CHICAGO - Following his gubernatorial campaign theme to "Turn Illinois upside down," GOP candidate Bruce Rauner launched a two-pronged attack on career politicians Tuesday with a call for eight-year term limits.
Via a new political action committee, Rauner urged Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls Governor Pat Quinn and former Obama chief of staff Bill Daley to join his effort to get a term limiting constitutional amendment onto the November 2014 ballot. At the same time, Rauner's gubernatorial campaign launched an ad (see below) echoing his committee's call for statewide officials and lawmakers to be limited to eight years in office.
“This constitutional amendment will help shift the balance of power in state government back towards the citizens,” Rauner continued. “Every element of this amendment is a good government reform and will empower the voters and make elections more competitive.”“The broken system in Springfield is a bipartisan problem that deserves a bipartisan solution,” Rauner said. “Both Pat Quinn and Bill Daley have expressed support for term limits in the past. I eagerly encourage them to join this initiative and make it bipartisan.”
The constitutional amendment Rauner's committee is proposing also reduces the number of state Senate seats from 59 to 41, while the state House will increase from 118 to 123 seats, allowing 3 House seats to be ‘nested’ within each Senate district. Rauner argues the structural reform will make Senate elections more competitive and save the state money.
A third component of the proposed constitutional amendment increases the threshold to override a governor’s veto from a three-fifths majority to a two-thirds majority. The governor is the only statewide-elected official directly involved in the lawmaking process, so reforming the veto override threshold not only brings Illinois in line with most other states as well as the U.S. Constitution’s treatment of congressional overrides of presidential vetoes, but helps ensure the best interests of all Illinoisans are represented.
If the initiative appears on the November 2014 ballot and Illinois voters support the effort, the amendment would take effect immediately, setting into motion a structural overhaul of the General Assembly, the legislative districts and representative districts.
Rauner's new campaign video promoting term limits: