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Congressional Remapalooza: An intensely partisan work of art

Saturday, May 28, 2011

* You gotta give the Democrats credit. They drew a much more partisan congressional map than many Republicans thought possible. Politico’s lede is pretty accurate

Illinois Democrats are poised to force through a dramatically transformed congressional map that would endanger all of the state’s freshman Republicans and could take a significant bite out of the GOP’s current 24-seat House majority.

In an astonishing display of line-drawing power, Democrats unveiled a redistricting proposal Friday that forces at least five Republicans into match-ups with other incumbents and thrusts others into solidly Democratic districts. While GOP officials said they were scrambling to determine the damage the potential lines would have, they acknowledged that the new map would take a hammer to the state’s Republican delegation.

* Also accurate

“It’s payback and a power grab. The democrats lost four seats in the november elections and they want them back,” said ABC7’s political analyst Laura Washington.

* This is an interesting point that has so far been lost in the mix

While the state would lose a congressional seat, the suburbs would gain collective strength, according to the proposal. There would be a total of seven congressional districts in Northwest suburban Cook, McHenry, Lake, DuPage and Kane counties, up from the current six.

* Some analysis

Democratic redistricters have also created Democratic-leaning districts out in the suburbs: a 10th district on the North Shore and inland in what has been increasingly Democratic territory, an 8th district in DuPage County and northwest Cook County that seems drawn to exclude more Republican suburbs and an 11th district that unites heavily Hispanic or black communities in Aurora and Joliet in the hope that their heavy Democratic margins will override small Republican percentages in much of the land in between.

* But lots of suburban counties are being split up into several congressional districts

While any map would necessarily have to divide some counties, this map would split DuPage and Will counties into five Congressional districts, and Kendall County into two.

* Here’s one way DuPage was split

Take Elmhurst. Longtime residents of the western suburb are used to having conservative Republicans like the late Henry Hyde and Rep. Peter Roskam as their congressman. They soon could find themselves represented by the liberal Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley, whose home base is the North Side of Chicago.

* Still, this isn’t a bad point

Bob Peickert, DuPage County Democratic Party chairman, said changing demographics warranted changes in district boundaries.

“Thirty percent of the population in DuPage is now either Hispanic, Asian or African-American,” he said. “And that’s been a significant change over the last 10 years, which would justify boundaries that would take into consideration of that new demographic.”

* The Democrats carved up more than just the suburbs, of course

Democrats in Springfield released a proposed congressional map Friday that splits Rockford into two districts.

The city is currently covered by Rep. Don Manzullo’s 16th District.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey was disturbed by the change.

“I think it’s really going to make it hard to maximize the value of our representation in Washington,” Morrissey said. “It seems to me a very intentional disservice to our taxpayers.”

* But, again, the Democrats looked at the bright side

Winnebago County’s Democratic Party chairman Dan Lewandowski said he is pleased with the new map, which splits Winnebago County into two districts. He said having two congressmen will give the county more clout in Washington, D.C., and the voters more choices for candidates.

“In the Rockford area, we’ve had the same congressman for about 20 years, Don Manzullo, Republican, and I think it certainly allows us to have more choices,” Lewandowski said.

* Meanwhile, I don’t agree with this at all

While Shimkus’ new district appears to include more Democratic areas, it probably will remain a safe seat for him, said Kent Redfield, emeritus professor of political studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.

“You might get more serious candidates than you have had recently running against Shimkus,” Redfield said. “Twenty years ago, (then-U.S. Rep. Dick) Durbin won in a district that ran from Springfield down to the Metro East. This is all much stronger Republican than it used to be.”

It’s a signficiantly more Democratic district that it is now. Look at the map. It includes university and African-American precincts in Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal, Springfield and Decatur. There are a dozen or so universities and colleges in that district. This was clearly drawn as a hostile district for Shimkus.

* But this is about right

The proposed new Illinois District 17 congressional map could tip the balance in favor of a Democratic candidate, putting heavy pressure on Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, to hold onto his seat in 2012.

The proposed new boundaries released Friday by Illinois Senate Democrats would radically reshape the district. The district would gain Rockford and stretch right to the northern boundary of the state to include Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, Whiteside and part of Winnebago County. Southern parts of the district, which snaked south to connect Quincy and Decatur, would be cut off. A portion of Peoria also would now be in the district.

The map is being viewed by commentators as an attempt to bring more Democratic voters into the district to squeeze out Schilling in 2012. But the proposed district is more geographically uniform than the old one, which was one of the more oddly shaped in the country and designed to heavily favor Democrats. But that didn’t stop Schilling beating former Congressman Phil Hare in the 2010 congressional elections, securing victory in a district that had long been under Democratic control.

* We covered much of the reaction to yesterday’s congressional map proposal, but I forgot to include this one

Democrats also went an extra step to protect one of their own — U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) – from a challenge within his own party.

The Burr Ridge home belonging to John Atkinson, who has raised more than $500,000 this year in what he had hoped would be a 2012 primary bid against Lipinski, was moved two blocks outside Lipinski’s 3rd Congressional District. Atkinson now lives in the 11th Congressional District that could be without an incumbent because of Kinzinger being redrawn into Jackson’s district.

“I haven’t measured the distance, but when I woke up this morning, I was living in the 11th congressional district, not the 3rd District,” said Atkinson, who added that he has not decided which district he will run in.

* Roundup…

* New congressional map splits city of Peoria

* Three new congressional districts for county

* Democrats pass proposed congressional map for Illinois that irks Republicans

* Shimkus Odd Man Out in Proposed Congressional Map

* Johnson denounces congressional remap

* Congressional map would carve up county

* Suburban GOP districts in limbo

* Proposed Congressional Map Splits Northern Suburbs

* Rush, Jackson districts extended to Will County

* Who will speak for Naperville?

* Carving up the county: Democrats’ map plan could hurt Shimkus

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Shore - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 12:18 pm:

    To me the biggest surprise was leaving aaron schock alone. Shimkus would seem to be a lot less of a longterm threat to them than him.

  2. - Rich Miller - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 12:21 pm:

    shore, the problem is they know how good of a campaigner Schock is. Best to leave that guy alone, give him a great district and hope he stays right where he is.

  3. - Newsclown - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 12:21 pm:

    Republicans: “Waah, they did a stronger version of what we did when it was OUR turn!”

    Dems: “LOL, stinks to be you, fellas.”

  4. - hisgirlfriday - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 12:22 pm:

    I had mistakenly thought there might be a chance that Tim Johnson would swing over to the 13th to run in the college town district since he would be a better fit for it than Shimkus, but doesn’t sound like it based on Phil Bloomer’s comments to Lee Newspapers.

    Also, I think I can understand Redfield’s rationale for his comments in being so skeptical of the Democrats’ Downstate pickup potential. I would guess if he is looking at Phil Hare’s loss in 2010 in some of the territory covered by this new 13th and he is thinking about how red Downstate counties have been in the last two governor’s races and the flip of some statehouse seats (Hoffman and Flider), then yeah some Metro East/Central Illinois towns have gotten more Republican in recent years. I think what that means though is that it will just come down to how good a candidate the Dems find to run in this district and how mad the people of this district are at the national GOP over the Ryan budget/Medicare reform and how moderate or extreme the eventual GOP presidential nominee winds up being.

    Frankly I am very curious to see how these areas respond with Obama on the ticket in 2012. Yeah he’s a native son but he’s also the dreaded CHICAGO Democrat.

  5. - just sayin' - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 12:42 pm:

    The new congressional lines don’t look nearly as gerrymandered as the current ones which GOP honcho Denny Hastert had a big hand in drawing 10 yrs ago.

    Deal with it crybabies.

  6. - Walter Mitty - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 12:48 pm:

    Rich-exactly correct about Schock. 10 years ago, Maryland Democrats went after every Republican. What they didn’t anticipate was one of the guys they mapped out, Bob Ehrlich, who had some support and popularity across party lines, would decide to run for Governor and win in 2002.

    Better to keep Schock nice and safe so he doesn’t get big ideas and decide to go statewide for anything. When I look at the GOP field, as a Dem, he is about the only one I have concerns about as a possible winner for Gov or Sen.

    As for the Republicon reaction, Tom DeLay destroyed any potential even handed redistricting (if it was at all possible) with his mid decade redrawing of Texas.

  7. - Shore - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 1:11 pm:

    the republican messaging has been pretty awful considering they had 6 months to prepare for this. oberweis’s comment that this “wasn’t that bad”. was a case in point.

    Dillard is probably reading this blog somewhere asking himself why he never mentioned this outcome as a reason to support him in the primary last year.

  8. - jake - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 1:12 pm:

    I am in the area that has been represented by Tim Johnson and now inherits Shimkus. This reminds me of the redistricting after the 1980 census when Champaign-Urbana inherited Dan Crane. That was the end of Crane’s career. Shimkus is in about the same place in political philosophy as Crane. It is not just that Champaign-Urbana and the other college towns in the district are overwhelmingly Democratic. In fact, they are not. But the Republican leaners in those towns tend to put off by the religious right, which is very much Shimkus’ base. So I think Shimkus is in a lot of trouble, depending, of course, on who the Democrats run against him. Some of it depends on the nature of Mike Frerichs’ ambitions. At some point he will go for either statewide office or Federal office. Should he decide to go after Shimkus, he would have a very good chance to take him out.

  9. - JustaJoe - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 1:28 pm:

    With the coverage and the commentary, there seems to be an acceptance of the process. I really don’t care that Democrats were gerrymandered by Denny Hastert last time nor that Republicans got it this time. It’s the citizens of the state that are damaged by this terribly flawed process. It’s the citizens that see districts drawn in such crazy ways that they don’t know who their officials are or will be….this is nuts. With all the problems of the state, guess what gets the front-and-center attention….political tactics! Shameful. If we can’t count on either party to put an end to this stuff, a referendum is in order, and with that add term limits so that maybe those that are elected will concentrate on doing a job rather that gaining more power.

  10. - hisgirlfriday - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 1:32 pm:

    “Dillard is probably reading this blog somewhere asking himself why he never mentioned this outcome as a reason to support him in the primary last year”


    That reminds me, there was a strange comment from the McLean County GOP Chairman about the remap in the Pantagraph that said something about this is a consequence of the GOP failing to win the Statehouse or governor’s mansion. It almost seemed like a slap at Brady for failing to win or a slap at the Illinois GOP for not doing enough to help Brady whether that was the intention or not.

  11. - Norseman - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 1:33 pm:

    “Dillard is probably reading this blog somewhere asking himself why he never mentioned this outcome as a reason to support him in the primary last year.”

    It was a hot topic behind closed doors, but that couldn’t overcome all the big egos, especially the ego with megabucks and no charisma.

    The “what have we done” wails could be heard in Republican households throughout IL.

  12. - MOON - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 1:36 pm:


    In politics doing a “good” job requires gaining as much power as possible.

  13. - GetReal - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 1:55 pm:

    The bad news for GOP: they will be in the minority in the state house, state senate, and congressonal del from 2012 until 2022. The good news for the GOP: they can easily spin this as a statewide sellout to the Chicago Democats, drive the already widening wedge between chicago and rest-of-IL even deeper, and further increase their already growing statewide votes outside of Cook county. With effective regional messaging, taking most if not all of Gov/Lt Gov, AG, SOS, Tres, and Comp from 2014 until 2024 becomes a more likely possiblilty. The Dems are underestimating the growing anger towards the Chicago political power over the rest of the state.

  14. - getting too old for this - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 2:14 pm:

    So now that the lines have been redrawn and assuming that the map withstands a court challenge, who will the Dems get to run in some of these districts? Take the new 8th District for example, which stretches from Elgin to Bensenville, and from Carpentersville to Lombard. Unless the Dems find someone well-known enough to avoid having to spend a boatload of bucks on name recognition, virtually any Republican mayor in that district has a chance. The 8th may look like it leans Democratic at first, but without a strong candidate, well, not so much.

  15. - JustaJoe - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 2:20 pm:

    It’s not all about politics. These guys ultimately are supposed to act for the people, not themselves, for the greater good. A winner-take-all mentality runs counter to that. The current re-map system weakens the check-and-balance of our basically two-party system (except in Chicago, of course).

  16. - The Captain - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 2:21 pm:

    A couple points:

    - the congressional process had a greater opportunity to have a more partisan outcome than the state house districts for a couple reasons. 1) while the state house lines are a zero sum game (still end up with the same number of total districts) the congressional map went down by a seat so there were going to be winners and losers in this process no matter what. 2) the map drawn ten years ago wasn’t really a Dem drawn map as much as it was an incumbent protection map with a Dem (David Phelps) getting the short straw. Considering that the Dems were in total power to draw this map and that the demographic shifts over the last 20 years have looked bluer even if the message hasn’t always worked (i.e. 2010) and the potential for a Dem drawn map to create havoc was quite significant.

    - there has been much teeth gnashing about the fact that DuPage used to have 1 or 2 congressmen and now will have 6. DuPage, the state’s second most populous county will have 6 different Reps in Congress, while Cook, the state’s most populous county will have 11. I understand the dilution issue and I wish those who are making this case would go a little deeper with their criticism as I find just whining about having 6 congressmen in DuPage a bit trite.

    - there’s no doubt this map was drawn with the idea of protecting as many Chicago or Cook Dems by extending their districts into formerly Republican represented areas in the suburbs, at the expense of the Republicans. This will almost certainly increase the number of Dems that get elected, but these new districts will also likely have a moderating effect on the voting patters of many of these Dems. These new districts make these Chicago/Cook dems more susceptible to years like 2010. If another Republican wave election comes along quite a few of these Dems are going to have to sweat.

    - the new 13th is still a fairly safe Republican seat, but unlike the old 20th could fall in a strong Dem wave. While it may be “winnable” for the Dems I’d still be very surprised to actually see it won. Obama underperformed his statewide total by about 7 points there in 2008 and my estimates are that Quinn and Giannoulias underperformed their (under 50%) statewide totals there by about 10 points in 2010. So there would have to either be a really strong candidate, or a strong Dem wave behind the party to give the Dems a shot at renting the seat. While the district adds the urban areas in Champaign/Urbana and Springfield it seems to only take the SW quadrant of the Bloomington/Normal area and it’s the NW quadrant where the strong Dem area is. Plus it’s expensive to get name ID in this district as it spans three media markets (the St. Louis, Peoria and Champaign/Springfield/Decatur) so a Dem challenger would have to be well funded. Last point, the middle of the state, particularly the Champaign/Springfield/Decatur media market has become really hostile territory for the Dems in the last five years. Poshard did very well there in 98, Gore was Ok in 2000, Blagojevich did surprisingly well there in 2002 and Obama did well everywhere in 2004, but since then it’s been a blood bath for the Dems, especially for Blagojevich in 2006. Some of that can be explained by his refusal to live in Springfield and his budget gutting at U of I, but it’s clearly bled over into other candidates. While the 2010 Republican wave may be a temporary setback in places like Madison county for the Dems the bleeding in that middle belt has been felt over multiple cycles and could be part of a larger trend. If so, the 13th becomes harder for the Dems to flip.

  17. - Not a Newcomer - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 2:46 pm:

    Gotta’ give them credit? Credit for gerrymandering to the fullest extent using the best computer models available?

  18. - hisgirlfriday - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 3:00 pm:


    In theory I agree with you. That’s why I voted in favor of a new Con-Con despite all the professional politicians and political interests of this state telling me that was a horrible idea. In that Con-Con process, people like you and me could have advocated for a better and fairer map-drawing process.

    But things being how they are, I don’t fully understand the complaining about this particular map. It’s not like the bipartisan incumbent protection map we got in 2002 from Lipinski and Hastert was some ideal work of art and justice that in its bipartisanship produced better results for the people it represented or was any more respecting of communities of interest. In fact, in many respects it was a heckuva lot worse.

    Obviously the most noteworthy example was that horrid Lane Evans Scorpion tail drawn as a tribute to Elbridge Gerry. And because that district is so awful it screwed up Ray Lahood’s and John Shimkus’s districts so that towns like Springfield and Decatur got three representatives in Congress. Then you had the weird T district of Geraldo Weller with its claw that clamped down on Bloomington-Normal. Tim Johnson’s district currently has a rat tail along the Wabash. Mark Kirk got the horn of Palatine. And so on and so on…

  19. - ironman - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 3:57 pm:

    It was bradys fault and the chicago democratic unions..the rest of the state went for brady, except cook, alexander, sinclaire counties…thanks chicago……

  20. - Louis G. Atsaves - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 4:11 pm:

    Illinois voters wanted more Republicans to represent them in Washington, DC? Well, the heck with how they feel, just redraw the lines to force Democrats on them!

    What a system!

    City of Chicago loses 200,000 voters and doesn’t lose any State Senator, State Reps or Congressmen at the expense of the suburbs? How’dat happen?

    What a system!

  21. - Shore - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 4:12 pm:

    I am not part of the inner circle so I don’t know what dillard said to people last year but part of him regrets not saying this could happen and the other part is probably looking at some of the people and saying-they got what they asked for and on the other side some of the folks that went with brady and whose jobs are in jeopardy are rethinking that call.

    the other angle is that some republicans will benefit from this. I don’t know the state house stuff, but some surviving republicans-rutherford-will see potential future competitors dethroned and their stature raised.

  22. - wordslinger - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 4:16 pm:

    –This reminds me of the redistricting after the 1980 census when Champaign-Urbana inherited Dan Crane. That was the end of Crane’s career.–

    Crane had a lot more trouble than a map — she was 17 and an intern on Capitol Hill.

    –The bad news for GOP: they will be in the minority in the state house, state senate, and congressonal del from 2012 until 2022. The good news for the GOP: they can easily spin this as a statewide sellout to the Chicago Democats, drive the already widening wedge between chicago and rest-of-IL even deeper, and further increase their already growing statewide votes outside of Cook county.–

    More good news like that and you’re out of business. That’s like the haberdasher who said “I’m losing $5 a suit — good thing I’ve got volume sales.”

  23. - wordslinger - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 4:49 pm:

    –.the rest of the state went for brady, except cook, alexander, sinclaire counties…thanks chicago…–

    The Great County Argument (sinclaire?), as eternal as it is silly.

    If you’re going to use that argument, why blame Cook? Brady got his biggest vote total by far in Cook, 400,000 votes.

    And Quinn got 800,000 votes outside of Cook, so it’s not like he didn’t have any support anywhere else.

    One person, one vote; who wins a majority in 102 counties, boundary lines drawn before the Mexican-American War, means nothing.

  24. - too obvious - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 5:15 pm:

    No one is mad at the Dems for doing this except the GOP politicians themselves, their family members, and the staffers who directly feed from those GOP politicians.

    Hard to see the GOP doing anything in this state anyway. They won’t be missed.

    Too many GOP politicians were taking their voters for granted. Serves them right. Maybe another 10 years in the wilderness will finally wake the IL GOP up, but probably not.

  25. - not obvious enough - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 6:18 pm:

    Foster says he’s running in the 11th, according to the Trib.

  26. - G. Willickers - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 6:26 pm:

    @ Louis G. Atsaves - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 4:11 pm:

    “Illinois voters wanted more Republicans to represent them in Washington, DC? Well, the heck with how they feel, just redraw the lines to force Democrats on them!”

    Illinois voters wanted Democrats to represent them in the state capitol of Springfield? Well, the heck with how whiney conservatives feel, let the Democrats in the state legislature do their job and draw the decennial maps.

    What a system! The people who won the right to write the laws are actually writing the laws. Wow!

  27. - Shore - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 6:34 pm:,0,40256.story

    that was quick. et tu atkinson?

  28. - Not a Newcomer - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 6:34 pm:

    too obvius: I can’t belive you just said that the only people who care about the Republican Party are the Republican elected officials. That comment is just bizare and obscene.

  29. - ironman - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 6:44 pm:

    I dissagree, their will be some backlash against the dems in southern il…alot
    of people from both sides like there reps and senators and will be upset

  30. - G. Willickers - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 6:57 pm:

    @ shore - Ilya Sheyman was quick. First to announce formally.

    At least Foster waited til after the maps came out. :)

    I know you’re not a fan of Dold but do you think he’ll finally move out of his parents house now?

  31. - 47th Ward - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 7:05 pm:

    If the GOP would stop crying like babies and start organizing, they might find that these suburban districts will be more competitive than they think. Obama is only going to be on the ballot one more time, then a lot of these districts will swing with the prevailing political winds. Strong candidates and strong local organizations will win, regardless of party.

    But I guess it’s more fun to complain because, like life itself, this map just isn’t fair. Boo hoo.

    PS: I’m glad Schock got a district packed with GOP voters. I’d like to see him stay in the house for 20 years and move up the ladder. If he can get a good committee, so much the better. Hey Aaron, why don’t you get you and your abs on the Appropriations Committee?

  32. - Allen Skillicorn - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 7:58 pm:

    As a guy who prefers the fair map, I hope both parties can get past their Machiavellian ways some day.

  33. - too obvious - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 8:10 pm:

    Not a Newcomer, no, what’s “bizare and obscene” is what a lousy job the GOP has done in Illinois. Typically you can’t even tell the Ds and the Rs apart. Often it’s R lawmakers pushing the Dems’ platform.

    The IL GOP is in the mess it’s in now thanks to its own ineptitude, arrogance and double dealing. Next year is going to be a disaster statewide for the GOP in Illinois at the polls. No one should be surprised.

    The good news is a lot of the worthless hangers on are going to be gone from the GOP. Most Republicans I know are thrilled with this remap for that reason. I’m talking about real Republicans who pay the bills, not the freeloading ones on a state payroll.

  34. - Responsa - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 8:30 pm:

    ==Most Republicans I know are thrilled with this remap==

    Yeah, sing it brother. Especially the Repubs recently and traditionally of the 10th who just got thrown into Schakowsky’s district. They’re lovin’ the new map, alright.

  35. - reformer - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 9:16 pm:

    Some northwest suburban townships used to Republican Congressmen will likely have Dems for the next decade. All of the townships of Wheeling, Elk Grove and Schaumburg, most of the townships of Bloomingdale, Hanover and Addison, and parts of Palatine, Barrington, Elgin and Dundee will be in Democratic-leaning districts.

    It looks to me like the new 8th district will elect a Democrat.

  36. - Shore - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 9:17 pm:

    145 if you really think that the chicago democrats are going to moderate because they now have some suburban constituents you are dead wrong. On the other hand, these folks are going to be subjected for the first time in their lives to actually representing republicans. Comrade Jan, thinks her life was tough last fall, just watch the first time she shows up in winnetka and says it’s time to means test social security or raise taxes on the wealthy. the bmw brigades will shred her to pieces. the other foolish thing for her and quigley and about taking over heavily republican areas is that if you are going to take republican turf, dont be a moron and take WEALTHY republican turf. there are plenty of conservative multimillionaires in dupage and kenilworth who are going to be turned off by these guys and say what’s a few million?

  37. - Rich Miller - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 9:29 pm:

    ===Credit for gerrymandering to the fullest extent===


    That was ten years ago.

  38. - Big noise from Winnetka - Saturday, May 28, 11 @ 9:51 pm:

    There are a boat load of millionaire dems in the tenth too.

    I’m not one of them, but thought it worth pointing out.

  39. - Palatine - Sunday, May 29, 11 @ 12:42 am:

    It’s time for Shimkus to go. Isn’t he the guy that said he wouldn’t run after 2 terms and then change his mind?

  40. - Louis Howe - Sunday, May 29, 11 @ 6:59 am:

    The 17th is much improved both for democrats and for community of interest. Makes one wonder why it took democrats so long to get it right….Oh Yeah…I remember now…The Chicago Boys let Hastert design the Congressional maps downstate last time.

  41. - x ace - Sunday, May 29, 11 @ 8:26 am:

    Shimkus violated his Term Limit promise.

    Said it was because Pres. Bush asked him to stay. Bush is long gone, Now ,hopefully, the Counterfeiting Shimkus will be gone too.

    His opponent , whoever it is , will get my vote.

  42. - jake - Sunday, May 29, 11 @ 8:48 am:

    Re: - the new 13th is still a fairly safe Republican seat, but unlike the old 20th could fall in a strong Dem wave.

    It depends on the Republican. A Ray LeHood or a Bob Michel could win here. So might a Tim Johnson, who regularly crosses party lines to support environmental legislation, who has lately become outspoken against military aggressiveness, and who doesn’t use inflammatory rhetoric to go with his generally conservative voting.. A John Shimkus, who goes out of his way to antagonize and block environmental regulation on explicitly biblical grounds will be a prime target for liberal interest groups, and they will go after him with an intensity that transcends party labels. To the extent that there is Tea Party-like intensity on the left, Shimkus is exactly the type of person to bring that out. At the end of the day, it isn’t all about party labels. A lot of it is about what people feel passionately about. Of course, it depends on on who runs for the Democrats as to whether that translates into an actual turnaround, but it is certain that Shimkus will be deeply at odds with much of his new constituency.

  43. - Just Sayin 2 - Sunday, May 29, 11 @ 9:03 am:

    If the Dems find a strong candidate, the new 13th, Shimkus’ new district, could very much be in play next year. It takes up many colleges and universities in a year when those voters could be energized by the Obama candidacy (and energized against the possible candidacy of a real right-winger from the GOP presidential primary). Shimkus is now charged with the task of running in a district in which voters don’t know him, but they will be told about his very conservative credentials. He will also be running with a GOP presidential candidate who could have a lot of baggage after having made it through the Tea Party-influenced GOP presidential primary. Then add in Shimkus’ many religious right public statements. This all might not play too well at U of I, ISU, UIS, SIUE, Millikin, Blackburn and other colleges in the district not to mention Decatur, Champaign, and parts of the metro-east and Springfield which are now in that district. I’d love to know how many African-American voters are in the new 13th. I can’t imagine that Shimkus’ attacks on the President (didn’t he walk out on the President’s speech once?)will go over very well with those voters who, presumably, will be out in force next year.

  44. - Just sayin 3 - Sunday, May 29, 11 @ 11:08 am:

    I wish the amateur commentators would stay home. You can tell this map was drawn by northern Dems because they jacked up their opportunities downstate. Costello’s district became slightly more R and he will have to fight. It will most likely be safe while he is there, but when he tries to pass the crown to his baggage-train hauling son it will be a trainwreck for the Ds. Schilling can hold the 17th. Sure, it’s not a Shimkus/Johnson like traditional 65-35 win, but Schilling will hold by 4-6 points. Johnson is safe in his new seat and there is no way he is letting go of that right-wing stronghold. Now we get to the most bantered about seat, the new 13th. Do you people not realize how unpopular this president, his visible allies in the media, and the Chicago Ds are to there formerly strong D bastions? Some hesitantly supported Obama due to tradition (thought he did significantly underperform) and they will not do that twice. The college kids will go back to tradition…not showing up to vote. Seriously, this guy has decimated their future - and they see that. Kirk, Brady, McCann, Rosenthal, Watson, Brown, etc etc etc can probably vouch for the fact that the good ‘ol boys in the 13th might still voter for the hometown old-school 30 year township supervisor D…but on the federal issues they have been left at the alter by the Ds and the GOP has strategically gone down, swooped them up, and brought them to the party of their traditional values.

  45. - 13th Resident - Sunday, May 29, 11 @ 11:16 am:

    I think the college kids will come out in droves next time. After all, Obama can run the same campaign he did last time. End the wars overseas, close gitmo, stop renditions, and get rid of the patriot act.

    Since he has reneged on those issues, he gets to promise to do them again in the second term.

  46. - Carl Nyberg - Sunday, May 29, 11 @ 12:09 pm:

    Atkinson has a credibility problem if he was going around asking for support to run for Congress based on the premise that he would be an improvement over Lip the Lesser and now changes his mind.

  47. - Carl Nyberg - Sunday, May 29, 11 @ 12:57 pm:

    Maybe Republican legislators should focus on accomplishing things rather than whining and casting symbolic votes.

    What have the Springfield Republicans accomplished? A bunch of press releases criticizing Democrats, but no serious plans for the budget.

    And what have the DC Republicans accomplished? Voting for a bill to replace Medicare with a voucher program that is worth $8,000 per year and leaves seniors to pay costs about that?

    Republicans seem to feel that because they represent rich people–rich people who don’t seem to have a firm grasp on public policy–they (Republicans) are entitled to a certain amount of deference.

    The new districts are perfectly winnable for Republicans, if Republicans had a serious policy agenda that was more than just tax cuts for the wealthy (with pandering to bigotry to bring enough rubes into the tent).

  48. - Carl Nyberg - Sunday, May 29, 11 @ 1:27 pm:

    There is one change I’d like to see in the Congressional map.

    It seems a bit weird for IL-01 to go as far north as it does and IL-07 to go as far south as it does.

    What about swapping Hyde Park (and surrounding areas, especially the lobe to the north) in IL-01 for Englewood in IL-07?

    This seems to benefit from aggregating communities that are similar and keeps both districts African-American. And it makes the maps cleaner geographically.

    I suppose Danny Davis might be nervous having Hyde Park, Oak Park, River Forest and the Downtown high rises.

  49. - anon - Sunday, May 29, 11 @ 1:57 pm:

    I think you’re dreaming just sayin’

    If you think Dem turnout will be as low as it was in 2010, you are sorely mistaken. It was a wave election that had union Ds staying home and independents pulling for Republicans. With Obama on the ballot many of the freshman Rs are gone. Schilling will be the first one gone on election night.

    You speak about his terrible Obama’s approval rating is, have you seen Boehner or the House Republicans? Maybe their Medicare plan will save them! ;-)

  50. - GetReal - Sunday, May 29, 11 @ 2:21 pm:

    “Maybe Republican legislators should focus on accomplishing things rather than whining and casting symbolic votes.”

    - It’s the Republican leader that is working out the Workers Comp reform deal (even though there is no political benefit from doing so as a soon-to-be super small minority). That’s a HUGE deal. The Dems wouldn’t touch that alone (unless there was another massive tax hike included).

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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