Saturday, March 21, 2009

HB0048 Wolves at the Door in Illinois

I'm hearing rumors that Harry Osterman (D-Anger Management) has been counting heads and found that he's "2 or 3 votes" away from passing HB0048 in the Illinois House of Representatives. If that sounds comfortable to you, I'd like you to consider what Osterman went through last year. He was sure he had enough votes to pass the same bill, and he brought it up for a floor vote. To his shock, he lost two votes he had been sure were reliably on his side. I don't know if he'd even spoken to those two representatives in the days leading up to the vote. Those two Representatives voted with their constituents and their consciences, sending Osterman's bill down to defeat, and the story I heard was that he was so furious that he confronted Rep. Annazette Collins on the House floor, screaming and ranting like . . . . well, like Harry Osterman, I guess. Anything that can happen to him can happen to us, folks.

We have until Tuesday to flood in the phone calls (don't know who to call? Here's a handy list of Representatives who could potentially vote either way) and FAXes. It's got to be done. And quite frankly, the year that the Heller decision passed, we should be able to sway more legislators than that--they ought to be worried that they're going to cost the state money in the coming lawsuit, but apparently not enough of them are thinking along those lines. I can't help but think that they're not getting enough phone calls.