Bruce Rauner has snagged enough signatures to get his term limit referendum on the ballot this fall, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The GOP gubernatorial nominee has made it a mission in his corruption-crusading campaign against Gov. Pat Quinn to crack down on career politicians' tenures here in Illinois. Rauner's petition to add a question on term limits to the Nov. 4 ballot has garnered 333,164 legit signatures from registered voters, surpassing the requirement of $300,000 signatures, according to estimates by employees of the State Board of Elections.
The agency said it would deliver those numbers to the board for review on whether the question is eligible for the ballot.
The Rauner-backed amendment on legislative term limits aims to restrict lawmakers to eight years in public service. The ballot question would also gauge voter opinion on further proposals to replace the three-fifths rule to strike down a governor's veto power with a new two-thirds vote while growing the size of the Illinois House to 123 members from 118 and minimizing the Senate from 59 members to 41.
In order to score ballot space, the term limit push must adhere to guidelines within the Illinois constitution requiring that petition-driven amendments address the structure of the General Assembly.
Meanwhile, Mike Kasper -- an attorney allied with state Democrats including House Speaker Michael Madigan -- has pitched a lawsuit in an effort to curb Rauner's efforts, arguing that the amendment oversteps constitutional bounds by cobbling together unconnected issues.
Kasper has previously repped President Barack Obama, when he was a senator, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whom he defended against a dispute over his residency status. Another past client is Dick Durbin, the big-name Illinois Democrat seeking to win a fourth term in office this election cycle.
In Kasper's view, and that of the Democratic Party by extension, the term limit measure trangresses the authority of the state constitution under Article IV, which handles the make-up of the House and Senate. Citizen-proposed reforms "shall be limited to" Article IV, states the constitution.
All told, the move to impose term limits will most certainly continue to be a point of contention in the Rauner-versus-Quinn showdown -- especially given Illinoisian resentment toward Springfield and growing disdain of power broker and three-dimensional cartoon villain Michael Madigan.
What say you: term limits or 100 more years with Madigan pulling the strings? You know he'll outlive us all.