Friday, October 8, 2010

Senator Noland's Unjustified Pride

Illinois Senator Michael Noland is very proud of the Recall Amendment - even though it falls short of actual reform by Allen Skillicorn Elgin, IL – After years of Democrat majorities, Illinois is the financial Titanic. Illinois State Senator Michael Noland (D) insists on rearranging Illinois’ deck chairs and avoiding real issues like corruption and creating jobs. District 22 taxpayers are waking up and are calling on an old friend, former Senator Steve Rauschenberger (R) to usher Senator Noland into the private sector. The two could not be more different on policy and positions. Noland’s ideas, like boosting income taxes by 66%, are less popular than Rauschenberger addressing Illinois’ structural problems and bloated programs. To create the illusion of reform, Noland has been advertising, talking and boasting about the Recall Amendment that will be on the November ballot. Noland claims the Recall Amendment will give voters the right to recall an incompetent or corrupt Governor. Yes, voters want and deserve accountability. However, as pointed out in John Bambenek’s recent column, Illinois’ Recall Amendment: Holding Politicians Accountable Only if they Say it is OK, this amendment is ineffective and would have been useless against Illinois’ impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich (D). Senator Noland ignores the petition process and affidavit procedures that fail to provide accountability, and instead create an environment of protection. In Illinois, Constitutional Amendments are placed on the ballot after collecting signatures from 8% of IL voters. Many amendments fail to receive 267,000 signatures needed to reach 8%. The Recall Amendment requires signatures from 15% of IL voters. Collecting 550,000 signatures is a not an impossible task, but the Governor and his attorneys will challenge many of the signatures, making recall a significant investment of time and resources. Furthermore, before the petition process can even begin, the signatures of 20 State Representatives (10 from each party) and 10 State Senators (5 from each party) are required. Before Rod Blagojevich was arrested, even very few Republican legislators would have taken the political risk to sign this affidavit. This provision takes power away from voters and gives it back to the legislative class. Mr. Noland claims this amendment is an example of "ethics reform", but upon scrutiny, it clearly falls far short of any real reform. Allen Skillicorn is political activist and blogger. Follow him at RELATED: IL Recall Amendment: Holding Politicians Accountable Only if they Say it is OK John Bambenek Vote No on Illinois Governor Recall Amendment