Friday, December 19, 2014

Will Jan. 8 mean anything?

January 8 is the date that’s been picked by soon-to-be former Gov. Pat Quinn for the General Assembly to reconvene for the expressed purpose of creating a special election in 2016 – whose sole purpose will be to deprive Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner of having a four-year appointment to fill for the vacant post of Illinois comptroller.

I have no doubt that the General Assembly will ram something through the legislative process, even though Republican legislative leadership is indicating an unwillingness to cooperate.

THAT’S THE BENEFIT (for Democrats, at least) of having veto-proof margins in both the state Senate and Illinois House of Representatives – they truly can do whatever they want.

And since any action they take will have to be acted upon before Quinn leaves office at noon on Jan. 12, not even Rauner can do anything but whine about the results.

But the Rauner camp made it clear in a statement they issued Thursday that they view the outcome of all of this as a legal battle they’re prepared to wage – they’re getting ready to go to court.

Because Rauner previously made it clear he expects his eventual appointment for a state comptroller to serve the entire four-year term to which Judy Baar Topinka was elected last month, but will not be able to serve due to her death earlier this month.

OF COURSE, RAUNER also said he expects Quinn to follow his lead in filling the post for the next month – which we all realize isn’t going to happen. Perhaps that’s what Rauner gets for going through a vicious campaign cycle in which he repeatedly bad-mouthed the incumbent governor with nonsensical corruption allegations.

In short, we have two men who probably can’t stand each other and will do whatever they can to undermine each other.

Which is why Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, and his desires for the executive branch officials to resolve this matter without involving the General Assembly is as ridiculous a fantasy as the idea that the Chicago Cubs are going to win the 2015 World Series.

It is why the Legislature’s special session is probably going to be one of the biggest wastes of per-diem expense money for the cost of having the General Assembly’s 177 members at the Statehouse in Springfield on that date.

THIS ISSUE IS not going to be resolved for quite some time. We’re going to get a long drawn-out court fight that will give Illinois government a massive migraine headache by the time it is through.

Whoever Rauner does wind up appointing to fill the comptroller vacancy isn’t going to have a clue as to how long they’re going to serve in office. They had better not get too comfortable in the post.

Which is a shame, because I can see the logic of not having a special election. Law ought to be consistent, and we shouldn’t have the Legislature constantly reconvened whenever unusual circumstances arise.

Governors have that kind of appointment power. I can comprehend how his pick ought to get to finish out the entire four-year term, because such circumstances are not likely to arise again. This truly is a fluke.

WHICH IS WHAT makes this whole circumstance so pathetic with regards to Rauner.

He may be in the right, but he’s handling the whole situation in such a sorry manner that he’s making Quinn look good by comparison.

Then again, maybe he’s behaving merely like the CEO type that he promised to be during his campaign – one who expects to bark out orders and doesn’t tolerate dissent of any sort. When it comes to government, that’s about as un-American a thought as one can find.

If this is the way Rauner plans to govern for four years, he’s going to find a whole lot of headaches due to legislative opposition. And a whole lot of people inclined to “dump the fool” come 2018!


No comments: