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* The Committee for a Fair and Balanced Map is a group of former Republican politicians and others who are raising money to fund the GOP’s court challenge to the new congressional map. They call themselves “an independent, not-for-profit organization created by citizens who are concerned about the Congressional redistricting process in the state of Illinois,” but this is clearly a GOP front group. Their latest e-mail fundraising pitch includes this line

In closing, the Illinois map should not be the place where Nancy Pelosi looks to reclaim the title of Speaker.

* Anyway, I noticed something interesting in the group’s fundraising e-mail. Let’s see if you catch it as well…

We believe our legal challenge will overturn the Democrats’ map, and here’s why:

Notice anything missing? Perhaps, oh, I dunno, the word “Latinos”? After all, Latinos are supposedly at the heart of the GOP’s challenge to the new map

At the federal level, Republicans formed the Committee for a Fair and Balanced Map, a not-for-profit fund-raising arm to help with court costs. John McGovern, spokesman for the group, said the committee opposes Democrats’ efforts to “dilute” Latino influence, despite their growing population.

“We are committed to ensuring that everyone in Illinois is represented fairly and equitably in Congress, regardless of ethnicity or race,” he said in a statement.

It probably goes without saying that a fundraising pitch to a Republican donors list probably wouldn’t be all that successful if it focused on Latino political power.

* Meanwhile, Tammy Duckworth went from making her first round of campaign calls on Friday to jumping into the race today

Tammy Duckworth made it official on Wednesday morning, launching a run for Congress from the north suburban Illinois 8th congressional district, carved out by Illinois Democrats to give Democrats a boost.

Duckworth, a wounded Iraq war veteran, resigned last month as assistant secretary at the Veteran’s Administration–an appointee of President Obama. She will file papers with the Federal Election Commission later this week.

“My father served in Vietnam, my brother served in the Coast Guard, and my husband continues to serve on active duty because our family believes in this great nation. There are plenty of folks in Washington who serve political ideology and personal ambition. I want to continue serving our county,” she said in a statement.

She added, “It’s time to tell John Boehner, Karl Rove and the tea party crowd that you can’t balance the budget on the backs of seniors. You can’t serve multi-national corporations first and American families last. And you won’t build a better future by tearing down our economy brick by brick and shipping it overseas.”

* On the other end of the time spectrum, Democrat Mike Boland is still kinda, sorta exploring

Former state Rep. Mike Boland, D-East Moline, is considering running for Congress against freshman Republican Rep. Bobby Schilling of Colona.

Boland hasn’t formed an exploratory or campaign committee yet, but he will look at doing so, according to a news release Tuesday.

In a statement, he said he would talk to constituents and party leaders to discuss a possible run for Congress. He plans a news conference at Odell Public Library in Morrison this morning.

A news conference does not equal listening. Just saying.

* This doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all

Last week, Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill, introduced a bill that would tie the retirement age for lawmakers to the Social Security retirement age. This follows a similar proposal by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

While we common citizens must wait until age 66 or 67 (depending on our year of birth) to receive our full retirement benefits under Social Security, federal lawmakers can receive full retirement benefits at age 62 with five years of service, at age 50 with 20 years of service, and at any age with 25 years of service.

* Congressman Hultgren clears up a tiny problem

The Federal Elections Commission [earlier this month] said it has dismissed a fundraising complaint against U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren after the freshman congressman’s campaign returned an improper $2,000 donation.

Hultgren, a Winfield Republican who represents the far west suburban 14th Congressional District, accepted for his federal campaign fund two $1,000 donations from the state campaign fund he maintained as a state senator.

* And a potential Democratic candidate has been whacked hard before he even got out of the gate

A Springfield attorney who is considering running for Congress has been censured for misconduct and had his law license placed on probation in two separate cases before the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

The ARDC is an administrative agency of the Illinois Supreme Court that regulates the legal profession and handles disciplinary matters.

Mark N. Lee, 49, who lives in Rochester but has a practice in Springfield, said last week that he was considering running for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the new 13th Congressional District that includes Champaign-Urbana, Decatur, Bloomington-Normal and Springfield.

* Related…

* Mark Brown: Rep. Jackson rips Quinn on job losses

* Freshman Republicans Lobby Federal Agencies For Millions Amid Spending Critiques: Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), for instance, wrote the Department of Agriculture on February 14, asking for $7,498,015 in cash and commodities contributions for the American Nicaraguan Foundation and Fabretto Children’s Foundation — groups that run education, health and nutrition programs in Nicaragua.

* Loss of 180,000 black residents will complicate Chicago ward remap: After the 1990 Census, Chicago taxpayers spent $20 million in legal fees — and tens of thousands more on a costly referendum — only to end up changing just a handful of blocks in the 18th Ward, which resulted in the re-election of then-incumbent Ald. Tom Murphy (18th).

posted by Rich Miller
Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 12:19 pm


  1. Gerrymandering in the age of computers is a scam. We all know it is. It makes an utter mockery of the House. What we have here is a fan dance. Both parties are liars. The Map sucks. The old map sucked. This process sucks.

    Comment by VanillaMan Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 12:32 pm

  2. Latinos? Please. How about fighting for everyone by ending this fraud? We all know what needs to happen. You can either cynically support this by arguing either side, or by being honest.

    I will not fan dance to this Milli Vanilli fraud..

    Comment by VanillaMan Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 12:50 pm

  3. She added, “It’s time to tell John Boehner, Karl Rove and the tea party crowd that you can’t balance the budget on the backs of seniors. You can’t serve multi-national corporations first and American families last. And you won’t build a better future by tearing down our economy brick by brick and shipping it overseas.”

    I really hope she come up with something more original than this.

    Comment by Anonymous Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 1:09 pm

  4. I’m sure if the tables were turned and the GOP controlled all levels of government in Illinois, then the map would be totally fair–cutting no communities of interest, and having only compact and contiguous districts that always make sense in evers single case. No minorities would be upset, and there would be equitable representation for everybody regardless of political persuasion.

    To quote the movie airplane:
    “I sure picked a bad day to stop doing drugs!!”

    Meanwhile back on the planet earth this whole thing smacks of nothing but the GOP being upset that they didn’t get invited to the table to help carve up the dinner helpings. The party and this ‘fair and balanced map’ group are shamelessly pimping Hispanic voters to get a legal standing for their case (Both the GOP and the Dems shamelessly ‘use’ Hispanic voters and issues when it suits their purpose, so I’m not singlehandedly pointing at one side of the aisle ony.)

    As others said before, the whole process is a farce and if the GOP would have control this time around, the Democrats would be beating their chests about how minorities are underrepresented and how the map is unfair.

    It’s nothing but partisan whining. One party does it today, and in ten years its the other side’s turn.


    Comment by train111 Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 1:10 pm

  5. Anon is dead on, pretty pathetic press release. Giangreco or whoever wrote it needs new material. Rove left the white house 4 years and 2 election cycles ago. She’s accountable for the job creation records of the administrations she’s served in since then.

    Will be interesting to watch how many black aldermen lose their jobs. They already have a 3-1 advantage in congressional seats despite the fact there are more latinos in illinois than blacks.

    Comment by Shore Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 1:16 pm

  6. Shore, Rove left the White House, but he’s still a major, major player. Did you forget about American Crossroads?

    Comment by Rich Miller Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 1:21 pm

  7. Ditto Vanillaman. While Latino POLITICIANS may want gerrymandering to give them 2 Congressional districts, the Latino community arguably is more powerful being a major voting block in 3. Sure, you can chuckle at the hypocricy/politics of the GOP shadow group letter, but the outrage should be directed at the effort to minimilze all of our votes to make them as powerLESS as possible. Wish we’d see more passion about that and less nitpicking on the attempts to get it done.

    Comment by lake county democrat Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 1:26 pm

  8. –Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), for instance, wrote the Department of Agriculture on February 14, asking for $7,498,015 in cash and commodities contributions for the American Nicaraguan Foundation and Fabretto Children’s Foundation — groups that run education, health and nutrition programs in Nicaragua.–

    Huh? Where’d that come from? Won’t he lose his Tea Party secret decoder ring for this?

    Comment by wordslinger Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 1:28 pm

  9. What actually is a fair map?
    No matter how fair one tries to make it, there is some minority or partisan group that is going to feel slighted by it. Even if it was drawn by a non-partisan commission using a computer and only census data and drew districts regardless of political leaning or of the address of the incumbent and the addresses of any potential challengers to that incumbent, I’d be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that there would be some group somewhere that will feel slighted and issue a bunch of press releases and file lawsuits.
    Part of the problem is the encorcement of ‘one person-one vote’ and the necessity to use computers to draw up districts that have exactly the same populations. Years ago, you could have a 2 or 3% population difference between districts. Needing to have exactly the same population in each districts forces a dividng line somewhere. Some community, some block, somewhere there is going to be a line that people don’t like. If you had a couple of percent leeway then it would be much easier to hold to county, township or city limit lines, but just like VRA, the courts will not allow it.


    Comment by train111 Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 1:32 pm

  10. ===Won’t he lose his Tea Party secret decoder ring for this?===

    Lol Word. I think he’s prepared for any Tea Party trouble. You see, he’s got a limo, he rides in the back. He locks the doors in case he’s attacked.

    Life certainly has been good to Mr. Walsh. So far.

    Comment by 47th Ward Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 1:41 pm

  11. Good sir, I thank american crossroads for its support for Senator Kirk last fall, but Rove doesn’t make policy now and hasn’t for 4 years.

    It would be like a Republican running for congress in 2003 on clinton scandals.

    When the president’s team, the chief of the DNC, and democrats accross the country are calling this “the presidents economy” she, as a member of his administration, running on her service as a member of his administration is accountable for his record and it’s unacceptable to attack rove who I have not seen a single clip anywhere in the last few years where Republicans have said-Karl Rove is giving us policy advice.

    This is not 2006, she’s not a democrat political neophyte running against a gop controlled dc. She’s a former midlevel member of the current democrat administration who has to defend that record.

    Comment by shore Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 1:54 pm

  12. Per the Secretary of State’s website, the Committee for a Fair and Balanced Map was established last December by an agent, Incorporating Services, Ltd. of Springfield.

    Here’s the thumbnail from

    Entity Name COMMITTEE FOR A FAIR AND BALANCED MAP File Number 67283465
    Status ACTIVE
    Entity Type CORPORATION Type of Corp NOT-FOR-PROFIT
    Incorporation Date (Domestic) 12/06/2010 State ILLINOIS
    Agent Change Date 12/06/2010
    Agent Street Address 1 W OLD STATE CAPITOL PLZ #805 President Name & Address
    Agent City SPRINGFIELD Secretary Name & Address
    Agent Zip 62701 Duration Date PERPETUAL
    Annual Report Filing Date 00/00/0000

    Did you catch that? President — unnamed. Secretary — blank.

    Ah, but wait. There’s more. (Or less, depending on how you look at it.)

    The president and secretary of Incorporation Services are Joshua and Rosemary Twilley of Dover, Delaware. Their agent in Illinois is Faxxon Legal Information Services, Inc.

    Faxxon’s president and secretary are, respectively, Randall Scott and Bradley Gibson, both of Santa Ana, California. Their agent here is Illinois Corporation Service Company.

    Illinois Corporation Service Co. is led by Rodman Ward and George Massih, both of Wilmington, Delaware. Their agent in Illinois is LexisNexis Document Solutions.

    LexisNexis Document Solutions has as its officers the aforementioned Messrs. Ward and Massih. Their Illinois agent is Lexis Document Services, Inc.

    Lexis Document Services is helmed by — surprise! — Ward and Massih. Their agent? Illinois Corporation Services Company, led by — Ward and Massih!

    So — the Committee for a Fair and Balanced Map has no reported officers, and a rather peculiar daisy chain of incorporators and agents.

    Nope. Not gonna send THEM my money.

    Comment by Dooley Dudright Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 2:06 pm

  13. “2. The congressional districts created by the Democrats are not compact, as required by the by federal case law. The lines do not make sense.”

    That’s pretty darned rich coming from the party that made today’s 17th CD. Geez

    Comment by What planet is he from again? Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 2:16 pm

  14. I hope that was Lynn Sweet’s typo and Duckworth wants to serve more than our “county.”

    Gerrymandering in the age of computers is a scam?

    I’ve got news for you: computers don’t draw maps, computer programmers do, and letting computer programmers draw a map is a scam.

    The even bigger scam is why the GOP didn’t put forth a computer-drawn map. any map that adhered strictly to the equal, compact and contiguous rules would have erased even more GOP incumbents. More over, it would have insured that the seats that remained were more partisan.

    Its not possible in Illinois, where partisanship is highly concentrated, to draw a map where the districts are equal, compact, contiguous and bipartisan.

    Anyone who has run a legislative race in Illinois can tell you that.

    Comment by Yellow Dog Democrat Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 2:40 pm

  15. Boland doesn’t need an exploratory committee. He knows what he’s going to do.

    Comment by Dirty Red Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 3:18 pm

  16. What is a fair map?
    It is impossible to draw a map where districts are equal?
    Any candidate can tell you that?

    These are positions taken by people more cynical than non voters. A fair map is one that does NOT take into account any politics! Voters pick, not politicians.

    Comment by VanillaMan Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 3:21 pm

  17. Voting history should not determine congressional boundaries. Population, not politics.

    We know what to do. You do not let players make the rules.

    Comment by VanillaMan Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 3:25 pm

  18. VMan, please try to avoid just stringing together innumerable bumper sticker slogans. This isn’t a chanting contest.

    Comment by Rich Miller Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 3:27 pm

  19. Also, it should be pointed out, again, that the League of Women Voters tried and failed to get a remap constitutional amendment on the ballot last year. Not to mention that the con-con vote failed miserably.

    Comment by Rich Miller Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 3:28 pm

  20. In other words, we usually deserve the government we get.

    Comment by Six Degrees of Separation Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 4:49 pm

  21. I like how all the Republican members of congress and fundraisers are running against Nancy Pelosi, and all the Dems are running against Rove and Boehner.

    Maybe Ductworth can come up with something more appealing to the voters, like “Hey I gave up my sweet government gig to run for this office, so please vote for me.”

    To be fair, maybe the Repubs could change their fundraising letter to include this phrase; “We totally blew the best chance to stop this map by defeating the worst Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the past 40 years (including 40 days in the holevich), so now we need your money to pour down a gi-normous legal sink-hole to absolutely no avail.”

    Comment by Jaded Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 5:06 pm

  22. Tammy vs. Raja? Excuse me while I go get enough popcorn to pass along. The Democratic primary in the new 8th should be loads of fun!

    Comment by Roy Cone Wednesday, Jul 6, 11 @ 7:45 pm

  23. @Vanillaman -

    Just as easy and simple to argue that in a state that:

    1) has voted Democratic for President in every election but one since 1960;

    2) Is overwhelmingly pro-choice;

    3) Overwhelmingly supports equal rights for gay Americans;

    A fair map elects a Democratic Congressional delegation.

    Moreover, the only Republicans to win statewide office in the last decade have been decidedly liberal.

    Comment by Yellow Dog Democrat Thursday, Jul 7, 11 @ 8:32 am

  24. @YDD -

    Are you talking about Cook County or Illinois?

    1.) Illinois went Republican in 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, and 1988. Cook County went GOP only in 1972.

    2.) and 3.) I don’t think you can use the word “overwhelmingly” for these two issues for the entire state. If so, we would have gay marriage by now. You could probably say these for Cook County, though.

    “A fair map elects a Democratic Congressional delegation.” - Not necessarily true. I think a “fair map” is based on geographic and existing political boundaries (counties, cities, townships, etc.). In Illinois, Democratic strength is concentrated in mainly one area of the state (Cook County). The Downstate and Suburban districts (if compact and “fair”) would either lean republican or be tossups.

    Comment by Southwest Cook Thursday, Jul 7, 11 @ 11:11 am

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