Political Games

An Op-Ed on a political game played during a recent House Session from State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton).

February 28, 2013 – Springfield, Illinois - This past Tuesday, I sat in the Illinois House Chamber and two party caucuses for over 9 hours.  Members were debating numerous amendments to a concealed carry bill that had not even passed through a judiciary committee. The bill was HB 1155. This piece of legislation was allowed on the floor through a privilege the House Speaker has called “The Order of the Day.”

At first, I simply considered this a bad bill aimed at restricting Second Amendment rights in Illinois so severely that concealed carry would only exist in theory.

I committed to voting against this bill on principle. On the surface, it appeared to be a rushed effort to advance Illinois Democrat’s agenda. In addition to being overly restrictive, there had been virtually no time for legislators to review the bill.

As each amendment was debated, however, the sinister truth about the bill began to reveal itself.

The truth is, as Rich Miller stated in Capitol Fax, “the amendments put suburban Republicans in a trick bag. Voting against a ban on carrying guns in or near schools (or childcare facilities, government buildings, hospitals, etc.) no matter how overly restrictive the amendment was drafted, will definitely not look good in a campaign mail attack. The mailers basically write themselves.”

A bi-partisan gun-control bill had already been introduced that was far more measured and judicious. That bill is HB 997 “The Family and Personal Protection Act.” Under HB 997, a clear path toward concealed carry is established for law-abiding citizens, while also ensuring proper safe-guards, training requirements and mental health protections. Additionally, HB 997 provides substantial and clearly-defined protections for schools, childcare facilities, government buildings, casinos, hospitals, libraries, mass transit vehicles, sports stadiums and amusement parks.

What House Democrats did, under the direction of House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), was simply take these protections and distort them by adding imprecise language, such as “near, owned by or controlled by…” ; then tacked them together to form an incoherent, meandering bill, in which pieces of legislation do not properly fit together.  The amendments, as they are written, create excessive uncertainty for gun-owners as well as those charged with enforcing the law. House Democrats knew that no pro-liberty Republican would vote for these illegitimate regulations. Speaker Madigan, with stunningly tyrannical calculation, effectively composed Democrat campaign pieces from the House Chamber.

The most reprehensible part of all is that Illinois’ tax-payers are desperate for strong, redemptive legislation on pensions, jobs, state debt, healthcare and education. What they got yesterday was a vile demonstration of power from Speaker Madigan, as he coerced the House of Representatives into spending over 9 hours debating bad amendments to a shell bill.

This was a political game and every single tax-payer in the State of Illinois, regardless of their political beliefs, should be outraged. Every 2 years, new legislators are sent to the State House by the voters of Illinois only to have their arms twisted and be held hostage by a man who has amassed enormous power over the past 30 years. And, look what has happened to our state in those 30 years.

Yes, it’s business as usual in Illinois. The question is how much more damage needs to be done before we stop accepting “business as usual?” How many more jobs do we need to lose? How many more times should our credit be downgraded? How many more businesses need to close? How much more debt do we need to rack up? How many more political games have to be played on tax-payer time before we insist on something better?  How much more waste and corruption do we have to endure before we demand revolution?

I want to know because at the end of a long legislative day, not only are NONE of our most critical problems solved, but Illinois remains the only state in the nation without any form of concealed carry for the law-abiding public. And we are all paying for it.

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Northside Debbie February 28, 2013 at 08:53 PM
Ouch cw, who ever you are. See you are on the Jeanne express. Politicians make us the laughing stock. By painting herself in a corner on almost every issue, how is she going to work with the 75% of the people that disagree with her? Please have her do us a favor by learning to work with people. The "my way or the highway" approach Ms. Ives seems to take leaves us as road kill. BTW, the 1st Amendment was placed before the 2nd by Madison for a reason. If my words offend your world view, please ignore them before pulling your guns on a "tyrant."
St. Martin February 28, 2013 at 10:53 PM
The problem with Jeanne Ives is she lacks the patience and temperament to be successful in the current environment down in Springfield In order to be effective you must be able to negotiate with those people who are in complete power right now which is Democrats. It's one thing to bully your way, in a seven councilmen body, but its another to do it with insulting Michael Madigan and Tom Cross. This is not the way of getting any thing done.. Jeanne has not the temperament for the job. Jeanne is an embarrassment to all of us in the 42nd District.
BIll I March 01, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Yes she should negotiate the way our compromising leader does. That is, be open to compromise as long as what she's agreeing to is everything they want. That will make us all proud in the 42nd District.
St. Martin March 02, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Ag... you think negotiating is compromise... it is not.
Northside Debbie March 14, 2013 at 05:46 PM
What kind of representative calls a segment of our society weasels, and that the only reason they want kids it to be the "object of desire?" Ms. Ives, are you saying all gay couples want to get married so they can rape children? http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/03/ill-lawmaker-disordered-gays-are-trying-to-weasel-their-way-into-acceptability/


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