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Let’s be careful out there

Monday, Nov 25, 2019

* Mark Maxwell at WCIA has a long piece up about the race for Illinois Senate President. Here are a couple of excerpts

“Illinoisans need to trust their elected leaders, particularly those who lead the legislative chambers,” Emily Bittner, a spokeswoman for Pritzker said in an email on Sunday. “The governor strongly believes that those who have been subject to federal raids or indictment would taint the outcome of that election and should not participate in selecting the next Senate President.”

“The election of the Senate President is among the oddest elections,” [Sen. Don Harmon] said in response to Pritzker’s statement. “It’s entirely an internal debate and deliberation. In the end, we will need to figure out what the appropriate ground rules are.” […]

Should Senate Democrats agree to accept Pritzker’s guidance and bar Senators Tom Cullerton and Martin Sandoval from casting a vote, the pool of available Democratic senators would shrink to 37 and increase the likelihood of a protracted battle between warring factions.

Enter the Republicans, who hold 19 votes in reserve.

While it could prove an incredibly unlikely scenario for a number of politically sensitive and risky reasons, many of the Senate Republicans admitted they have discussed the possibility that if the conditions were right, one or more of them could play a role in electing the next leader of their chamber. Others suggested they might even listen to offers from certain of their Democratic counterparts. Two Republicans, who spoke anonymously in order to avoid disrupting delicate discussions, confessed they already had, and described casual conversations about the prospect of crossing the aisle to back a candidate if that person made public pledges to support ‘Fair Maps’ or to grant concessions at the committee level.

1) The governor has to be a bit more careful here; 2) The Republicans would be playing a very dangerous game if they tried to interfere. From the Senate’s rules

Election of the Minority Leader. The Senate shall elect a Minority Leader in a manner consistent with the Constitution and laws of Illinois.

The entire Senate votes on the Republican Leader. Mess with the Democrats, they could mess with the GOPs.

…Adding… Good point in comments…

You can’t assume anything if this succession battle goes completely off the tracks, but hypothetically, I would think that the same bipartisan group of 30 senators that gets together to pick a president would also cut a deal to pick the minority leader — two votes on two different motions by the same 30 members.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 12:05 pm:

    This is embarrassing.

    You can’t have the governor of the state dictating “terms” of who or who can’t be the Senate President.

    The only correct way any governor could or even think about approaching this (which they shouldn’t, ever) is once the chosen, selected, elected Senate President…

    … faces their own real problems…

    … then that governor, any governor should tread ever so slightly but be firm to a stance.

    This is something Rauner would do.

    Know your lane.

    To the GOP/Raunerites…

    You have less than 20 in your caucus, you’re facing a remap that isn’t that great in the outlook department… you wanna play? Then if you lose the chance to pick your own leader… wow.

    This Post?

    It’s like everyone thinks only 18 minutes ahead, and ignore, not only ramifications, but show such a lack of political acumen, seriously… y’all need to grasp that it’s a body separate from the executive, and messing with caucus business when you have no leg to stand on today, 2020 and beyond will be payback, and you’d deserve it.

    Stop.


  2. - Oak Parker - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 12:12 pm:

    It is not unheard of to see crossover coalitions to elect house speakers or senate presidents in other states but so far it hasn’t happened here


  3. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    ===but so far it hasn’t happened here===

    It has in the Senate, way back in the day.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    === It is not unheard of to see crossover coalitions to elect house speakers or senate presidents===

    Lee A Daniels did just that when he was in the House when it was seemingly “impossible” to elect a Speaker. In the end, it didn’t hurt him.

    You have 39 (less Cullerton) and 37 (less Sandoval and T. Cullerton if they choose to abstain), they need to be able to find 30 SDems out of those numbers to elect a Senate President.

    A Dem in a super majority caucus choosing to go outside that super majority to win… that’s, well, that’s not going to be a good ending like Lee Daniels had.


  5. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 12:17 pm:

    ===In the end, it didn’t hurt him.===

    No, but it made him forever paranoid that somebody would do that to him. lol


  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    === No, but it made him forever paranoid that somebody would do that to him. lol===

    (Enter “The Failed Coup”)


  7. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    Daniels put Redmond in and Redmond was the Democrat in Daniels multi member district. Redmond was a nice guy


  8. - Just Another Anon - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 12:31 pm:

    I would actually say that the Rs getting involved in the leadership election would be a benefit.

    Wouldn’t it be a great show of bipartisanship to have a mixed group of committee chairs?

    Wouldn’t it be beneficial to have a promise of a Fair Maps amendment for all Illinoisans? A March 2019 Simon Institute poll hows that a super-majority (67%) of all Illinoisans want a fair maps amendment and its been the GA who has been standing in the law. If that’s what it takes to break the impasse, then so be it.

    I think OW is overplaying the danger to the Rs. They are in a superminority. If the Senate Dems decide to appoint a Dem to be Minority leader, they get to play the oppressed victim. If the Dems appoint another R senator, whoop di do. I can’t think of any major downside minority staff being a the command of the minority leader. That said, I think that the Senate Rules should be clarified to provide for majority and minority leaders to be elected by their caucuses and Senate president to be elected by the entire senate.


  9. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 12:33 pm:

    Cullerton voted for Brady.


  10. - MG85 - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 12:40 pm:

    I mean, I think it’s a bit premature to say the GOP haven’t thought this thru.

    If they believe the way back to power is for fair mapping, and then getting the fair mapping is to put the Senate President in play by them swaying the vote, and the trade off is temporarily not picking the leader of the GOP, then they may surmise that is a worthy trade off.

    I mean, does the Senate GOP really care who their Minority Leader is besides who sits in the chair when they are in a super minority? Maybe but desperate times call for desperate measures, and in the age of Trump, how important and precious are norms these days?


  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    === I think… is overplaying the danger to the Rs. They are in a superminority. If the Senate Dems decide to appoint a Dem to be Minority leader, they get to play the oppressed victim===

    Who wants to join a party who’s claim in governing is they are a victim.

    === Wouldn’t it be a great show of bipartisanship to have a mixed group of committee chairs?===

    You think the Dem agenda this past Spring woulda passed?

    The point of getting 74 and 40 is to drive an agenda. The bipartisan silliness makes wanting to win to drive policy worthless.

    Winners. Make. Policy.

    === A March 2019 Simon Institute poll hows that a super-majority (67%) of all Illinoisans want a fair maps amendment and its been the GA who has been standing in the law. If that’s what it takes to break the impasse, then so be it.===

    Even if the pipe dream happens, there won’t be 71 and 36.

    Nope.


  12. - PrairieDog - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    The office of Senate President should be abolished by constitutional amendment and the Lieutenant Governor should preside with a tie-breaking vote.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    === If they believe the way back to power is for fair mapping, and then getting the fair mapping is to put the Senate President in play by them swaying the vote, and the trade off is temporarily not picking the leader of the GOP, then they may surmise that is a worthy trade off.===

    The other Dems in the Senate will still be a super majority that can stop everything else.

    Your plan for that?


  14. - Roman - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    Unless Illinois turns into a senate-only unicameral legislature in January, having a Senate Prez committed to nonpartisan map making is kinda meaningless.


  15. - lincoln's beard - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 1:53 pm:

    I refuse to believe that actual voters are in favor of nonpartisan map making if it means their party will be disadvantaged. What Democratic voters are looking at state government in Illinois and thinking that giving Republicans a bigger voice is the solution to _any_ problem we’re having?


  16. - SAP - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 2:00 pm:

    Just Another Anon: There is a lot more than whoop di do at stake. Can you imagine the Senate Dems getting involved with the election of the Minority Leader in order to elect someone like Jim Oberweis?


  17. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===in order to elect someone like Jim Oberweis?===

    There was a running joke when Radogno quit that the SDems could elect Sam McCann. lol


  18. - JoeMaddon - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    **does the Senate GOP really care who their Minority Leader is **

    LOL. Yes, yes they very much do.


  19. - Telly - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 3:48 pm:

    You can’t assume anything if this succession battle goes completely off the tracks, but hypothetically, I would think that the same bipartisan group of 30 senators that gets together to pick a president would also cut a deal to pick the minority leader — two votes on two different motions by the same 30 members.


  20. - SAP - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 4:12 pm:

    I’ll admit to using a worst case scenario to make the point that the R’s don’t want the D’s playing in their sandbox.


  21. - Levois J - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 5:51 pm:

    I’m learning something new everyday on this blog. I think i understand the presiding officer of a legislative body being elected by the body as a whole. For some reason especially for the minority I just assumed that caucus elected their leadership.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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