9-4-2016-6-09-03-PM-6494347

Ray Hanania: Term limits deny voters their rights

Every time a failed politician or a failed group of activists don’t get their way, they stamp their feet and whine like little babies that they want to impose “term limits.”

“Term limits” basically takes away the right of each individual voter to choose their government representatives at the ballot box through voting.

Why would anyone do that? Because many times, voters really like some politicians and return them to office over, and over and over again. That upsets the losers who get so frustrated because they can’t seem to get enough votes to win anything.

If they just had “term limits,” losers might be elected to office. In our system of Democracy where voters decide their destiny and representation, “term limits” is a strategy for losers.

The latest to embrace “term limits” is TurnAround Illinois Inc., one of those secret, big-money political action committees that doesn’t have to disclose where it gets all its money.

Super PACs, or “Independent Expenditure Committees” according to the Illinois Election Code, may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates or issues.

The only difference is that Super PACs are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates.

What is not a secret, though, is that TurnAround Illinois is controlled by Gov. Bruce Rauner, who is fumbling his way through Springfield. The sole purpose of the Super PAC, according to the watchdog group IllinoisSunshine.org, is, “To support state legislative candidates who support Gov. Rauner’s bold and needed reforms, and to oppose those who stand in the way.”

Turnaround Illinois has more than $2.2 million in its war chest, while Rauner has more than $15 million in his. Super PACs can support stupid ideas and the failed agendas of weak politicians without being accountable to anyone.

Advocating “term limits” is a sign of political weakness. And no politician in Illinois these days is weaker than Rauner, who thinks filing lawsuits against columnists who challenge his views, his puppet candidates and his agenda, doesn’t violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which protects free speech and a free press.

Rauner was elected to office in November 2014 because his Democratic opponent, Pat Quinn, was a poor candidate. At one time in his life, Quinn was a popular outsider. But once he finally made it to the big time, he started acting like an insider.

The voters saw that and decided to give Rauner a chance to do what Quinn failed to do.

But Rauner isn’t much better. Rauner is blaming his failings on Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, who is one of the state’s brightest politicians.

Rauner is incapable of implementing his bad ideas because Madigan and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, another great elected leader, won’t allow Rauner to destroy this state.

Instead of proposing good ideas for Illinois, Rauner has turned his agenda into another failed Republican grab for power.

I’ve only met Rauner twice, but I have known Madigan and Cullerton for more than 40 years, meeting both of them when they first entered politics when I was a reporter covering Chicago City Hall and Illinois politics.

The only “term limits” we need are the term limits that the voters will cast in the upcoming elections.

It is the right of every voter to decide who they want to represent them in Springfield.

Voters don’t need a failed governor to take that choice away from them. And they won’t need “term limits” to tell Rauner to take a hike when his re-election comes up in November 2018.

What we do need are laws to force Rauner to show us who really is funding his and other Super PACs.

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist. Email him at [email protected]

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