Government of, by and for the people.
If government were “of, by and for” us . . . well, for starters, we’d have term limits.
Especially in Illinois. The Land of Lincoln has become the nation’s capital of corruption — four of the last seven governors went on to serve time in prison.
The state’s most powerful politician is House Speaker Michael Madigan, the longest-serving speaker in state history. Madigan is powerful, yes, but not at all popular — rated negatively by a substantial 65 percent of the public.
So much for popular government.
But yesterday, the negativity of Illinois politics was met quite positively — and head-on. The Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits delivered to the state Board of Elections a 36-foot long box, weighing nearly two tons, filled with 68,000 pages of petitions containing nearly 600,000 voter signatures.
That’s more than enough signatures to place the constitutional amendment onto the ballot. The measure will limit state legislators to eight years in office. It will also reduce the size of the state senate and increase the size of the state house, while upping the legislative vote needed to override a governor’s veto to the same two thirds threshold found in 37 other states.
Yet, hours before all those voter signatures were presented to officials, an attorney connected to Speaker Madigan filed a lawsuit hoping to block the vote. The news report on the lawsuit quoted “sources who asked not to be identified for fear of risking their ability to secure state grant dollars.”
Term limits. Now.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.