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Unsolicited advice

Friday, Nov 15, 2019

* Except for the budgeting part, the harsh reality is a candidate for Senate President could not be elected on this platform suggested by the Chicago Tribune editorial board

The next Senate president could insist on a fair redistricting process. He or she could acknowledge that a state with an unfunded pension liability of $137 billion ought to rethink the rigid pension clause of its constitution. The next president could insist on a more responsible budgeting process that begins in January, not mid-May. The next president could answer the call of voters to put term limits on the ballot.

Your own unsolicited advice for Democratic Senators who want to replace John Cullerton?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Not a Billionaire - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:26 am:

    Ignore the Tribune.

  2. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:29 am:

    Say goodbye to your family, tell them you love them and you are gonna miss them.

  3. - GOP Truth Squad - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:30 am:

    Check your office for bugs.

  4. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:31 am:

    Cannot be elected because the Democratic Senators don’t support any of these issues that have huge bipartisan of support of the majority of voters, because they are more concerned with their political interests

  5. - SSL - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:32 am:

    Be careful what you wish for.

  6. - Bruce (no not him) - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:32 am:

    Run. Do not walk away, run away.

  7. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:33 am:

    Be prepared to pay. A coveted position like Senate President is going to given away for nothing? It’s a thing and it’s bleeping golden.

    Just kidding. Stay clean, ethically and legally, have a bipartisan spirit and also remain in touch with voters on issues, like Democrats did with marijuana legalization, minimum wage hike and graduated income tax.

  8. - Quibbler - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:37 am:

    - Ignore calls for “fair redistricting.” The GOP has used gerrymandering across the country to maximum partisan advantage, and IL Dems should do the same. Unilateral surrender can’t be an option in states like Illinois, where we can balance the effects of GOP gerrymandering elsewhere, if ever so slightly.

    - Spend as much time as possible raising public support for a “yes” vote on the FairTax amendment next fall.

    - Honor the will of the voters who relegated the GOP to a super-minority. Don’t allow the GOP to water down any significant legislative initiatives.

    - Abolish voter registration and the disenfranchisement of incarcerated people.

  9. - Responsa - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:39 am:

    Think seriously about who you want to emulate as a role model and who you do not want to emulate as a role model. Set expectations immediately and publicly about who you are.

  10. - JJJJJJJJJJJ - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:46 am:

    Agree with the Quibbler. By the way does anyone have proof that Illinois is so gerrymandered? The legislative majorities seem to correspond with the recent statewide vote for governor… especially compared to our neighbors to the north.

  11. - Billy Sunday - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:47 am:

    Perhaps the most important skill a leader needs—(the Senate Dem Caucus)and what really distinguishes leaders from managers—is to be able to think strategically and keep the ‘troops’ united. Most the mentioned candidates (by Rich) are formidable. But the 40-member caucus all have different personalities, geographical wants, philosophies, and temperment. Additionally, a couple are in hot water as well. The new Senate Prez will need to be trasperant, fair and knowledgable of the process–including being able to work closely with the Speaker.

  12. - Benjamin - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:48 am:

    Push for an ethics bill as your first priority. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be more than a token effort. Getting it passed will steal the Republicans’ thunder, as well as being a good idea in general.

  13. - Iggy - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:50 am:

    =By the way does anyone have proof that Illinois is so gerrymandered?=

    hahaha…. I needed that.

  14. - tildef - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:53 am:

    Be not gregarious and risk-taking

  15. - Arock - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:53 am:

    Gerrymandering is alive and well in Illinois and Michael Madigan is quite happy to keep it that way. If you want to cry about gerrymandering and voter suppression elsewhere that you want it fixed in your own house.

  16. - Steve - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:55 am:

    To all Illinois State Senators… you’ll want to know your rights.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:56 am:

    What’s terribly disappointing?

    The advice here ignores what made President Cullerton so good at his job;

    Fiercely partisan, (maps, campaigns, fundraising) while being the most wanting of bipartisan governing of the Four Tops (Grand Bargain and the media tour that followed immediately comes to mind)

    It’s as though navy have forgotten the Raunerite dark years.

    The leader wears TWO hats;

    The partisan who represents him/herself in the Four Tops Club, and the presiding officer of the Senate, working towards what can be accomplished with the other 58 senators to get 30, and sometimes 36.

    This changing of the guard shouldn’t be seen as a chance to punish whomever makes others feel good. Yikes.

  18. - NIU Grad - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:58 am:

    Tribune: “Oh, and if he can be a Republican too, that would be greeaattt….”

  19. - Not for Nothing - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    Embrace a revised mapmaking proposal that involves some outside influence over the process. Doesn’t have to be a designed-to-fail closet GOP effort, but a specific, professional effort to redraw maps that recognizes black population loss while ensuring integrity with the process. You’d be the Pritzker administrations favorite.

  20. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:03 am:

    A gimme is don’t follow the far-right wing elements of this state. The voters made it as clear as ever before that they don’t want Raunerism, as seen by the current GA makeup and last gubernatorial election.

  21. - Yep - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    Make sure the Feds aren’t executing search warrants on your home, business and office the day of your inauguration.

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

    ===Cannot be elected because the Democratic Senators don’t support any of these issues that have huge bipartisan of support of the majority of voters, because they are more concerned with their political interests===

    LP, why do you think R’s have been losing seats if their opposition is ignoring huge bipartisan majorities?

    You’d think that would create a tremendous opportunity.

  23. - JJJJJJJJJJJ - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    Iggy and Arock. Is there proof that Illinois’ gerrymandering affects the partisan makeup of the chambers? Pointing to admittedly oddly shaped districts does not prove that’s the case.

    I’m contrasting this with Wisconsin for instance where the vote share is incongruous with the partisan makeup of the legislature. I find it hard to believe that’s the case here.

  24. - Merica - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:12 am:

    Don’t take the job. There is no path to success. The future holds more federal investigations, and budgets that cannot be balanced.

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

    Another reminder that it’s only the insiders here who claim only Republicans are against gerrymandering. And JJJJJJJJJJJ, if it doesn’t effect the partisan makeup, why do the Democrats fight so hard to keep it and oppose their own governor’s position on it?

  26. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:17 am:


    Unless there’s 71 and 36, and they get on the stairs with the podium and microphones… you’re wasting your time bloviating.

    That’s the ball game. 71. 36.

    (Heavier sigh)

  27. - Earnest - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    Forget for a minute about how the job would be cool to have. Think back over the last couple of years to votes you’ve cast that you didn’t like taking that much. Think ahead the next couple of years to the things you know will need to be passed that many won’t especially want to vote for. If you can’t see a path towards getting that job done, don’t go for it.

  28. - City Zen - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    Always Be Closing

  29. - Huh? - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    Buy a subscription for an apple a day service. Make sure the apple is the teacher’s, um, Speaker’s favorite variety.

  30. - Springfield - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    In light of the Arroyo appointment process controversy…will there be a push to not allow Sandoval or Link or Tom Cullerton to cast a vote on the next Senate President? If Marty or Tom we’re in the House it seems that they would have been forced to resign by now. How will the candidates for President handle this? But wouldn’t their constituents be deprived of a voice in the selection of the next a President? Interesting to see how this progresses. Ugh

  31. - Froganon - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:26 am:

    Be ethical and transparent. Don’t run if your past will bring the Feds to your door. Focus on getting the graduated income tax passed. The improved revenue stream will save the State and make everything else easier.

  32. - Iggy - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    JJJJJJJJ you are being incredibly dense.

    here are some things to consider. A massive number of state house seats have elections where a Republican does not even bother to get on the ballot. Uncontested elections are the clearest sign of gerrymandering.

    also don’t you think there is a clear intent of having legislative districts that are geographically small in chicago, but dense with population, combined with a suburban region that is maybe 30-40 miles away.

    How does a voter in Kankakee have the same priorities as someone in Chicago. This is gerrymandering, to pretend like it doesn’t have a meaningful impact is simply obtuse.

  33. - Gooner - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    First, ignore the talk about changing re-districting.
    The winners write the maps.
    That’s the way it is now and the way it has been since the country was founded.
    It is an important tool for the winners.
    There is no reason to give it up.

    However, real ethics reform has to move forward.
    Illinois has never had a good reputation when it comes to political corruption, but it does seem to have gotten fare worse over the past five years or so.

    These investigations are going to get in the way of getting anything at all done. The best way to avoid the investigations is to get the members to stop doing criminal acts.

  34. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    ===Uncontested elections are the clearest sign of gerrymandering===

    Wrong. Wisconsin is far more gerrymandered than Illinois and uncontested elections are rare.

  35. - Huh? - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    While avowing to stand up the Speaker, get fitted for the marionette strings.

  36. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    Unsolicited Advice;

    Be yourself. - Sell yourself *as* yourself. While the job will change you, don’t change what others see as your strengths to the job.

    Herd cats, don’t construct cats - Walk in unison with the diverse caucus and the chamber, but make the process a collaboration and cobbling. The chamber will respect that even handed way.

    Pointed Partisan, Benevolent Bipartisan - the partisan agendas that the votes are easy to tally, that tempered with a grasping of pushing bipartisanship where it’s found, that’s moving the chamber and state forward.

    It’s Not Always Campaign Season - well, 99% think it is, abd nothing is done in a vacuum, but be open and welcoming to all 58 members as the 39 select you as the eventual President.

    Permanent Interests, Not Permanent Enemies - have a memory like an elephant, and forget the things worth forgetting.

    It’s Show Business - know the difference when you and others are in the show, and when hard feelings can result.

    Think, Laugh, Cry - Jimmy V, the North Carolina State basketball coach who succumbed to cancer left us all with that advice fir a full day. Be human.

    Be Honest - with the Press, Caucus, Chamber, and yourself.

    Good luck.

  37. - JJJJJJJJJJJ - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:31 am:

    Lake County Democrat: I have two thoughts in response. One is that a lot of it probably has to do with internal caucus politics. Remapping gives the speaker and president a lot of power that they likely do not want to give up.

    Also, I suppose it’s possible that the maps make elections less competitive in some areas so that dems can be more efficient in their efforts.

    But, I do not think the current legislative majorities are unrepresentative of the will of the people of this state. And I’d argue that is the most insidious effect of gerrymandering elsewhere.

  38. - Ok - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:48 am:

    Don’t be a white dude, and don’t be connected to literally any of the ongoing investigations.

  39. - Al - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:52 am:

    Do not invest in Van Pelt’s cannabis business.

  40. - Bruce (no not him) - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 10:53 am:

    Assume that everyone you talk to is wearing a wire. Even if you are the one who is.

  41. - Honeybear - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:06 am:

    Please be an advocate for the poor, the disabled, the elderly, the disadvantaged, the voiceless, the marginalized, the oppressed.

    I know it’s Pollyannaish. Yet, I feel it’s so important to never loose sight of.

  42. - Billy Sunday - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:08 am:

    Arroyo would like to vote proxy for the Senate Prez position as well…he’s typing up his 3rd draft letter to both Preckwinkle and Cullerton.

  43. - Boone's is Back - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    Assume that everyone in your caucus is wearing a wire.

  44. - Demoralized - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    As someone else said, first ignore the Tribune.

    Second, elect someone in the mold of Cullerton - someone who is interested in governing, is bipartisan and knows how to get things done.

  45. - Perrid - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    I’d think it’s pretty late in the game to be building a platform to lobby your colleagues on in the next 2 months. Your record is going to speak for you, or… not. Make the rounds, talk to anyone important you can, beat down some doors (tactfully, of course), give assurances that you stand by your record, and see what happens.

  46. - It's time - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:16 am:

    My advice is to support a woman to lead the chamber. It’s time.

  47. - Jaded - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:17 am:

    Go to an animal shelter and have them put all the stray felines in one room. Next, try and herd them through a door. If you are successful, you’ve got the job. If not, adopt one of the cats and keep your committee chairmanship.

  48. - Annonin - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:20 am:

    Anticipate NoTaxBill is planning to give the new president a few more seats while he begs for relief that an appraisal biz could look like lobbying. Get the seats and decide to comply with the Voting Rights Act.

  49. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:20 am:

    Agree very much that it’s time for a woman to lead the chamber.

  50. - Huh? - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    If you want a friend in the Illinois Senate, get a dog.

  51. - lake county democrat - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    JJJJJJJ - it won’t surprise you that I disagree, but if what you say is the case, then what harm is there in eliminating it? If I’m wrong, all you say that is lost is a tiny bit of power to some local party leaders. If you’re wrong, it affects the basic “one man/one vote” underpining of a representative government. A second issue: what justification is there for not letting the voters decide?

  52. - indianbadger - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    I always find it cute that the Trib gives advice to Democrats on internal party politics.

    This is the same paper that still employs the person who wished for a Katrina level disaster for the City. Nice company you keep.

  53. - FotP - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 11:39 am:

    Iggy, “A massive number of state house seats have elections where a Republican does not even bother to get on the ballot.”

    That seems like a GOP problem no?

  54. - JJJJJJJJJJJ - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 12:11 pm:

    Lake County Democrat:

    Good question. Firstly, I am unconvinced that a better system necessarily exists for drawing maps. I think several of the commissions created in other states have actually proven to be pretty onerous and unproductive.

    More generally though, I’m not arguing against a different system per se. I’m arguing against the notion that we are a horrificly gerrymandered state. This is often stated without evidence and just goes unrefuted. The state has a lot of issues to sort out and it’s important that we are careful to accurately identify how severe they are.

  55. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 12:13 pm:

    “a more responsible budgeting process that begins in January, not mid-May.”

    Actually, it’s a time waster. California has such a system, yet informally, in mid-May, they have to redo everything after receiving finalized April income tax receipt data. In addition, a January submission date requires budget staff to work over the Christmas holidays.

  56. - Not Lobbyist A or B - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 12:13 pm:

    I agree with previous posters that embracing redistricting reform is not necessarily the right course of action, but there are steps that the next Senate President can take to signal to his or her chamber, to the chamber on the other side of the building, to those who seek to change policy, and most importantly, to those who have lost faith in our institutions over the last few decades that a new era is beginning:

    1) Adopt rules that limit any Senate President from serving no more than three two-year terms as Senate President. This will help limit the consolidation of power in any one person’s hand over decades.

    2) Adopt rules that limit the chairmanship of any one committee by an individual senator to no more than three two-year terms.

    3) Put the Senate on a path toward a full-time model, where legislators are compensated $110,000, in line with full-time legislators in New York, and ban all outside employment. Effective when the new map is instituted, since all members of the Senate will be starting new terms.

  57. - HVAC - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    Be Like Mike, i.e. Big Tent, Big Tent, Big Tent.

  58. - Tawk - Friday, Nov 15, 19 @ 1:40 pm:

    Agreed on pensions, but there are a lot of Democratic state senators who support the fair maps amendment.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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