Thursday, October 30, 2008

Double Think (I Think)

And it looks like it's a Con Con blogging hat trick today.

I'm thinking that the push for a Constitutional Convention is going to get a huge boost when word of this gets out.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich said today that he doesn't support a convention to rewrite the state's 1970 constitution because he fears attempts to strip some of his executive powers.
Chalk that one up in the understatement of the month club.

The Governor then went on to explain how fortunate Illinoisans have been to have him at the helm, and in the process, infers that God has given the green light for the Governor to grind Springfield to a halt.
"Thank God that the constitution gives the executive branch a lot of power to get around the legislative branch," Blagojevich said, adding that without his ability to issue executive orders or use his amendatory veto power there would be no free mass transit rides for seniors or free breast and cervical cancer exams for women.

"If the constitutional convention were to occur and there was an effort to erode the executive branch's ability to do those things, then I think less good things would happen for people," Blagojevich said.
(Since he mentioned the free rides program that he pulled out of, um, thin air that blew a $40 million dollar hole in the CTA budget, let me just mention that in my entire tenure as a legislator, I have never met a senior citizen who complained about a free anything. But the majority of local seniors that I have spoken with since the program was launched have said that they thought the idea was unnecessary and a political stunt.)

Getting back on point, I sincerely believe that in light of the already-existing political climate in our state, as well as the Governor's recent poll numbers, the Governor's opposition to a Con Con may be just enough to get it passed.

But in the surreal world in which we find ourselves, you then have to think that the Governor would realize that his opposition would have a positive impact on the issue. Which could mean that deep down, he actually wants it to pass. Which is making me wonder if that means that I should actually be against a Con Con. Oh, that Governor Blagojevich, he's a crafty one.


At October 31, 2008 at 10:01 AM, Anonymous Paul F said...

You're so right John - Rod's position may be the best endorsement for the YES vote we could have asked for. Thanks governor!

I do have to say that Edgar's message is getting through, voters I talk to have said they heard him on TV. However, I still think most people are voting for change this election and the con-con vote may be they way they do it especially if they are sticking with their incumbent lawmakers.

- Paul

At October 31, 2008 at 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the wrong time for a constitutional convention. I believe that a convention would be tainted by the “political turmoil” of the last several years. If a convention was approved, the business community would incur costs identifying, educating and supporting delegates who understand business concerns. We would also incur the cost of educating voters on the concerns of the business community.

There are long-term costs associated with a constitutional convention. A convention could lead to California-style single-issue ballot initiatives and an unstable business environment, resulting from changes in the tax and regulatory structure.

At October 31, 2008 at 5:28 PM, Anonymous Suzanne ICHG said...

PLEASE NOTE: John Fritchey has been a recipient of the Illinois Committee for Honest Government Distinguished Service Award on at least 2 occasions. Please allow a listing of the ICHG endorsements, understanding they are not necessarily that of John Fritchey (There are some Republicans and even Green), although some may correspond. We are especially pushing:
1. Election of US Senator Barack Obama President to end 8 years of Bush/Cheney debacle.
2. YES on CON CON--it is truly time for a change.
3. Vote to re-elect COMMISSIONER FRANK AVILA at the MWRDGC--he is the only Engineer and strong on the environment and a close ally and father of our legal counsel.
We want him to come in No. 1.

(* - Incumbent in non-judicial race.)
(D – Democratic, R – Republican, G – Green)
PRESIDENT/VICE PRESIDENT: Barack H. Obama & Joseph Biden (D).

US SENATOR: *Richard J. Durbin (D).

*Bobby L. Rush (D – 1st).
Anthony W. Williams (R – 2nd).
*Daniel William Lipinski (D – 3rd).
Omar N. Lopez (G – 4th).
*Rahm Emanuel (D – 5th).
Jill Morgenthaler (D – 6th).
*Danny K. Davis (D – 7th).
*Mellissa Bean (D – 8th).
Michael Benjamin Younan (R – 9th).
Daniel J. Seals (D - 10th).
Deborah “Debbie” Halvorson (D – 11th).
Timmy Jay Richardson, Jr. (R – 12th).
Scott Harper (D – 13th).
*Bill Foster (D – 14th).
*Timothy V. Johnson (R – 15th).
*Donald A. Manzullo (R – 16th).
*Phil Hare (D – 17th).
Colleen Callahan (D – 18th).
Daniel Davis (D – 19th).

*William “Willie” Delgado (D – 2nd).
Jason Allen Braswell (R – 5th).
*John J. Cullerton (D – 6th).
*Heather Steans (D – 7th).
*Ira I. Silverstein (D – 8th).
*Jeffrey M. Schoenberg (D – 9th).
*Louis S. "Lou" Viverito (D – 11th).
Ray Wardingley (R – 14th).
*James T. Meeks (D – 15th).
*Donne E. Trotter (D – 17th).
*Edward J. Maloney (D – 18th).
*Dan Cronin (R – 21st).
*Carole Pankau (R -23rd).
*Kirk W. Dillard (R- 24th).
Bill Gentes (D – 26th).
Peter Gutzmer (D – 27th).
*Susan Garrett (D – 29th).
*Terry Link (D – 30th).
*Pamela J. Althoff (R – 32nd).
*Daniel M. Kotowski (D – 33rd).
*Mike Jacobs (D – 36th).
Steve Stout (D -38th).
*Don Harmon (D – 39th).
*Christine Radogno (R – 41st).
*Linda Holmes (D – 42nd).
*John M. Sullivan (D – 47th).
*Larry K. Bomke (R – 50th).
*Frank Watson (R – 51st).
*Dan Rutherford (R – 53rd).
*John O. Jones (R – 54th).
*William R. "Bill" Haine (D – 56th).
*James F. Clayborne, Jr. II (D – 57th).
*Gary Forby (D – 59th).
*Susana Mendoza (D – 1st).
Ante “Tony” Marijan (G – 2nd).
*Luis Arroyo (D – 3rd).
*Kenneth "Ken" Dunkin (D – 5th).
*Karen A. Yarbrough (D – 7th).
*La Shawn K. Ford (D – 8th).
*Arthur L. Turner (D – 9th).
*Annazette R. Collins (D – 10th)
*John A. Fritchey (D – 11th).
*Sara Feigenholtz (D – 12th).
*Gregory Harris (D – 13th).
*Lou Lang (D – 16th).
Daniel Biss (D – 17th).
*Julie Hamos (D – 18th).
*Joseph M. Lyons (D – 19th).
Michael C. Marzullo (D – 20th).
Michael J. Zalewski (D – 21st).
*Michael J. Madigan (D – 22nd).
*Daniel J. Burke (D – 23rd).
*Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez (D – 24th).
William D. “Will” Burns (D – 26th).
*David E. Miller (D – 29th).
*William “Will” Davis (D – 30th).
*Mary E. Flowers (D – 31st).
Andre Thapedi (D – 32nd).
*Constance A. "Connie" Howard (D – 34th).
*Kevin Carey Joyce (D – 35th).
*James J. Brosnahan (D – 36th).
*Kevin McCarthy (D – 37th).
*Maria Antonia "Toni" Berrios (D – 39th).
Deborah L. Mell (D – 40th).
*Sandra M. Pihos (R – 42nd).
*Ruth Munson (R – 43rd).
*Fred Crespo (D – 44th).
Jim Hagerty (D – 45th).
Gary Nowak (D – 46th).
*Patricia R. “Patti” Bellock (R – 47th).
Joseph Henegan (D – 48th).
*Timothy L. Schmitz (R – 49th).
Mary Schneider (D – 50th).
Amanda D. Howland (D – 51st).
*Mark H. Beaubien, Jr. (R – 52nd).
Carol Javens (D- 53rd).
*Suzanne “Suzie” Bassi (R – 54th).
Broc Montgomery (D – 55th).
*Paul Froehlich (D – 56th).
*Elaine Nekritz (D – 57th).
*Karen May (D – 58th).
*Kathleen A. Ryg (D – 59th).
*JoAnn D. Osmond (R – 61st).
*Sandy Cole (R – 62nd).
*Jack D. Franks (D – 63rd).
*Michael W. Tryon (R – 64th).
Aurora Austriaco (D – 65th).
Mark Walker (D – 66th).

*Charles E. "Chuck" Jefferson (D - 67th).
Clint W. Little (D – 68th).
Greg Tuite (D – 69th ).
*Robert Pritchard (R – 70th).
*Mike Boland (D – 71st).
*Patrick Verschoore (D – 72nd).
*David R. Leitch (R – 73rd).
*Donald L. Moffitt (R -74th).
*Careen M. Gordon (D – 75th).
*Frank J. Mautino (D – 76th).
*Angelo “Skip” Saviano (R – 77th).
*Deborah L. Graham (D – 78th).
*Lisa M. Dugan (D – 79th).
Miriam Shabo (R – 80th).
Rich Kelly (D – 81st).
*Jim Durkin (R – 82nd).
*Linda Chapa-LaVia (D – 83rd).
*Tom Cross (R – 84th).
Emily Klunk-McAsey (D – 85th).
*Jack McGuire (D – 86th).
*Bill Mitchell (R – 87th).
*Dan Brady (R – 88th).
*Jim Sacia (R – 89th).
*Jerry L. Mitchell (R – 90th).
*Michael K. Smith (D – 91st).
Jehan Gordon (D – 92nd).
*Jil Tracy (R – 93rd).
*Richard P. “Rich” Myers (D – 94th).
*Mike Fortner (R – 95th).
Dianne A. McGuire (R – 96th).
*Jim Watson (R – 97th).
Gary Hannig (D – 98th).
Kent E. DeLay (D – 99th).
*Bob Flider (D – 101st).
*Ron Stephens (R – 102nd).
*Naomi D. Jakobsson (D – 103rd).
Lori A. DeYoung (D – 104th).
*Shane Cultra (R – 105th).
*Keith P. Sommer (R – 106th).
Jason A. Warfel (D – 108th).
*Roger L. Eddy (R – 109th).
*Chapin Rose (R – 110th).
*Daniel V. Beiser (D – 111th).
Dwight D. Kay (R – 112th).
*Thomas "Tom" Holbrook (D – 113th).
*Wyvetter H. Younge (D – 114th).
Cheryl Graff (D – 115th).
*Dan Reitz (D – 116th).
*John Bradley (D- -117th).
*Brandon M. Phelps (D – 118th).

CIRCUIT COURT CLERK: *Dorothy A. Brown (D).
RECORDER OF DEEDS: *Eugene Moore (D).
BOARD OF REVIEW: *Joseph Berrios (D – 2nd).
*Larry R. Rogers, Jr. (3rd).

AUDITOR: Bob Grogan (R).
RECORDER: David R. Meek (D).
COUNTY BOARD: Rita Gonzalez (D – 1st).
Barbara Dahl (D – 2nd).
Robert “Bob” Brandt (D – 3rd).
Karol Sole (D – 3rd).
Richard L. Dunn (D – 4th).
Tony Michelassi (D – 5th).
*James D. Healy (R – 5th).
*Dirk Enger (D – 6th).

STATE’S ATTORNEY: *John A. Barsanti (R).
CIRCUIT CLERK: Edmond J. Nendick (D).
RECORDER: *Sandy Wegman (R).
AUDITOR: Thomas K. Sandor (D).
CORONER: *Charles H. West (R).
*Donnell Collins (D – 2nd).
*Bonnie Lee Kunkel (D – 4th).
Ron Ford (D – 6th).
Jesse B. Vazquez (D – 8th).
*Thomas R. Van Cleave (R – 10th).
*Mark Davoust (R – 14th).
*Michael J. Kenyon (R – 16th).
Jeanette Mihalec (D – 18th).
Cristina Castro (D – 20th).
*Jackie Tredup (R – 22nd).
*Hollie Kissane (D – 24th).
*Andrew E. “Drew” Frasz (R – 26th).

STATE’S ATTORNEY: Michael Jacobs (D).
CIRCUIT COURT CLERK: Cynthia Pruim Haran (D).
RECORDER: *Mary Ellen Vanderventer (D).
CORONER: *Richard L. Keller, MD (D).
Peter Grant (D – 1st).
*Suzi Schmidt (R – 3rd).
*Bonnie Thomson Carter (R – 5th).
Melinda Bush (D – 6th).
*Robert Sabonjian (D – 8th).
*Mary Ross Cunningham (D – 9th).
*Diana O’Kelly (R – 10th).
Patrice T. Carey (D – 11th).
*Angelo D. Kyle (D – 12th).
*Audrey Nixon (D – 14th).
Denise Rotheimer (D – 17th).
Davita Siegel (D – 20th).
Michelle Feldman (D – 22nd).

Anne M. Burke (D-1st - McMurrow vacancy).

Sharon Johnson Coleman (D-1st – Burke vacancy).
John O. Steele (D-1st – Campbell vacancy).
James M. Wexstten (D-5th – Hopkins vacancy).

(Cook County Circuit - Countywide):
Dennis J. Burke (D-Disko vacancy).
Jesse G. Reyes (D-Glowacki vacancy).
Maureen Ward Kirby (D-Healy vacancy).
Marilyn F. Johnson (D-Keehan vacancy).
Thomas J. Byrne (D-Lott vacancy).
Debra B. Walker (D-Montelione vacancy).
Kristyna Colleen Ryan (D-Murphy vacancy).
Michael B. Hyman (D-Nowicki vacancy).
Joan Powell (D-Thomas vacancy).

(Cook County Subcircuits):
Donna J. Cooper (D-1st, Turkington vacancy).
Pat Rogers (D-4th, Shultz vacancy).
Jackie Marie Portman (D-5th, Bush vacancy).
Dominique C. Ross (D-5th, “A” vacancy).
Maurico Araujo (D-6th, Figueroa vacancy).
Anita Rivkin-Carothers (D-7th, Young vacancy).
Ann Collins Dole (D-8th, Sheehan vacancy).
Ursula Walowski (D-10th, Kowalski vacancy).
Diana L. Kenworthy (D-10th, Morrissey vacancy).
Eileen O’Neill Burke (D-10th, Pucinski vacancy).
Pamela Elizabeth Loza (D-12th, Devlin vacancy).
Ann Catherine Brady (D-13th, Ryan vacancy).
Margarita Kulys Hoffman (R-13th, Tobin vacancy).
Anna Helen Demacopoulos (D-15th, "A" vacancy).

(Downstate Circuits):
Steve Stone (D-1st, Stewart vacancy).
Joe Jackson (D-1st – Massac Co., Foster vacancy).
Joseph M. Leberman (R-1st –Pope Co., Lowery vac.).
Walden E. Morris (D-1st – Saline Co., Henshaw vac.).
L. James Hanson (D-2nd, Wexstten vacancy).
Tom Tedeschi (D-2nd – Franklin Co., Lewis vacancy).
Dennis R. Ruth (D-3rd, Ferguson vacancy).
Richard L. Tognarelli (D-3rd, Madison Co., Byron vac.).
Steven L. Garst (R-5th – Edgar Co., Andrews vacancy).
Diane M. Lagoski (D-8th – Brown Co., Slocum vacancy).
Paul l. Mangieri (D-9th, Hultgren vacancy).
Robert L. Freitag (R-11th, Bernardi vacancy).
Jennifer H. Bauknecht (R-11th – Livingston County, Frobish vacancy).
Thomas M. Harris, Jr. (R-11th – Logan Co., Coogan vacancy).
Jeff Allen (D-12th – 2nd Subcircuit, “A” vacancy).
Sarah Jones (D-12th – 3rd Subcircuit, “A” vacancy).
Paula A. Gomora (D-12th – 4th Subcircuit, “A” vacancy).
Joseph P. Hettel (D-13th, LaSalle Co., Carter vacancy).
Daniel A. Fish (R-15th, Payne vacancy).
Ron Jacobson (R-15th – Lee County, Fritts vacancy).
Jim Murphy (D-16th – 1st Subcircuit, “A” vacancy).
Patricia Piper Golden (R-16th – 2nd Sub., “A” vac.).
Ronald “Ron” J. White (R-17th, Gill vacancy).
Marilyn Hite Ross (D-17th, Kapala vacancy).
Gwyn Gulley (D-17th – 1st Subcircuit, “A” vacancy).
Paul A. Logli (R-17th – 2nd Subcircuit, “A” vacancy).
Blanche Hill Fawell (R-18th, Duncan, Jr. vacancy).
John J. Kinsella (R-18th, Moy vacancy).
Jay W. Ukena (D-19th – 1st Subcircuit, “A” vacancy).
David S. Weinstein (D-19th – 2nd Subcircuit, “A” vac.).
Adrienne Wakat Albrecht (D-21st – Kankakee County, Householter vacancy).

The Illinois Committee for Honest Government, after evaluating the record of the five Judges of the Appellate Court seeking retention for another 10-year term, endorses each of them and recommends a “YES” vote for Appellate Court Judges Michael J. Gallagher (1st District), Margaret Stanton McBride (1st), Robert D. McLaren (2nd), Sue E. Myerscough (4th) and Richard P. Goldenhersh (5th). (Please remember that since these judges run on their own records, and not against partisan opposition, each judge must receive at least 60% “YES” votes in order to be retained.)
We also endorse the retention candidacies of the 78 Circuit Court Judges seeking another six-year term from Circuits outside of Cook County across the state. They have acquitted themselves well and each merits a “YES” vote from the electorate on November 4.
Of the 68 remaining judges on the retention ballot, seeking another six-year term as a Cook County Circuit Court Judge, the ICHG supports the retention of 63 of them. However, five Circuit Court Judges have been found wanting by us, and we recommend a “NO” vote for each of them:
Evelyn Clay – NO!
Vanessa Hopkins – NO!
Edward Pietrucha – NO!
Casandra Lewis – NO!
Sheila McGinnis – NO!


Under the provisions of the Illinois Constitution, the question of whether or not to hold a State Constitutional Convention is required to appear on the ballot every 20 years. This year Illinois voters will have that opportunity, and the ICHG strongly endorses a “YES” vote on the question of calling for a convention.
It is painfully evident that there will be no real reform of Illinois government in our lifetime without at least a number of overhauls in the state constitution. Those in power will not make those changes, so we must take this action on November 4 and vote “YES” for a State Constitutional Convention.
they are:

At November 3, 2008 at 9:45 AM, Anonymous lake county democrat said...

I'm not sure word is going to get out - the Presidential race is going to be pretty consuming today, and over the weekend I'm seeing Jim Edgar more on tv than Blagojevich.

The Con-Con people haven't made the case. John, you write that fear mongering has been the only tactic of the con-con oposition (two posts back). But mockery is the only argument proponents have made to the very real civil rights concerns raised in opposition. Seriously, what would you tell a gay person who has seen every gay marriage/civil union referrendum PASS a popular vote (and one currently leading in California)? Accuse them of paranoia? Or a family member of an illegal immigrant who saw what happened when Arizona and California had the chance to put measures on the ballot. Forces traditionally hostile to progressives love ballot referendums and the like. It's not fear mongering to pay attention to U.S. modern history.

I'd understand the reform position better if they were talking about REAL reform -- stopping legal bribes of judges, ending gerrymandering, etc, but that's hardly the focus and there hasn't even been a serious attempt to pass those reforms through legislation first. Hear you mention minimizing executive power -- that's not reform per-se.

I know you haven't been ducking debate on this, but the media promotion for the con-con has been nearly all "don't you hate blago, here's your chance to have at him." Maybe, but there are checks on his power without a con-con -- through the legislative process and quite possibly impeachment come next session.

Personally I think the best thing reformers could do is get behind the movement to ensure the soon-to-be President Elect Obama doesn't replace Fitzgerald as U.S. Attorney.

At November 4, 2008 at 1:51 AM, Blogger Andy said...

When the Illinois legislature can stop school funding reform, property tax and ethics reform, and taint the ballot language on an historical public policy issue that comes only every 20 years---there is something fundamentally broken in our government. It’s an insult to democracy.

In 1992 the legislature placed an educational funding reform amendment before voters, which got 58% approval – but just 2% shy of 60% to become law.

Our elected officials placed no other educational funding reform amendment on the ballot again in the past 16 years.

Paul Vallas, currently leading the New Orleans Recovery Education Project, was the former head of the Chicago Public School. Vallas --- cited by President Clinton for raising test scores and balancing the budget ----urged a Yes Vote for the Illinois Con Con. Vallas certainly knows a thing or two about Chicago public schools.

Cook County Assessor James Houlihan and Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr both endorsed and urged a yes vote for the constitutional convention. They certainly know a thing or two about inequitable property taxes and inequitable educational funding.

If you want to take back your own state and tweak the constitution to close loopholes, vote “yes” for con con. Or vote no as Governor Blagojevich, former Gov Edgar, the union bosses, insurance companies, utility companies and special interest PACs and trial lawyers and powerful lobbyists urge us with their $1.7 million in “Just Vote No” money.

When we wake up November 5 Wednesday morning after the elections, will Illinois citizens is better off if the self-serving special interests have bought their election choice with fear mongering?

A “yes” vote for con-con is at the very least a vote for a fair taxing system to better educate our children.

Andrea Raila


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