* 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.