Friday, May 15, 2015

Politically partisan tactics have a knack of repeating themselves at Statehouse

It’s true that Democrats in the Illinois House of Representatives used political tactics Thursday to take a partisan pot shot at the idea of the “right to work” legislation that Gov. Bruce Rauner so eagerly desires.
RAUNER: Took a political hit

The Illinois House pushed forward a bill that allegedly details the specifics that Rauner wants in a new law that would undermine the concept of organized labor and unions in this state.

OF COURSE, MADIGAN’S bill wasn’t put together by Rauner’s people. His staff had nothing to do with it.

The whole purpose of Thursday was a political stunt so that the Democratic majority that runs the Illinois House (and the state Senate too) could vote “no” in such an overwhelming manner that they could say the idea was dead.

This was a political hit, similar to the scene in “The Godfather” where Clemenza killed Paulie Gatto in the car. The only thing we don’t know is if the Madigan “hit job” involved ditching the murder weapon, but making sure to take the canoli.

So yes, Illinois House Minority Leader James Durkin, R-Western Springs, wasn’t totally out-of-line when he ranted Thursday that the vote – which was 0-72, with 37 other legislators voting “present” (and seven other legislators conveniently being absent from the House chambers when the vote was called) – was pointless.

“WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY... is really a disservice to this body, to this chamber and to this building,” Durkin said.

But excuse me for not being terribly sympathetic toward the Grand Ol’ Party, which I know is really only upset that they can’t use the exact same tactics on Democrats.

MADIGAN: Following Pate's lead?
I make that statement knowing it isn’t the least bit libelous because I remember the days of the mid-1990s (back when Republicans were not only relevant to state government, but were dominant) when the exact same tactic WAS used on the Democrats.

It was an issue in which there was an attempt at negotiation, of sorts. Then-Gov. Jim Edgar and then-Mayor Richard M. Daley had reached a compromise and had publicly announced their deal – which Daley was to then persuade Democrats to support while Edgar would do the same for Republicans.

THE REASON THIS issue sticks in my mind some two decades later is the fact that then-Senate President James “Pate” Philip was offended that HIS staff was not included in the negotiations.
PHILIP: His memory lingers

He didn’t like the idea of being told what to do, not even by a governor of his own political persuasion who was supposed to be his ally.

So the very next day, before any talks to try to persuade legislators to back the governor/mayoral deal could take place, Philip had his staff put together a bill supposedly based on the ideals of the issue.

Then, Republicans in the Senate voted unanimously against it. All of the Democrats voted “present.” Officially, Philip said that the vote was legitimate because it showed “nobody wants this.” As I recall, a watered-down version of the issue eventually did get passage, although bitter feelings never truly withered away.

COULD THIS LATEST action have a similar effect – in that it makes it appear that the incumbent governor is weak and capable of being pushed around by a united front on the part of legislative Democrats?
Too many similarities to politics

It would be an equal response to the tough talk that Rauner has engaged in whenever issues of organized labor come up.

Although if it were to wind up that both sides of labor/business disputes were to wind up realizing the need for compromise and to back off the cheap trash talk when trying to resolve the issue, then perhaps something good will have come from Thursday’s politicking.

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