Category Archives: Voting

On the Dockett for the Lame Duck Sessions? Casinos, for one.

Illinois lawmakers over the coming 10 days could cast votes to bring a long-awaited (and much coveted) casino to Chicago, among many other issues, as they begin their lame duck session. For 35 members of the General Assembly whose terms will end Jan. 9, this is a chance to cast controversial votes – like reforming the state’s public pension system – without worry of facing the wrath of voters. Not an especially courageous or efficient way to operate.

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Lame Duck Sessions Might Actually Be Good for Illinois

Want proof that politicians really do listen to you? Look no further than the Illinois General Assembly’s veto session, writes Reboot Illinois Chief Operating Officer Madeleine Doubek. Scared to death of casting a controversial vote, legislators often need the safety of lame duck status to make decisions that might draw their soon-to-be-former constituents’ ire. Even those who have been re-elected prefer lame duck sessions because they know they won’t have to face voters until nearly two years later.

More Politicians Demand Jesse Jackson Jr. Explanation

Political allies who mostly stayed quiet about U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. as he sought mental health treatment and stayed out of public view are speaking up about the congressman’s future.

Word of a pending plea bargain on corruption allegations has changed the outlook on Jackson. “The fact is, if this is honest and accurate, then it raises some serious questions about his continued service in Congress,” said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Jackson needs to talk to the people who reelected him last week about what’s going on. http://cbsloc.al/STuGgM (via CBS Chicago)

 

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How Big is Illinois’s Lame Duck Class Going to Be?

With 30 of the state’s 177 legislators not seeking re-election and every House and Senate seat up for election today, the General Assembly could have a huge lame-duck class this year. It’s likely that critically important issues, like pension reform, will be decided with help from these lawmakers, who can vote without fear of voter backlash. Not an especially courageous or smart way to govern.

Legislative Maps the Cornerstone of Illinois Re-election Successes

Ever wonder why you see the same names on the ballot year after year? Why there aren’t more legislative races that really are races? Chris Mooney, a faculty member at the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs and a political scientist at the University of Illinois at Springfield, blames it on Illinois’ highly politicized system of drawing legislative maps.

 

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Confused About the Constitutional Amendment: Tune into WSIU this Friday at 7:30

Hey southern Illinoisans: confused about the constitutional amendment on Tuesday’s ballot? Tune into public TV station WSIU Public Television at 7:30 p.m. Friday for panel discussion on the topic.

The discussion, led by Jak Tichenor of WSIU-TV, includes State Representative Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro); Ed Caumiant, Regional Director for the AFSCME union; John Jackson, visiting professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute; and Amanda Vinicky, Statehouse Bureau Chief for Illinois Public Radio, who took part in the discussion from Springfield.

Derrick Smith’s Turkey of a Reelection

It’s not about graft, it’s about turkeys. If State Rep. Derrick Smith is reelected on Tuesday, remember these words from today’s story on Huffington Post:

“I just vote Democrat all the way across. Whoever’s there, I give them a chance,’ said Percy Winfields, 74, a resident of an apartment complex that caters to seniors. Besides, Winfields said, Smith showed up before Christmas last year and delivered on a promise to provide turkeys to the tenants for the holiday.”

Do you know who is financing the candidates in your legislative district?

Do you know who is financing the candidates in your legislative district? Check out this example from the newly drawn 96th Illinois House District, which includes parts of Springfield and Decatur: “Aided heavily by funds controlled by House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, (Sue) Scherer was able to spend more than $237,000 on her campaign from July 1 through Sept. 30. Nearly $90,000 more was spent on her behalf for staff assistance, printing and postage. All but $2,600 of that came from campaign funds controlled by Madigan.” Illinois campaign finance laws allow legislative leaders to give unlimited amounts to House and Senate candidates. Thus targeted races can become proxy wars between leaders, and winning candidates arrive at the Capitol dependent on the caucus leader who financed his or her campaign.

 

Reboot Illinois’ Pension Amendment Guide

Been wondering about how to cut through all the noise and debate over the pension amendment? Here’s Reboot’s handy infographic on the ballot question…

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Amendment 49: Harmless Gesture or Sneaky Ploy

Ballot amendment 49: harmless gesture toward pension reform or sneaky ploy to slash retirement benefits for millions? The Chicago Tribune investigates. House Speaker Mike Madigan’s office clearly has no use for advocates of the latter theory: “”Those are legal minds that I wouldn’t hire to get me out of a traffic ticket,” says Madigan’s spokesman.

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