I don’t know if anyone at the Northwest Herald was there in 2002 when I ran for governor on the Libertarian Party ticket, but Sunday’s editorial writer provided a flashback for me.
When I announced my candidacy, the main pitch was that Springfield needed reform and that the problem with the legislative branch was a lack of turnover of the leadership.
Six years max.
At the time Mike Madigan had been Democratic Party leader in the House since 1983 when he took over from George Ryan as Speaker. Lee Daniels had been the top GOP guy since then, too.
In the Senate, Pate Philip was the long-time leader for the Republicans and Emil Jones headed the Dems, but not for as long.
In any event, I made the argument that leaders should change periodically and since it was not occurring regularly naturally, I proposed a constitutional amendment. I remember meeting with two top Libertarians at McDonald’s Playland in Crystal Lake.
As my son climbed, they agreed they would pass such a petition after the election. Without that promised, I probably would not have run. It was the clincher, so to speak. I figured Libertarians didn’t know how to win elections, but they did know how to pass petitions.
Unfortunately, that part of the bargain went by the wayside.
But, as with other third party ideas, the term limits for leaders pitch apparently did stick in some brains.
With the publishing of the NWH Editorial, I see that the idea has entered the mainstream, so to speak.
The paper did not just pitch term limits for state legislative leaders, but also for the chairman of the McHenry County Board. Four terms is enough for Chairman Ken Koehler, the paper suggests, agreeing with Randy Donley in his effort to impose term limits on people holding the office. Donley’s idea was reported first on McHenry County Blog.