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Downstate Republicans whine about their victimhood

Monday, Nov 28, 2011

* I’ve been reading former Senate President Phil Rock’s autobiography, and one of the things I learned was that 1983 was the first time in all of Illinois history that the House Speaker and the Senate President were both from Cook County.

Here’s another factoid from Wikipedia: Since 1901, twelve out of twenty-one Illinois governors were Republicans. The GOP ratio is much higher if you go back to 1860 and Lincoln’s presidential campaign.

* History shows us that the Republican Party, Downstate and the suburbs have historically done quite well in Illinois. Bill Clinton was enormously popular in Illinois, yet we had Downstate Republican governors throughout his two terms. Back in 1990, both Democratic US Senators were Downstaters.

The main reason for the Democrats’ failure to win the governor’s mansion is that Democrats ran poor candidates and the Republicans didn’t freak out moderate suburban women, who, as i’ve pointed out countless times, have decided the outcome of gubernatorial elections since at least 1990. George Ryan’s troubles ended that streak when the GOP nominated a staunchly conservative candidate (who turned off suburban women) with the same last name as the humiliated Ryan. The hangover was still in effect four years later, amplified by this state’s intensive dislike for George W. Bush in his second midterm election.

Downstate Republican primary voters had their best chance in eight years to pick a winnable candidate last year, but they chose the guy most likely to freak out those aforementioned moderate suburban women.

The Republicans drew the state legislative map in 1991, but they didn’t draw it well enough to maintain control of the House longer than two years. The Republicans even came within a few votes of losing the Senate in 1996. Democrats did much better ten years later when they won the lottery and drew the new maps. Not only did they maintain control throughout the decade, the Senate ended up with a veto-proof majority (plus one) and the House Democrats were just one vote away from a similar majority.

* Yet, just nine years out of power, and here we have a couple of media hound Downstate Republicans deciding to get some more publicity for themselves by demanding secession

State Rep. Bill Mitchell said he’s sick of how Cook County politicians run Springfield. So he wants to kick Cook County out of Illinois.

The Forsyth Republican introduced a resolution in Springfield on Tuesday that would ask Illinois voters on a referendum whether Cook County should secede and become the 51st U.S. state. Congress would then have to approve the far-fetched plan.

“They just don’t know how to govern,” Mitchell said Tuesday. “So am I serious? Yes, I’m serious about it. Do I expect this to be adopted? I think it’s an uphill battle.”

“Uphill battle”? More like “impossible battle.”

Read the resolution by clicking here.

* Even Sen. Bill Brady thinks this is silly

If anyone knows the effect Chicago has on Illinois politics, it is Bill Brady. If not for the voters in Cook County during the 2010 gubernatorial election, the Bloomington Republican would be governor and Democrat Pat Quinn would be bumbling around somewhere else.

“There’s no arguing that, but for Chicago, I would have won the gubernatorial election and Republicans would be in control. I understand their frustration,” Brady said last week when asked about his neighboring representative’s proposal.

But Brady pooh-poohed the whole idea of separating Chicago from Illinois saying it’s just “impractical.”

“Chicago has a lot of economic opportunities that we can’t forget about,” said Brady.

* Downstaters don’t seem to understand that their region is a net tax eater. There just isn’t enough wealth Downstate to fund anything of substance. That’s one reason why Mitchell and his co-sponsor Rep. Adam Brown couldn’t lump the non-Cook suburban counties into a new state with Cook. They’re still gonna need a sugar daddy to pay their bills. But to Brown, it’s all about social issues

“Our downstate values are being overshadowed by Chicago’s influence over the legislative process,” Brown said. “The 2010 election swept a number of downstate Republicans into office, but the lame-duck Democrats passed a 67% income tax increase, along with civil unions and the abolition of the death penalty in Illinois. These liberal policies are an insult to the traditional values of downstate families.”

Plenty of Downstaters voted for that tax hike, too, and a whole lot of Downstate and suburban Republicans have voted for tax hikes in the past, when the GOP was not so engrossed in its own super-rigid ideology. Heck, Pate Philip even sponsored the 1983 tax hike bill. During Reagan’s presidency. But that was when Reagan was a real, living, breathing person, not the reinvented icon of the current era.

* For Mitchell, it’s about some not-so-subtle code words

“They want what they want, and what I’m staying as a downstater, ‘OK, go and do what you want to do,’” Mitchell said. “Increase your debt. Spend more money. Add more people on public assistance.”

Considering all the other not-so-subtle campaigning that Mitchell and Brown have done in the past, I suppose this should be no surprise. From last year

Brown, a Decatur city council member, said illegal immigration is an important issue for him and his constituents, especially because it has an impact on family incomes.

“They’re criminals,” Brown said. “This is based on a fundamental issue that has been ignored by the federal and state governments.”

Mitchell said the issue is especially important to people in Decatur, because of its high unemployment.

Illegal immigration is not a criminal issue. They’re deported, not imprisoned. Also, the Decatur metro area has so few Latinos that it was obvious last year the twosome were merely tossing racially tainted red meat to their electoral base. It’s no different this time, either.

* I’ve been writing about Illinois politics for almost 22 years now, and not once during the Democrats’ long exile do I ever remember hearing a Chicagoan say the city should secede. But the issue has come up in the past, and if Mitchell and Brown think Downstaters are getting the shaft, they ought to read a little history

In the 1920s, lawmakers in Springfield refused to redraw legislative districts to take into account the city’s fast-growing population.

The City Council approved a resolution by Ald. John Toman calling for the city to secede from Illinois, and aldermen said they would give the state two years before they started moving toward secession, Erwin recalls.

* I couldn’t agree more with the Pantagraph

There already is too much of an “us” vs. “them” mentality when it comes to “downstate” Illinois and Chicago, Cook County and/or the collar counties — on both sides. We need politicians who can bridge that gap, not ones who fan the flames and feed the divisions.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - langhorne - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 11:48 am:

    dumb. impractical. a waste of time. it gets them some publicity, but makes them look foolish. it also guarantees that madigan will take them and any halfway workable ideas they might have had and put them in the deep freeze.

  2. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 11:51 am:

    ===it also guarantees that madigan will take them and any halfway workable ideas they might have had and put them in the deep freeze. ===

    I highly doubt he’ll take them that seriously.

  3. - transplant - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 11:56 am:

    Just another “with us or against us” propaganda piece. If you don’t have a common enemy, create one.

  4. - Downstate Illinois - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:03 pm:

    After Chicago lost the redistricting fight in the 1920s city leaders turned to bribery to influence the General Assembly.

    By the end of the decade there were somewhere between 40 and 50 downstate lawmakers on the payroll of the Sanitary District of Chicago, now Metropolitan Water Reclamation District

  5. - OurMagician - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:04 pm:

    Adam Brown ran countless ads about “getting to work” on the problems. Guess running from them and moving to a more favorable district is working on problems, which is his reelection.

  6. - zatoichi - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:05 pm:

    What state with any size does not have the same issues. Upstate New York going to want NYC to succeed? Downstate Alabama pushing for Atlanta to leave? The high desert of Nevada looking for Las Vegas to move along? Please.

  7. - Lincoln's Penny - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:05 pm:

    A post like this is long overdue. Thanks Rich.

  8. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:07 pm:

    —-it also guarantees that madigan will take them and any halfway workable ideas they might have had and put them in the deep freeze.—-

    It doesn’t sound like Madigan has anything to worry about there.

  9. - Lakeview - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:08 pm:

    I feel about downstate the same way I feel about Sears and CME. Let them go! Let them find out the hard way that they are sucking tax dollars out of Chicago and that, believe it or not, even Republican pharmacists from Peoria can be crooked politicians.

  10. - Just Observing - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:08 pm:

    Rep. Mitchell knows this is not a serious proposal — just red meat.

    BTW.. Zatoichi… Atlanta is in Georgia.

  11. - Huh? - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:08 pm:

    Atlanta is in Georgia.

  12. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:11 pm:

    “Atlanta is in Georgia.”

    It may not be if the Georgia GOP drew their map. LOL

  13. - Small Town Liberal - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:12 pm:

    - More like “impossible battle.” -

    As someone who worked in Decatur for a number of years, I think they would have a much easier time convincing lawmakers to allow the Decatur area to secede from the state. All residents would have to pay a toll to use I72 which would pay for odor neautralization efforts for all non-residents passing by.

  14. - just sayin' - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:15 pm:

    “Downstaters don’t seem to understand that their region is a net tax eater.”


    About time somone called out these whiny downstaters and forced them to get out of their pity party and deal with reality. So sick of the delusion and just outright lies from the sticks.

    This whole split the state thing is completely ridiculous and irresponsible. The officials talking about it aren’t even serious about it. Just pandering to the lowest common denominator of the uneducated masses.

    Those GOP officials pretending this is a serious idea should step down as they obviously aren’t even attempting to take their public jobs seriously.

  15. - train111 - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:16 pm:

    The sad part about all of this is that because of one party controlling redistricting, Brown and Mitchell’s districts both approach the 75%-25% mark in Brady vs Quinn. That means that these guys can utter just about any nonsensical statement they want and still get reelected.
    Unfettered Dem control of Chicago is pretty inefficient, and leads to a whole lot of cronyism and corruption, but by the same token unfettered GOP control of much of rural downstate leads to the exact same situations. Messers Mitchell and Brown and their ludicrous statement–and the fact that neither really has to worry about re-election (Brown moved to more favorable district to guarantee his spot)are exhibit A of this fact.


  16. - Pelon - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:23 pm:

    “They just don’t know how to govern,”

    The inability to “govern” goes well beyond Cook County and the Democrats.

  17. - bored now - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:27 pm:

    i’d take this kind of talk much more seriously if they were talking about joining missouri or indiana. there is no way that congress is going to accept another state out of illinois. there are too many electoral college implications that would prevent it from being blocked. so “downstate” illinois can’t become the 51st state and i’m certain that politicians who bring up this tripe know that. they aren’t serious. they are bs’ing their constituents, thinking they (their constituents) are idiots (they might be right)…

  18. - just sayin' - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:27 pm:

    If voters in the districts of Messers Mitchell and Brown wanted to do something productive, they should get challengers on the ballot before the petition filing deadline. Otherwise you downstaters have no one to blame but yourselves for not being respected. Your representatives are huge embarrassments. What are you going to do about it? Whine more about Chicago probably.

  19. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:31 pm:

    –“The 2010 election swept a number of downstate Republicans into office, but the lame-duck Democrats passed a 67% income tax increase, along with civil unions and the abolition of the death penalty in Illinois. These liberal policies are an insult to the traditional values of downstate families.” –

    I was born in Rockford, raised in DeKalb County and lived in Springfield and the Quads before moving to Cook County. My values, nor those of my traditional family, are not insulted.

    Knuckle-draggers like these are an insult to everyone’s intelligence and a big reason the state GOP is in a shambles.

    Such great statesmanship

  20. - cynical - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:36 pm:

    Chicago already has its own set of laws for many things. How many Illinois laws have exceptions based on “a municipality with a population
    of 500,000 or more” or “a county with a population of 3,000,000 or more”. Why don’t these laws just say “Chicago” or “Cook County”? Would that be too easy?

  21. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:37 pm:

    ===Why don’t these laws just say “Chicago” or “Cook County”? Would that be too easy? ===

    It has to do with the special legislation provision of the IL Constitution.

  22. - too obvious - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:42 pm:

    Well said wordslinger.

    The other annoying thing is the holier-than-thou attitude from downstate re Chicago and corruption.

    Let’s see. George Ryan, downstater. That former gov before that who went to prison, downstater. Bill Cellini, downstater. And we can’t forget the grandfather of modern IL corruption, Paul Powell and his shoe boxes full of cash. From way downstate Vienna.

    So maybe it would be good to free Cook from all the downstate crime and corrupt influence.

  23. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:42 pm:

    Great, just what the GOP needs, another state where Matt Murphy couldn’t win statewide.

  24. - Deep South - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:50 pm:

    Let me just say that here in the Deep South, we’re about as “Downstate” as you can get. (Geez, I hate that term). But anyway, most of us “downstaters” understand that Chicago pays a good chunk of our bills. Cutting them off would be real stupid….and I think the backers of this thing really know that. With that in mind, the real issue is concealed carry. Don’t let anyone tell you other wise.

  25. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 12:56 pm:

    If NoTaxBill sees this as dopey think how dope it really is …. Mitchell should go back to being RxRon’s Co-Pilot and Brown, well first he needs to change his name, ought to go back to the COngressman Schock Finishing & High Speed Driving for a refresher course.
    BTW we know a few downstaters who would prefer Missouri to the strip mines of IL at least there is a winning baseball team there

  26. - Shore - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 1:03 pm:

    I used to believe your suburban women theory that the party loses because it puts forth people those folks won’t support or they run campaigns they won’t support. Then I looked at last years results in states like pa and wisconsin and michigan which have had the same presidential voting records as Illinois and saw where guys like scott walker, toomey who was his state’s al salvi/joe walsh, santorum, snyder, spence abraham have been winning elections and the same suburban women voters (maybe their relatives) outside philly and detroit and milwaukee haven’t been keeping them out of office. It’s the candidates and the party that are the problem in Illinois not the demographics and some magic voodoo juice about social issues which are frankly 3rd tier issues right now given the fiscal and economic trouble we face. Johnson and Toomey last year were much further to the right than Kirk and had their own baggage or in Johnson’s case a lack of political experience and still did much better than Mark Kirk who had spent 30 years in suburban republican politics.

  27. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 1:11 pm:

    Shore, the difference is Illinois isn’t Wisconsin or Pennsylvania.

  28. - Champaign - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 1:16 pm:

    Are there studies available on the distribution of tax dollars in Illinois? I think I remember mention of this in Nowland’s “Illinois Politics” but can’t seem to find it.

  29. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 1:25 pm:

    ==Are there studies available on the distribution of tax dollars in Illinois?==

    Whet Moser:
    “That study found that the collar counties “paid 46 percent of the taxes but received only 27 percent of state spending. Downstate was the big net beneficiary, paying 33 percent of the taxes while receiving 47 percent of spending. Chicago paid 21 percent of the taxes and received 25 percent of the spending.”

    The authors add: “The research has not been updated, reportedly because of political fallout from the 1987 report.”

  30. - lincoln's beard - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 1:27 pm:

    Throw in Lake and DuPage, assume all existing pension obligations, and give us an option to purchase UIUC, and we’ll think about it.

  31. - Colossus - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 1:40 pm:

    Great idea! One thing, though:

    Article IV, Section 3 of the United States Constitution: “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”

    @Champaign: God bless that little orange book. I’m hoping someone will do the work to do an update on it as its getting long in the tooth and I really don’t want to spend years doing the research myself. I’ll try to dig up my copy and see if there’s a breakdown (from 1985, or whenever it was printed).

  32. - zatoichi - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 1:41 pm:

    ‘BTW.. Zatoichi… Atlanta is in Georgia.’

    When did that happen? LOL. Alex, I’ll take ‘Oops’ for $200.

  33. - Decatur Media Encourages Them - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 1:41 pm:

    For years, Decatur’s media, admitting its partisan GOP nature, has blessed the pronouncements of Mitchell, and now Brown, that Chicago is the root of all evil. The Decatur Herald & Review blasts Chicago at every turn. This dynamic duo has been enabled by the right wing media, and now the people in central Illinois buy it hook, line and sinker.
    Mitchell’s and Brown’s constituents are dumbed down and now it shows. Ironically, they are both in safe districts for the next 10 years.

  34. - Decatur Media Encourages Them - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 1:51 pm:

    “That study found that the collar counties “paid 46 percent of the taxes but received only 27 percent of state spending. Downstate was the big net beneficiary, paying 33 percent of the taxes while receiving 47 percent of spending. Chicago paid 21 percent of the taxes and received 25 percent of the spending.”

    Mitchell went on the GOP radio station this morning and said the exact opposite. On his way out the the studio, he got a pat on the butt.

  35. - cynical - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 1:55 pm:

    “It has to do with the special legislation provision of the IL Constitution.”

    Are you referring to Arcticle IX, Section 13 that states “The General Assembly shall pass no special or local law when a general law is or can be made applicable.”?

    Are you saying the constitution doesn’t allow a law to just say Chicago because that would be a local law and using a population figure makes the law general? Like Illinois will ever have another city with a population greater than 500,000? Is that not just a way to get around the intent of the constitution? And if another city did grow to above 500,000, would the laws not just be changed to a new higher number?

    My point is that Chicago and downstate already play by different rules. And by that I don’t mean that it always an attempt by Chicago to gain some sort of an advantage over downstate, or vice versa. I’m just saying the two areas are different enough that they already effectively have different laws.

  36. - John A Logan - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 1:55 pm:

    I am all for the “us vs. them” mentality. This state is two states. Its a fact. Culturally, politically, there is very little in common between cook and the rest of the state. History is that in the 1920s Chicago was requesting to be separated from the rest of Illinois. I also tire of hearing that down state is a “tax eater.” I assume that is code for “Southern Illinois could not exist without Chicago.” Keep selling that ocean side property in Colorado along with that argument.

  37. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 1:57 pm:

    ===I also tire of hearing that down state is a “tax eater.”===

    Only stupid people ignore basic facts. Just sayin…

  38. - John A Logan - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 2:05 pm:

    Glad your just saying.

  39. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 2:15 pm:

    –Culturally, politically, there is very little in common between cook and the rest of the state.–

    Oh yes, the differences between Glenview in Cook and Deerfield in Lake are profound. Same with Oak Park in Cook and Elmhurst in DuPage. Orland Park in Cook and Bolingbrook in Will are like two different countries.

    I could go on and on. That’just a nonsensical statement.

  40. - Edge of the 14th Ward - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 2:33 pm:

    As a lifelong Chicagoan, I’m amazed that anyone thinks of the city’s people as monolithic. Chicago is, in fact, a city of distinct neighborhoods with distinct political beliefs, distinct cultures, distinct economies and, in some cases, distinct languages. It’s our great strength, and also our great weakness. Believe me, Lincoln Park, Englewood, and Pilsen are not all part of the same monolithic community.

    Of course, “downstate” is no monolith either. Do the Decatur reps really think the entire state of Illinois (outside Chicago) qualifies as a single cultural and political entity? Do they see no distintion between Decatur and, say, Joliet? Rockford? Aurora? Champaign?

  41. - mokenavince - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 2:43 pm:

    We are all from Illinois, with all it’s flaws were all in the same boat.Go to Wisconsin and to them we are just Flatlanders,now more than ever the folks of Illinois have to stick together.We need to unify as a State and make all the politicans,
    Democrat and Republicans know we will no longer
    accept mediocrity. They should write their own bills and not leave it to some lobbyist. They never think of cutting their salary or perks,but want us to tighten our belts. We are one State deal with it.

  42. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 2:53 pm:

    What the 98 County Romantics fail to understand is that more GOP votes are cast in Cook — by far — than in any other county.

    The growth potential for the GOP in Cook is off the charts. Ever heard of Reagan Democrats?

    Maybe if you stopped running the place down, and walked some precincts instead, you wouldn’t be in your current position.

  43. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 3:00 pm:

    Edge of the 14th,
    I’m pretty sure they see the distinction. Bill Mitchell doesn’t live in Decatur. He lives in Forsyth. And I believe Mr. Brown is looking to move out of Decatur too.

  44. - Irishpirate - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 3:15 pm:

    To get an idea of the difference between today’s GOP and the past read this column and the reference to Reagan,

  45. - cynical - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 3:26 pm:

    As far as downstate being a net tax eater, I think it’s interesting that there are only 8 states in the union that are not anticipating a budget shortfall for fiscal year 2012 ( These are Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Montana, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming. What do they have in common? Most do not have a huge city that controls the state.

  46. - Mom - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 3:29 pm:

    If Mitchell and Brown are intent on creating a political state where the citizens share their values, besides Cook County, they’re also going to have to disenfranchise women, people of color, the LGBT community, non-Christians, children’s rights advocates, union members and science teachers.

    May I suggest that Mitchell and Brown contact Mr. Peabody and ask to borrow his WABAC machine.

  47. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 3:35 pm:

    –What do they have in common? Most do not have a huge city that controls the state.–

    To borrow from the great Cliff Claven on when he was on Jeopardy, they’re also eight states that have never been in my ma’s kitchen.

  48. - That Guy - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 3:40 pm:

    Remember Forgotonia!!!

  49. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 3:50 pm:

    Mr. Brown and Mr. Mitchell are just jealous that the Bears left Decatur in the 1920s. :)
    Now in all seriousness, the economies are dependent on each other. This proposal is only designed to fire up the base in their districts. However, this was being talked about on the streets of Chicago, and several Chicagoans were insulted that they were basically called out for not having “Illinois Values.” Reps. Mitchell and Brown need to understand as Rich and other posters correctly pointed out that the Illinois economy would tailspin without Chicago. Rep Mitchell was on WBBM saying he doesn’t care. Well I can figure every other member of the state house would care and it is idiotic for the GOP to expect to do well in the future just based off Chicago-bashing. They will not win statewide doing that. Did Kirk, Rutherford or Topinka city bash? No. Did Brady? Yes and look what that got him.

  50. - walkinfool - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 3:59 pm:

    Just more political message nonsense. I might take their statements more seriously if I had seen either of them actually get anything signficant done in the legislature, like many of their GOP colleagues have. I admit I might have missed something, but neither stands out.

  51. - walkinfool - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 4:06 pm:

    My first thought when I heard this, was that the suburban counties adjacent to Cook have much more in common with Cook and eachother, than with much of downstate — though “downstate” is not at all homogeneous.

  52. - ZC - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 4:27 pm:

    Some more basic math here: Chicago is about 1/6 of the statewide vote. Cook County suburbs are another 1/6. Collar counties provide a 1/3, and then the whole rest of the state - the other 96 counties - provide about a 1/3. That can vary here and there, but it’s a rule of thumb.

    There’s no question that Democrats depend on a huge bump coming out of Cook County to win statewide elections. There’s also no question that they get plenty of votes outside of Cook. You can’t win 50+1% of the vote with 33% of the electorate.

  53. - Logic not emotion - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 4:37 pm:

    I understand the downstate frustration; but think the GOP needs to focus on getting better candidates with a better message and delivery.

    I wonder if that 1987 report’s findings would still hold true?

    I wonder how the study considered funding provided to downstate agencies spent attending required or highly recommended meetings and conferences in Chicago. If the state funds a downstate entity $15,000 but requires they attend a Chicago conference which winds up costing them $2,500, do they count the entire $15,000 as benefiting downstate?

  54. - Logic not emotion - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 4:58 pm:

    FWIW: I do really think the system of representation needs changed so that both House and Senate are not determined by population. It needs structured more like the US Congress is so that all parts of the state have more representation. If that were to happen, then downstate would feel more kinship and less hostility.

  55. - reformer - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 6:02 pm:

    The Cook GOP is moribund. It is down to just 4 county commissioners out of 17. GOP legislators from Cook are a shrinking caucus. The 8th congressional district should be back in Democratic hands in 2013.

  56. - Boone Logan Square - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 6:04 pm:

    If the state of Illinois would like to jettison its economic engine — and most of its access to the Great Lakes — that would certainly be an interesting move. Seems to me that releasing Cook County from the state of Illinois’s debts would do the nation’s newest state a great favor.

  57. - Mom - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 6:33 pm:

    “Logic not emotion -I do really think the system of representation needs changed so that both House and Senate are not determined by population. It needs structured more like the US Congress is so that all parts of the state have more representation.”

    FYI; the U.S. House of Representatives is determined by population within districts, just like the Illinois House of Reps.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve read this argument, which makes me wonder why people who claim to believe in a democratic republic want to get rid of the democratic republic part of our government.

  58. - I'm Just Saying - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 9:01 pm:

    well I guess we will one man one vote on the represntation right?

  59. - VanillaMan - Monday, Nov 28, 11 @ 9:29 pm:

    Political unity within a diverse geographical entity should not be assumed. Political unity during challenging economic times is probably unrealistic. Believing that politicians representing each diverse group should not reflect the political beliefs of their voters is foolish. Consequently shaming disunity may make the shamers feel better, but it is unproductive.

    Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Brown may be whining, and you may not like what they are whining about, but expecting a state as diverse as Illinois to have no whiners is not realistic.

    The gentlemen are also wrong on their facts and are overreacting, but their idea here won’t take root, won’t find favor and is best ignored. There is really no harm in them venting. They aren’t really doing any harm, and these gentlemen have done more good during their careers in public office than they have done harm.

    Give them a break.

  60. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 3:33 am:

    I don’t understand how abortion is a salient issue for statewide races here in Illinois. What legislation have recent Republican gubernatorial candidates proposed? Did Governor Ryan sign any pro-life legislation?

  61. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 8:07 am:

    –I do really think the system of representation needs changed so that both House and Senate are not determined by population. It needs structured more like the US Congress is so that all parts of the state have more representation. If that were to happen, then downstate would feel more kinship and less hostility.–

    Absolutely. Let’s get rid of one-person, one-vote to assuage someone’s feelings.

    I think I should get representation in both the Senate and the House as a Party of One. I would feel a lot better, and would be much less hostile.

    Not all of Downstate is filled with monolithic malcontents as some here would pretend.

  62. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 8:20 am:

    Oops, Anon 8:07 a.m. is me. Lot of that going around.

    VMan, in our diverse state, it’s comforting to know that you’re there to defend the ridiculous and ignorant bloviations of the gentlemen in question. You’re undoubtedly the right man for the job.

  63. - cynical - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 8:50 am:

    “You can’t win 50+1% of the vote with 33% of the electorate.”

    33% doesn’t guarantee a lock, but it does mean you only need a bit over 25% of the remaining 2/3 of the state. Of course, not all 33% will vote the same way, but if say 80% of those 33% do, then you would still only need 35% of the rest of the state.

  64. - Conservative Republican - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 8:55 am:

    The day you are an authority on the record and politics of President Ronald Reagan and his administration, Rich Miller, is the day the Pope declares you a living saint and the day Warren Buffett writes you a check for $10 billion because he thinks you’re a helluva guy.

  65. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:03 am:

    CR, would you be the authority? Are you the only one who lived through it, or has read books (you read books, I’m sure).

    How about this one, CR: Did you know Ronald Reagan voted for FDR four times, and was proud of that? He said so and wrote that many times. Look it up, Mr. Authority.

    Check out his words, actions and record regarding undocumented workers. Wouldn’t exactly be welcome among the GOP of today (the loud one’s, anyway. Business is always happy to have undocumented labor).

  66. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:11 am:

    CR, bite me.

  67. - someonehastosayit - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 8:28 pm:

    “1983 was the first time in all of Illinois history that the House Speaker and the Senate President were both from Cook County”

    Is it a coincidence this occurred just three years after the Cutback Amendment? Consolidation of power consolidated in Chicago…surprise, surprise.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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