Monday, April 14, 2008

Trotter sponsors recall amendment; Franks and Quinn upset by move

Donne Trotter represents some of the Sixth Ward in the state senate. This is why I'm presenting this to the general audience here. Article via the Capitol Fax...
State Rep. Jack Franks and Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn are fuming mad that a state senator who called Franks' proposed recall amendment “stupid” has become its chief Senate sponsor.

Franks, D-Woodstock, is scrambling to get his proposed constitutional amendment to allow voters to recall state elected officials out of the hands of state Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago, who opposes the measure. Quinn, a long-time advocate of recall, and Franks late last week denounced Trotter's move to become chief sponsor, just days after the amendment passed the House with the needed three-fifths majority.

Trotter told the Chicago Tribune last week that the idea was “stupid” and that voters could oust unpopular leaders in regular elections.

“I want to expose what I think is the corruption of the system and the cronyism, quite frankly, and re-emphasize that I'm trying to give government back to the people,” Franks said. “This is exactly the types of shenanigans and dirty deeds that I've vowed to root out.”

Franks accused Trotter, the Senate's majority caucus whip, of sponsoring the bill to make sure that it died in committee. Trotter denied Friday that he intended to keep the amendment from a vote, but called it a way for Franks to take his public feud with Gov. Rod Blagojevich to a new level by amending the Constitution to help get rid of him.

“As a matter of fact, what I told Representative Franks is that I believe it's a bad bill and it's a stupid bill, and I don't think it should focus on getting rid of someone in a way that circumvents the Constitution and free and fair elections,” Trotter said.

Trotter said the bill would fail on its own lack of merits, not any attempt by him to kill it. He said he would welcome changes, such as allowing for recall of any elected official down to the local government level.

House members voted, 75-33, on Tuesday to approve the amendment, which would allow voters to gather signatures to recall statewide office holders and General Assembly members. Thirty Democrats, mostly from Cook County, and three Republicans voted against it.

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