* Background is here if you need it. Mark Maxwell…
Brady, the Republican Senate leader from Bloomington, spent significant time over the last two days making phone calls to his members to reassure them he has a grasp on the reins of the caucus, and that Plummer’s broadside is only a contained episode. Most of the senators, who described their conversations with Brady on a condition of anonymity, say he sounded frustrated, but not rattled by Plummer’s public statements.
Other than Plummer, most Senate Republicans are opting to lay low and wish to avoid criticizing Brady publicly, but privately, many share concerns that their leader may be more enamored with Governor J.B. Pritzker, a progressive Democrat, and they wonder if he has the stomach to fight Pritzker on issues important to Republicans.
Brady did voice public opposition to Pritzker’s proposals to expand abortion rights, raise the minimum wage, and institute a progressive income tax. The Republican explained his mild-mannered approach in his closing speech on the floor of the Senate in early June.
“Let those watching know that Senate Republicans came to the table,” Brady said. “We did not seek to turn it over.”
Some folks simply want to watch things burn.
But some of the criticism is more nuanced than that. The House Republicans and some members of Leader Brady’s own caucus were unhappy with Brady during the final week or so of spring session. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin was trying to pressure the Democrats into agreeing to his business reforms and some felt that Brady wasn’t backing him up. Durkin eventually got everything he demanded, but only after making a huge dealio about it.
* Meanwhile, in other reform-related news…
Five GOP lawmakers are calling on Governor Pritzker to call a special session before Christmas to deal with ethics reform.
The call comes after Democrats pushed through the establishment of an ethics reform commission in November to make recommendations by the end of March. However, Republicans say that is too long of a period to wait when taxpayers want reform now.
The lawmakers calling for the special session are State Representatives Dan Caulkins of Decatur, Brad Halbrook of Shelbyville, Blaine Wilhour of Beecher City, Chris Miller of Oakdale and Allen Skillicorn of Crystal Lake. […]
WAND requested a comment from the governor’s office on the call for a special session. The office sent us a 40-minute video clip from a news conference in Chicago not related to the call for a special session.
They should’ve watched that video because Pritzker answered questions on this topic…
Pritzker said at an unrelated bill-signing ceremony in Chicago that the idea of “a quickie special session … doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
“That ethics commission, deliberately created with Republicans and Democrats, is designed to look at each of the issues that, in fact, those same state representatives would like to have reviewed and make sure that they’re done in the right way,” Pritzker said.