Opinion: Term limits deny voters their rights

Opinion: Term limits deny voters their rights

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Term limits deny voters their rights. But Term Limits may soon see a casualty in the demise of the failed administration of Gov. Bruce Rauner in November 2018

By Ray Hanania

RayHananiaColumnPodcast_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 rghanania@gmail.com.)

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This post has already been read 293 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com