Legislate the Illinois Legislature out of existence

I promised readers I would let them know of any organized effort to amend the Illinois Constitution and pull the rug out from under the clowns who run the circus in Springfield.

Here's one that would...

madigan.jpg

House Speaker Mike Madigan. Under proposed constitutional amendment, he gone.

replace the House and the Senate with a unicameral legislature, return
to three-member (cumulative voting) districts, reform redistricting,
impose two-term limits on lawmakers, limit legislative leaders to one
term, forbid "shell bills" (a trick that allows important bills to
avoid close public scrutiny), require a seven-day public airing of all
legislation, require an up-or-down vote on any bill upon the motion of
at least 25 members (to keep legislative leaders from bottling up bills
they don't like) and overhaul the legislative pay-raise procedure.

That's quite an agenda, but it's serious enough to make the nitwits
running the state into the ground to take notice. It comes from a
political activist, John Bambenek, whose blog, parttimepundit.com, has
more details.

Some folks might say the agenda is too ambitious or impractical or its
sponsor lacks the necessary "gravitas." OK, then start working to build
coalitions to create more realistic proposals. Others might argue that
it's too far-reaching. Fine, then come up with a way to make the
current cast of characters do what is right. For me, the only way to
get them moving is to hear the guillotine blade start to descend on the
cozy sinecure they've created for themselves.

Comments

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  • Kudo's to John B. to doing the work necessary to bring this to fruition. As some one who co-wrote the Pro Con-Con book with him (but helped with the legislative article only tangentially), I can attest to his tenacity.

    I would argue that in Illinois' current political configuration, there is no time for half-measures and tepid toe-dipping. Incrementalism is a failed strategy, as all increments move the wrong direction (cementing the power of the Daley/Madigan/Stroger axis).

    Those who argue for half-measures are too busy wondering how to "do business" with the Madigans of the world. This should remind people of the "realist" advisers who told Reagan how to "deal" with the USSR. Reagan merely transcended them.

    That is what this re-write/article will do. Get on board folks. 500K signatures and it's on the ballot. If you really want change, prove it. Get PDFs of the petitions and spend the Summer enrolling other in the vision of a better Illinois.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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