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League drops petition drive as remap reform fails

Friday, Apr 30, 2010

* Back in 2008, the Illinois League of Women Voters decided to oppose a state constitutional convention. This was one of the big reasons

The serious problems suggested as a reason for a Con-Con can actually be addressed by legislation or constitutional amendment. Kaszak noted that there have been ten successful amendments since the 1970 Constitution, and the current Lt. Governor has successfully amended the Constitution (the Cutback Amendment of 1980 which reduced the number of members of the House of Representative by 59 and abolished cumulative voting) and could guide individuals through the process;

This year, the League has joined with Republicans and others to support a constitutional amendment on redistricting. They’ve discovered it ain’t as easy to amend our constitution as they thought two years ago. Their proposal went nowhere in the General Assembly and they announced yesterday they were abandoning their petition drive

In a letter sent Thursday evening to The State Journal-Register’s editorial staff, however, the Illinois League of Women Voters — which coordinated the Fair Map effort — said that coalition had fallen short of the nearly 300,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot.

“We simply did not have enough time to finish the kind of statewide campaign necessary to meet the constitutional requirements of a citizen initiative,” League executive director Jan Czarnik wrote.

Well, look on the bright side. Maybe the League will favor a con-con the next time it comes around on the ballot, in 2028.


* We have some video of yesterday’s redistricting debate. Rep. Jim Watson gave a passionate speech opposed to the Democratic plan, which fell two votes short of the required three-fifths majority (Democratic Rep. Jack Franks voted with the Republicans). It’s a must-view

* Rep. Eddie Washington accused the Republicans of excluding minorities in his controversial speech

* House GOP Leader Cross’ comments, Part 1

Part 2

* Lou

* Majority Leader Barbara Currie took questions afterwards

* Related…

* Remap fails in the House: “It gives an edge to the majority party. That’s not the way redistricting should be. It should be a level playing field … and it should not be about us taking care of our own districts. These are not ‘our’ districts,” House Minority Leader Tom Cross said after the vote.

* Illinois House votes down redistricting reform

* Redistricting Reform Dead in Illinois Legislature

* Twin Defeats On Plans For Drawing Ill. Districts

* Illinois district remap plan defeated

* Dem Redistricting Plan Fails, Citizens Initiative Falls Short

* Ill. Democrats’ redistricting proposal fails in the House

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 7:51 am:

    At least there will be a new generation of LWV members by the time it comes up again. I guess it ain’t as easy as it is written…

  2. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 8:19 am:

    The LWV strikes me as a quaint organization, kinda like the Illinois Federation of Women’s Clubs. I am wondering whether they will even be around in 2028.

  3. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 8:45 am:

    You have to wonder if the Illinois league wounded themselves for a long time by lining up with the GOP. They always had a reputation as a non-partisan honest broker in the past.

  4. - fedup dem - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 8:51 am:

    In order to make sure that they remember this fiasco until the next Con-con vote in 2028, LWV officials should be made to wear Dunce Caps until then!

  5. - just sayin' - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 9:07 am:

    I’m sure the ladies at the League of Women Voters are good people and sounds like they worked very hard. Hats off to them for trying.

    But I think they were very naive in hooking up with Tom Cross. The guy’s not a leader and no one trusts him. He’s incapable of putting troops on the ground to help.

  6. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 9:16 am:

    The League has hit a wall of generational change and is going the way of the WCTU.

  7. - MKA1985 - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 9:46 am:

    Funniest part of yesterday’s debate was Bill Black’s exclamation, “I GREW UP A WHITE MAN NAMED BLACK!”

  8. - zatoichi - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 10:05 am:

    I like Watson’s approach. Need more people with his passion. I like his potential for the future.

  9. - 47th Ward - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 10:14 am:

    The Plague of Women Voters totally missed the boat on Con Con. It’s hard to feel sorry for them now.

  10. - cicero - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 10:33 am:

    No redistricting reform this year. I hope the LWV has learned its lesson.

  11. - been there - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 10:40 am:

    the league ladies could have spent all of that time that they wasted on the petitions in volunteering instead in the social service agencies that are desperate for money and can’t afford to pay as many staff people as they need.

    and right, wordslinger, whatever happened to the league’s so-called non-partisanship?

  12. - dupage dan - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 10:49 am:

    been there,

    Where is loop lady when we need her? That first sentence smacks of patronization, IMO.

    However, I agree that the LWV should have avoided even the appearance of a conflict by not aligning themselves to the GOP. Their plan of attack and execution was woefully inadequate and makes it appear that re-districting is not such a hot issue.

  13. - cassandra - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 11:45 am:

    I’m sorry the League’s drive failed but I still think they did a poor job of getting signatures.

    My husband and I went to a meeting about this locally and were prepared to hear a discussion and sign up if we liked it. But there was no place at the meeting to sign up. It was all about
    getting people to go out and get signatures. The speaker was persuasive if not dynamic and we agreed with what she said. But there should have been a petition in the room folks could sign on the way out the door. There wasn’t. We never did sign one.

  14. - Ghost - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 2:41 pm:

    Word I was thinking the same thing. Seems like an odd issue to potentialy have expneded their reputation and chits upon.

  15. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 4:22 pm:

    Classic Eddie Washington. Sitting in one of the most gerrymandered districts in the State, and he said what? :-)

  16. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Apr 30, 10 @ 4:55 pm:

    I smell a QOTD–which is the most-gerrymandered district in Illinois? I nominate the 114th…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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