Chicago Daily Observer
Who woulda thought anyone would have taken me seriously last October when I suggested that Illinois voters should be enabled to dump incompetent, dishonest and otherwise dreadful public officials by a “recall” referendum?
The idea was so, well, California-like, where voters in 2003 recalled the bumbling Gov. Gray Davis. And it so unlike Chicago and Illinois, where such a reform would be regarded as just another useless goo-goo (good-government) gesture.
But here comes the Illinois House, advancing with remarkable ease legislation that would allow voters to dispose unceremoniously of the governor, members of the General Assembly and executive branch officers elected statewide, such as the attorney general and secretary of state.
Last week, the House voted 80–25 (!) to tack onto the legislation an amendment that would exempt circuit, appellate and supreme court judges from recall. Such a wide margin of approval signals, according to the conventional wisdom, that the House will approve the legislation and pass it on to the Senate, where it has a less certain future.
But as one of the earliest advocates of the Illinois recall, I suspect political gamesmanship. If the House, and its Speaker, Rep. Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) was really serious, it would have added one other amendment:
Include local and county officials in the recall.
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