There are three basics in political campaigns:
- a candidate
That’s what I learned in the campaign schools I’ve attended.
With Governor Bruce Rauner having a campaign nest egg of $20 million, and his having told Republican legislators that he expects them to be with him on every one of the issues he considers vital, my mind went back to Governor Richard Ogilvie’s dissatisfaction with Elgin State Representative (later Senator) John Friedland.
I can’t remember what vote displeased Ogilvie, but this Governor that gave us the 3% income tax went out after Friedland in the GOP primary election.
Ogilvie was not successful.
Of course, that Governor did not have as much cash as Rauner.
Thursday, the Chicago Sun-Times had an article whose theme was the Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Super PAC backing and opposing aldermen according to their support of the Mayor had “sputtered.”
Having spent sixteen years in the Illinois House of Representatives, I identify with the Legislative Branch of government. (I spent about ten years in the Executive Branch in the U.S. Bureau of the Budget, as McHenry County Treasurer and in the Illinois Department of Central Management Services.)
So when our new Governor tells legislators with a great deal of emphasis (you would not believe the verbiage used) that he expects them to be with him on every vote, I must admit that it bothers me.
Our national and state governmental structures have three branches for a reason.
Our founding fathers did not believe in overconcentration of power.
Ours is not a parliamentary system or a dictatorship.
I took office as State Representative in 1973 after four years of the Ogilvie Administration.
To my surprise, I noticed returning colleagues at a loss for what to do without advice from the Executive Branch.
Not having been under the yoke of the former Governor, I just voted for what made sense.
Current legislators have been making up their own minds with no advice from the Second Floor (where the Governor’s Office is located) for twelve years…since George Ryan left office.
Governor Rauner will be able to intimidate some of them, maybe most of them, if my perception of the unease at the lack of gubernatorial advice in veterans of the 1973 session, but there will be those with backbones enough to say,
- “I’m going to do what’s right” or
- “I’m going to do what my constituents want me to do”
even if it means this session is my last time in Springfield.
They will be the ones remembered fondly by their colleagues, even or maybe, especially, by those who turn into rubber stamps.