The people we put in the state capitol were all talking about linking arms and marching forward together after voters made it clear they wanted a new direction by ousting a multi-term incumbent governor and putting in a Republican with no statehouse stink on him.
The first chance they got to work together was on replacing state comptroller Judy Baar Topinka after she died in office and before she could be sworn in to her new term. On Thursday the state Senate and House both passed a bill calling for a special election in two years for the state comptroller. Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign it just before he scurries off into the night.
The alternatives were to allow Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner’s appointee, Leslie Munger, to serve Topinka’s full four-year term, or to wait a few days for the inauguration and work together on a solution.
Democrats said this was about giving the people their right to elect a constitutional officer. We, too, support that principle.
Yet what we really want was for Rauner to fulfill Topinka’s promise to save taxpayers millions by merging the state comptroller’s and treasurer’s offices. He intended to get “Judy’s Amendment” to the state constitution passed to do just that at the end of his appointee’s term.
State Senate President John Cullerton said this shouldn’t be viewed as Democrats breaking their promise to work with the new governor: “We have plenty of other things to talk about to get us off on a good foot.”
Hmmm. We suspect that foot was just planted square on Gov.-elect Rauner’s kiester.