Illinois state Sens., from left, James Clayborne (D-Belleville) and Michael Noland (D-Elgin)
Former 113th District candidate Doug Jameson sees no honor in two former Illinois lawmakers going back on a standard they once set for the good of the state.
“Those legislators that seek back pay stand in opposition to those legislators that understand the times that the state of Illinois is in and have even foregone their pensions,” Jameson told the Metro East Sun. “I live in a world of service above self where, apparently, those legislators do not.”
Jameson’s indignation is sparked by news that once long-serving state Sens. Michael Noland (D-Elgin) and James Clayborne (D-Belleville) have now filed suit seeking seven-figure back pay payouts based on the wage-freeze the General Assembly instituted while they were serving in the legislature. Clayborne, who served as Senate Majority Leader, was a member of the legislature for a quarter of a century, with his former 57th District base being located in the Metro East region and including such communities as Belleville, East St. Louis and O'Fallon.
Former 113th District candidate Doug Jameson
Both men were cast in the spotlight when a Cook County judge ruled this summer that the wage-freeze legislation approved during their terms in Springfield violates the state constitution’s ban on lawmakers changing their pay scale in their current term. Jameson, who unsuccessfully challenged state Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) for his House seat in the 113th District last November, said the pair’s behavior is typical of the dysfunction that has defined Illinois state government in recent years.
“Their actions are indicative of their values and of a disregard for the use of public funds,” Jameson said. “While they’re looking at monies that they withheld from themselves in the past, they’re now trying to take advantage of the taxpayers of today.”
Jameson said he has no doubt about how he’d like to see the whole episode play out.
“I’d like to see their original decisions upheld,” he said.”They made a decision at a time that was advantageous for themselves and now they want to adjust their decision so that it’s advantageous to them again in the current political time. To me, that lacks principle.”