Activist federal judge hands down unconventional ruling

Last May the Illinois Legislature caught the taxpayers off guard by passing new labor reforms designed to save jobs by rescuing Chicago’s faltering convention industry.  Many of us were stunned that the Democrat dominated legislature joined their Republican colleagues and actually did something that was in the best interests of the people of our state.  Not only did our elected representatives in Springfield pass the measure, but they held firm after Governor Pat (the union puppet) Quinn nixed the reform bill and overrode his veto to enact the desperately needed legislation.

 

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Jim Reilly, the General Assembly trustee appointed to run McCormick Place and Navy Pier (referred to as McPier) was justifiably optimistic about the future business climate in the wake of the union labor reforms which restored the city’s competitive balance.

 

“As all observers of the convention and trade show business are aware, the implementation of those reforms has, virtually overnight, transformed McCormick Place from a great convention and trade show facility that was rapidly losing its customer base into an industry powerhouse,” Reilly said.  “Not only were our existing customers convinced to keep their events in Chicago, but new shows have been rapidly signing up, and these reforms have had a strong impact on the economy of Chicago during these difficult times.”

 

Several trade shows, including the International Housewares Association and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, recommitted to the Chicago site, citing the reforms.

 

The reforms allowed exhibitors to set-up and dissemble their own booths and operate small material moving equipment during set-up and take-down, while also helping them to reduce the amount of overtime paid to union workers.  David Causton, general manager of McCormick place said that since the new rules went into effect last August they have built “a lot of good will and re-signed a lot of customers for future shows.” 

 

Of course not everybody was happy with the labor reforms and the economic growth that they brought to the city.  Teamsters Local 727 and the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters brought suit against the reform bill in an attempt to maintain their iron grip on the convention and trade show business.  All they needed was the right judge to hear the case.

 

Enter U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman, a Bill Clinton nominee who was personally recommended by that great champion of organized labor, Senator Dick Durbin.  Claiming that “Despite its breadth, it’s not clear that [the reform bill] advances the state’s goal of reducing exhibitors’ costs,” Guzman struck down the reforms.  Guzman’s ruling leaves McCormick Place and its customers twisting in the wind and having to come to grips with the re-imposition of the old union rules which were driving business away from Chicago.

 

In response to the ruling, Senate President John Cullerton issues a statement defending the reform.  “Conventions are returning and re-upping, bringing an estimated $1 billion in consumer investment to Illinois,” he said.

 

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno said, “We are hopeful the authority wins a quick stay and that the decision is overturned on appeal.  The bipartisan legislation passed by the General Assembly is critical to the viability of McCormick Place.”

 

Once again we are witness to the dangers of judicial activism.  As the citizens of Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Illinois have learned, it only takes one judge with a political agenda to subvert the sovereign will of the people. 

 

April 2, 2011

 

paboehmke@yahoo.com

Last May the Illinois Legislature caught the taxpayers off guard by passing new labor reforms designed to save jobs by rescuing Chicago’s faltering convention industry.  Many of us were stunned that the Democrat dominated legislature joined their Republican colleagues and actually did something that was in the best interests of the people of our state.  Not only did our elected representatives in Springfield pass the measure, but they held firm after Governor Pat (the union puppet) Quinn nixed the reform bill and overrode his veto to enact the desperately needed legislation.

 

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Jim Reilly, the General Assembly trustee appointed to run McCormick Place and Navy Pier (referred to as McPier) was justifiably optimistic about the future business climate in the wake of the union labor reforms which restored the city’s competitive balance.

 

“As all observers of the convention and trade show business are aware, the implementation of those reforms has, virtually overnight, transformed McCormick Place from a great convention and trade show facility that was rapidly losing its customer base into an industry powerhouse,” Reilly said.  “Not only were our existing customers convinced to keep their events in Chicago, but new shows have been rapidly signing up, and these reforms have had a strong impact on the economy of Chicago during these difficult times.”

 

Several trade shows, including the International Housewares Association and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, recommitted to the Chicago site, citing the reforms.

 

The reforms allowed exhibitors to set-up and dissemble their own booths and operate small material moving equipment during set-up and take-down, while also helping them to reduce the amount of overtime paid to union workers.  David Causton, general manager of McCormick place said that since the new rules went into effect last August they have built “a lot of good will and re-signed a lot of customers for future shows.” 

 

Of course not everybody was happy with the labor reforms and the economic growth that they brought to the city.  Teamsters Local 727 and the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters brought suit against the reform bill in an attempt to maintain their iron grip on the convention and trade show business.  All they needed was the right judge to hear the case.

 

Enter U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman, a Bill Clinton nominee who was personally recommended by that great champion of organized labor, Senator Dick Durbin.  Claiming that “Despite its breadth, it’s not clear that [the reform bill] advances the state’s goal of reducing exhibitors’ costs,” Guzman struck down the reforms.  Guzman’s ruling leaves McCormick Place and its customers twisting in the wind and having to come to grips with the re-imposition of the old union rules which were driving business away from Chicago.

 

In response to the ruling, Senate President John Cullerton issues a statement defending the reform.  “Conventions are returning and re-upping, bringing an estimated $1 billion in consumer investment to Illinois,” he said.

 

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno said, “We are hopeful the authority wins a quick stay and that the decision is overturned on appeal.  The bipartisan legislation passed by the General Assembly is critical to the viability of McCormick Place.”

 

Once again we are witness to the dangers of judicial activism.  As the citizens of Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Illinois have learned, it only takes one judge with a political agenda to subvert the sovereign will of the people. 

 

April 2, 2011

 

paboehmke@yahoo.com

RECENT VIDEOS