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Illinois’ new super majorities, one-party control aren’t unusual at all these days

Monday, Nov 26, 2012

* Wow

Half of state legislatures now have veto-proof majorities, up from 13 only four years ago, according to figures compiled for the Associated Press by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

All but three states — Iowa, Kentucky and New Hampshire — have one-party control of their legislatures, the highest mark since 1928. […]

Democrats in California gained their first supermajorities since 1883 in both the Assembly and Senate. Republicans captured total control of the North Carolina Capitol for the first time in more than a century. The GOP set a 147-year high mark in the Tennessee statehouse and won two-thirds majorities in the Missouri Legislature for the first time since the Civil War.

Republicans also gained or expanded supermajorities in places such as Indiana, Oklahoma and Georgia. Democrats gained a supermajority in Illinois and built upon their dominance in places such as Rhode Island and Massachusetts. […]

In Indiana, the new Republican supermajority can now pass bills even if House Democrats repeat the walkouts they’ve held the past two years to protest the consideration of so-called right-to-work laws limiting union powers. In Oklahoma, Republicans are expected to use their huge majorities to move to slash state income taxes after efforts last year fell short.

* One reason for the big Republican gains was the redistricting after the 2010 GOP landslide. Republicans in other states knew what they were doing

Although a small number of ballots remain to be counted, as of this writing, votes for a Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives outweigh votes for Republican candidates. Based on ThinkProgress’ review of all ballots counted so far, 53,952,240 votes were cast for a Democratic candidate for the House and only 53,402,643 were cast for a Republican — meaning that Democratic votes exceed Republican votes by more than half a million.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:33 am:

    “Whatta gonna do?” says, Cross and Radogno, “See, it ain’t our fault.”

    The excuses in order are now going to be …

    “Well, half of all state legislatures now have a Super Majority. It’s Science.”

    “The Map. We in the ILGOP had no chance, GOTV or no GOTV.”

    “If you look at the Super Majorities in half of the country, having Bill Brady lose is going to make our party stronger, because, what could have Bill Brady done anyway? I think we moderates sent a strong message to the conservative in the party and that is the main thing.”

    “Fifty percent of all legislatures are Super Majorities, every time.”

    After reading about half of the legislatures being Super Majorities, can we just STOP with this GOTV program for the ILGOP! Just stop it! We lost like everyone else, and reaching out to Latinos and Women and running a GOTV program that works was not going to stop what happened.”

    Give the ILGOP an excuse, we will hear this all through Veto Session. Count on it.

  2. - bored now - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:36 am:

    this divergence is guaranteed to test the models of governance expressed by the two parties. i’m sure that conservatives will argue that the economies in indiana, missouri, oklahoma and georgia will be ten or fifteen times better than those of new york, california or illinois — and republicans will ride that fact to victory right here in illinois in 2014! but i doubt it…

  3. - Downstater - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:54 am:

    The states with Republican majorities will outperform the states with Democratic majorities.
    Mostly, because the Republican states will generally have lower taxes and less pension debt.
    California long the laboratory for new ideas is broke financially and no new ideas are coming in the future. Look for Republican states to lead the way.

  4. - reformer - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:03 pm:

    This just shows what we already know, namely that Republicans love gerrymandering when they are the ones doing it. It’s only when they’re the victims that they favor reform, a la Tom Cross.

  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:09 pm:

    ==The states with Republican majorities will outperform the states with Democratic majorities.–

    Why, because they send less to the federal government then they get back?

  6. - Real Reformer - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:14 pm:

    Unfortunate that we are just getting partisan drive-by comments.

    The truth is: technology has outdistanced the law. Gerrymandering has been raised to a science that allows the party in control of the maps to subvert the political process.

    Eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court is going to have to step in and strip legislatures of the power to draw maps without oversight and input from the public.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:19 pm:

    - Downstater -,

    My post above is why the ILGOP is happy with me where I am.

    I did appreciate the props …

  8. - zatoichi - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:24 pm:

    Themes of the Year:
    Majority party:’Finally Getting It Done’ and ‘We Tried Cooperation’.
    Minority party:’Not Our Fault’ and ‘Work Together’.

    Does not matter who the Major or Minor party is.

  9. - Leroy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:34 pm:

    “Why, because they send less to the federal government then they get back?”

    Wordslinger - of course they should receive more than they put in.

    The rich states like CA, NY, IL etc can afford to pay more to the federal government so they should. Poorer states like AL, AR, KY, TN and MS don’t use as much federal services as the rich states, so they shouldn’t have to pay as much.

    It’s common sense.

  10. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    Downstater….. it also doesn’t hurt that traditional GOP state, particularly in the South, get far more in federal funds than they put in compared to more traditional blue states.

    Easy to claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility when you’re given an auto boost by the feds year in and year out for a number of programs over what Democratic states get.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:43 pm:

    ===The rich states like CA, NY, IL etc can afford to pay more to the federal government so they should. Poorer states like AL, AR, KY, TN and MS don’t use as much federal services as the rich states, so they shouldn’t have to pay as much.===

    You sure an Alabama, or Tennessee doesn’t use as many “services” as an Illinois?

    Does a state, like an Alabama, absolutely needs Illinois money? Even if Illinois could use that money, but according to you, they have more than enough to spare?

    You sure?

  12. - Leroy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:49 pm:

    Oswego Wily - of course I’m sure.

    Wealth doesn’t appear out of thin air. It requires infrastructure, educated population, access to health care etc.

    The rich are rich because the government provides these services. The rich in Illinois can afford to pay more because they have benefitted more, so they should. If those taxes are used to help the less fortunate in more rural places like Alabama and Mississippi, thats great!

  13. - shore - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:51 pm:

    “The truth is: technology has outdistanced the law. Gerrymandering has been raised to a science that allows the party in control of the maps to subvert the political process.”

    Pennsylvania Republicans controlled the map in 2002 and by 2008 democrats controlled 2/3 of the us house seats in the state thus the term dummymander. Maps and technology are nice, but maps don’t win campaigns, people win campaigns. Democrats won US Senate races in “red states” like montana and North Dakota a few weeks ago.

    There needs to be more daily coverage of state republicans beyond just Mr. Miller, talking about what they’re doing and why they’re not going anywhere. I think Peter Roskam’s gotten a free pass on how such a congressional “big shot” lost 3 races in his suburbs and 2 others downstate.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:54 pm:

    ===The rich are rich because the government provides these services.===

    And now … we are done.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:57 pm:

    ===There needs to be more daily coverage of state republicans beyond just Mr. Miller, talking about what they’re doing and why they’re not going anywhere.===

    Rich is the best, and the only.

    - shore -, the ILGOP is NOT listening … We can all scream till we are hoarse, we can give advice, but its falling on deaf ears.

    The ILGOP knows best. Four Million phone calls, and Radogno and Cross irrelevent, and they know better. We all try, no one wants to hear it, coverage or no coverage, and Rich at least tries to call them out, and I appreciate it.

  16. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:59 pm:

    ===Poorer states like AL, AR, KY, TN and MS don’t use as much federal services as the rich states, so they shouldn’t have to pay as much.===

    Actually, the poorer states get lots of federal money to help their poorer population, ergo the difference.

  17. - wishbone - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 1:34 pm:

    “Look for Republican states to lead the way.”

    They might if they, you know, actually had any conservative ideas on how to deal with the real issues facing us like climate change and income inequality. Instead, they focus on imposing their religious views on all of us by legal mandate. You cannot lead in a technological age by ignoring science.

  18. - Downstater - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 1:52 pm:

    =real issues facing us like climate change and income inequality.=
    One thing is for certain the climate will always change and hopefully their will always be a difference in incomes.

  19. - Endangered Moderate Species - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 1:58 pm:

    The federal political landscape has changed. The Red States are some of the poorer GDP States in the nation. Many of those States were Blue (South) States at one time. I do not believe pure economic policy has changed their colors. Many of those States have a majority-small urban or rural population, whom do not agree with Progressive politics (much like Downstate IL). Many of those States are also Right-To-Work States. We need to be honest when comparing ourselves to these States. Historically, Illinois has been a major player as a net plus GDP producing State. Many of the red States have not, historically, been net plus GDP producers. The times are changing. The historical-net-producing-States are now dealing with legacy costs and practices that began during the era of prosperity. The current Red States are in a much better position to adjust to the fast changing world economy, simply because their State governments are not bogged down with difficult budget issues.

  20. - shore - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 2:47 pm:

    Oswego, this daily herald piece is pretty much what I’m talking about. The Daily Herald is nice because they’re the only news organization in the state that actually covered the tea party and pretends the suburbs still exist, but the headline, and this is not the Palatine bureau of the onion is “Does Peter Roskam’s future include the speakers gavel?” This is the day after Roskam lost 3 us house races in his own suburban area in a cycle that saw 5 ILGOP congresscritters defeated plus the plummer race. The Daily Herald goes on to tout his “formidable political resume?” based on what exactly? with “statewide powerhouse” kirk dillard noting that ““The sky’s the limit for Peter Roskam,” “.

    That article is to me in large part why this is a one party state as much as any goofy map or demographics or any other stuff. It’s that the party bosses think they and their buddies are doing a-ok despite the results, and the media is too foolish and confused to think otherwise.

  21. - circularfiringsquad - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 3:00 pm:

    We cannot believe Speaker Madigan gerrymandered all those other states too
    OMG….poor Billboards and The Senate Leader. They did not have a chance

  22. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 3:01 pm:

    - shore -

    I get ya. It is as thou most of the media, who usually says the “sky is falling” refuses to see how horrible things are in the ILGOP and I do believe, that the “leadership” (insert joke here) would love for everyone to gloss over all that has happened, ignore that Madigan won with Republican Drwan maps, and that 4 million phone calls IS considered GOTV, even thou the ILGOP did nothing with all that data to get voters to the polls that is seen through election results.

    The media’s view of the ILGOP is that of Kevin Bacon in “Animal House” - “All is well”, and Irrelevent Leaders Christine (Jo Galloway) Radogno, and “Three Putt” Tom Cross love to keep the useless Senior Staff who can’t get it done, and their Chamber leaders, so “everyone gets thier paychecks” … and they all LOVE it.

    I get ya, - shore -, I really do.

  23. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 3:58 pm:

    What I want to know is whether IL Republicans — who denounced gerrymandering as a horrendous perversion of democracy in this state — apply their critique to the red state gerrymandering as well? Or do they want to have it both ways?

  24. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 4:33 pm:

    Anon 3:58, your statement is interesting. What I want to know is whether Democrats, who denounced gerrymandering as a horrendous perversion of democracy in other states, apply their critique to Illinois gerrymandering as well? Or do they want it both ways?

    Republican bashing is one thing. Republican bashing using a straw dog type of argument is quite another.

  25. - reformer - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 8:38 pm:

    == One thing is for certain the climate will always change and hopefully their will always be a difference in incomes.==

    You make climate change sound neutral if not benign instead of what it actually entails: Record droughts, and the resulting record wildfires,reduced crop production, record heat waves, 100-year hurricanes happening much more frequently. How much longer will Republicans be in denial about this reality?

    I also favor some differences in income. But the USA now has the widest income inequality of any nation we commonly compare ourselves to. It’s far wider than it was during the first three decades after WWII, when our economy grew faster than it has in the last 30 years. One example is the six heir to the Walton fortune, who own as much as one-third (100 million) Americans. That type of inequality is just wonderful as far as Republicans are concerned.

    I think it’s fair to say that both parties are hypocritical, don’t you?

  26. - western illinois - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 10:02 pm:

    The dems nationally gained about 60 state legislative seats about a 1 % gain but in general the red states got redder and the blue got bluer
    and the GOP saved itself at the state level in the swing states like OH PA MI just like it did at the Federal. The dems gained but the maps really limted those gains

  27. - jake - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 10:53 pm:

    It is past time for the states to take drawing legislative districts out of the hands of partisans and create nonpartisan redistricting commissions, such as is done in Iowa. We know it works, and we know it creates more competitive legislative districts. We can be pretty sure that it would strengthen the center of the political spectrum, since in competitive districts both candidates would be competing for independent and crossovers. In my opinion that would be a good thing.

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