Monday, September 15, 2008

Pressure builds

Senate President Emil Jones Jr. is under increasing pressure to call his chamber back to Springfield to vote on ethics reforms and budget restorations already approved by the House last week. But the pressure affects him differently than his members, as he's retiring in January. It's the remaining Senate Democrats who feel the most heat.

Jones’ office said Friday that the chamber would not return until the regularly scheduled fall session November 12, about a week after the General Election and about nine weeks after the House overturned Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s changes to unanimously approved ethics reforms and budget cuts. Jones’ decision starts a constitutional debate about when a 15-day clock starts to run before the ethics reform dies in legislative limbo. See more about the constitutional debate in our previous blog.

To demonstrate widespread support for immediate action on the ethics legislation, four constitutional officers — Comptroller Dan Hynes, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias — joined a bipartisan group of state senators in Chicago to urge Jones to call his chamber back into session before the elections. (I listened to the live audio provided in Springfield.)

Hynes said the Senate president has two choices: He can call the Senate back now to give legislators an opportunity to vote on the ban on so-called pay-to-play politics before voters head to the polls, or he can wait until after elections and increase the chance of being sued and to make the electorate feel even more disengaged. We wrote about a potential lawsuit last week.

Lisa Madigan, Illinois attorney general, also urged Jones to act now to avoid a lengthy and costly lawsuit about when the 15-day clock starts to tick. A lawsuit would put her in a tight spot because she would have to defend the state in court.

Members of Jones’ leadership team, including Sen. Debbie Halvorson of Crete and Sen. Terry Link of Waukegan, joined the news conference, along with the Senate sponsor of the ethics bill, Democratic Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park. He said while he agrees with Jones’ interpretation of the state Constitution, the news conference demonstrates that the chamber is ready, willing and able to return immediately to avoid that constitutional challenge.

Senate Republican leaders also chimed in, saying they have supported the bipartisan effort but have opposed the Democratic “roadblock,” meaning Jones. Deputy Minority Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont said her Democratic counterparts elected Jones, so they should have some influence in forcing the Senate president’s hand to act now.

Hynes pointed out that the only one who could force Jones to do anything would be the governor, who is unlikely to call a special session of the legislature to override his own veto.

Such good government groups as the Campaign for Political Reform, the Better Government Association and the League of Women Voters also stood beside them. Dawn Clark Netsch, former state senator and state comptroller, spoke on behalf of voters. She said even if Jones is correct in his interpretation of the state Constitution about when the 15-day clock starts, it doesn’t matter to already skeptical voters who want to know where candidates stand before heading to the polls.

We're still waiting to hear from Jones' office this evening.


Anonymous,  7:55 PM  

Watch Fox News Wednesday night. Dane Placo has a great story 9/16/2008

Anonymous,  7:56 PM  

Sorry 7/17/2008 Great story on Chicago Water Management

Omar Little,  7:59 AM  

The booters are taking private property. It is a taking and against the constitution. If someone takes your property you have a right to defend yourself.

You can get 3 tickets in the mail and not know about it because of the cameras, even if there is a defense, and they can try to take your car. This is crazy and onnerous. This hurts poor people the most and those mostly Blacks and Hispanics in areas with the flashing blue lights that give a lot of tickets for rolling stops or turn on red and stupid things like going through a yellow light.

The parking tickets, building inspectors, cameras, tow trucks, shake down extortionist prencinct captains and city workers make this city toooo expensive and too onerous and that just includes regular taxes, fees and extra expenses.

Tow truck drivers and booters are low scum. I realize they need a job and have families but they are hurting people for a living. Many times the cameras are wrong. The ticket writers are over agressive and not in time. There are many errors in this system. Most importantly it is too expensive to park downtown or in certain neighborhoods and there is not enough street parking, it is banned on certain days and certain times, and now a quarter will only buy you 10 to 15 minutes and you can only put in so many at a time.
I have paid tickets and a year later I get the same ticket saying I did not pay and have to find the check and write a letter.
This is worse than the mob, the Daley OC is trying to take blood from a rock.

It is NOT right to shoot someone. Taking a human life is a crime and sin. However, I think you will see more and more booters getting shot because of the 3 ticket rule.
You don't take a man's car. 3 tickets is too little and extortion. You cannot fight the tickets in the City Superior street kangaroo court. Maybe if some more booters got shot they would understand how hard the economy is and you can't be extortionists.

Anonymous,  7:37 PM  

Omar is right. Extortionists should be shot.

Bridgeport Bob,  11:52 AM  


Forbes magazine just rated Chicago one of the worst in terms of air quality and congestion.
Other rankings had us as sone of the most obese. And yes, that is part of Daley as he has oppossed bans on trans fatty acids (that Ald Burke proposed)and other issues)

Chicago was for most of the tenure of Mayor Daley since 1989 (maybe dropped for 2 to 3 years out almost 20) has been and is the Murder capitol of theUnited States both in terms of numbers and percentages. Chicago has more murders than larger cities like Los Angeles and New York and even more than the one's Orion likes to mention like Detroit or Gary.

The Sales tax in Chicago with the combined levels of government including the County are the highest.

You have seen hundreds of percents increase in property taxes and while you will hear that that the increase in property taxes increases the value of the home or other property--see how much you can sell your property now for or if your property taxes go down in a market where the actual value of your home is much lower.

We have a huge pension crisis.
The firefighters are at 25% funded (which a math wizard like Daley much realize) is 75% unfunded.
We have tens of BILLIONS of unfunded pensions from various agencies in Chicago.
We could barley keep public transit alive.
We have increase in taxes again and a budget deficit and actual debt.
We have the TIF crisis.
Yet when we are laying thousands of workers off and increasing taxes--we are trying to have an Olympics (at great cost to the taxpayer just look at Atlanta or other cities to compare what they spent) A deficit and debt and we are doing an environmentally unsound airport expansion.

Every single major Daley project has been overbudget and not on time. Millenium Park being one big example with hundreds of millions in cost overruns.

  © Blogger template The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP