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A selective conspiracy?

Monday, Jun 2, 2014

* From an e-mail sent yesterday by Michael Kolenc, the campaign manager for Yes for Independent Maps, which is pushing a constitutional amendment for remap reform and doesn’t yet have enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot…

We knew it would come to this. The status quo in Illinois was not going to let this process be easy…and because of that, we have been hard at work trying to rehabilitate signatures the state threw out in their rushed, uneven and back-room validation process. In fact, we are working today – checking signatures in the voter file, preparing lists of certified voter registration cards we need to obtain; having notaries collect signed affidavits.

This work is tedious, but with the support of over 500,000 petition signers, we know you have our back. Can you continue to cheer us on by making a $25 contribution today?

That’s a nice little conspiracy theory, but you’d think the Board of Elections would’ve been at least as “unfair” to Bruce Rauner’s term limits petition drive. Nope

Illinois election officials say a group that supports eight-year term limits on legislators appears to have enough signatures to let voters decide on the issue in November.

Illinois State Board of Elections Director Rupert Borgsmiller told The Associated Press on Monday that about 60 percent of the group’s tested signatures were valid. The Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits turned in nearly 600,000 signatures. That’s about 370,000 eligible signatures. Illinois ballot measures need about 300,000 voter signatures.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner backs the proposal. It also would also change the size of the Legislature and make it harder for lawmakers to override a governor’s veto.

* From Rauner’s term limits group…

“Today we also extend our gratitude to the State Board of Elections for their impartiality and professionalism throughout the petition process,“ said Executive Director Mark Campbell. “Today the Board has made official what we have known all along – that the people of Illinois want term limits.”

Bottom line, Rauner appears to have run a professional operation.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


29 Comments
  1. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    What happens when you can’t win because you weren’t prepared? Blame the refs. Lazy and stupid effort by these maps people. It’s unfortunate from my perspective because I’d rather see that on the ballot than Rauner’s nonsense.


  2. - Becasue I say so... - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:28 pm:

    There is a process for getting things on the ballot for a reason. Yes for Independent maps signatures were not just short a few, they were at about a 70% invalid rate. They came up WAY short and now it’s not their fault, it’s a conspiracy…give me a break.


  3. - Bill White - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    === “Today the Board has made official what we have known all along – that the people of Illinois want term limits.” ===

    Eh, no.

    Today the Board made it official that the proponents fulfilled the legal requirements needed to ask the people - via referendum - whether we want term limits and a smaller State Senate and a more powerful governor.

    ===

    Interesting side note - multi-member districts appear to be more effective at fighting gerrymandering than maps drawn by “independent commissions”

    Maybe in 2016 we should seek to repeal the Cut-Back Amendment OR consolidate those 3 new rep districts into one 3 member district per state senator.


  4. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    Board of Elections generally tends to do one of the better jobs among Illinois agencies and departments.

    Speaking to the popular initiative process, we should set a high bar but the current one may be a bit too high.


  5. - OneMan - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    Bottom line, Rauner appears to have run a professional operation.

    In other news, Oswego Willies head explodes….


  6. - Langhorne - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    Gak. Sputter. Disappointing developments.


  7. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    ===Speaking to the popular initiative process, we should set a high bar but the current one may be a bit too high. ===

    Ironically enough, you’ll have to change the state Constitution to do that.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    Oh, - OneMan -, it would take more than that.

    Plus, paying others to get it done works when it works, nothing mind blowing there.

    You waved at me during the Memorial Day parade. Thanks.


  9. - John Bambenek - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    The 8% threshold of signatures bothers me a lot less than having the taxpayers fund the petition verification process when the taxpayers themselves ask for their own constitution to be amended. The overriding government interest in ensuring “insufficiently” supported amendments is exactly the same if not less than “insufficiently” supported politicians running for office. (We’ll skip past the problem that insufficiently supported amendment are a self-correcting problem come election day).

    Why doesn’t the ISBE verify petitions for people running for governor? Simple, because the ILGA had to add a few more obstacles and some cost into an already high bar on the off chance some citizens got uppity (and a mil or so for signature gathering)…


  10. - CollegeStudent - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    ===Interesting side note - multi-member districts appear to be more effective at fighting gerrymandering than maps drawn by “independent commissions”===

    Not really. Sure it probably got more minority party members elected in a given district, but the old state legislative districts were just as prone to gerrymandering as the current districts.


  11. - Apacolypse Now - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    “Bottom line, Rauner appears to have run a professional operation.

    In other news, Oswego Willies head explodes….”
    Not often enough!


  12. - 4 percent - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    For the black helicopter conspiracy theorists…

    Politicos at the SBE tossed the Fair Maps initiative because it is more likely to pass judicial scrutiny while they could give a pass to term limits knowing that the Supreme Court has ruled against it once and will do so again.


  13. - Scribble - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    If I had a choice between an SBE conspiracy to keep this off the ballot or a conspiracy by Kolenc, a Dem operative, to pull his punches, I’d pick the latter.

    Now that he’s out of work, I hope the Quinn people sign him.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    ===Not often enough!===

    You would think one would go it, but, since claiming Wolverine as my own, maybe I get an extra explosion(?)

    Elections and petitions are like taking Final Exams;

    Study, work hard, work smart, you know the questions so know your answers, prepare, check and double check your work, follow through…

    And show up.

    The rest is being a victim of your ill-prepared attempt at success.

    No sympathy. No conspiracy. Deserved mocking.


  15. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    Woof, that Kolenc is going to have some explaining to do to some big hitters if that amendment gets bounced. Lot of money they gave him.

    Making the ISBE part of some grand conspiracy ain’t going to cut it when you only claimed north of 60% good going in.


  16. - Ahoy! - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    –Bottom line, Rauner appears to have run a professional operation.–

    Which might even scare the Democrats more than all the money.


  17. - Bill White - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    This is my current preferred proposal to combat gerrymandering:

    http://www.fairvote.org/research-and-analysis/congressional-elections/monopoly-politics-2014-and-the-fair-voting-solution/

    Independent commissions are part of the solution but only one part of the solution.


  18. - Moving on - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    “Bottom line, Rauner appears to have run a professional operation.”

    Rauner bought a professional operation. He got what he paid for. And so did the redistricting folks. They never had the cash to fund the large scale signature collection operation they needed.


  19. - A guy... - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    +++Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    ===Speaking to the popular initiative process, we should set a high bar but the current one may be a bit too high. ===

    Ironically enough, you’ll have to change the state Constitution to do that.++++

    I agree with everything but the first two words. It’s not ironic at all. Our corruption is institutionally and constitutionally protected. Sad, yes. Ironic, hardly.


  20. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    He spent a lot of money. A single mom at my church said she was passing petitions for Rauner, but needed to find a new job because the work was running out.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    ===Our corruption is institutionally and constitutionally protected.===

    So now the Constitution is corrupt too?

    Is the “black helicopter” corrupt, or “tin foil hat” corrupt?

    Pathetic, but if being a victim works for you…


  22. - Adam Smith - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    Scuttlebutt is that Kolenc ran a poorly organized shop with little quality control on the product coming in the door. Under 50% good signatures is inexcusable and folks seem to be laying blame at Kolenc’s feet.

    Previous commenters are right that the big money guys should be furious. But we know that incompetent campaign people never seem to be held accountable for their failures. He’ll take his cash and move on to the next mark. (Or should I say, candidate?)


  23. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 3:25 pm:

    In Illinois, the two parties historically have always been bipartisan in making it difficult for independent efforts to gain any traction.

    That’s why I find it amusing that some cry “corruption” when you make it easier to vote, and claim to be “goo-goos” when they try to make it harder to vote.

    The Dems and GOP in this state never had a problem stealing votes, if they set their minds to it.

    Trying to disenfranchise someone for partisan purposes is Jim Crow at its worst.

    Back in the day, it was the Old Dixiecrats doing it. Sadly, today, some really weak GOP types are leading the charge.


  24. - Befuddled - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 3:42 pm:

    I have a hard time believing the fix is in at the State Board of Elections. Somebody is looking for somebody to blame.


  25. - Skirmisher - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    I publicly recant my previous cynical comments about the Board of Elections. It had a recky start, as I recall, but it seems to have found its feet. I never expected the establishment to let this proposal get this close to a ballot. I am finally enthused about the next election.


  26. - Anon - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 4:51 pm:

    == the old state legislative districts were just as prone to gerrymandering as the current districts ==
    The three-member districts were huge, and there was typically two members from the majority party and one from the minority party in each district. So it was inherently harder to gerrymander.


  27. - CollegeStudent - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 10:18 pm:

    ===The three-member districts were huge, and there was typically two members from the majority party and one from the minority party in each district. So it was inherently harder to gerrymander. ===

    1. If it artificially inflates minority party totals in the district, it’s still a gerrymander. Since Gerrymandering is about ensuring outcomes that are favorable to one party or another, the nearly guaranteed 2/1 voter split is indicative of gerrymandering.

    2. Look at legislative maps of the state from 1870 to before the cutback amendment. District boundaries can be and are just as arbitrary.


  28. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 10:34 pm:

    ===The three-member districts were huge===

    No they weren’t. Same size as they are now. Just one additional member.


  29. - website - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 12:05 am:

    You should be a part of a contest for one of the finest websites on the net.
    I am going to recommend this site!


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