**UPDATE: Froehlich zinged by GOP** Rejection Thursday at the Capitol (Updated with Senate softball victory speech)
State Rep. Paul Froehlich, the former Schaumburg Republican turned Democrat, got zinged today on the House floor by a former GOP colleague. Froehlich was accusing state Rep. Raymond Poe, a Springfield Republican, of flip-flopping on gambling.
Poe was having none of it, and given his accuser’s party-swapping background quickly fired back, much to the delight of GOP members. Here's a link to the audio. Special thanks to Illinois Public Radio for assistance.
So far this morning, state lawmakers have been busy voting down legislation.
An Illinois House committee rejected the idea of requiring Illinois voters show an official ID in order to cast a ballot. The proposal was modeled after the Indiana law recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
State Rep. Tim Schmitz, a Batavia Republican, supported the ID requirement, noting people have to show ID to get into the Capitol, fly and do numerous daily activities. He also said there's an easy alternative, vote absentee.
Critics of the idea said there are fraud possibilities with absentee voting too.
Schmitz suggested lawmakers go after them too.
"Then you'll have to run for Congress," said Michael Kreloff, a lobbyist for Cook County Clerk David Orr, who opposes the ID requirement.
"Thought about it," said a smiling Schmitz, once considered a leading GOP contender to replace U.S. Rep. J. Dennis Hastert.
With the majority Democrats all opposing the ID requirement, it was voted down in committee.
At roughly the same time, another House committee turned away a proposal that would let authorities seize a home used for growing marijuana. Homes and other real property can be taken in other narcotics cases, but pot had been cut out.
Supporters said recent instances of "grow houses" being found in the Chicago area show the law should be changed.
But state Rep. Bob Molaro, a Chicago Democrat, said the proposal was flawed and as presented would allow someone's home to be taken if their kids used it to sell a "nickel or dime bag."
He said the plan needed to be far more specific so casual users -- "So many people are using marijuana out there" -- don't lose their homes.
State Rep. Susana Mendoza, a Chicago Democrat sponsoring the forfeiture law, acquiesced to Molaro's view and pulled it from debate for further work.
In other news
Rebecca Rausch, the frequently quoted Springfield-based spokeswoman for Gov. Rod Blagojevich, confirms she's soon leaving the administration and state employment for a PR job in the St. Louis area.
Senate softball victory speech
The Illinois Senate defeated the Illinois House last night in the annual softball game.
Here’s the understated victory speech given on the Senate floor today by Senate captain Rickey Hendon.
Yesterday, Mr. President, you know we had the annual House-Senate softball game.
Before I get emotional, I just wanted to let everybody know we have a cake to celebrate the victory …
(cracking up with emotion)
I was just so proud of the team yesterday.
The house chickens, they’d beat us three years in a row, Mr. President.
They were arrogant.
I won a couple hundred dollars.
They were giving up six of seven runs.
I was just baiting them in, Mr. President.
BECAUSE I KNEW!
I knew that we were gonna get them this year.
I just want to point out it was a team effort.
But if I could Mr. President, Frank Watson got a big hit, Mr. President.
I LOVE THAT REPUBLICAN!
I LOVE THAT REPUBLICAN!
Lou Viverito took a walk for the team.
He took a walk.
We lost the coin flip Mr. President, but they wanted to hit first because they said to me, that you old men in the Senate wouldn’t be able to catch that ball …
But they didn’t know we had a man at first base named Matt “the hands” Murphy.
I LOVE THAT REPUBLICAN! Ohhhh.
The most valuable player yesterday, Mr. President.
Thank god we elected him.
He kept me calm.
Ira Silverstein kept me calm.
You know in his profession he can keep the count. He kept telling me, ‘Rickey, it’s 6-3, calm down.’
Rev. Meeks put a prayer in for me. He should have put a prayer in for himself because he made about three errors.
But that’s OK, we are the victors.
But then Kotowski, the most valuable player ….(screaming)
You know, I’m going to make this brief Mr. President. (unintelligible emotional wailing)
I’m happy. Forget the pay raise.
I’m on a roll here, leave me alone.
We hadn’t won … I’ll say this then I’ll be done.
There were many stars yesterday. We played solid defense, from Harmon to Frerichs, who filled in a second base.
It was bipartisan.
It was great.
We had a young rookie in right field – Senator Bivins. He did great out there. He didn’t catch nothing, but he did great.
But you all had a star pitcher out there. (editors note: Hendon was the pitcher)
I don’t know where you got that young kid from, that little dark kid, that little short kid … from the West Side!
But I couldn’t have done it without my catcher – Debbie “congresswoman-to-be” Halvorsen, who kept me calm.
We hadn’t won since Geo Karis went to call the games in heaven.
So Geo, this is for you baby!
(Senate presiding officer)Sen. Link: I’m glad you don’t show any emotion, senator.