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We Demand Better

Blue Island, IL

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#1
Jun 18, 2013
 
The obstructionists, Part 4
Here are the lawmakers who stand in the way of saving the state
Lawmakers return to Springfield on Wednesday for a special session on pensions.
Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley, who's exploring a run for governor, took a stab at Illinois' pension stalemate Monday. He had some good ideas for how Gov. Pat Quinn could force the issue — starting with a promise to veto any faux pension reform that doesn't get the job done.
Daley had some pointed advice for another potential Democratic rival for governor, Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Daley said Madigan should weigh in with a legal opinion on the constitutionality of the rival pension bills, including the bill sponsored by her father, House Speaker Michael Madigan. Enough with standing on the sidelines while the state implodes.
Daley could have kept running down the list of leaders who have come up short. Name one major state political leader who deserves credit for engineering into law an answer to this stalemate.
You can't.
Daley endorsed Michael Madigan's pension bill, which this page also strongly supports. We wish only that Daley had taken advantage of his news conference to do a dramatic reading of the names of the dozens of members of the House and Senate who have obstructed the Madigan bill. It's a long list, we know. We wish Daley had read it twice, with feeling.
We're going to give you those names today.
We have spent the last several days calling attention to the lawmakers who promised to clean up the state's finances when they wanted your vote, then voted to block the only pension reform bill that could have significant success.
The lawmakers who voted "no" on Michael Madigan's pension bill span the House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, from Chicago, the suburbs and Downstate.
Some of them have hopscotched from excuse to excuse to justify their vote against real pension reform. The one thing they have in common: They'd rather let the state burn than cast a politically risky vote.
Call them out. Do your own dramatic reading. You'll find their names and phone numbers at http://www.ilga.gov .
Here are the members of the House and Senate who voted "no" on the Madigan pension reform bill. Here are the obstructionists.
In the House: Daniel Beiser, Mike Bost, Dan Brady, Rich Brauer, Adam Brown, John Cabello, Kelly Cassidy, John Cavaletto, Linda Chapa LaVia, Katherine Cloonen, Jerry Costello, John D'Amico, C.D. Davidsmeyer, Will Davis, Anthony DeLuca, Laura Fine, LaShawn Ford, Mike Fortner, Norine Hammond, Josh Harms, Chad Hays, Jay Hoffman, Eddie Lee Jackson, Lou Lang, Robert Martwick, Frank Mautino, Rita Mayfield, Mike McAuliffe, Charles Meier, Bill Mitchell, Don Moffitt, Brandon Phelps, Sandra Pihos, Raymond Poe, Robert Pritchard, Dennis Reboletti, Bob Rita, Wayne Rosenthal, Jim Sacia, Sue Scherer, Elgie Sims Jr., Mike Smiddy, Derrick Smith, Keith Sommer, Andre Thapedi, Mike Tryon, Mike Unes, Pat Verschoore, Larry Walsh Jr., Chris Welch and Ann Williams.
Esther Golar and Camille Lilly voted "present," which is the coward's way to kill a bill.
Three House members were absent: Mary Flowers, Naomi Jakobsson and David Reis.
In the Senate: Jason Barickman, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Tim Bivins, Melinda Bush, James Clayborne, Jacqueline Collins, Tom Cullerton, Bill Cunningham, William Delgado, Gary Forby, Mike Frerichs, William Haine, Napoleon Harris, Michael Hastings, Linda Holmes, Mattie Hunter, Toi Hutchinson, Mike Jacobs, Emil Jones III, Dave Koehler, Dan Kotowski, Kimberly Lightford, Terry Link, Dave Luechtefeld, Andy Manar, Iris Martinez, Sam McCann, Kyle McCarter, Karen McConnaughay, Pat McGuire, Julie Morrison, John Mulroe, Tony Munoz, Mike Noland, Kwame Raoul, Dale Righter, Chapin Rose, Martin Sandoval, Ira Silverstein, John Sullivan, Donne Trotter, Patricia Van Pelt.
Sen. Dan Duffy did not vote.
We Demand Better

Blue Island, IL

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#2
Jun 18, 2013
 
Is your time limited? Focus on the Senate. The Madigan bill passed the House but lost in the Senate. Lawmakers return to Springfield on Wednesday for a special session on pensions. Every vote will be needed to get Madigan's bill to the governor's desk.

Lawmakers: Stop the obstruction. You have to rescue Illinois. Vote for Senate Bill 1.
bad bill

Tinley Park, IL

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#3
Jun 18, 2013
 
We Demand Better wrote:
Is your time limited? Focus on the Senate. The Madigan bill passed the House but lost in the Senate. Lawmakers return to Springfield on Wednesday for a special session on pensions. Every vote will be needed to get Madigan's bill to the governor's desk.
Lawmakers: Stop the obstruction. You have to rescue Illinois. Vote for Senate Bill 1.
Its unconstitutional!! Why force a bad pension bill that'll cost so much more money in legal fee's to defend and in the end the courts will strick it down!! I agree the pension system needs to be fixed but not on the backs of the hardworking people that paid into it faithfully all of their lives just to have dirt bag politicians STEAL from it and get away with it. Their needs to be some major accountability built into any new bill to prevent scumbag politicians from STEALING whats not theirs!! Theirs a reason most of the house & senate voted it down....ITS NOT LEGAL!!
Staged

Chicago, IL

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#4
Jun 18, 2013
 
We Demand Better wrote:
The obstructionists, Part 4
Here are the lawmakers who stand in the way of saving the state
Lawmakers return to Springfield on Wednesday for a special session on pensions.
Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley, who's exploring a run for governor, took a stab at Illinois' pension stalemate Monday. He had some good ideas for how Gov. Pat Quinn could force the issue — starting with a promise to veto any faux pension reform that doesn't get the job done.
Daley had some pointed advice for another potential Democratic rival for governor, Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Daley said Madigan should weigh in with a legal opinion on the constitutionality of the rival pension bills, including the bill sponsored by her father, House Speaker Michael Madigan. Enough with standing on the sidelines while the state implodes.
Daley could have kept running down the list of leaders who have come up short. Name one major state political leader who deserves credit for engineering into law an answer to this stalemate.
You can't.
Daley endorsed Michael Madigan's pension bill, which this page also strongly supports. We wish only that Daley had taken advantage of his news conference to do a dramatic reading of the names of the dozens of members of the House and Senate who have obstructed the Madigan bill. It's a long list, we know. We wish Daley had read it twice, with feeling.
We're going to give you those names today.
We have spent the last several days calling attention to the lawmakers who promised to clean up the state's finances when they wanted your vote, then voted to block the only pension reform bill that could have significant success.
The lawmakers who voted "no" on Michael Madigan's pension bill span the House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, from Chicago, the suburbs and Downstate.
Some of them have hopscotched from excuse to excuse to justify their vote against real pension reform. The one thing they have in common: They'd rather let the state burn than cast a politically risky vote.
Call them out. Do your own dramatic reading. You'll find their names and phone numbers at http://www.ilga.gov .
Here are the members of the House and Senate who voted "no" on the Madigan pension reform bill. Here are the obstructionists.
In the House: Daniel Beiser, Mike Bost, Dan Brady, Rich Brauer, Adam Brown, John Cabello, Kelly Cassidy, John Cavaletto, Linda Chapa LaVia, Katherine Cloonen, Jerry Costello, John D'Amico, C.D. Davidsmeyer, Will Davis, Anthony DeLuca, Laura Fine, LaShawn Ford, Mike Fortner, Norine Hammond, Josh Harms, Chad Hays, Jay Hoffman, Eddie Lee Jackson, Lou Lang, Robert Martwick, Frank Mautino, Rita Mayfield, Mike McAuliffe, Charles Meier, Bill Mitchell, Don Moffitt, Brandon Phelps, Sandra Pihos, Raymond Poe, Robert Pritchard, Dennis Reboletti, Bob Rita, Wayne Rosenthal, Jim Sacia, Sue Scherer, Elgie Sims Jr., Mike Smiddy, Derrick Smith, Keith Sommer, Andre Thapedi, Mike Tryon, Mike Unes, Pat Verschoore, Larry Walsh Jr., Chris Welch and Ann Williams.
Esther Golar and Camille Lilly voted "present," which is the coward's way to kill a bill.
Three House members were absent: Mary Flowers, Naomi Jakobsson and David Reis.
In the Senate: Jason Barickman, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Tim Bivins, Melinda Bush, James Clayborne, Jacqueline Collins, Tom Cullerton, Bill Cunningham, William Delgado, Gary Forby, Mike Frerichs, William Haine, Napoleon Harris, Michael Hastings, Linda Holmes, Mattie Hunter, Toi Hutchinson, Mike Jacobs, Emil Jones III, Dave Koehler, Dan Kotowski, Kimberly Lightford, Terry Link, Dave Luechtefeld, Andy Manar, Iris Martinez, Sam McCann, Kyle McCarter, Karen McConnaughay, Pat McGuire, Julie Morrison, John Mulroe, Tony Munoz, Mike Noland, Kwame Raoul, Dale Righter, Chapin Rose, Martin Sandoval, Ira Silverstein, John Sullivan, Donne Trotter, Patricia Van Pelt.
Sen. Dan Duffy did not vote.
Mike's Dog and Pony Show!
Staged

Chicago, IL

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#6
Jun 18, 2013
 
Mike's Dog and Pony Show!
Ted

Blue Island, IL

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#7
Jun 18, 2013
 

Judged:

1

1

1

Time for a clean sweep in legislature

I hope I am not the only person in Illinois who finds it appalling that Illinois Democrats are strongly discussing a change to the Constitution that would allow for a graduated income tax but have not proposed an amendment that would allow for changes in the current pension structure. These same Democrats killed any chance of pension reform because of the current Constitution.

We need to sweep out both the Illinois House and Senate, maybe call it "No Politician Left Behind."
No more incumbents

Blue Island, IL

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#8
Jun 21, 2013
 

Judged:

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1

No more incumbents

I will campaign, walk from door to door, man telephones, contribute money to the person that will seriously introduce a bill that limits terms of office. it is no wonder our legislators get no work done for the people when they start to Run for Office the day are elected.

I promise I will not vote for even one incumbent in the next election.
Obvious

Chicago, IL

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#9
Jun 21, 2013
 

Judged:

2

It has always been about campaign donations, power, and the next election. Elected leaders put themselves first not the people. Glad you see it for what it is.
carpetbagger

Wood Dale, IL

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#10
Jun 26, 2013
 

Judged:

1

The 28th district was drawn up to be an African American district. However, the SPECIAL INTEREST GAMBLING LOBBY was able to elect Bob Rita by using multiple black candidates, to dilute the votes. And if that did not work, they would have candidates removed from the ballot. He is a modern day carpetbagger, and gives the word new meaning.
Keep crying

Oak Forest, IL

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#11
Jun 26, 2013
 

Judged:

2

2

carpetbagger wrote:
The 28th district was drawn up to be an African American district. However, the SPECIAL INTEREST GAMBLING LOBBY was able to elect Bob Rita by using multiple black candidates, to dilute the votes. And if that did not work, they would have candidates removed from the ballot. He is a modern day carpetbagger, and gives the word new meaning.
Translation: "WAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

Just keep crying you racist coward.

And by "racist coward" ... I'm referring to the old meaning of course.

When are any of you going to do something about the repukes that give tax breaks and corporate welfare away to the rich like candy and then go after the middle class and the poor (with tax hikes, fees and service/program cuts) to re-balance the budget after it creates those dreaded deficits (in Wisconsin, Kansas, etc) that you guys supposedly hate so much?

Any idea?

Oh wait ... don't answer - just keep crying so I can keep laughing.

Thanks in advance!
Hewhoknows

United States

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#12
Jun 27, 2013
 

Judged:

1

1

1

Keep crying wrote:
<quoted text>
Translation: "WAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
Just keep crying you racist coward.
And by "racist coward" ... I'm referring to the old meaning of course.
When are any of you going to do something about the repukes that give tax breaks and corporate welfare away to the rich like candy and then go after the middle class and the poor (with tax hikes, fees and service/program cuts) to re-balance the budget after it creates those dreaded deficits (in Wisconsin, Kansas, etc) that you guys supposedly hate so much?
Any idea?
Oh wait ... don't answer - just keep crying so I can keep laughing.
Thanks in advance!
Thank you. I could not have written a rebuttal any better.
Best Interest

Chicago, IL

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#13
Jun 27, 2013
 
Hewhoknows wrote:
<quoted text>
Thank you. I could not have written a rebuttal any better.
It has always been about campaign donations, power, and the next election. Elected leaders put themselves first not the people. Glad you see it for what it is.
marco

Blue Island, IL

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#14
Jul 31, 2013
 
Editorial: Finally, an emergency
Lawmakers scurry to court, demanding their paychecks

July 31, 2013

"The Governor's decision follows my efforts and I understand his frustration. I am hopeful his strategy works."

— Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan on Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to veto an appropriation for legislators' pay, July 10, 2013.

"This action was purely political and an unconstitutional attempt to coerce the Legislature to comply with his demands."

— Speaker Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton on their lawsuit challenging Quinn's pay veto, July 30, 2013.

At last we know what constitutes an emergency in this state.

Not dangerously unfunded pension liabilities.

Not businesses moving out of state.

Not the nation's second-highest unemployment rate.

Not the lowest credit rating in the country or the high borrowing costs that come with it.

Not drastic cuts to education, public safety or health care.

Not social service agencies and vendors waiting for Deadbeat Illinois to pay its overdue bills.

Not total debts the state treasurer pegs at some $200 billion-with-a-b.

No. None of the above.

Turns out, to get lawmakers to sense an emergency, you have to suspend ... their ... pay. Quinn pulled out his red veto pen and suddenly Madigan and Cullerton sprang to action, demanding an injunction to force the state to pay the 177 members of the General Assembly. Payday is Thursday. Pony up!

Madigan's and Cullerton's lawsuit against Quinn and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka claims Quinn violated the separation of powers in the Illinois Constitution by stripping lawmakers of their salaries. Quinn, remember, made his move to compel action on pension reform, the single biggest issue strangling this state's finances.

Oh, how the Constitution becomes the beacon of justice for our state's Democratic leaders when it serves their interests. On other matters outlined in the Constitution — fair redistricting (Article 4, Section 3), bill introductions, passage and single subject (Article 4, Sections 7 and 8), special legislation (Article 4, Section 13), state finances (Article 8, Sections 1 and 2) and primary funding of education (Article 10, Section 1)— the General Assembly often takes a more relaxed approach toward constitutional obligations. Yes, when it comes to the document's language on balanced budgets, education funding, compact and contiguous districts — well, they try their best.

But a line item veto of legislators' pay, now that's an alleged violation of the Constitution offensive enough to fight in court. To merit an immediate injunction.

Does it surprise you that, in their lawsuit, the plaintiffs demand not only their pay, but "interest on any amounts that have been withheld."

If only they were as persnickety about your dimes and quarters as they are about their dimes and quarters.

What's more, taxpayers, this legal bill is all on you. You'll be paying for lawyers on both sides of this case. You'll be paying for the courts.

Madigan and Cullerton will press their case in Cook County Circuit Court, where they just happen to have a lot of friends who wear robes. Let's see which judge gets to hear it.

For now, though, much has been revealed. To business owners and vendors in Illinois who have dealt with months of delays getting paid by the state, to taxpayers whom lawmakers have put on the hook for those $200 billion in debts ...

Behold! Now you know what constitutes an emergency worthy of urgent response from your legislators.

This is your state government in action.
BILib

Chicago, IL

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#15
Jul 31, 2013
 
Interesting article. No mention of Bob Riga.
BI Mayor

Midlothian, IL

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#16
Jul 31, 2013
 
BILib wrote:
Interesting article. No mention of Bob Riga.
Who is Bob Riga?
BILib

Chicago, IL

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#17
Jul 31, 2013
 
BI Mayor wrote:
<quoted text>Who is Bob Riga?
Supposed to be Bob Rita. I didn't notice the auto-correct before I posted. Sorry.
BI Mayor

Midlothian, IL

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#18
Jul 31, 2013
 
BILib wrote:
<quoted text>
Supposed to be Bob Rita. I didn't notice the auto-correct before I posted. Sorry.
Don't be sorry, he'll be a grea Mayor just give him time.
yuck

Orland Park, IL

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#19
Aug 15, 2013
 
He's too busy screwing up Blue Island politics to worry about one of is other jobs paid for by the taxpayers. By the way, how many of those jobs does he have again? With how many pensions?
How Will Rep Rita Vote

Blue Island, IL

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#20
Aug 27, 2013
 
Cardinal George hopes gay marriage is blocked, says pope’s remarks were misinterpreted
By Mark Brown August 27, 2013 7:38PM
Updated: August 27, 2013 8:32PM
Cardinal Francis George told me in an interview this week that he remains hopeful of blocking the legalization of same-sex marriage in Illinois and that we in the media misinterpreted Pope Francis’ recent remarks that were seen as more accepting of gays.
“If they had the votes, they would have passed it already,” the cardinal said of gay-marriage supporters in response to my assertion that it’s only a matter of time at this point before a law is passed.
“There’s nothing inevitable about social trends,” he said.“They do change. They reverse themselves.”
As to the pope’s widely publicized “Who am I to judge?” comment when asked about gay priests in the Vatican, George said reporters misunderstood the context and therefore the import of the pope’s words.
“He wasn’t saying we can’t judge that homosexual relations are sinful or not. Objectively, they are,” George said.
The cardinal also remains “very angry” with a group of Catholic elected officials who published a letter asking him to reconsider stripping church funding from immigrant-support groups over their membership in a coalition that endorsed gay-marriage legislation.
And I’d say he’s none too pleased with me for a couple of columns I have written on this subject, although he treated me very cordially during a one-hour interview Monday at his residence on State Parkway.
That interview came after the cardinal sent a letter accusing me of being “both misleading and judgmental” in a column critical of his handling of the funding cutoff and his summation of the pope’s gentle remarks as primarily an affirmation that “homosexual genital relations are morally wrong.”
I’m not looking to get in a back-and-forth with the cardinal. We fundamentally disagree. But I thought you’d be interested in hearing more on what he has to say on these subjects.
Cardinal George defended his admittedly “caustic” earlier response to the public officials in which he reminded those who signed the letter that they will soon have to account for their actions in the hereafter.
“They claim to be Catholics, so I’m their bishop. It’s my job to remind them of certain eternal verities. One of them is judgment at death,” he said.
In that letter, the cardinal said:“Jesus is merciful, but he is not stupid; he knows the difference between right and wrong. Manipulating both immigrants and the church for political advantage is wrong.”
“That’s a somewhat angry response, because I’m very angry about this,” George told me when I mentioned that some of the public officials thought he was threatening them with eternal damnation, which he denied.
But he said he “felt betrayed” by the officials and found it “offensive” that they “thought they could make some points at the expense of the church.”
“When people vaunt their Catholicism and say ‘as Catholics,’ then all right, let me tell you what it is to be a Catholic,” he said.
He said he hasn’t gone so far as to seek to deny communion to those involved.
George expressed his opinion that the funding cutoff “wouldn’t have been an issue if we weren’t in a campaign for governor.”
That confused me a little, because I certainly would have raised the issue whether there was an election next year or not. The cardinal reiterated that his understanding is that some people want to use gay marriage as an issue in the governor’s race.
I suggested it was his decision to halt funding from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to the immigrant groups that made this an issue. He rejected that assertion, arguing that the leaders of the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights in effect cut off funding to their own member groups with the decision in May to endorse gay marriage.
How Will Rep Rita Vote

Blue Island, IL

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#21
Aug 27, 2013
 
“That made it impossible for the CCHD to continue to fund groups that are associated with ICIRR. It was a principled issue which is before us — without a choice in a sense. If we betray the donors or if we betrayed our own anthropology, our own way of looking at the human being, then we should not continue to have a public voice at all.”

The cardinal noted that groups that receive funding from CCHD sign a contract promising not to promote activities that contradict the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church, including “capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia, racism, war, discrimination or same-sex marriage.”

“What follows is an inevitable result of their decision,” he said.

“If they had endorsed a racist viewpoint, would we be here talking about this at all?” the cardinal asked.

I asked if he thought advocating same-sex marriage is equivalent to advocating racism.

“In the sense that both are inconsistent with Catholic social teaching,” he confirmed.“It’s not to say there is a moral equivalency.”

George also observed that “it’s interesting that they don’t attack the black Protestant churches” who have been his key allies in the fight against legalizing gay marriage in Illinois. He said the black churches are more influential on the gay-marriage issue than even he because their ministers have closer relationships with their legislators. I promised him I would write about it if black churches cut off financial support to any social-service agencies over gay marriage.

The cardinal acknowledged his own characterization of the pope’s comments on gays may have been “jarring,” as I put it, but he said he was frustrated by journalists missing the pope’s point.

“In our culture,‘Who am I to judge’ means nobody has the right to distinguish right from wrong,” which wasn’t what the pope meant, the cardinal said.

“He was saying that a person who has given up their sinful ways, you don’t judge them. You accept them,” George said.“...He started out saying: gay sex is wrong.”

I told the cardinal I never believed for a moment that the pope was changing church policy toward gays, only setting a different tone that was missing from his own approach.

The cardinal expressed frustration that, in the current political climate, Catholics can’t express their opposition to same-sex marriage without being regarded as bigots.

“”When that becomes the criterion for accepting gay and lesbian people, then we’re in the bind we’re in now, which is a real bind,” he said.

Nobody really expects the Catholic Church to change, only to adapt.

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