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It’s just a bill

Thursday, Sep 16, 2021

* There is so much wrong with this lead story that I almost don’t know where to begin

The same dark-money group that fueled opposition to the graduated income tax ballot measure Illinois voters rejected last year is helping launch “a statewide grassroots campaign to give voters the power to recall their elected officials.”

Although the group’s organizers aren’t yet revealing details about their campaign, the Illinois Opportunity Project, a conservative tax-exempt organization that does not have to disclose its donors, is joining forces with state Sen. Jason Barickman and state Rep. Mark Batinick, both Republicans, in the effort. Both lawmakers have been outspoken critics of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s handling of the pandemic.

The IOP, which is connected to the conservative Illinois Policy Institute, spent nearly $1 million to successfully oppose the graduated income tax ballot measure. Now we’re wondering how much it would spend to potentially create a recall referendum.

The first step is getting the idea on the ballot.

Plans to kick off its campaign Wednesday were delayed because media attention was focused on Pritzker signing the clean-energy bill. A spokeswoman says the recall effort will be launched next week instead.

All this comes on the heels of California Gov. Gavin Newsom easily beating back a recall effort this week, a signal of the uphill challenge Republicans here would face.

Illinois doesn’t have a recall law on the books and Pritzker is likely to have won a second term before one can be put in place, potentially putting the focus on legislators. […]

Illinois GOP political operative Jon Zahm, who has worked on statewide policy campaigns, says, “I am all for recalls and citizen referendums being easier to access for voters. However, when I was deeply involved in term limits and fair maps, the Democrat-majority Supreme Court threw out the petitions on technical grounds. I support these new efforts to educate voters and fight for change. But it’s a very steep climb.”

1) The press conference wasn’t intended to “launch” any actual recall “effort.” I checked in with Rep. Batinick and asked whether he supports recalling Gov. Pritzker: “Nope,” was his response.

2) Batinick has hardly been an “outspoken critic” of the governor’s mitigation measures. “I’ve supported most of the governor’s mitigations,” he told me today.

3) Yes, we already do have a recall law here. Illinois voters approved a recall amendment to the Illinois Constitution in 2010. It was designed to be almost completely unworkable

The recall of the Governor may be proposed by a petition signed by a number of electors equal in number to at least 15% of the total votes cast for Governor in the preceding gubernatorial election, with at least 100 signatures from each of at least 25 separate counties. A petition shall have been signed by the petitioning electors not more than 150 days after an affidavit has been filed with the State Board of Elections providing notice of intent to circulate a petition to recall the Governor. The affidavit may be filed no sooner than 6 months after the beginning of the Governor’s term of office. The affidavit shall have been signed by the proponent of the recall petition, at least 20 members of the House of Representatives, and at least 10 members of the Senate, with no more than half of the signatures of members of each chamber from the same established political party.

4) The first step is not getting a recall on the ballot. The media event was designed to highlight HJRCA4, a proposed constitutional amendment that’s stuck in the Rules Committee. Synopsis

Proposes to amend the Suffrage and Elections Article of the Illinois Constitution. Provides for the recall of all State Executive Branch officers, legislative leaders, the Auditor General, members of the General Assembly, and local government officials. Makes changes to the procedures for the recall of the Governor. Effective upon being declared adopted.

The full text is here.

5) The California recall process “sucks,” Batinick told me…

You should never have a system where someone with 49 percent of the vote can be replaced with somebody with 20 percent of the vote. It also should not be used so blatantly for partisan purposes

This proposal, Batinick said via text, would be much better…

What we proposed was to follow the normal replacement process. So if Blagojevich were to be recalled he would’ve been replaced by the lieutenant governor - Quinn.

We have a 60 percent threshold to recall somebody. It needs to be a super majority.

Finally, people only think about recall in terms of governors. We’ve had local officials do their jobs from Florida at townships. When that’s discovered there should be a process to recall those people.

…Adding… Oops. Forgot one. John Zahm’s “Vote NO Kilbride 2020″ campaign committee reported spending a grand total of $558 last year. That is not a typo.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - Someone you Should Know - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 10:14 am:

    We never had it so good when Natasha Korecki was in charge there, but she moved on to Greener Pastures. Unfortunately, this seems to be a pattern with Shia Kapos. She blows a lot of proportion it seems.


  2. - MisterJayEm - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 10:15 am:

    But other than that…

    – MrJM


  3. - Juice - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 10:18 am:

    I don’t know if I would say that ours is unworkable. It was just designed to only likely work on a governor that is basically universally despised, a la Blagojevich.


  4. - hmmmmm - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 10:18 am:

    I thought I clicked on the wrong state’s Playbook this AM when I was reading that. Unbelievable how incorrect it was, thanks for going point by point on it Rich.

    I really wish I could say this was the first time a glaring error made it into that column….


  5. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 10:24 am:

    Recall worked great for Californians when they chose an action star for their gov.

    Heck, he only tripled their state’s debt in seven years of “leadership”.


  6. - SWSider - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 10:35 am:

    Imagine being such a conservative that your main takeaway on a piece on the failures of journalism is “Oh no! A state with a GDP bigger than most countries had too much debt!!”

    To the post, Politico has done some serious damage political discourse. Maybe we can steer the ship, but doesn’t seem likely at this point.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 10:43 am:

    The thing with how this was written and reported…

    It’s intent is seemingly to be salacious to a divisive action that can generate clicks, and not honest to the realities of… well… anything pertinent to the goals, objectives, or even the facts to where things stand.

    It’s like content to generate buzz versus news and reporting it in the now, with context, and what it could mean… and what it isn’t.

    I’d say it’s malpractice but it’s going exactly as it was intended to, presented as it was meant to “be”.


  8. - walker - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 10:47 am:

    IPI crew might have been setting up to leverage a win in California. It’s a PR loser right now.

    Batinick always keeps a level head.


  9. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 10:53 am:

    Pretty consistent with the Politico national brand, which is a celebrity and sports approach to government and politics. Axios is the same way.

    Politico hired a gossip/society columnist to cover Illinois politics and that’s the depth of the reportage.

    Otoh, it is really handy to know the birthdays of a junior associate at a downtown law firm or an assistant superintendent of some city department.


  10. - Socially DIstant watcher - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 11:01 am:

    They want to recall the auditor general? That’s not an elected position; it’s entirely within the legislative branch.

    Can anyone explain how you recall an appointed officer?


  11. - H-W - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 11:24 am:

    Let’s just assume this is doable. Assuming we did amend or replace the current procedures to make it easier to have a recall election, and to replace the officer with a new candidate (as opposed to the Lt. Gov.),

    Wouldn’t such an outcome work primarily against Republicans who win office? Just sayin’


  12. - hmmmmmm - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 11:38 am:

    @ Moe - Idk, the birthday stuff doesn’t really bother me. It’s harmless.

    But I echo your point about how bad the Playbook has gotten. And Politico as a whole has gone from bad to worse lately.


  13. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 11:39 am:

    === recall an appointed officer===

    The auditor general is elected by both chambers, not appointed. It’s also a constitutional office.


  14. - Excessively Rabid - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 11:41 am:

    Recall Blago? I still haven’t gotten over the fact that Illinois voters reelected him.


  15. - Asteroid of Caution - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 11:41 am:

    Could we recall Natasha?


  16. - Jibba - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 12:30 pm:

    Batinick is spot on…the CA process needs to change, to either trigger a new election or go by the typical chain of succession. Celebrity and fringe candidates should not be able to achieve power this way.

    At the end of each election, nearly half the populace is unhappy with the outcome. They need to suck it up until the next election barring some sort of major lawbreaking, malfeasance, or complete dereliction of duty. The recall bar needs to be high. Maybe not as high as present, but close.


  17. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    I’m surprised Kapos hasn’t decided to give up Politico and join the talented news team on Channel 20.


  18. - Kyle’s mom - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 1:14 pm:

    Jon Zahm’s work earned him a Supreme Court map that looks to be 5-2 democrat. Way to play the long game, Jon.


  19. - Lake county - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 1:52 pm:

    Shia is doing great work in my opinion not sure how y’all are so mad at her guess you’re machine cogs or something. That said thanks for this debunking


  20. - PublicServant - Thursday, Sep 16, 21 @ 4:43 pm:

    Good luck with that. Not.


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