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SOTS dissent

Thursday, Jan 30, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Center Square

The governor talked about reducing property taxes by allowing local government consolidation. But that wasn’t enough for state Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Andalusia.

“My takeaway was, something that stuck out to me, is he talked about Twitter more than he talked about property taxes,” Anderson said. “Which is a little frustrating.”

He talked about more than just consolidation.

* Capitol News Illinois

Veteran state Sen. Dale Righter, a Mattoon Republican who has announced he won’t seek re-election this year, said he was disappointed in how little Pritzker spoke about the need for ethics reform.

“The governor who is the leader of a party that is drowning in corruption devoted four paragraphs of an 80-paragraph speech to corruption,” Righter said in an interview. “He spent twice as much time talking about the flags outside the Thompson Center than he did about corruption within his own party. He missed a huge opportunity here.”


The lobbying reforms could be a tough sell, many members work on the side as lawyers and lobbyists.

State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Matoon) said he’ll believe it when he sees it.

“If the governor wants this to happen in Springfield he’s going to have to do more than give it the brief lip service like he did in this speech,” Righter said.

Or maybe just quietly work hard to pass a bill.

* SJ-R

Durkin said he was disappointed that Pritzker didn’t spend time explaining how he plans to grow the state’s economy.

“There should have been more emphasis on that,” Durkin said. “We have to do everything we can to make Illinois a more (economically) viable state, for employers to make investments.”

Pritzker spent more than half of the speech recounting the significant accomplishments from last year, a lengthy list that included a balanced budget, recreational marijuana, a capital plan, expanded gambling and more.

* Sun-Times

Durkin said he was disappointed Pritzker did not mention redistricting reform, saying the governor previously said he supports a non-partisan map for the state’s legislative districts, but so far has not done anything to back up his pledge. […]

Illinois Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, too, said Pritzker should have focused more on a fair redistricting process and should take the lead in helping Democrats “change how we map things.”

“That will root out ultimate corruption in Illinois,” Brady said on the public television program “Illinois Lawmakers.”

* Politico

“There are an awful lot of us who think the scourge begins when lawmakers draw the lines and pick their own districts. That’s how it enters the bloodstream,” said Madeleine Doubek, executive director of Change Illinois, a nonprofit dedicated to cleaning up government.

Doubek praised Pritzker for tackling an issue head-on that so many politicos have avoided, but she added: “If we’re truly going to fix things, we need to start with fair maps.”

* Tribune

“I truly believe that the ability the Democratic Party has to draw this supermajority gerrymandered map is the root of corruption,” Brady said. “They’ve given themselves too much power, and that power leads to corruption.”

Pritzker has said he’ll veto any partisan map that reaches his desk, but Republicans say that’s too subjective and that the Democratic majority in the legislature could override that veto.


  1. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 10:27 am:

    Why does Dale Righter hate the flag?

  2. - 32nd warder - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 10:34 am:

    I’d like to ask the governor and his people who they think will be around to run the county democratic organizations when he dismantles patronage. We won’t always have billionaires running the government, and that goes for both sides. Most of the people in government today came through party organization recommendations, and I feel like state government, for the most part, has many talented and capable employees. Patronage is just a dirty word for your neighbor who has worked at IDES or IDOT for the last 18 years. Thats a lot of people!

  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 10:34 am:

    “It’s becoming more obvious that the Raunerites who want voter suppression now want maps where their suppression could elevate them where their policies fail voters”

    Right now, between Hultgren’s old seat and Roskam’s old seat, are more Republicans there than when those seats were first drawn?

    If you’re trying to askew maps and suppress voters because your party is shrinking, maybe it’s not the map or the “voters”

    The Raunerites, Tim Schneider and Mark Shaw are not equipped to lead a Republican Party, and as Bruce Rauner lackeys, they represent the downward spiral of the former state GOP now long gone.

    But please, lets talk map, lol

  4. - Not for Nothing - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 10:40 am:

    That speech - for whatever you want to say about the content - struck the exact right tone for a SOTS. Optimistic with the appropriate mix of lookback and agenda setting. Complaining about the flag metaphor is about as tone deaf as it gets.

  5. - Red Ranger - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 10:41 am:

    The talk about local school districts with reserves that are too big is a total red herring argument to distract people and give Dems cover when nothing is done about the true drivers of high property taxes and dwindling state support for local K-12 ed. Its something most wont understand and you can throw in a little class warfare at the same time. Its a winner

  6. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    When you spend your time talking about what Pritzker didn’t say, instead of what he did say, you are losing.

  7. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 10:45 am:

    I live in a suburban district that was drawn to favor Republicans. And in the last election I saw the state and U.S. house seats flip from R to D. It wasn’t the map, it was the candidates.

  8. - logic not emotion - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 10:49 am:

    32 warder: Maybe the volunteers to run political efforts should do so solely because of their beliefs in that party philosophy and not because of some patronage system that discounts the most qualified candidates…

  9. - Quibbler - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 10:56 am:

    Anyone who cares about keeping Republicans out of power in this state should take note that Republicans here are very, very interested in redistricting reform. I’m sure it’s because Republicans just care so deeply about good government!

  10. - 32nd warder - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 10:57 am:

    LNE, spoken like a person who works for a billionaire governor who supplements his staff income out of his own pocket. You go find 102 volunteers just to volunteer to run the county parties. Good luck to that person filling phone banks, placing signs, and walking precincts with volunteers working only out of the goodness of their hearts. I know that some good people have lost out on state employment opportunities in the past, but dismantling patronage will ensure the end of party organization.

  11. - Keyrock - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 10:58 am:

    Uh, 32 Warder, patronage is against the law for non-policy making positions for good reasons, it allows the machine to control elections for many offices, and prevents the most qualified applicants from getting fair shots at jobs,

  12. - Sue - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:02 am:

    Dems always fall back to consolidation- it’s is a canard- want to reduce property taxes- stop screwing around with tier 2 benefits and impose salary caps statewide. Good luck with either of those given how our leadership is just an extension of public sector unions

  13. - Druid Eye - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:05 am:

    Logic not emotion: I’ve worked Campaigns for 30 years. Based on my experience….good luck with getting Volunteers…or certainly enough of them to get involved based on their beliefs.

  14. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:06 am:

    =I know that some good people have lost out on state employment opportunities in the past, but dismantling patronage will ensure the end of party organization.=

    Patronage for the sake of party organization is a losing (and illegal) argument.

  15. - MG85 - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:09 am:

    The problem with JB’s take on patronage, like many Democrats who pontificate, is a unilateral disarmament.

    Does anyone really think a future Republican Governor will follow this example? I’m skeptical.

    I also find it funny that he believes that leaving people who were previously unqualified for the positions they now hold but got them due to Republican patronage now are deemed the most qualified. Does that mean he believes only Republicans can do OJT but Democratic loyalists cannot?

    I also reject her binary choice that if we utilize a quasi-patronage system that we can’t also be inclusive. Plenty of extremely qualified folks who come from diverse backgrounds volunteered for him. Both things can happen.

    He further misses the point that many who are frustrated by his view on this isn’t that they aren’t getting jobs, but that the folks they wanted booted out of cushy six-figure jobs that made union workers lives a living hell still hold those jobs. These folks don’t want to be a chief of staff, they just don’t want their chief of staff to be a Rauner guy.

    But hey, the big guy ran on being bold, so let’s see him turn out a volunteer army in his reelection bid on the sole premise that JB should be Governor, and if he decides to run for President, let’s see how difficult he finds it garnering nationwide political support with this kind of perspective on how executive jobs should be filled.

  16. - Roman - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:13 am:

    == …the scourge begins when legislators draw the lines and pick their own districts.” ==

    That’s a bit of a stretch. I am a supporter of fair maps, mainly because high-tech gerrymandering has helped institutionalize hyper-partisan politics. But arguing that it’s the root of corruption? I’m pretty sure Marty Sandoval would have been elected in a district drawn by the most pristine fair map process — and the bribes would have flown regardless.

    And I guess Bill Brady now has an excuse for his, um, ethically complicated financial interest in the video poker industry: “I can’t help it, the gerrymandered, super-safe Republican district I represent made me do it.”

  17. - Truthteller - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:15 am:

    Pritzker should ask the State Police and the AG to announce they are launching an investigation of Brady and Durkin. That would be ethical wouldn’t it , leaders?
    And Madigan and Harmon should ask their Wisconsin counterparts, both Republicans, for guidance in designing legislative maps.
    Can’t complain if Dems adopt the GOP playbook, Jim and Bill.

  18. - RIJ - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:17 am:

    The IL GOP made a huge mistake by hitching their wagon to Rauner’s star. It’s going to take a long time for them to recover. They won’t achieve that by sitting and whining with a pacifier in one hand and a blankey in the other.

  19. - MG85 - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:19 am:

    ==Pritzker should ask the State Police and the AG to announce they are launching an investigation of Brady and Durkin==

    My only exception to this is he should wait until one of them announces his candidacy for Governor just to help build the analogy.

  20. - low level - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:20 am:

    Im sure, just absolutely positive, that Brady and Durkin would have the same attitude regarding the maps if they were im charge of their respective chambers and had a Republican governor.

    Im not certain either how having an independent commission drawn maps would prevent a legislator from taking bribes or corruption. Can someone explain that fo me?

  21. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:24 am:

    ===but dismantling patronage===


    Overreaction much?

  22. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:26 am:

    1.) I would encourage 32Warder to look at the numerous other states that don’t have an illegal tit for tat expectation of a job in exchange for volunteer work. If the parties rely on patronage jobs for engagement, they might need to change their practices. I have commented before about how astonished I am that the DPI does not have a consistent process for producing a grassroots platform and a convention to do so.

    Perhaps if one is worried about not having enough folks to knock doors they can take steps to make those folks more meaningfully engaged in the party rather than rely on the illegal expectation of a job in exchange for work.

    It is not the 1920s. Warren Harding is dead. It’s time folks like you get out of the way of sincere efforts to reform our governments before it costs us even more.

    2.) I understand the Governor’s position on the pressure he has to hire or at least discharge previous appointees, but I think it is dangerous to assume that incumbents and past appointees are qualified for their positions and will change their practices.

    In many cases agencies still have senior leadership that were directly involved in a number of Rauner’s less than legal activities, including efforts to oppress and retaliate against their employees.

    This is an organizational culture problem at best, and a source of opposition to his efforts at worse.

    Agency directors need people they can trust, not folks solely interested in protecting their own status within their agency and unwilling to acknowledge their past mistakes or even review their performance honestly to determine if what they are doing is working.

  23. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:32 am:

    ==given how our leadership is just an extension of public sector unions==

    Some people just can’t get over their public sector union hatred. Grow up.

  24. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:38 am:

    ==dismantling patronage==

    Nobody is totally dismantling patronage. There are still jobs that may be filled by anyone that the administration sees fit to fill them with. But, I can tell you that those jobs are becoming fewer and far between. The ranks of totally exempt classifications are decreasing. The way the state classifies positions and hires people is changing. A lot of jobs must now be filled competitively, including jobs that used to be able to be filled by whoever you wanted to fill them with. You can thank Shakman (or curse Shakman), depending on your viewpoint.

  25. - 32nd warder - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:39 am:

    Keyrock, at what point did i suggest breaking the law regarding hiring? Hint: I didn’t.

  26. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:39 am:

    ==who were previously unqualified for the positions they now hold but got them due to Republican patronage==

    And what makes you think Democratic patronage would result in any changes? Are you suggesting some patronage hires are ok and others are not? Are you saying political party determines your fitness for a position? Please.

  27. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:41 am:

    =property taxes- stop screwing around with tier 2 benefits and impose salary caps statewide. Good luck with either of those given how our leadership is just an extension of public sector unions=

    LOL, yeah that’s it. I guess you don’t believe in a market economy and favor socialist/communist practices.

    For the first time in my life I voted for a Democrat for governor in the last election.

    The man has been true to his word. He laid out his plan and followed it. He is did the same with his SOS. So far I trust that he will follow his plan. Anyone that doubts it has no reason to do so based on evidence.

    Agree or disagree, he just told you what he is going to do.

  28. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:42 am:

    Most folks against public sector unions probably have no idea how necessary they are.

    Especially in a sector where managers receive little training or development on how to manage and the employer has invested as little as possible in terms of human capital and there are not decent or consistent systems for holding those managers accountable.

    One would think a manager at a public agency wouldn’t do things that are illegal or against the agency’s rules and regulations, but that would require them knowing about those laws and regulations, caring about following them, and being held accountable when they don’t.

  29. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:42 am:

    =stop screwing around with tier 2 benefits and impose salary caps statewide.=

    I think these folks already went several years without increases under the prior administration. But your larger point is acknowledged - you have a deep seated hatred for public workers.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 11:48 am:

    === …impose salary caps statewide. Good luck with either of those given how our leadership is just an extension of public sector unions===

    Rauner lost by 16 points.

    The Raunerites are in super-minority status in both chambers of the legislature.

    Of the 8 statewide office, none are Raunerites.

    It’s not public sector unions, trade unions, even first responders in unions… voters aren’t with the Raunerites.

    When the party decides that Tim Schneider and all the Raunerites leading the party should go, then you may see better election results.

    Winners make policy, losers complain about policy.

    Oh… 60/30 Signature… the path of policy.

  31. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 12:30 pm:

    Durkin said he was disappointed that Pritzker didn’t spend time explaining how he plans to grow the state’s economy.

    “Grow the economy” coming from Republicans probably means cutting workers and taxes for wealthy people. Plus, where is the super-minority’s party’s economic plan?

    One major aspect of an economic plan is the graduated income tax amendment and Fair Tax. These would cut taxes for lower/middle income people and should shift the state funding burden more onto those who could better-afford to pay. Granted, the tax cuts will be small, but it’s a very important start.

    But, for all the anti-tax screaming, the ILGOP is unanimously opposed to the Fair Tax and cutting taxes for many if it means the rich have to pay more.

    As far as public employee unions and state government, state employees can proudly look taxpayers in the eye because they were ripped off for four years by a multimillionaire and his super-rich anti-union allies and didn’t disrupt the state. They didn’t do work stoppages, sick call-in’s, etc. Part of that is a credit to union leadership, whose steady and rational hand guided Rauner’s union war to a peaceful and successful conclusion.

  32. - low level - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 12:48 pm:

    Given the Democratic vote totals in Illinois, and given how Republican legislators have acted in where they control everything, Im a proud supporter of gerrymandering the heck out of the state.

  33. - Truthteller - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 1:00 pm:

    You can’t gerrymander the state boundaries.
    How is it the GOP doesn’t hold one statewide office?
    Republicans don’t need a new map. They need a new governing philosophy

  34. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 1:02 pm:

    ===You can’t gerrymander the state boundaries===

    West Virginia might disagree /s

  35. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 1:05 pm:

    === West Virginia might disagree /s===

    51st staters, rejoice (exclamation mark)

  36. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 1:27 pm:

    I would like to see redistricting reform, but it is difficult to see how it would help the Republicans. As mentioned above, they have been losing the districts that were packed full by the Dems. At this point, a fair map might result the Republicans losing even more seats.

  37. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 1:29 pm:

    ==Dems always fall back to consolidation==

    lol Since when?

    The biggest push for consolidation has been from the Republican. Remember the task force led by the former Lt. Gov?

  38. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 2:19 pm:

    Thus spake The Oracle…of Mattoon.

  39. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 2:57 pm:

    Dale Righter, really? JB didn’t talk enough about ethics? Please don’t let the door hit you in the rear end. We’ll miss you so.

  40. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 3:29 pm:

    “You go find 102 volunteers” Maybe if you want them lead your organization, you should pay them to lead your organization instead of giving them a State job.

  41. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 3:38 pm:

    ===pay them to lead your organization===

    A county party chair can both organize fund raisers and use those funds to pay themselves.

    There are county parties that literally pay precinct committee people to sit at the polls on election day and do nothing.

    There are also county parties where for some reason almost all of the county employees buy tickets to the fund raiser, but that’s a different issue.

  42. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Jan 31, 20 @ 6:27 am:

    Candy Dogood: My sister who is an administrative nurse said the same thing about managing a workforce that included unions. She wasn’t a union member herself, but always enjoyed working with them because they were knowledgeable about how things were run. Also they ran interference for some of the many petty conflicts and grievances that occur in any large group of people and a manager has to deal with.

  43. - All This - Friday, Jan 31, 20 @ 9:38 am:

    “ Durkin said he was disappointed that Pritzker didn’t spend time explaining how he plans to grow the state’s economy.”
    Some people are never happy. What about the capital bill? What about the Republican Blue Collar Jobs Act that Pritzker signed? What about Pritzker’s letter letting refugees settle in Illinois? What about the Data Center Innovation Act.
    Some people are never happy.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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