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Reaching the limit on term

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State Rep. Jim Sacia, R-Pecatonica

“Politically correct.” What does it mean?

On Sept. 3, hopefuls can once again pull petitions to run for elected office in the November 2014 general election. That is assuming, of course, that they win their primary on March 18, 2014. 

For the state representative and U.S. Congress positions, that means there are only 9 months of your 2-year term when you aren’t running for office.

This will be the first time in 12 years that I will not seek signatures to be elected. My self-imposed term limit, not to exceed 12 years, the equivalency of two U.S. Senate terms, is up next year. Might I seek another office? Perhaps, but not as your state representative. 

During these past years I have seldom been “politically correct,” which is saying only the right thing and playing to your audience or choosing your words in such a way as to “say nothing at all.” Our president mastered the art of “political correctness” by voting “present” 129 times as a state senator. 

I have always believed in calling it like it is. Most of you appreciate that; some think it’s terrible. You didn’t elect me to avoid the issues. 

You are all aware that for the past 2 months the governor has withheld our salaries until we pass “pension reform.” Certainly, the governor’s move is “politically correct” and the citizens seem to love it. “You go governor – stick it to those lazy legislators.”

Here is the fallacy. Where has the governor been on comprehensive pension reform? Along the way, I have been involved in many of the pension discussions. I have never seen the governor at any of them. It certainly begs the question, where is his great idea and leadership? 

A short week before our mandatory adjournment on May 31, the governor called me to his office. As we were in session, I locked out my electronic voting buttons and headed to his office. It never entered my mind that it would be anything other than pension reform.

You can’t make this stuff up folks – he wanted to know what it would take for me not to vote no on the gay marriage bill. It must be restated here – I have no issue with gay people. God loves us all. In my opinion, politics has no place in sexual preference. The hundreds of gay couples in the capital complex certainly made the issue “politically correct.”

My response to the governor was less than “politically correct.” “You could install a [blank] no button.” The governor smiled and dismissed me. It was not an attempt at being clever, more out of indignation, “you mean I’m not here to discuss pensions?” And so the beat goes on.

The governor gets some points for putting those now angry legislators in their place. I, for one, would sure appreciate his leadership. 

I learned long ago that you gain more with honey than with vinegar. The governor’s vinegar is not playing well in solving the pension issue but then again it is “politically correct.” 

Note to readers: Rep. Jim Sacia is serving his sixth term as state representative of the 89th House District, which includes parts of Carroll and Ogle counties.

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