Skip to comments.Tax Money Paying for Empty Lt. Guvís Office
Posted on 03/31/2009 10:33:28 PM PDT by Impy
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Governor Pat Quinn is promising to go through the state budget line by line to look for waste and inefficiency. Some lawmakers say all he needs to do is take the elevator one flight down to find a waste of taxpayer's money. Dane Placko reports on the debate over what to do with the lieutenant governor's office.
The state constitution doesn't provide for filling the vacancy. Quinn insists on keeping the useless vacant office open.
Mr “Clean” wants two salaries?
The vacancy can’t be filled. Since the 1970 constitution the LT Guv is no longer even President of the State Senate. It’s useless.
But I think state’s should have LT Guvs elected on a ticket with the Governor, a person of the same party to take over the office if necessary.
Here’s an idea to throw around, abolish the Sec of State and give it’s duties to the LT Governor.
Or at least allow a vacancy to be filled.
He doesn’t get the salary, but he insists a handful of his underlings there are doing important work on the penny ante projects he was working on.
Alaska’s Lt Governor functions as Sec of State. Actually, all they did was switch the job title in the ‘60s when it used to be called Sec of State. They should either restore the powers of IL Lt Gov to be President of the Senate or give them some sort of authority or abolish the office. There also needs to be a manner with which the office can be filled (having either the Gov appoint when a vacancy occurs or having the next ranking official in the Senate ascend to the job, as what occurs in NY & PA).
The Lt. Governor also gets two fully staffed office suites, just like the Governor -- one in the capitol building in Springfield, and another in the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.
Of course we could have solved all this last year when the "Constitution Convention" was on the ballot, but the sheeple in Illinois rejected it due to a fear campaign that they'd somehow lose their state pensions under a new constitution. Now the only way to reform the way our government is set up is through massively amending the Constitution.
They ought to merge the Illinois Treasurer and Ilinois Comptroller into a single office as well, and put them both under the jurisdiction of the State Auditor General (currently an appointed office)
The Illinois Secretary of State is already an enormously powerful official, since he's also in charge of transportation and the dept. of motor vehicles, the state librarian, state historian, "keeper of the great seal of Illinois" etc. I wouldn't want to make the guy Lt. Governor as well... especially with senile Jesse White currently holding the job.
Since the office of Lt. Governor if vacant, the next in line according to the order of succession is the Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, and not her father, the Speaker of the House (I don't know who's in line after little Lisa) Why they made the A.G. next in line, I don't know, logic should dictate that it would go to the SOS or the Speaker of the House.
Personally I think Gov. Quinn committed political suicide by proposing an income tax hike in his annual budget address. Hasn't he learned that you're not supposed to shove these things through until AFTER you win re-election?
Illinois state Constitution, Article V, section 7:
“If the Lieutenant Governor fails to qualify or if his office becomes vacant, it shall remain vacant until the end of the term.”
someone should total up how much the lunches for all the congress critters costs.. after all, they put it on the tax payers tab
when they start eating oodles of noodles on a daily basis... THEN i might think they are serious about cutting spending, instead of just raising taxes.
Dave O'Neal. He was elected with Big Jim Thompson in '76 and reelected in '78 (when they switched to the off-year elections). I'm forgetting if it was he or his predecessor, Neal Hartigan, that was the first to win the job on a ticket elected with the Governor (remember Dem Paul Simon won Lt Gov even as Republican Dick Ogilvie won the Governorship in '68). O'Neal thought he was going to win the open Senate seat in 1980 when Adlai Stevenson the 3rd retired (in anticipation of running for Governor in '82). When he failed and it went to Sec of State Alan Dixon (one of the few Dem successes in the Reagan landslide), he had nowhere to go. Thompson made it plain he wasn't going to step aside in '82, so O'Neal just quit in July '81 and left the office vacant for a year and a half. I don't think anyone much noticed. Of course, that then gave then-House Speaker George Ryan his opportunity, and he managed to serve a whole 8 years in the job. When he was succeeded by Bob Kustra in '91, Kustra was the anointed choice for Senator in '96, but after he was upended by Al Salvi in the primary, he eventually quit early, too, in July of '98.
I would prefer they keep the office around (New Jersey's past is proof of how awkward the suddenly transfer of power is without a Lt. Governor), but give it some teeth. I think everyone can agree that it would have been better to have Pat Quinn preceding over the state senate than Emil Jones. I agree with Impy they have a procedure in place to name an acting Lt. Governor in the event of a vacancy too. I think in a few states, like Texas, the Lt. Governor post is arguably more powerful than the Governor. I wouldn't go that far, but Illinois certainly should at least give the job similar clout as Vice President, and perhaps a few more actual powers than Joe Biden has under the U.S. Constitution. (perhaps a provision that the Governor & Lt. Governor meet once a week to discuss the affairs of government... this would have forced Blago to keep Quinn in the loop about the state budget)
Yeah, there was a rivalry. Simon was being groomed for the Governorship by the Daley Machine and was all set to face Ogilvie in '72... that was until the anti-Daley Dan Walker upended Simon in the Dem primary. Had Ogilvie not ramrodded that income tax through, he would've won reelection without much of a problem. A little interesting fact that Je$$e Jack$on endorsed both the anti-Jewish Chuck Percy and Ogilvie in '72 for reelection.
"I think in a few states, like Texas, the Lt. Governor post is arguably more powerful than the Governor."
My state could make that claim, too. Recently, a survey was conducted on who were the most powerful people in TN and Ron Ramsey, our GOP Lt Governor, was ranked ahead of Gov. Bredesen. At the time Dubya defeated Ma Richards in '94 for TX Governor, the Tory Democrat Bob Bullock was the Lt Governor. Bullock, a very experienced pol, could've really inflicted maximum damage upon Dubya if he so chose to since this was, after all, Dubya's first elective office. Instead, he ended up serving as a mentor and showing him the ropes. I think this also accounted partly for why Dubya never formed a really strong and visceral dislike for operating with Democrats. Given a fairly productive and bipartisan atmosphere he had in Austin, he never quite "got it" that that wasn't how the federal rodents operated. It really showed in his last two years in office when he just totally was lost (and Harry Reid & Nancy Pelosi were no Bob Bullock).
Neal Finkelman, a Gurnee conservative, says that he was the lt. gov., July 1998-Jan. ‘99. He must have been appointed by then-Gov. Edgar.
Neal “April Fools” Finkelman ?
Why did you call him April Fools? I lived near San Diego, 1996-2001, and I haven’t found much information, about him. I looked for him, using google.
You googled him ? Seriesly ?
Yes, I’m serious, and I didn’t find very much information, about him.
About San Diego ?
I was there because I was in the navy.
Did you serve with Rusty Griswold ?
Huh? Woo the hell is Neal Finkelman? Whoever he was he was never the LT Governor of Illinois.
I never got why Treasurer and Comptroller were separate offices. Florida combined the 2 into State CFO.
“The Illinois Secretary of State is already an enormously powerful official, since he’s also in charge of transportation and the dept. of motor vehicles, the state librarian, state historian, “keeper of the great seal of Illinois” etc. I wouldn’t want to make the guy Lt. Governor as well.”
That’s a good point. Those powers really shouldn’t be vested in someone not directly elected.
But the LT needs to have some purpose other than just to succeed the Governor.
And I’m mystified why the constitution was written to prohibit filling a vacancy. I always thought it was just an oversight. I guess it’s to prevent someone who was not elected possibly being Governor (ala Jerry Ford).
Dave O’Neal if he was a conservative was the last one in the Lieutenant Governor’s office. Followed by G. Ryan, Kustra, Corrine Wood, and Quinn.
The website of the Wisconsin University Alumni Association states that one of their members is: “The Honorable E. Neal Finkelman, B.A. 1955, Lieutenant Governor (R) IL ‘98-’99”
That’s bizzare. Finkelman wrote that message himself it looks like. Obviously he was kidding or is mentally ill.
All joking aside, because I thought you were pulling my leg, Phil, there WAS no Lieutenant Governor following the resignation of Bob Kustra in 1998, nor an “acting” one or anything else. As per the state constitution, the office becomes vacant until the next election upon the death or resignation of its occupant, period. I thought you were pulling my leg. I saw that reference on the website:
“Back when I was an undergraduate, in the days of Alan “The Horse” Ameche, known as the most proficient running back in college football, and winner of the Heisman Trophy - an outstanding classmate athlete that helped march our Badgers to a 1954 Rose Bowl Big Ten Championship Game - there was a popular myth that we learned as freshmen about Abe Lincoln’s Statue sitting in front of Bascom Hall.
It was reputed that if we walked our date in front of him, he would stand up and gently bow, if she was a virgin - a perhaps obsolete custom of the day.
I have remained single all these years, as has Abe remained seated, for somehow my fortunes never produced an encounter that measured up to my girlfriend’s prerequisites then, nor since - not that I wouldn’t consent even yet, as I approach my 74th birthday August 30th as a Virgo - nor that I considered Virginity as a condition for Matrimony, even though.
But I thought it wouldn’t hurt to remind students again of that quaint old custom and keep alive a tradition that can be interpreted to our own purposes, and that of our ladies.
As a side note let me remind you that in front of the Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, a sister-state, is another statue of The Great Plainsman, standing tall for all the world to see. What would that mean, if anything...and he hasn’t sat down since it was dedicated.
The Honorable E. Neal Finkelman, B.A. 1955, Lieutenant Governor (R) IL ‘98-’99”
Clearly this guy must be a senile loon trying to pass himself off as having held the office when he clearly has not. The WU Alumni Association should be informed he is a fraud.
I did some digging and found a second reference where this guy claims he held the office:
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14
The Republican field seemed to shrink to seven over the past couple of days. However, three other candidates have or are trying to join the Republican primary. Ezra Neal Finkleman who says he was the Lieutenant Governor from June 30th, 1998 to January 11th 1999 is seeking the nomination. His credentials include being a contender for Vice President in 2000, and being appointed Warren Township Committeeman for the Lakehurst Precinct. He dismissed the current batch of candidates by saying the Republicans were, “renegades or mavericks” and the Democrats he characterized by saying, “the best of them, are a degenerate brand of Communists.”
“and the Democrats he characterized by saying, the best of them, are a degenerate brand of Communists.”
Well he’s not some lucidity. LOL
This is priceless. Just like Emperor Norton.
I worked for John Cox’s U.S. Senate campaign, May 2001-Mar. ‘02. Cox’s campaign got a donation from E. Neal Finkelman, and Finkelman included a letter that said that he was the lt. gov. July 1998-Jan. ‘99. I found a few websites that agree with him, but I read, in the state constitution, that, if the office became vacant, it will remain vacant until the next election.
What a loon. He probably had business cards made out and everything to use as “evidence” that he was the Lt. Gov for 6 months.
You’re correct, it couldn’t be clearer that a Governor can’t name a new Lt. Gov. when the office becomes vacant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieutenant_Governor_of_Illinois
Yeah, not completely crazy.
And I’ve been keeping meticulous records of statewide and federal officeholders now for more than a decade. If he had been appointed by then-Gov. Jim Edgar, I’d have known about it. Politics1 was also getting started up about that time and it would’ve listed his name as well. Of course, it is somewhat ingenuous to make such a claim. Who, aside from us political junkies, would even think to check someone claiming they held a downballot office ? Most folks wouldn’t know he was a fraud. When Phil brought it up yesterday, I thought he was pulling an April Fool’s prank on me.
“. Of course, it is somewhat ingenuous to make such a claim. Who, aside from us political junkies, would even think to check someone claiming they held a downballot office ? Most folks wouldnt know he was a fraud.”
Indeed. What a riot!
Now, there's a clear way to determine whether Finkelman's claims are valid. As long as Pat Quinn is going to waste taxpayer's money keeping the Lt. Governor's office open, call them up in Chicago or Springfield and politely request paper records (by fax or mail) of every occupant discharging the duties of the office since 1818, along with any state records of a "E. Neal Finkelman" ever serving or working in the office of Lt. Governor, especially during the period from July 2, 1998 to January 10, 1999. Specificially, if he was ever on the state payroll and what kind of "duties" he was responsible for, if any, in the Lt. Governor's office. (Tell them it's a grave matter and you need to determine whether or not Mr. Finkelman's resume is fraudulent). Let's make them earn their paychecks over at the vacant Lt. Governor's office. Illinois taxdollars at work!
OFFICE OF THE LT. GOVERNOR
JRTC, 100 W. RANDOLPH
CHICAGO, IL 60601−3220
Fax: (312) 814-4862
OFFICE OF THE LT. GOVERNOR
ROOM 214, STATE HOUSE
SPRINGFIELD, IL 62706−4700
Fax: (217) 524-6262
Well you, Phil and Impy are local, so I suspect you guys would get a more timely response than an out-of-stater such as moi.
The Lt. Governor post could be made more than ceremonial by simply giving it similar clout to what the Vice Presidency has evolved into, and writing something along those lines into the state constitution:
The Lt. Governor shall be President of the Illinois Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided. During a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly, the Lt. Governor shall be presiding officer and rule on all matters of parliamentary procedure, and shall serve as judge during the impeachment trial of Illinois officials, except those in the executive branch of government.
In cases of the Governor's death, resignation, or removal from office, the Lt. Governor shall become Governor. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the Governor, the Governor-elect shall have died, the Lt. Governor-elect shall become Governor. If a Governor shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the Governor elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Lt. Governor-elect shall act as Governor until a Governor shall have qualified; and the legislature may by law provide for the case wherein neither a Governor elect nor a Lt. Governor elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as Governor, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a Governor or Lt. Governor shall have qualified.
In cases the Governor is impeached, incapacitated, or unable to discharge the duties of his office, the Lt. Governor shall become acting Governor until such time the Governor is able to resume his duties. Cases of disability shall be determined solely by the legislature, or by written notification of the Governor. The Lt. Governor shall automatically become Governor if the Governor is unable to resume his duties within 60 days.
The legislature may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a Governor whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Lt. Governor whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.
The Governor and the Lt. Governor shall be required to meet weekly to discuss the affairs of state, and the Lt. Governor shall be responsible for ensuring the Governor's initiatives are carried out by state officials, according to law.
Of course even weaker than the Lt. Governor post is the “Deputy Mayor of Chicago” (or perhaps it's “Vice Mayor”, I'm not sure). Yes, Chicago does have one but nobody even realizes it. In theory, the Deputy Mayor is supposed to take over the Mayor's job in the event he kicks the bucket, but in practice this never happens because the city council names their own “official” replacement mayor quickly. The last time was when Mayor Harold Washington died in 1987, and “Deputy Mayor” David Orr was “acting mayor” for a week (his lone act as mayor was to preside over a city council event that paid tribute to the late Mayor Washington), and by that the time city council decided the dead black mayor MUST be replaced with another black guy, and picked moderate black Eugene Sawyer as a compromise candidate the white alderman could live with. Orr (now Cook County Clerk) does get to have his portrait on the “wall of mayors” collage in Daley's office, for being mayor for a week, though.
I had to google it to determine who the heck is the current Deputy/Vice/Whatever Mayor of Chicago, and it looks like Alderman Bernie Stone has the “office”. Basically a nice honorary title with absolutely no duties or responsibilities, even if the mayor dropped dead.
“I had to google it to determine who the heck is the current Deputy/Vice/Whatever Mayor of Chicago, and it looks like Alderman Bernie Stone has the office.”
Interesting I never heard of that, Stone’s Wikipedia article says it’s “Vice”.
It seems the position was created in response to Wilson Frost
a black Alderman who was President Pro Tem of the Council when Daley I died and claimed he was acting mayor according to the charter, the council disagreed and voted in Mike Bilandic (who’s last political act was being the tie breaking rat vote in 2002 legislative redistricting because Jesse White pulled his name out of stovepipe hat, he died shortly after that).
Stone was briefly a Republican/Rino. Ran against Carol Mosley-Fraud for recorder of deeds in 1988. Wikipedia alleges his campaign was racist as he begged the papers to show to her picture (oh look she’s black).
He later joined every other Alderman except for Brian Doherty (R) in voting to urge slavery reparations.