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FYI: Recall amendment passes IL House


Marc Miller
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All, this is for the ISA members' general information. If you have questions, concerns or comments, please contact me at the work address. I hope that posting this type of information doesn't upset anyone, but I thought that sportsmen would be interested. I am not aware that there is any official ISA position, so this posting by a member does not represent an endorsement of any sort by the organization. With that disclaimer, here is the news:

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 8, 2008

 

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn congratulates Rep. Jack Franks, Illinois House of Representatives for making history with Recall Amendment vote

 

SPRINGFIELD – After three decades of advocacy for more democracy in the state of Illinois, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn today congratulated the Illinois House of Representatives for passing Rep. Jack Franks’ proposed Recall Amendment.

 

“Today, the members of the Illinois House of Representatives demonstrated their faith in voters’ good sense and sound judgment,” Quinn said. “I hope the Illinois Senate will follow their good example and swiftly pass this proposed Recall Amendment. The citizens of Illinois should have the right to decide whether to add a recall provision to our state Constitution.”

 

Making a strong statement for grassroots democracy, the Illinois House of Representatives voted 75 – 33 in favor of HJRCA28, a constitutional amendment that would give Illinois voters the right of recall, empowering them to remove inept or unfit politicians from office.

 

“The people of Illinois are sending a loud and clear message to Springfield, letting their elected officials know that they demand the right of recall,” Quinn said. “The General Assembly should seize this historic moment and bring this basic tenet of grassroots democracy to the Land of Lincoln.”

 

HJRCA28 was introduced last August by Rep. Franks (D-Woodstock). A similar resolution has been introduced in the Illinois Senate by Sen. Dan Cronin (R-Elmhurst). If the Illinois Senate passes HJRCA28 by a three-fifths majority, the proposed amendment will be placed on the Nov. 4 ballot for voter approval. The House and Senate must approve identical resolutions by May 4, the ballot deadline.

 

In November, a statewide poll by Glengariff Group found that 65% of Illinois voters supported amending the state Constitution to allow recall of elected officials.

 

Once on the ballot, the amendment would require approval by at least three-fifths of those voting on the question or a majority of those voting in the election.

 

The right of recall has been endorsed enthusiastically on the editorial pages of newspapers statewide, including the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Herald, the Rockford Register Star, the Belleville News-Democrat, the Champaign News-Gazette, the Daily Illini, the Bloomington Pantagraph, and the Decatur Herald and Review. A Chicago Tribune editorial endorsing recall, published on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007, generated more than 1,200 on-line responses. A Tribune editorial on Oct. 30, 2007, reported that an “overwhelming majority" of respondents favored recall.

“When a consumer product is found to be tainted or defective, there’s a recall,” Quinn said. “Why shouldn’t the people of Illinois have the right to recall shoddy elected officials who fail to perform as promised?”

(more)

 

Under the proposed constitutional amendment, an effort to recall a state constitutional officer – the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller or Treasurer – would require signatures equal to 12% of the previous vote total for that office. For example, based on turnout in the 2006 election, it would require collection of at least 418,401 signatures within 160 days to put a gubernatorial recall on the ballot, and it would require approval by more than 50 percent of voters to recall the official.

 

“This amendment sets a reasonably high standard for recall of elected officials,” said Quinn. “Under this proposal, no hard-working elected official need fear a frivolous recall action, but the voters would be given the right to show their displeasure over serious official mistakes.”

 

The proposed constitutional amendment also sets guidelines for the recall of state legislators, requiring collection of signatures equal to 20% of the total turnout for that office in the previous election, again within 160 days.

 

At present, 18 states permit the recall of state officials. The District of Columbia also provides for recall, as do local jurisdictions at least 29 states. In 1996, Minnesota voters approved an amendment to the state constitution allowing recall of elected state officials, and in 1993 a recall amendment passed in New Jersey by a 3-1 margin. Michigan, one of the first states to allow recall of elected officials, included a recall referendum provision in its 1908 revision of the state constitution. In the Midwest, Kansas and Wisconsin also allow recall of state officials.

 

Quinn has supported the right to recall since 1975, both as a citizen and as an elected official. Although recall efforts should not be undertaken lightly, Quinn says the mere possibility of recall gives elected officials an added incentive to deal squarely with the voters who put them into office.

 

“The right of recall reminds elected officials that their constituents are keeping an eye on them, not just on Election Day, but every day,” Quinn said. “When everyday people fail to perform on the job, their employers don’t have to wait for years to hand them a pink slip. The people of Illinois employ their elected officials and pay their salaries, and they should have the right to fire them if those officials don’t perform as promised.”

 

As founder of the all-volunteer Coalition for Political Honesty, Quinn in 1976 led the biggest petition drive in state history, collecting 635,158 signatures and ending a century-old practice allowing Illinois legislators to collect their entire year’s pay on their first day in office.

 

In 1980, Quinn led the statewide campaign for the Cutback Amendment to the Illinois Constitution, which reduced the size of the Illinois House of Representatives from 177 to 118 members. The Cutback Amendment was the first and only amendment to the Illinois Constitution ever adopted by a citizen initiative.

 

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The Department of Natural Resources would see a 40 percent cut in state funds and lose about 200 employees, according to documents the governor’s office released in advance of the State of the State address.

 

I can think of one elected official we could do without right there.

 

Here is a sampling of what we're hearing:

 

Associated Press:

 

"Environmentalists and other lobbyists braced for major cuts rumored at the Department of Natural Resources, which oversees state parks and conservation areas."

 

Capitol Fax:

 

"Word's going around that the new budget could eliminate nearly all General Revenue Funding for the Dept. of Natural Resources."

 

Bloomington Pantagraph:

 

"Gov. Rod Blagojevich's proposed budget could target everyone from people who use state parks to big business.

 

Although the final touches are still being made to the governor's latest spending proposal, officials acknowledge they've considered imposing entrance fees at state parks as a way to balance the budget in tough financial times."

 

Remember Blagojevich's plans to roll the IDNR enforcement division into the IL State Police?

He backed off, but we all knew it would come back at some point.

 

He's good until January, 2011.

 

How much more damage can one Governor do to his state?

 

Care to find out?

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This my my own personal opinion and should not be construed as official policy of the ISA.

 

I would be in favor of a recall amendment as it would allow citizen iniative to remove from office someone who was causing harm to the state thru a vote by a simple majority.

 

I would definitely cast my vote to recall the current governor. His mismanagement of our natural resources and inability to see how proper management could lead to revenue enhancement for both the government and private citizens is just one of the issues that would sway that vote.

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Address to our Prez - Mr Rich Mc

 

Do you already have an open line of communication w/ Lt Gov Pat Quinn?

Please P-M me or e-mail me - we have another "Grass Roots" man in our

office that has that point of contact and would be willing to pass on your/Our

information to achieve that line of communication. Tom Yarber is a high ranking

member of the ILLINOIS FREEDOM RUN w/ the active Memorial Wall in Marseilles,IL

on the Illinois River for KIA's of all of the all current US Military Conflicts.

Tom has offered to place the call and aid our efforts to contact Lt Gov Quinn.

 

brian@horizonchi.com

 

Thanks Rich.

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