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Lawsuit filed against term limits, remap proposals

Thursday, May 1, 2014

* Sun-Times

Powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has fired a pre-emptive strike at efforts to impose term limits and to take away his Democratic Party’s power to draw the boundaries of the state’s legislative map.

Madigan’s longtime lawyer Michael Kasper filed a lawsuit this week in Cook County Circuit Court that would prevent state, county and Chicago election authorities from conducting referendums of the two proposals in November. Setting term limits and changing the state’s redistricting process would require constitutional amendments. […]

The suit takes aim at what Kasper called two petition drives that “have been (or shortly will be filed)” with state officials to generate referendums on term limits and the redistricting proposal.

“This is a taxpayer action to restrain the expenditure of public funding to consider the propriety of two proposed amendments” to the state Constitution, Kasper wrote.

He also argues in the suit that the Illinois Supreme Court already ruled 20 years ago that term limits are an “improper subject for amendments.”

* AP

Supporters of term limits were quick to call the lawsuit a “cynical ploy” by Madigan.

The 25-page complaint, filed on behalf of a group of community leaders representing a diverse group of ethnic, racial and business interests, argues that the proposed ballot measures are invalid because they do not meet a constitutional requirement for changes to the Legislature. The complaint also says “millions of taxpayer dollars” should not be used by the Board of Elections to reach that conclusion.

A spokesman for Madigan declined to comment on any involvement in the lawsuit.

“I know Speaker Madigan believes everyone should play by the rules,” spokesman Steve Brown told The Associated Press.

* Tribune

At the heart of the taxpayer lawsuit are previous Illinois Supreme Court rulings involving petition-driven efforts to change the state constitution. The only part of the constitution that can be amended through the petition process must affect the legislature — and the state’s highest court has created only a narrow window, ruling that any proposed change must affect the legislature both structurally and procedurally.

The lawsuit contends the term-limit amendment proposal attempts to string together several unrelated issues to try to meet the court’s structural and procedural court test.

In addition to limiting legislative service to eight years, the proposed term limit amendment would require a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate to override a governor’s veto rather than the current three-fifths vote. It also would increase the size of the House from 118 to 123 members while reducing the Senate from 59 to 41 members. It also would eliminate the two-year terms that senators serve once every decade.

The lawsuit contends the state Supreme Court previously held that term limits, on its own, did not meet the structural and procedural test. It also alleged the increase in votes needed to override a veto was an “impermissible” transfer of power from the legislature to the governor.

As for the soon-to-be-filed remap proposal, the lawsuit notes the plan would prevent anyone serving on a newly constituted 11-member redistricting commission from becoming a lawmaker, statewide elected official or judge for 10 years. The suit contended that the new prohibitions affected qualifications for office and exceeded the scope of petition-driven amendment proposals.

* The lawsuit can be read in full by clicking here. I went into detail about the heart of the lawsuit for subscribers this morning, so I won’t be doing that here. But, to be brief, the main argument is that several items in both proposals go well beyond the Constitution’s requirement

Amendments shall be limited to structural and procedural subjects contained in Article IV.

Anything in these proposals beyond those two changes, the suit claims, means they are unconstitutional.

* React from the Yes for Independent Maps group…

Well, it took almost no time for Mike Madigan and his lawyer to file their first frivolous lawsuit against Independent Maps. In fact, they filed it before we even got to Springfield with our petitions!

That tells you how desperate they are to keep us off the ballot, and how worried they are at the prospect of a system that puts the voters back in charge. Madigan’s blatantly political attempt to question the constitutionality of Independent Maps is just a feeble distraction from the back-room deals that dominate Illinois’ redistricting process, no matter which party is in power.

Our diverse supporters include former U.S. Attorneys, top-tier legal scholars, and many of the state’s most well-respected lawyers of all political stripes. This team spent two years making sure our amendment could withstand scrutiny, and we are confident in this proposal. It is exactly the kind of referendum that the drafters of the Illinois Constitution believed should bypass the legislature and go directly to the voters. After all, the leaders of the Illinois General Assembly have no reason to fix the system that has kept them, and their hand-picked successors, in power for decades.

We all knew the status quo would have an outsized reaction to us submitting petitions, but no one thought their fear would lead them to these depths quite so quickly. But thanks to you, tomorrow we’re going to give them over 500,000 reasons that the people of Illinois want our government back.

* Rauner campaign react…

Pat Quinn and Mike Madigan are the poster boys for term limits, and they both oppose this good-government reform so this lawsuit is no surprise.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:05 am:

    Less than 24 hours in… this entire dance is going to be very interesting through November. Sounds like someone touched a nerve.

    To the campaign react, it seems a bit unfair to label Pat Quinn as an opponent of “this good-government reform” since he reiterated his support of term limits just a few days ago.

  2. - train111 - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:05 am:

    I guess we can give kudos to Illinois’ leaders for ‘job creation’ in the legal field–heck, with all these lawsuits flying around.

  3. - A guy... - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:05 am:

    Some polls show this issue with 80% support. Hard to imagine how this helps.

  4. - RonOglesby - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:08 am:

    boxes made of North-south, east-west lines only, broken up by major geographical features like rivers, mountains or state boundaries…

    But of course then gerrymandering couldnt occur and more seats would be in play. Used to be that house seats turned over like crazy. Now they (both parties) just want to pick at the margins and protect what they have.

  5. - two bucks a signature? - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:08 am:

    Not an illinois con. law expert, but I think the suit should win, and that is funny because atleast Bruce spread the wealth around on that one.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:10 am:

    Between Pension Reform, and Term Limits, and Remap proposals, the IL Supremes are, right now in a snapshot, THE most important elected body of the 3 branches of Illinois Government.

    Anyone who questions the importance of Supreme Court elections, that idea might change pretty quick.

    To be very clear; it’s not the idea of politics overshadowing the ideal of following the Law, but even at the Federal Supreme level, if it didn’t matter how a justice sees the law, than any random qualified judge or attorney could be elevated to eithe Supreme body and no one would care.

    But it doesn’t work that way.

    Starting in a few months, the best place to watch the shaping of Illinois for decades to come could be the Supreme Court chambers, watching the arguments, them waiting for rulings.

    Yep. Supreme Court races matter. The rule of Law matters much more. The elected Justices, everyone will be watching the rulings. Show Illinois, as you do when no one is watching, the rule of Law, wins.

  7. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    Good day yesterday for Rauner. Criminal investigation into the governor’s office and MJM goes to court on these issues.

    All good stuff for negative spots, if nothing else.

  8. - convention delegate - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    The concept that anything not structural and procedural is interesting and I suspect it will be successful with the term limits one. They include three unrelated things to make one amendment.

    However, with gerrymandering, the restriction on commission members is inexorably linked with redistricting reform. It’s to prevent conflict of interest and I don’t think you can chuck that overboard so easily.

  9. - Steve - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:15 am:

    Justice will be served. A fine judge “endorsed” by Mike Madigan or Ed Burke will levitate above self-interest to hand down a decision.

  10. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:16 am:

    Fair or not, Madigan as the public “face” on both of these suits also plays into the narrative of a power-hungry “bully” who wants to squash any and all dissent.

    Why not find anyone else besides Mr. Kasper and Mr. Madigan to be the public “face” on one of the suits? Seems like a possible miscalculation to be the “face” behind both of these suits.

  11. - Living in Machiaville - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:16 am:

    New Gallup poll shows Illinois again leads the nation… citizents wanting to LEAVE THE STATE. But of course, Speaker Madigan has to sue to prevent any sort of change to the status quo. Because, OF COURSE, everything is OKAY….really.

  12. - lake county democrat - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:17 am:

    Applying Wordslinger’s “Illinois - love it or leave it” attitude to this news, it’s like Madigan is blocking the roads out of the state: “You voters think you can change things without voting the Tea Party into power? HA!”

    In a rule of law, fair maps gets on the ballot, term limits might not , and the pension bill is struck (which probably means a combination of tax hikes, reforms of future pensions, and programs that help the poor getting hurt). In Madigan’s rule it means loot until either the political blowback is stretched to the breaking point or there’s nothing more to be looted.

  13. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:18 am:

    The term limits situation is a can’t-lose for Rauner. If it makes the ballot, he’s the hero for getting it there. it’s the bad ol’ career politicians are against him.

    Actually, it would probably be best for Rauner, politically, if the term limits proposal gets tossed.

  14. - lake county democrat - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:18 am:

    PS - Anyone asking Lisa Madigan’s opinion about the ballot issues?

  15. - Oneman - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:18 am:

    Well color me not surprised…

  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:20 am:

    ===Why not find anyone else besides Mr. Kasper …===

    Are worried about perception, or winning the lawsuit?

    You pick Kasper for his closeness and loyalty and you pick Kasper because he knows Election Law like very… very… few do.

    You pick who you pick to win in the court room.

  17. - Oneman - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:21 am:

    Have to admit I am torn on this…

    If there is a legitimate question about if these are allowed, that needs to be asked…

    However, I sense this isn’t coming from some deep concern about the Illinois Constitution but from a personal interest in protecting power…

    Would like to see an explanation why the framers decided to make it so hard for the great rabble to modify things in the state Constitution.

    Then again I am kind of cynical.

  18. - Just Observing - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:22 am:

    === Why not find anyone else besides Mr. Kasper and Mr. Madigan to be the public “face” on one of the suits? Seems like a possible miscalculation to be the “face” behind both of these suits. ===

    Madigan is not the plaintiff, in name. They recruited a number of community leaders to be the plaintiffs.

  19. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:22 am:

    i like mike he is standing up for my right to vote over and over again for my rep

  20. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    Madigan needs to be aware that he appears like he is in a castle, shouting orders to his lawyers, as Illinoisans of all political persuasions, are pounding on the castle walls demanding their rights as citizens.

    Perhaps Mr. Speaker wanted to pretend that he favors the right to vote - but it is rather obvious to all today that he believes that citizens have the right to vote to keep him and his friends and issues in power, but not to vote him and his friends and issues out of power.

    You can’t have it both ways. You are either in favor of allowing citizens to vote without restrictions, or not in favor of citizens to vote. It is ironic that this the same political leader who only weeks ago was claiming that the GOP fought against Illinoisan’s voting rights.

    I guess Mr. Speaker has no problems when voting discriminates based on how it serves him politically.

    Term limits may be coming to Illinois. I thought the term limit movement had ebbed from being an issue a decade ago and this is surprising to me. What started this? It could have regained traction because Illinois has had too many gubernatorial felons. Perhaps it is because of the long rule of Mr. Michael J. Madigan. Perhaps it is the fact that in 2006 and in 2010 Illinois had elections won by incompetent men, one now serving time in prison.

    The GOP gave us Ryan and that killed them off since 2002. After a decade of terrible, ineffective, bankrupted government - perhaps after seeing that elections aren’t changing Illinois for the better - voters have ran out of patience.

    You can call term limiters lazy, or foolish, or ignorant. But you simply cannot blame them for being cynical, angry and out of patience after the administrations of George Ryan, Rod Blagojevich and now Pat Quinn. These governors have won despite being under criminal investigations and after displaying incredible unethical behavior in office.

    Poor Mr. Speaker. He was the only adult left in power with roots in a time when the Illinois budget wasn’t worse than Portugal’s, when Illinoisans encouraged friends and families to move here, and when there was a political balance between the GOP and Democrats which encouraged bipartisanship and progressive government. Poor Mr. Speaker won it all. He won the whole political shebang. He won all the marbles. Now with that power, and with all these problems - he has only empowered himself to become the poster child of everything going wrong in Illinois.

    Hey - MJM - your apples are full of worms.

  21. - the Other Anonymous - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    I can understand calling Madigan the poster child for term limits, but Pat Quinn? He’s been Governor for 5 1/2 years — less than two terms. Why not call out Jim Thompson as the gubernatorial poster child? (Rhetorical question.)

  22. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:43 am:


    “Perhaps Mr. Speaker wanted to pretend that he favors the right to vote”

    Madigan does favor the right to vote, as long as you vote for the Regular Democratic Organization nominee.

  23. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    ==but not to vote him and his friends and issues out of power.==

    Yes, they do have that right. Why is it so difficult for people to understand that we have these things called elections where you can vote for anybody you want. You can even run if you want to. Term limits are nothing more than a way for people to do what they can’t accomplish at the ballot box. If somebody wants to vote for the same person 100 times then that should be their right. I’m not willing to give away my right to vote for whomever I choose.

    Term limits are a bad idea. Period.

  24. - Robo - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    Well, at least Rauner got a 590K mailing list.

  25. - Langhorne - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    Supreme court judicial districts are also supposed to be redistricted periodically. But they havent been since i cant remember when. You would think they would sound off about it. But they too seem to be comfortable with the status quo.

    And supreme court retention elections have crossed the million dollar level. Interesting. Maybe thats what gives the speaker confidence in predicting decisions.

  26. - Wensicia - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    Maybe Rauner needs to learn that he can’t bypass the constitution whenever he wants.

  27. - Oneman - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    Sure seems longer than 5 1/2 years… A lot longer….

  28. - MOOH - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    VM MAN

    Your argument does not hold water.

    Elections allow the voters to choose their elected officials.

    You are the one who wants it both ways.

  29. - MOON - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    Not Mooh but rather Moon

  30. - RonOglesby - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 10:03 am:


    You are correct. I am not a term limits fan (with the exception of executive offices) But I do think you can continue with no term limits and completely gerrymandered districts either.

  31. - Sir Reel - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    So according to Madigan the price we pay for minority districts is ridiculously gerrymandering all other districts. I can’t remember the last time I got to choose between a Republican and Democrat for my Illinois house seat. That bothers me a lot more than the length of my representative’s term.

  32. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    “Term limits may be coming to Illinois. I thought the term limit movement had ebbed from being an issue a decade ago and this is surprising to me. What started this? It could have regained traction because Illinois has had too many gubernatorial felons. Perhaps it is because of the long rule of Mr. Michael J. Madigan. Perhaps it is the fact that in 2006 and in 2010 Illinois had elections won by incompetent men, one now serving time in prison.”

    I don’t think Madigan gives a hoot about limits on the constitutional officers. Statewide elections are more of a crap shoot, often with personality and likeability providing the winning edge. His concern is the legislature, where he has crafted a veto proof majority in both houses of the GA. This is where is power comes from. He virtually singlehandedly controls every piece of legislation. Nothing gets passed, or even called for a vote, unless the Great Leader says its ok. That is where the threat is, and is why he is behind the lawsuit.

    I actually do not support term limits because the voters should choose who they want. Unfortunately, the voters are lazy & usually do what the precinct captain says, if they vote at all.

    The flaw with term limits is the likelihood that another connected insider will succeed the retired incumbent. This recently happened in my district when my State Rep was replaced by Dick Mell’s chief of staff. Additionally, there is no evidence to support the idea that retiring persons from office will make any difference in the quality of government. Jim Thompson served 3 terms as Governor. He was a damn good Governor. Ryan only served one term. Blago was whisked off to Club Fed during his second term, after being impeached.

    What I do support is restricting the time an individual can serve in leadership postions in the legislative body. Those positions are not elected by the voters and frequently allow power greater than constitutional officers.

  33. - Norseman - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    The politics of this has been aptly discussed by Word and others.

    On the subject matters contained in the amendments, I think we need the map reform, but the term limit proposal is bad - not for the term limits by themselves - but for the horrible ancillary changes to the structure of the General Assembly.

  34. - RonOglesby - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    That was supposed to say “I do not think” on the idea of no term limits coupled with gerrymandering.

  35. - D.P.Gumby - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    Don’t think Brucie’s term limits amendment games will pass constitutional muster. However, the reapportionment has a bit of a chance but for the restriction on seeking office; serious vulnerability there.

  36. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    @Ron O

    I don’t think anybody should be term limited (executives included), but that’s just me. As for the gerrymandering problem, we agree. I just don’t agree term limits is the answer.

  37. - Walker - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    The “term-limits” petition is on the face of it, a fraud. It was, and is still today, being labeled, sold, discussed, analyzed as about “term limits.” Even on this blog.

    As the suit points out, term limits are not constitutionally subject to public petitions for amendments via the ballot.

    So what did Rauner’s crew and their allies do? They added elements to the petition on the structure, and processes of the Governor’s office and the Legislature, to make the whole package potentially legal — and then went on to ignore those sections when getting signatures or talking to the press. It’s still the “term-limits” initiative to virtually all the public.

    I don’t think fraudulent is too strong a word to describe this twisted effort.

    Don’t get me wrong — I think term limits are a legitimate issue to discuss and decide. I just am outraged that it is offered by Rauner’s efforts, in a misleading, and illegal way.

    I hope they get appropriately crushed in court on the term- limits petition.

    BTW, not to be partisan about it — I like the idea of the independent remapping effort at the state level, and think it should be on the ballot.

  38. - Walker - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    Any Conservative justice, who believes in constitutional law, would throw out the term- limits petition.

    Worries about this being overly political because of the way judges are selected, don’t really apply to this one.

  39. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    Walker, I like the independent remapping proposal too, but why do I get the feeling that in Republican gerrymandered states, all our right wing commentators wouldn’t display the same outrage? As for term limits, they’re undemocratic. Let the representative voters decide who they want to represent them, as opposed to other voters deciding that you can’t have that guy as your rep, even if you think he/she would do the best job, because “we all”, outside your district, said so.

  40. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    In other news, two foxes filed a lawsuit in LaSalle County circuit court today opposing a local farmer’s plans to put intruder alarms on his henhouse…

  41. - lake county democrat - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    PublicServant - re: fair map: of course they wouldn’t - it’s just that kind of “only in opposition” politics that is destroying us.

    Re: term limits - I used to feel that way, but the disconnect between theory and practice is too great - it’s next to impossible to launch a serious primary challenge for state rep/senator. When the system becomes this unresponsive to the electorate, there’s no “voter deciding” going on beyond that narrow segment of voters who ideologically are “on the border” between the Dems and GOP.

  42. - lake county democrat - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    (That said, I think the critics of the constitutionality of Raunner’s ballot initiative have some good arguments).

  43. - paddyrollingstone - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    I can’t remember - Did Mike Bloomberg give money to the term limits people or to the redistricting people? In any event, the problem as PublicServant said above is that the GOP is for redistricting reform here but not Texas, PA, Oh, etc. That makes me question why Bloomberg would give money to a redistricting reform effort here in Illinois but not do the same thing in Texas. Does he really think that the average Gerrymandered Dem congressman elected from Illinois is not more sympathetic to his world view - guns, abortion, etc - than the average Gerrymandered GOP congressman from Texas?

  44. - RonOglesby - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    @ Public
    Because you are looking at it through the lens of left right. Try looking at it without that. Too many in any political discussion want to say “Well the other guy did it to!” instead of saying “Is this the right thing or not?”

    I would say I am on the right and still stand by my comments above. The broad brush you swing is silly.

  45. - RNUG - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:10 am:

    Well said!

  46. - RNUG - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    Specifically to the “term limits” law suit … isn’t it amazing how quickly the pols in power run to the State Constitution when their wellbeing is threatened (pay withheld, legislature resizing) but how easily they can ignore the Constitution when they want to (state, Chciao pensions)?

  47. - Bob S. - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    I agree with Formally Known As…

    Placing the legal arguements aside and focusing on the politics, I’m surprised Madigan’s guy Kasper is up front on this. He’s really good, but plenty other good election lawyers out there. The optics of Madigan leading the charge are not good…plays right into Rauner’s hands.

    Dems should have figured out a way to make a popular African-American the face of this challenge, like Jesse White (if he was willing,) and have a bi-partisan election lawyer (Bert Odelson?) doi the heavy lifting.

  48. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    Ron, you think my position on term limits is silly? Please explain. If you think I’m wrong about Republican indignation about Illinois gerrymandering not carrying over to Republican majority states where gerrymandering has occurred, your blind. When I point out that republican outrage about Illinois gerrymandering has a partisan element to it, when that outrage doesn’t extend to red state gerrymandering, that’s a fact, and not silly in the least. By the way, I’m for the independent remapping proposal. I could be wrong, but I think you’ll have problems linking me to any Heritage pieces complaining about North Carolina or Florida gerrymandering. Just sayin.

  49. - Keyser Soze - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    The term limit proposal seems better and better as this plays out, especially to the 590k voters who signed for it.

  50. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:53 pm:

    Thanks, Bob S.

    I understand wanting to have your very best people on the case. That is a natural compulsion. I also understand Madigan is not named as a plaintiff.

    Even so, we need look no further than the media excerpts Rich lists above. These suits are clearly understood as a direct Madigan challenge to both popular initiatives. Talk about optics…

    No matter what happens with these cases, you have now just handed Rauner a “win”.

  51. - olddog - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    Is this fight really about term limits? Or is it about radical structural change designed to weaken the legislative branch? As I read it, Rauner’s proposing:

    – Term limits (which is looking more and more like a red herring).

    – Cutback amendments in the state House and Senate.

    – A 2/3 majority needed to override gubernatorial vetoes.

    So along with “term limits,” he’s pushing a significant shift in the balance of power between the branches of government and a new map that requires members to run in bigger legislative districts. In most districts, that’s inevitably going to mean less retail politics and more paid media. Especially downstate, more legislators are going to have to buy more than one media market. It’s a perfect set-up for distancing government from ordinary people who work for a living.

    So who benefits? Who’s “form(ed) a new PAC to ‘protect’ legislators who stand with him?” Who’s going to be the Daddy Warbucks here? If the governor is bankrolling legislative candidates, what’s that going to do to the separation of powers/

  52. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    == why do I get the feeling that in Republican gerrymandered states, all our right wing commentators wouldn’t display the same outrage? ==

    States like Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Arkansas and Missouri? Because those deep red states have redistricting commissions.

    == the problem as PublicServant said above is that the GOP is for redistricting reform here but not Texas, PA, Oh, etc. ==

    Ohio and Pennsylvania DO have redistricting commissions as well.

  53. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    FKA, you left out the word “Independent” with your reference to those states with redistricting committees. I tried Ohio first, and of the 5 members on the commission, 4 are republican…now I understand why you left “independent” out…just sayin.

  54. - NewWestSuburbanGOP'er - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    Term limits is a terrible idea. If I like my State Rep or Senator and they respond to their constituents, propose and pass good legislation why shouldn’t they be allowed to be voted back into office?

    I’m also not in favor of term limits for legislative leadership. Constant turnover will lead to the lobbyists and big money controlling who wins elections and we will end up with extreme zealots on both sides.

  55. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    PublicServant - I am simply going off the NCSL data at In any event, paddyrollingstone chose Ohio as an example. Many, if not most of those states have Independent commissions.

  56. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    From the NCSL
    Ohio - Board consists of the governor, auditor, secretary of state, and two people selected by the legislative leaders of each major political party. Per Article XI of Ohio Constitution.

  57. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    Idaho - Leaders of two largest political parties in each house of the legislature each designate one member; chairs of the two parties whose candidates for governor received the most votes in the last election each designate one member. No member may be an elected or appointed official in the state at the time of designation.

    And so on…

  58. - Bill White - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    Where things stand in PA:

    An independent commission and voluminous extended litigation

    Where things stand in OH:

  59. - Bill White - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    Also too, after the PA independent commission first proposed maps after the 2010 Census, the PA Supreme Court rejected those maps on a 4-3 vote.

    A second map was approved in 2013.

    I will very likely vote for Fair Map amendment but I don’t harbor illusions it will solve the problem of politics in map making.

  60. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    Nice links, Bill White. Thanks for finding and sharing them. Here’s another good one some may like -

  61. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    Sorry for the duplicate link posts, everyone. Sometimes I can’t tell what is caught in the auto-filter and what’s not, so I try to re-word the post in a shorter or more amiable tone.

  62. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    did quinn sign rauners reform?

  63. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    heck lets limit how many times you can run if you don`t win

  64. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 3:05 pm:


    “I’m also not in favor of term limits for legislative leadership. Constant turnover will lead to the lobbyists and big money controlling who wins elections and we will end up with extreme zealots on both sides.”

    How is this different from what we have now ?

  65. - Upon Further Review - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    @Oswego Willy:

    It is not merely that Michael Kasper knows the election law as few others do. He actually has had a hand in writing and revising the Election Code. Some of the revisions and tweaks may have been added as booby traps for unwary citizen candidates.

  66. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 3:58 pm:

    - Upon Further Review -,

    I am aware.

    I was trying not to be so… melodramatic … to the impact of a Mike Kasper filing. I get ya. You are right. I asked the question this morning about who is going to be at the other table for Rauner and his Crew when this gets a hearing?

    Kasper is one of the “4″ on Illinois Election Law’s “Mt. Rushmore”. He is. Now it’s Rauner ’s Crew’s move.

  67. - Fishingvest - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 4:26 pm:

    @NewWestSuburbanGOP’er, I agree with you because more that I think about term limits, the more I’m convinced it’s a very unAmerian idea. Voting for the person of our choice and running for office was/is one great attributes of the American experience. Our founders didn’t place too many restrictions for holding office and some of those restrictions were later removed, i.e. the land owning requirement. The idea of an elected representation was a very novel experience when this county started.
    Complaining about our elected officials is also part of the American experience, I get it. However, I just don’t believe that term limits will be the panacea that its supporters believe it will be. See this article:
    Too many people want a quick fix, just pass term limits and we won’t have any problems in government. They believe that it’s easy to fix government too, some of the “big bad” politicians will just go away. If you believe that I have some ocean front property in Arizona.
    Here’s the American way: find a good candidate with an good message, find/organize supporters, talk to voters, raise some money and you may win on Election Day, but there’s no guarantee nor should there be. If you don’t like my representative, senator, etc. so what - I get to vote up or down on a candidate not someone from outside of my district.
    Term limits are an artificial means for outsiders to control elections in an another district.
    Thanks Rich for allowing me to rant.

  68. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 4:29 pm:

    ===Term limits are an artificial means for outsiders to control elections in an another district.===

    Maybe, but gerrymandering does that times ten.

  69. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 5:26 pm:

    Rich, no one is supporting gerrymandering, but the idea that a re-districting commission is de facto ‘independent’ is a joke. If the purported fix for a problem is more of the same under a different guise, then we’re worse off than before because the voters think they’ve fixed it.

  70. - Upon Further Review - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 5:38 pm:

    @Oswego Willy:

    Matt Delort became a judge, so that removed one of the best from the playing field.

    You mentioned Odelson already. Raucci has assumed senior statesman status. Who does that leave? Nally or Jaconetty?

  71. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 6:07 pm:

    - URF -, you are On It.

    I, personally, have Raucci, Jackonetty, Odelson, and Kasper.

    That’s the List.

    The Mt. Rushmore.

    Can’t see Tom Jackonetty with Rauner.

    Maybe someone from ” Wisconsin” or “Indiana”…(?)

  72. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 6:09 pm:

    FKA, ===and so on== does not support your contention that the commissions are any less biased than when partisan legislatures control the process. Citing details that don’t support your contention smacks of Paul Ryan budget shenanigans.

  73. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 6:32 pm:

    Actually regarding fair maps, I think Ron has the right idea. He’s advocating for a set of rules that govern the drawing of district lines. Ron your on target here. Those rules that you advocate might be a bit simplistic, but if they were implemented by a computer algorithm without the need for “independent” redistricting commissions weighing in and bossing the determination, we’d be much much better off and actually would have implemented a true solution to the problem.

  74. - Walker - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 8:16 pm:

    There is only one state that now has a truly “independent” redistricting commission — at least on paper, Kansas if memory serves.

    A lot of others, like Ohio, Michigan, and PA, call their political-party-named and controlled commissions independent for cynical political purposes.

    Illinois would become one of two outliers in the country if this passes. I’m still for it.

  75. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 8:29 pm:

    PS - on that lengthy list provided by the NCSL, there is not a single state with a fairly objective process? Arizona’s process is exemplary. If that is not “independent” enough, then perhaps nothing is.

    Quite frankly, like you, I would prefer Ron’s suggestion to anything else currently in effect. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start and it would not give either party an “edge”.

  76. - PublicServant - Friday, May 2, 14 @ 3:58 am:

    FKA, you should try this thing called providing details, if you use an example to hang your hat on. Arizona’s commission is a nice attempt at balance but is definitely not independent. I know you want to use that word to define what a commission is, but in essence, Arizona’s attempt is highly dependent on the legislature at its heart. Trade offs will be the result, not true independently drawn districts that will maximize the voter’s voice. Now, if we could just get money out of political elections maybe we can get our representatives to actually represent us instead of the monied interests that are buying them now.

  77. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 2, 14 @ 7:21 am:

    Apologies to Tom Jaconetty. Not “Jackonetty”

    Stupid auto-correct! I was burned before with “Casper”.

    I am a Dope.

  78. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, May 2, 14 @ 8:33 am:

    PS - I don’t know what more to provide in the way of details in a brief comment other than a link to an objective and widely respected source that also cites the exact segment of the AZ Constitution from which that commission originates and derives their power.

    Thus far, I have shared facts and details while you have shared only criticism of said details. You should try practicing what you preach.

  79. - PublicServant - Friday, May 2, 14 @ 9:24 am:

    FKA-Yeah, sorry if I came off that way. I think any commission isn’t ideal, however, Arizona is a good stab at it. A group of candidates are proposed by the Arizona Judiciary, and from that group the majority and minority leader in each house pick a candidate. Those 4 candidates pick their chairman. Not bad at all, and I’d settle for that, if a computer algorithm along Ron’s lines couldn’t be devised. The links you provided didn’t spoon feed me enough, I guess…but then, I’m a moocher dontcha know.

  80. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, May 2, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    PS - ahhh, don’t give it another thought. Sorry if I came of harshly as well. At the end of the day, I think we’re actually on the exact same side of this. I would love to see some sort of neutral, truly independent lines drawn that don’t give either party an edge.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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