That was a first.

    Then this today. He still does not have a fundamental understanding of how government works, particularly with regard to elections and consequences.

  20. - The Dude Abides - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    Durkin & Brady allowed an outsider with a lot of money to come in and basically buy the Illinois GOP. I would argue that was unethical. The outsider, Rauner, lead them down the path to where they are now, a super minority.

  21. - walker - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 2:26 pm:

    RAT: Legislators already fill out statements of economic interest, as many others do. This bill proposed expanding and improving them.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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