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Newspaper wants to abolish one person, one vote in Illinois

Friday, Nov 5, 2010 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The Southern Illinoisan’s editorial board has lost its collective mind

Here is the frustrating reality facing our state. Chicago has enough votes to forever rule Illinois statewide government. That seems a near certainty because of the city’s one-party Democratic rule.

Critics of the Electoral College will howl at this suggestion, but the final voting mechanism that awards the U.S. presidency would better the entire state of Illinois for statewide offices - including governor and attorney general - than the popular vote. It would require passage of a constitutional amendment and meet fierce resistance by Chicago, but the advantages would be felt across Illinois. It would mean more statewide power for Marion, Carbondale and other communities across the state.

If created for Illinois statewide offices, an electoral college could award differing numbers of votes to each county, based on population. Larger counties would have more electoral votes through this per-capita system, but not the crushing majority wielded by Chicago with the popular vote. It would require an absolute majority of electoral votes to win a statewide office.

Our national founders created the Electoral College to prevent big population states from playing too great a role in a nationwide vote. It occasionally results in the oddity of a popular vote winner, such as Al Gore in 2000, failing to capture the Electoral College vote and the presidency. But the leveling of the playing field for urban, suburban and rural voters is an important continuation of our nation’s federalist roots. It is worth the occasional anomaly, especially since the popular and Electoral College winners are usually the same candidate.

Let’s think about a similar system for Illinois. It would give our state a chance to remain known as the “Land of Lincoln” and not as “the suburb of Chicago.”

Yeah. OK. Let’s abandon “One person, one vote.” Right. That brilliant idea wouldn’t just meet “fierce resistance” from Chicago. Judges would laugh it out of court. Seriously, pot didn’t just secretly become legal in Illinois, did it? Because those editorial board members are obviously smoking some very wacky weed.

* Empty acres don’t vote. Counties don’t vote. Townships don’t vote. Regions don’t vote. Citizens vote.

Back in the “good old days,” southern Illinois politicians were able to stop redistricting for decades. The Chicago area’s population was exploding, but the people there had little influence in their state legislature. Apparently, the newspaper of record for that region would like to go back to those halcyon times.

* Here’s a news flash for the undemocratic southerners: Mark Kirk is not from Chicago, but he won statewide. Judy Baar Topinka does not live in Chicago and neither does Dan Rutherford. Sheila Simon actually lives in Carbondale, where that bizarro newspaper is published.

Bill Brady didn’t lose because he wasn’t from Chicago. Bill Brady lost because he failed to run a better campaign than Pat Quinn. Period. Brady was the frontrunner all year. He blew it. Plain and simple. Get over it, man. Back in 1994, Downstater Jim Edgar actually won Cook County. George Ryan was from Kankakee, where I was born. Last time I checked, Kankakee is not a Chicago ward. Obviously, it can be done. Brady just didn’t pull it off.

* And it wasn’t just Chicago votes that elected Pat Quinn. Almost half a million Downstaters voted for him. Should they be disenfranchised too?

Why should the 2,104 voters in Hardin County have more say in their state government than the 1,373,020 human being voters who happen to live in Cook County? What makes those Hardin voters so all-fired special and superior?

The Southern Illinoisan is based in Jackson County. 15,617 people voted for governor in Jackson. But 23,594 people voted in Chicago’s 19th Ward. Yet, for some reason Jackson County votes should count for more than Beverly/Morgan Park’s?

* Look, you backed a candidate who didn’t win. But that doesn’t mean it’s time for radical, unconstitutional “solutions.” That’s some very dangerous thinking.

Several years ago, I asked the good folks who run the Legislative Research Unit if they had any data on which counties were the biggest state tax eaters and which were the biggest state revenue generators. I was told that the LRU has long refused to do that study because it is just too controversial. The last time they did it, they discovered that Downstate was a net revenue eater, the suburbs were a net revenue contributor and Chicago was revenue neutral. The results caused such an uproar that they won’t even touch the subject now.

The fact that Downstaters eat more than their share of state money doesn’t give them the right to have more than one vote per person.

* Newspaper editorial boards are supposed to be the guardians of public discourse. They’re supposed to take the time to think things through, calm the darker influences on our souls and advocate for rational, reasonable solutions. None of that was present in the SI’s ridiculous editorial. I really thought the Tribune was horrid, but there’s just no comparison here.


  1. - Smitty Irving - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 4:52 am:

    Everett Dirksen lost this fight in the 1960s. He thought that the Illinois State Senate seats should be distributed somewhat similar to US Senate seats. He objected to

    His effort to overturn this decision failed.

    This decision was a followup to Baker v Carr

    which established “one man, one vote” … .

    Rich, you’re right - they’ve lost their collective minds.

  2. - returning dog - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 5:05 am:

    Brady would have blown that fantasy election, too.

  3. - RWP - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 5:07 am:

    Too bad they couldn’t have gone in the direction of proportional representation in the Legislature. That would actually help reduce the Chicago influence in the state.


  4. - upset - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 5:27 am:

    Rich, you can disagree with the Southern and maybe you are right - I am from deep southern Illinois and I do not know how I feel about it, but you sure did not have to be so brutal in your attack. I have read the Fax for a long time but I am beginning to think you do not have any respect for us southerners, just like a lot of Chicagoans do not. I am very disappointed in you.

  5. - returning dog - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 5:57 am:

    I’m missing the alleged ‘brutality’, here. Was he brutal to the edit board for pushing such a stupid, solve nothing, deck-stacking idea? or to downstaters, by pointing out the net funding imbalances?

  6. - Foster Brooks - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 6:04 am:

    Is that a tribune newspaper?

  7. - Leroy - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 6:29 am:

    If southern Illinois is a revenue eater, why in the *world* would Chicago want them around? I can’t see Chicago being into charity cases.

    As far as the electoral college goes, it was one of the most brilliant compromises that made one the most revolutionary developments of the Age of Enlightenment possible.

    It deserves more respect than it is getting here.

  8. - Rick - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 6:32 am:

    Very Well Written Rich

    I am a southerner and I wouldnt want my vote disenfranchased either. My feelings are we need to do away with the electorial college and let everyone’s vote count.

  9. - Deep South - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 6:39 am:

    Well some of the commanders here show that Chicago bias…very classy. No Rich was’t too harsh. As someone who lives down the road from the Southern Illinoisan, I ’bout fell off the couch when I read that piece yesterday
    morning. Wacky - and that’s being kind - for all the reasons Rich listed. Yes, Southern Illinois is a different world-people in Chicago just don’t understand the vast cultural differences. But a dumb idea is a dumb idea. The Southern should be ashamed.

  10. - Esteban - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 6:56 am:

    Georgia used to elect it’s governor, etc. under
    such a system-it was called the “county unit
    rule” and the Supreme Court ruled that it was

  11. - Old Shepherd - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 7:09 am:

    I, too, am from Southern Illinois and proudly voted for Pat Quinn. Rich wasn’t criticizing downstate or Southern Illinois, he was rightly criticizing the Southern Illinoisan.

  12. - Aldyth - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 7:16 am:

    Like most downstaters, there are times when I wish Chicago was part of Indiana. There are also days when I wish Washington DC was part of Canada and Springfield Illinois part of Missouri.

    And then you get over it and realize that there are strengths and benefits that come from all of them. Illinois would not be Illinois without the Sears Tower (who cares what they renamed it?), Field Museum, Art Museum, Woodfield Mall, Brookfield Zoo, Second City, and the Dan Ryan Expressway. Likewise, we would not be Illinois without the Shawnee National Forest, Cahokia Mounds, cornfields, U of I, soybeans, and hog farms.

    We should enjoy our diversity, not deride it. And switching to an electoral college is just silliness, but this has been a very silly season.

  13. - DMAC57 - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 7:23 am:

    Empty acres don’t vote. Counties don’t vote. Townships don’t vote. Regions don’t vote. Citizens vote….we have got to get that Citizen part engaged. While Lake County claims a 50.02% turnout, parts of Lake County had less than 20% turnout and the further west in Lake County you went, you saw much less turn-out.

  14. - Leroy - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 7:27 am:

    Those of you deriding the electoral college might want to read this article explaining it from Discover Magazine, first printed in 1996:

    “Math Against Tyranny”

  15. - "Old Timer Dem" - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 7:30 am:

    Making an electoral system in illinois similar to the Presidential Electoral college would not help because Cook county would have more electoral votes than all the other counties combined.

  16. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 7:39 am:

    I wonder if the Southern Illinoisan’s editorial board would propose the same concept for county government. Perhaps rural townships deserve a bit more weight in the voting process than Carbondale and Murpysboro.

  17. - upset - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 7:39 am:

    TheI did not mean to imply that I supported the Southern viewpoint, but why bring in the revenue eaters vs. rev. generators? How does that address the issue?

  18. - Wensicia - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 7:57 am:

    Talk about bitter! At first read, I thought this editorial was some kind of satirical joke, really, it made me laugh. But, why is it that some people want to change our system of government whenever their side loses? Like nothing’s fair or right unless their side wins?

  19. - returning dog - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:11 am:

    The issue is raised in the editorial. It pits north vs south, haves/have nots, urban vs rural, left vs right - all over simplifications. The only group of people a state electoral college appeals to is the group that is jealous of Chicago area influence, who see it as undue. The point that state revenue flows south may be a bitter pill to swallow, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

    The EC is fine for the presidential election, but it will never fly on the state level. If you don’t like Chicago’s influence, to get that change you would have to organize a winning ‘downstatey’ party that could sweep the leg-islature and governor. And if you could do that, you wouldn’t need this state-electoral-college idea anymore.

  20. - Nieva - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:16 am:

    Rich, every county in the state but four voted the Republican in the Gov. election. I understand That Chicago rules the state. You need to understand that the folks in the south are very untrusting of the voting process in Chicago. When 6 out of 10 people you meet in the city speak a language other that english you wonder how many of them are legal voters. I don’t think that the Southen’s idea would be fair but but something needs to happen to give the other 101 counties in this state a little more say in what goes on. I firmly believe billions in debt we have would not have happened if some common sense southern people were running things!

  21. - Siwash - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:19 am:

    The author’s vehemence and vituperence here are outstanding. . . and amazing. . . and rather discredits his blog and him.

  22. - dave - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:21 am:

    When 6 out of 10 people you meet in the city speak a language other that english you wonder how many of them are legal voters.

    Wow… have you ever been to Chicago?

    something needs to happen to give the other 101 counties in this state a little more say in what goes on

    So in other words, you think that the the “other 101 counties” should have a disproportionate share of the power in the state?

  23. - VanillaMan - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:25 am:

    The purpose of the Electoral College is to elect a president to lead a FEDERAL government. It is not designed to bring about any fairness or balance in elections. It is not designed to help make a candidate appear to be a bigger winner. It wasn’t designed to give empty land a vote.

    The purpose of the Electoral College is based on the fact that our president heads a FEDERAL government within a FEDERAL government system! People DO NOT elect a president because he is on a FEDERAL level. State representative elect the president. Each state decides how that is done within the conditions set within the Constitution.

    The editorial is wrong on many levels. The editors fail to understand what the Electoral College is supposed to do. Rather they just fall for the popular ignorance about it because of the misperception of the results given after an election.

    State governments DO NOT NEED a federal government election system because a state government is NOT a FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

    Consequentially importing the federal government election model into a state government is downright ignorant and stupid on many levels.

  24. - Andrea5 - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:27 am:

    Oct 27 Brady FaceBook post ” I have 17,913 FB Friends backing me…Quinn has only 10,000….” Brady said he could balance the deficit after one year. Bad math. Brady said just cut the budget 10% to put Illinois back on track. Bad math. Gov Quinn’s multiple subsets of friends = 18,957+. Brady can’t seem to add Quinn’s 19,000 vote lead. So much for counting on the number Facebook friends as voters.

  25. - cermak_rd - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:34 am:

    This is a baffling editorial. In this same election, 2 Republicans won state office, the Comptroller and the Treasurer. The Senate seat is now held by a Republican. All of those were the preferences of most of the counties in southern, central and western IL. If those other regions of IL want to countervail Cook County all they have to do is get their voters out in bigger numbers. A 60% turnout in those regions, would’ve won it for Brady.

  26. - Dirt Digger - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:40 am:

    Nieva- I’m confused. Is it your contention that 60 percent of Chicago is Hispanic, or that speaking Spanish should disqualify one from voting, or both, or what?

  27. - Cheswick - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:40 am:

    I was born and raised in Springfield, lived in Chicago, lived in a very economically depressed place in another state, and am back in Springfield. No where have I seen the “us versus them” mentality so dominantly on parade than in Downstate Illinois. That editorial just perpetuates it. We have got to get over ourselves, people.

  28. - dan l - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:42 am:

    I understand That Chicago rules the state. You need to understand that the folks in the south are very untrusting of the voting process in Chicago. When 6 out of 10 people you meet in the city speak a language other that english you wonder how many of them are legal voters.

    That’s pretty ignorant. That’s would be roughly akin to me noting that that bumpkins in Southern Illinois can’t read the ballot anyway. Not that I would say that, because that would be ignorant. But still.

    . I firmly believe billions in debt we have would not have happened if some common sense southern people were running things!

    How? Who? What? Upon what do you base these beliefs? Please, gives us the names of these magical candidates that the state overlooked, who are oh-so-capable of running a big state.

    Look folks, your guy lost. It’s not because of Zobama Socialism or dead people voting in Chicago: it’s because for as bad as PQ might be, the majority of people in Illinois thought (rightfully) that Brady was a clown.

  29. - Segatari - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:46 am:

    >* The Southern Illinoisan’s editorial board has lost its collective mind…

    Yes Rich, anyone who doesn’t bow down to the mighty Chicago are a bunch of idiots. I would support an electoral college in this state.

    >That brilliant idea wouldn’t just meet “fierce resistance” from Chicago. Judges would laugh it out of court.

    Well we now know you want the Electoral College abolished for electing US presidents.

  30. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:48 am:

    Why is it that people with a little bit of power get so focused on ways to move society backwards?

  31. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:49 am:

    I grew up on a farm, live in the suburbs and work in the city. I’ve been hearing the anti-Chicago stuff from some quarters (not all) forever and it’s about as mindless as it gets.

    First, there’s all these downstate “business” geniuses who want to cut out the dynamic, private enterprise economic engine of the state that pays most of the freight for their schools and roads. What’s the economic plan in Southern Illinois? STAR bonds, state tax revenue, to build a new Menards and Steak and Shake?

    Then, there’s the downstate “small government” types who need layer after layer of government bodies and school districts (and those government jobs) to “serve” extremely small populations. (Plus, we’d like all the prisons, too.)

    Finally, there’s the anti-corruption and Founding Father downstate types who think their votes should count more than others.

    If the GOP had anyone working the streets of suburban Cook and the NW and SW sides of the city in the weeks before the election, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    There’s no crying when you lose because you were out-hustled. The other guy just wanted it more.

  32. - Oswego Joe - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:50 am:

    The Southern Illinoisan is correct. The Electoral College was set up because the Founders were afraid of the tyranny of the majority, they had just seen what damage it could do when they fought to liberate themselves from the crown. Its now time for a new revolution in Illinois, one where 98 counties have their voice heard and arent crushed by the tyranny of the 4, 2 of which are very urban and have no understanding and frankly do not care about the needs of the suburban and rural areas. It is now us versus them in Illinois. The electoral college idea is just one very good one, this is a dialogue that must continue. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  33. - Louis XVI - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:50 am:

    The Electoral College was designed to short-circuit one man, one vote, giving the state legislatures power to appoint the college electors without a popular vote if they chose.

    They chose that route.

    Washington, Adams, Jefferson, etc., the original fathers, became president without a popular vote of the electors.

    A system only a king would love.

  34. - Nieva - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:50 am:

    No Dave that’s not what I am saying. When someone won’t take the time to learn the language I have to think they probably have not taken the time to become a citizen. Siwash I don’t want a unfair share I just want to be represented and not be outvoted by people that are not legal voters or citizens of this country.

  35. - Skeeter - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:51 am:


    You need to understand that people in Chicago don’t trust downstate results. For instance, why do downstate numbers always come in late? It is like 1960 in reverse ever since that one.

    And also, Nieva, read the post. Downstate gets back more than it pays in. Illinois would be better off financially without downstate. So muc for common sense southern people running things. If that was the case, we would long be bankrupt.

    Finally, what I consider interesting is that, as a lifelong resident of the Chicago area (suburbs and now City) I admittedly don’t give downstate much thought. Nothing personal. It just doesn’t come up unless I have to go there. Downstaters, on the other hand, seem to be consumed with a dislike of Chicago. Why do they bother to care?

  36. - Angry Chicagoan - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:53 am:

    MSM nitwits in training, then. I have a better idea. Let’s take ILDOT District 1, which is basically the Chicago metro, and make it a separate state. Then we can finally get our fair share of transportation funding, not to mention a lot of other things. Let Downstate learn to live within its tax base.

  37. - Where's Mike? - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 8:54 am:

    I think the issue with “downstaters” negative opinion of Chicago, is the fact that we “downstaters” have to live and die by the sword of Chicago, when we have different morals and values due to the TOTALLY different cultures.

    Too many issues to broach in this comment section, but one I will mention is the gun control issue. Don’t force Chicago policy on the rest of the state. Thank God we have the freedom to not be Cub fans!

  38. - Louis XVI - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:00 am:

    –The Electoral College was set up because the Founders were afraid of the tyranny of the majority–

    The Founders wanted only white, male landowners–a tiny, wealthy elite–to rule. Landless whites, women, and those 3/4 slaves–zippo.

    BTW, The Tea Party’s fondness for the founding fathers has always been puzzling to me, considering the fathers–Harvard educated, Francophile-worshiping, plantation-owning–were the epitome of the elite they profess to detest.

    The Electoral College was designed to keep the riff-raff out. Period.

  39. - Skeeter - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:00 am:

    Good point, Mike.
    For instance, up here, people drink beer and smoke pot.
    Downstate, you have all the meth users.
    Completely different culture.

    But seriously, I do get tired of the alleged moral superiority. When I have to drive through the state, I’m just as concerned (if not more so) for my safety when I have to pull off the highway to gas up downstate as I am up here. Anybody who lives downstate and believes that they have no social problems is living in a fantasy world.

  40. - cermak_rd - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:04 am:


    There are lots of Spanish speaking people up here that are citizens. DO you recall the amnesty during the 1980s? An awful lot of immigrants applied and became citizens. Most of them had children who are now citizens. There was no requirement for that process that the people learn English. There are a lot of neighborhoods where one can live without needing to ever speak English. Not all of them are Spanish speaking either.

    If your life doesn’t need it, let’s say you have a job where you can speak your language, why would you bother learning English? If you’re a citizen, why should that keep your vote from counting?

  41. - God's Country - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:07 am:

    I like it, but it doesn’t go far enough.

    I think instead of counties, it should go to the precinct level. That way we’ll be trying to figure out the results until the start of the next election cycle.

    Tongue out of cheek now. :-)

  42. - shore - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:08 am:

    you dont change the rules of the game, you change the players. All due respect, jason plummer and brady were mentally underwhelming. plummer I dont think ever campaigned in the suburbs and was probably after bean, the most arrogant candidate of the cycle.

  43. - Bill - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:10 am:

    I read Rich’s previous post about saying something nice and I was all prepared to turn over a new leaf, pick a new identity, and maybe even argue a republican point or two and then he posts this and the hayseeds all come out with their perpetual inferiority complex and their constant victimhood. Chicago this, Chicago that. Oh if it wasn’t for Chicago all of us good ol boys and girls would be so much better off.
    C’mon! If it wasn’t for Chicago SIU would close, Effingham would be a small truck stop,and your big metropolis would be Paducah, Ky. Your largest employer, IDOC, would close all of those monstrosities and most of you would be out of work. You would all need your guns because you couldn’t afford to buy food and the next time your roads crumble they would stay that way so you would have to get the ol’ mule out to get your kids to school assuming the one room school district was still operating. Your constant whining over the decades has resulted in the real Illinois, the six county Chicago area, paying your way with the hope that one of these days you’ll shut up but you just keep whining. Now you want to rig elections so you can have our money and run state gov’t. Ain’t gonna happen, Homer.

  44. - Ghost - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:12 am:

    We should retunr to the old english system where you must own land in order to vote. (i.e you must at least be an Esquire)

    If more thne one person owns a peice of land, they only get the one vote.

    as an aside, given the statewide breakdown of minorities, the so Illinoian proposal would have the impact that white voters would get more then 1 vote per person, and minorities would have their votes watered down to less then one vote per person…

  45. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:12 am:

    If you want Chicago votes then compete for them. Did anyone hear Brady’s commercial for the black vote? Marching in a bunch of Southern Governors to tell us how we should run things doesn’t play too well up hear either. I said two months ago, Brady needed to come to Chicago and start hanging out at churches, ethnic fests and Cafe’s ect. Southern IL was already locked up for him.

  46. - ourMagician - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:13 am:

    Rather than this-how about pushing someone from downstate with some power to work on cleaning up Chicago so that the corrupt politicians are out. Someone with the ability to work with the US Attorney, someone at the federal level who wins downstate and in Chicago. Too bad Durbin has a sprained neck from agreeing always with Daley, Madigan, etc…

  47. - FedUpAlready - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:17 am:

    “You need to understand that people in Chicago don’t trust downstate results. For instance, why do downstate numbers always come in late?”

    - Um, reality check. Where are these last votes coming from this week? Oh right, Chicago. As ALWAYS. You’re wrong on the facts, again.

  48. - Fed-Up - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:17 am:

    Don’t sugar-coat it Rich. How do you really feel?

  49. - Far Northsider - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:19 am:

    Huh?? Are they seriously saying they don’t like the diversity of Chicago so let’s not let them express their opinions, let’s just force our opinions on everyone? No wonder downstate economies are stagnating!!! What are they thinking? Maybe it’s time for them to go back to school and hit the books and learn something about why democracy is a good thing! Maybe then they could compete on ideas rather than narrow mindedness!

  50. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:20 am:

    The Electoral College does have some benefits. It protects against any one region or handful of populous states controlling the outcome of the presidential election, and ensures that the winner has broad national support - e.g. the winner will generally have to win at least 20 states to win the contest. With a few famous exceptions, it also ensures that the winner is also the winner of the popular vote; by forcing candidates to win states to win electoral votes, it inhibits all but the most determined 3rd party candidates, and ensures that the winner is likely to have at 50% popular support. There are a lot of problems with a national popular vote system - for instance, it would almost have to be a 2-stage election with a runoff to ensure that the eventual winner has a majority and not just a plurality.

  51. - Far Northsider - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:22 am:

    @Louis XVI - Exactly! Well said!

  52. - Bill - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:24 am:

    Yep, we need some good ol’ boys to clean up Chicago corruption. I wish Orville Hodge and Paul Powell were still around.

  53. - MrJM - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:25 am:

    Why doesn’t the Southern Illinoisan’s editorial board just cut the bull and propose amending the Illinois constitution with a “three-fifths compromise”?

    – MrJM

  54. - No Name Nick - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:27 am:

    I think DMAC57 hit the nail on the head. The problem is we as a nation don’t vote. Maybe if all eligible voters actually participated in the election rather than sit at home and complain then the results would be a real reflection of the will of the people. Unfortuanately that will never happen. Bottom line is there are more republicans downstate than democrats but the republicans didn’t get the job done in Chicago and likely downsatate either.

  55. - So IL M - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:29 am:

    I really dont believe the Electoral System would help, or even be doable. Even with an Electoral System in place, the States with larger populations have more say in Presidential Elections. When is the last time you saw two Presidential Candidates forgetting about New York, and fighting over Montana?

    That being said, an idea I have wondered about for quite some time now is a Constitutional Ammendment to change the make up of the State Senate to more reflect the make up of the U.S. Senate. Two Senators from each State, no matter the population. In Illinois where we have 102 Countys, if we were to elect one Senators from every two countys to give us a total of 51 Senators. The Senator from Alexander and Pulaski Countys would have the same vote in the Senate as the Senator from Cook and Lake countys. Just as Our 2 U.S. Senators have the same weight as the two from Alaska. The House would continue to be apportioned by population, and the Governor elected State wide. This would give us one house where everyone is heard and one where more votes go to Chicago than to Pomona.

    That is an idea I would think would be worth proposing as a Constitutional Ammendment

  56. - Anonymous ZZZ - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:31 am:

    I agree with wordslinger and Phineas - if Brady and his supporters are upset with the results in Chicago, they have only themselves (well, Brady’s campaign) to blame. They seemed to make virtually NO effort to win over voters in the Chicagoland area. A few commercials ain’t gonna cut it (obviously); a candidate needs to actually show up in the region once in awhile to show he or she can connect with and represent ALL of the state. Brady pretty much wrote off northeastern Illinois, and he paid a hefty price for that. Of course, there’s no guaranteeing he would have won even if he had made more of an effort up here, but when an election is this close, you have to wonder to what extent things might have been different.

  57. - Elmhurst - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:31 am:

    That editorial was funny. And to see defenses of it? And opinion that is literally anti-democracy? Somehow people who happen to live in areas with fewer other people should matter more than other people?

    There’s your proof for the idea that if you have millions of people you can find a few with just about any possible opinion.

  58. - Ghost - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:33 am:

    I would note, if the GOP had tunred out 80% of elgible voters Donwstate, they could still have won even without more work in chicago.

  59. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:34 am:

    So, we have a 18th century idea to be enacted in the 21st century? Are we bringing back slavery and taking the vote from women while we roll back the clock?


  60. - Living in Oklahoma - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:34 am:

    I would comment on this post. But it is inherently too stupid on every level to even waste my time.

  61. - soccermom - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:35 am:

    Nieva, I don’t quite know where to start. Although I grew up downstate — and am part-owner of my grandparents’ century farm — I have been in the Chicago area my entire adult life. And your “6 of 10 people don’t speak English” comment is just absurd. I did, however, have a problem finding someone who could speak English and give me directions in — wait for a it — London.

  62. - lawyerlady - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:37 am:

    - Anonymous ZZZ - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:31 am:

    Brady campaigned almost exclusively in the suburbs and city for the last several months of the campaign. He spent almost all of his money on ads that ran up there. He was hardly present downstate. So while the campaign may have made mistakes, not spending enough time up in the northeast corner of the state wasn’t one of them.

  63. - Secret Square - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:39 am:

    I also wouldn’t take that editorial too seriously. Sounds more like blowing off steam than anything else. Besides, who really takes newspaper editorials all that seriously these days anyway? As evidenced by the apparently huge impact the Trib’s editorials made this time around :-)

  64. - justbabs - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:39 am:

    I remember Evan Bayh once describing Indiana as being Illinois without Chicago. Maybe this is another chance to make it so. Honestly, Chicagoans could make more of an effort to understand down-staters and vice versa. It seems to be an equal opportunity lack of appreciation. You may want your guns but I don’t. Whose concerns have greater weight?

  65. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:41 am:

    Doesn’t the U.S. Constitution guarentee “one man one vote?” Are we changing the constitution as well?

    I am a downstater with historical ties to southern Illinois. I see where the southerners are coming from. But, the reality is that when you run for a statewide office you campaign statewide and don’t write-off the area with the biggest concentration of voters. And, that is what the Brady campaign did.

    And, as a person who lives in the senator’s hometown, I can say that I got very little attention from the Brady campaign.

    And, don’t tell me about all the signs in yard, along right of ways, etc. As my poli sci teacher at ISU said many years ago, “Signs don’t vote. People vote.”

  66. - Segatari - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:41 am:

    >The Electoral College does have some benefits. It protects against any one region or handful of populous states controlling the outcome of the presidential election, and ensures that the winner has broad national support - e.g. the winner will generally have to win at least 20 states to win the contest.

    Right now - just TEN certain states have enough votes between them to elect a president without the other forty.

  67. - Skeeter - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:42 am:

    - FedUpAlready - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:17 am:

    “You need to understand that people in Chicago don’t trust downstate results. For instance, why do downstate numbers always come in late?”

    - Um, reality check. Where are these last votes coming from this week? Oh right, Chicago. As ALWAYS. You’re wrong on the facts, again.

    Actually, I’m correct.
    They had an issue with a tiny percentage of votes in Chicago, but 98% of the Chicago precincts precints reported before most of downstate.

  68. - justbabs - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:42 am:

    One more thing, there are non-English speaking people in Chicago of German, Polish, Ukranian, Russian, Philipine, Chinese, etc. descent. It’s a great thing - I’m very sorry that you don’t appreciate what these people bring to our state and our country. And yes, many are citizens and eligible to vote.

  69. - Way South of the Border - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:44 am:

    Bravo Rich. I’m from the deep south and don’t appreciate a bit the Southern Illinoisan making a power grab on behalf of Marion and Carbondale.

    Folks down here in the Southern Five regard those two cities as resource eaters, the Chicago and Springfield of Southern IL.

    If The Southern devoted itself to shining light on the local political scene, including the gold ole’ boys network (Vandegraph, hello!) instead of wallowing in its silly sense of inferiority, it would be a paper of substance.

  70. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:47 am:

    @Bill 09:10

    I agree with you 100%! Well said!!

  71. - Wumpus - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:48 am:

    As much as this would help getting people I favor elected, this is lunacy.

  72. - (618) Democrat - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:49 am:

    @Bill 09:10

    I agree with you 100%! Well said!!

    That was my previous post.

  73. - siriusly - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:50 am:

    Well stated Rich! Once again proving that you’re probably the only political analyst in the entire state who is rational, calls it like you see it - and you’re right.

    “Acres don’t vote” reminds me of another recently enacted bad idea. Corporations don’t vote, corporations aren’t citizens - and thus they should not be afforded the same constitutional rights as citizens. The SCOTUS decision to allow corporate spending in campaigns is nearly as bad as the idea of allotting votes per acre.

  74. - Cynic - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:50 am:

    Look, the Electoral College is deeply flawed. But there is one reason that it works on a federal level, whereas there is no excuse for using it within a state. The key difference is that states share sovereignty with the federal government. That is, the states came together to form the federal government and, in order to make the arrangement work, they exacted certain concessions. We have, thankfully, backed away from many of those now, through the 13th, 14th and 17th amendments.

    But counties, cities and regions have no sovereignty. They are entirely creatures of the state. They cannot secede without the permission of the state from which they would secede.

  75. - Robo - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:52 am:

    Downstate is certainly an economic and cultural millstone around Northeastern Illinois’ neck. Even when we leave Chicago metro we head north (WI)or east (MI)for recreation. When we head south it’s a flyover to a better destination than downstate Illinois. Even people of means who live downstate head for Chicago for relief and cultural R&R. Other than cost of living there is very little to recommend it.

  76. - Left Leaner - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:56 am:

    Aldyth - Well said. I’m a born, raised and proud downstater who absolutely loves living in Chicago. Few other states enjoy the kind of diversity and history we have in Illinois. Those differences should absolutely be embraced, even when they conflict. The Southern Illnoisan published a trash editorial that should be treated as such.

  77. - Dirt Digger - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:57 am:

    By the by, Chicago’s Hispanic wards (12, 22, 30, 31, 25, 26 and 35) were all in the lost twelve wards in the city for ballots cast Tuesday. At least get your racial invective right, you’re aiming for blacks, not Spanish-speakers.

  78. - Secret Square - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:59 am:

    “Corporations don’t vote, corporations aren’t citizens”

    True, but corporations were declared to be legal “persons” by the U.S. Supreme Court way back in the 1880s. I believe that is why corporations can be sued, can enter contracts, and can be charged with criminal offenses (as happened in the Ford Pinto trial in the 1970s). It’s just a short step from there to declaring that corporations have other rights comparable to individuals.

  79. - Left Leaner - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:59 am:

    Robo - You’re not only very wrong, but obviously clueless and classless. Feel free to send in your application to join the Southern Illinoisan’s editorial board.

  80. - Misanthrope - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:00 am:

    Even though I’m a conservative down-stater, I don’t think the “electoral college” idea is a serious option. I agree that Brady/Plummer were outworked, and weren’t the best candidates to begin with.
    I do find it odd, though, that the dislike and vitriol spouted against downstate by many here doesn’t prove the overall point. IF we are such backwoods, ignorant, “tax eating” hayseeds, then why on Earth would Chicago want us thrown in the same category as them? CUT US LOOSE! Yes, we would have less revenue, but I would be willing to take the revenue drop and have a separate budget then to deal with the likes of the last two attempts at fiscal responsibility. The same goes for social issues - Skeeter thinks we’re more dangerous than Chicago. Maybe he’s right - but give us some more options to control it. You’ve got 98 counties where it would appear that something like concealed carry would pass - CUT US LOOSE and let us try it our way “down here”….

  81. - Bill - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:02 am:

    If it were up to me you would already be gone.

  82. - Way South of the Border - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:03 am:

    While I meant to say “good ole’ boys” instead of “gold ole’ boys,” the typo actually works to my point.

  83. - Ghost - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:04 am:

    It appears chicago had better turnut then downstate as well.

    How about an aticle decrying donwstaters for not getting off their lazy boys and voting instead of punishing those who did take the time to vote.

  84. - soccermom - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:04 am:

    Nieva — Also, please keep in mind that you have to prove citizenship to vote.

  85. - Transplant - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:05 am:

    I now live in and report on Southern Illinois, and the “redheaded step-child” mentality down here has always amazed me. Proportionally, we have no less crime or corruption than the Chicago region (East St. Louis).
    To suggest the state would be in better condition under southern leadership is absurd.

  86. - another progunner - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:12 am:

    “But that doesn’t mean it’s time for radical, unconstitutional ’solutions.’”

    Actually, Rich, they suggested a constitutional amendment, which would, by definition, make it constitutional.

    I’m not sure it’s the way to go, but you should at least be accurate with your criticism.

  87. - Robo - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:16 am:

    Left Leaner–where are they located?

  88. - Siuprof - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:17 am:

    I am ashamed of this hometown newspaper, but not surprised. Time after time the Illusian takes editorsizal positions that adversely affect siu, by far the largest employer south of I 64. For Bradey, against a tax increase for example. Taken together these two positions could cost hundreds of siu and affiliated jobs. Who do they think buys the paper, and will they continue to buy it if out of work. No, I think not.

  89. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:19 am:

    I think EVERYONE here is off …

    Illinois need the Electoral Junior College … not as big and powerful, but you can get the basics down and THEN move on to maybe an Elcetoral College, or Interships …

    My response is in complete proprtion to the editorial.

  90. - machrihanish - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:22 am:

    Rich, I think you missed the point. Quinn lost 98 of 102 Illinois counties. In reality, I guess he’s the Governor of Cook, Jackson, Alexander, and St. Clair Counties. The best solution is to make Chicago the 51st state and bring honor back to the other 101 counties.

  91. - Both Sides Now - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:28 am:

    So IL M has it right! I hate the Electoral College. It means that if I didn’t vote for the candidate that won my state, my vote doesn’t count because the Electoral College votes go only to the candidate with the majority. It would be the same thing if we enacted this at the state level.

    It does make sense to have the Senate mirror the federal level. That would give some balance.

    One note on Nieva’s post. You somehow seem to think that all the Spanish speaking people live in Chicago. Obviously you’ve never been to Beardstown in Cass County where the town has doubled in size due to the influx of Mexicans that now cut meat for Cargill. Or you’ve never been to the Moultrie-Douglas County areas during harvest. The fact is that there is Spanish and languages from many different cultures popping up from all over the state. Do I prefer English (that’s with a capital by the way) be the official language for Illinois and the U.S.? Yes. I believe if you want to live somewhere other than your birth country you should adopt it’s ways even if it’s not easy for you. BUT that doesn’t mean that legal immigrants who have become citizens and haven’t fully learned the language shouldn’t have the right to vote. I think in the end what you really want, is to make sure those who vote are truly citizens, and there are ways to do that.

    People we need to wake up! Illinois is and will continue to be a diverse state. If you really want to segregate it then it’s 3 areas: Chicago, outside of Chicago to Interstate 70, and south of 70. The pace, the focus, and the environment are different in each area. There are great elements (and a few frustrating) in each. The sooner we embrace and learn to enjoy those differences, the sooner our state will rebound economically.

  92. - Greg B. - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:29 am:

    Rich, I agree with your argument but your tone isn’t like you. Chicago proper is what a quarter of the vote? So is downstate. If they run up the vote in Chicago, downstate should the same. The opposite is true as well.

    It stands at .5% loss for Bill now and maybe a whopping 1% after the absentees in Chicago are counted. Losing by 1% isn’t blowing an election.

  93. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:32 am:

    Just on one point…

    wordslinger is spot on with one thing, I too, that was the reason Bill Brady lost …the Brady Campaingn Staff got out-hustled. All the Brady backers, and I am one but not one of these, who think it was Big Bad Chicago that MADE Bill Brady lose …You know nothing about a comprehensive ground game … along with the Bill Brady Staff ..your beef, should be with the Staff …

  94. - MrJM - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:34 am:

    @another progunner - They proposed an amendment to the Illinois constitution. Such an amendment would still be unconstitutional under the Constitution of the United States, Article VI, Section 1, Clause 2; Article IV Section 4; U.S. Const. amend. XIV.

    And in Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964), the United States Supreme Court expressly ruled that state legislature districts had to be roughly equal in population. As Chief Justice Earl Warren noted in the majority opinion, “Legislators represent people, not trees or acres. Legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests.”

    Of course, the Roberts court showed no regard for precedent in the Citizens United case, so maybe the Southern Illinoisan’s editorial board could successfully lead a charge to reconsider the Reconstruction Amendments to the United States Constitution.

    – MrJM

  95. - Way Way Down Here - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:34 am:

    “Signs don’t vote. People vote.”

    And people WITH signs REALLY vote!

    The Southern long ago ceased to be a factor in news reporting. It’s the sports section with a masthead. There is more solid reporting on local issues in the Daily Eqyptian.

  96. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:37 am:

    ===It stands at .5% loss for Bill now and maybe a whopping 1% after the absentees in Chicago are counted. Losing by 1% isn’t blowing an election.===

    Greg B. -

    Less than 2 votes a precint, and you get pummeled on the ground, AND every poll has you winning “if the have a good election day” … and big business is already helping measure the curtins …Yep - You blew it.

  97. - DownstateGuy - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:39 am:

    As somebody born and raised downstate I think both sides need to relax a little. The Southern Illinoisan’s idea is crazy, but indictive of the frustration felt. There can be a mutually beneficial arrangement between Chicago, the suburbs and downstate. But there needs to be some compromise and working together between the two sides. I also think it does not help matters that people see the Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, soon to be former Comptroller, soon to be former Treasurer, Speaker of the House and President of the Senate all from the city of Chicago, which only has 22% of the state’s population (Suburban Cook another 19% and the Collars around another 25%).

    Bill Brady could have easily won, by converting only a fraction of Kirk voters in the suburbs and Chicago, that is entirely on Brady and that is not a Chicago/downstate thing. But Quinn needs to realize that he lost horribly downstate and I would recommend 1) using Sheila Simon as sort of a downstate liasion and 2) go on a downstate listening tour, hold townhall meetings from Rock Island to Cairo. Let people know that you are the Governor of Illinois, the entire state. Been seen for more than just ribbon cutting ceremonies. Former Governor Edgar made a promise to visit all 102 counties during his time in office, and he did it. That’s something I highly respect about him.

  98. - Robo - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:40 am:

    The SI gave into the frustration that all decisions of import ($ and jobs) are decided by Chicago, but more than that, downstate is an afterthought in those discussions and are thought of derisively.

    SI’s approach was not well thought out, but if you dug up Chicago press from 1870 on you’d probably see the similar sentiments.

  99. - ImTellingYou - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:42 am:

    Rich, It sounds to me like you’re afraid this idea may gain some traction. While others heard brutality in your article, I hard fear.

  100. - BigTwich - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:45 am:

    You would have to ammend the US Constitution.

    The principle case is Renyols v. Sims. see

    for a good discussion.

    I had a Con Law Professor who was on the loosing side. He said he finaly decided the Suprems Court was right.

    Justice Warren said,

    “Legislators represent people, not trees or acres. Legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests.”

    The article notes,

    “Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois led a fight to pass a Constitutional amendment allowing unequal legislative districts. He warned that

    “…the forces of our national life are not brought to bear on public questions solely in proportion to the weight of numbers. If they were, the 6 million citizens of the Chicago area would hold sway in the Illinois Legislature without consideration of the problems of their 4 million fellows who are scattered in 100 other counties. Under the Court’s new decree, California could be dominated by Los Angeles and San Francisco; Michigan by Detroit..”

    Dirksen was ultimately unsuccessful.”

    I grew up in deep Southern Illinois and love it, undergraduate SIU Carbondale, love it, but the editorial is just embarrassing.

  101. - siriusly - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 10:48 am:

    Secret Square - thanks for the explanation. I still don’t like it, but at least now I get it.

  102. - jaranath - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:05 am:

    I’m astounded that anyone could seriously propose deliberately weighting votes to grant a faction or ideology more power.  Rich has it exactly right. Land doesn’t vote; people vote. Human beings vote.  Citizens vote.  But to the editors of The Southern Illinoisan, people who live in Chicago and maybe don’t speak the English so good are either second-class citizens or second-class humans. Or both. I’m a second-generation son of Chicago immigrants, from a wildly diverse family of immigrants hailing from at least three continents.  It’s as American as anything else, and it hurts when some choose to spit on my family.

    I will readily acknowledge that southern Illinoisans are frustrated that northern Illinoisans get to vote too, but I don’t think that is to the southerners’ credit. Nor do I think they’d do much better managing their own fiscal and governmental affairs; I’ve worked with too many southern governments to buy that line. But I would happily let them try.

    As for the electoral college, the editors don’t really even try to hide their motives.  This isn’t academic theorizing about the structure of government, it’s childish foot-stamping and demanding that the rules be changed so they get to win. I agree with VanillaMan’s interpretation of the college, but I also agree with the reformers who want it gone.  There was logic behind it way back when, but both then and now, no amount of spin changes the basic fact that it makes some votes count more than others.

  103. - Conservative Veteran - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:09 am:

    Only the popular vote should be used for all elections, including presidential elections. About five times, some congressmen proposed constitutional amendments that would have abolished the electoral college and only use the popular vote, to elect presidents. During all of those votes, not enough congressmen approved it to send it to the state legislatures.

  104. - ZC - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:14 am:

    If Bill Brady had believed in somewhat less polling-controversial positions on abortion, creationism and gays (and puppies), my guess is he would have gotten a few more critical votes _Downstate_ too. A lot of voters in Carbondale may not approve of gay marriage. But many are not in a rush to pass a constitutional amendment to bar it forever, either. It’s worth repeating: Brady may well have lost this very close race because his social positions cost him social moderate votes _Downstate_.

    He just wasn’t a “centrist” candidate for the Illinois electorate. Illinois isn’t Alabama. The Southern Illinoisan shouldn’t be blaming one person, one vote. They should be blaming the GOP primary electorate for nominating a candidate who would always be a tough sell, even in a very good year for Republicans. All across this great state.

  105. - Pack your bags, everyone! - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:18 am:

    Maybe the solution could be that every non-Chicagoan could just move to Chicago. That way, when Chicago decides future elections, you can all feel you’ve had your voice heard. :-p

  106. - jim - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:19 am:

    I’l l certainly agree that stupid editorials are published from time to time, but Rich really needs to get off his Tribune kick. Just because the Trib’s editorial page doesn’t reflected his viewpoint is not proof its editorials are “horrid.”
    Rich’s Johnny-one-note stance on the Trib is getting shrill, to the point it reflects badly on him.

  107. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:19 am:

    The Southern Illinoisan better get used to it. The new census numbers are going to make downstate even less of an influence than it currently is. People are leaving rural America for cities and suburbs. The best advice I have for the people of southern Illinois is to adapt, be creative, and enjoy what you have. Find some novel ways to attract people (like immigrants) because economic growth is predicated on population growth. If your population isn’t growing, you’re dying.

    So Nieva, maybe you should consider learning Spanish (or Polish or Russian), and getting into the realty business. You might have some luck getting new immigrants interested in becoming farmers or merchants and buying homes. But given the tone of your comments about immigrants, my guess is they don’t feel terribly welcome in your neck of the woods.

  108. - Deep South - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:25 am:

    As a Southern Illinoisan, I HAVE to know Chicago…I go there alot and have been for some 30 years…to see family, friends, to conduct business, and a ton of other things. So I know the city and the suburbs quite well.
    And I really like the city. (As for living there, well, that’s another story.)
    Same holds true for Springfield, Champaign, Peoria, the Quad Cities. And since places like Memphis, Nashville, St. Louis and Louisville are hours closer to my town than Chicago, these are places I often visit for cultural events…really, more so than Chicago…and other things, too. But here’s the rub: the vast majority of Chicagoans know nothing about where I live and don’t really care, I mean they really don’t have to. So, IMHO, that’s a huge reason for this Chicago - Southern Illinois divide. (Do we really have to use the term “Downstate?” I mean places like Galena and Rockford are about seven hours from here.)

    BTW, I love that Chicagoans send us vast amounts of money. Ignore us all you want, but send us your tax dollars!

  109. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:26 am:

    ===Actually, Rich, they suggested a constitutional amendment, which would, by definition, make it constitutional.===


    There is also that thing known as the US Constitution.

  110. - Deep South - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:30 am:

    BTW, the Tennessee Titans, the St. Louis Rams and the Indianapolis Colts are all closer to us than the Chicago Bears. It’s easier for me to go to a Nashville Preditors or a St. Louis Blues game than a Blackhawks game. And we don’t get Big Ten games on the TV, we get games from the SEC.

  111. - (618) Democrat - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:34 am:

    I’m always hearing that baloney down here about lets make Chicago a state and the rest of Illinois a state.

    My reply; Mississippi would be thrilled with that because it wouldn’t be the most impoverished state in the nation anymore Southern Illinois would be!

  112. - VanillaMan - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:36 am:

    For far too long we have been looking upon the Federal government as some kind of organization that over rides other governments. Since the direct election of Senators we have seen a serious blurring of the different levels of government and our role as voters.

    The Electoral College has been getting a bum rap for over a century not because it does not work but because we seem to have forgotten the roles played within a federal government system.

    I loved civics classes throughout school but my teachers did not teach the Electoral College within its due proper context. Consequentially many of us were taught that the Founding Fathers saw it as some kind of a safety valve against Democracy. This is utter nonsense. Worse this causes our interpretations of these Founders as white men without true beliefs in America. I read this stuff right here. This is nonsense.

    The Electoral College was designed to select a leader in the Executive branch of a federal government system. At that level of government the Founders saw that the biggest stakeholders were the state governments who determined how each ststaes leaders were democratically elected.

    Sufferage differed by each state. Because that was the level of government where direct democracy was determined. Painting all the states as having the same narrow racist sexist voting requirements until Federal law over rode them is wrong.

    Your civics teachers over simplified 200 years of colonial sufferage laws and used 20th Century Progressive political talking points to reduce the Electoral College into some kind of an unAmerican embarrassment. As we blur the roles served by our different levels of government we are forgetting that Washington is not supposed to handle local issues.

    The EC is a way of selecting an executive to lead the federal level of government. The Senate was selected by state governments to legislate with the House on a federal level of government. Citizens formed the towns which elected the state leaders.

    All power flows up from the voter within the state governments. Citizens limit the governments. Too many think that governments grants rights. It is the opposite.

    The editorial is stupid and based on constitutional ignorance of the role of the Electoral College.

  113. - Piling on - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:38 am:

    What the Southern Illinoisan fails to understand is that Chicago proper and Southern Illinois (downstate in general) have more in common than they think. Schools in need of improvements, unemployment, poverty and a tax structure that doesn’t address them.
    It’s the suburbs that are the odd man out here. You think Pate Philip gave a crap about southern Illinois? He’s the one that wanted to make sure suburban income stayed in the suburbs and wasn’t squandered in some city or far off school. That’s why he blocked Edgar’s school swap back in the 1990s — you know, the one Mayor Daley and Jim Edgar pushed, because it was good for the city and downstate. That plan was sponsored by Chicago Democrat Barbara Flynn Currie and Danville (not Southern Illinois) Republican Bill Black.
    The edit board is so blinded by hate and lack of geographic detail that the Southern demonstrates that it has no idea what it is talking about.

  114. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:41 am:

    The anti-Chicagoism of Downstate Illinois is to their own detriment.

    Rich is right, the vast majority of state revenue is generated in Northeastern Illinois, and without Chicago there are no Chicago suburbs, no collar county.

    What’s good for Chicago is generally good for the rest of the state.

    But downstaters have been duped by the GOP into believing that what’s good for Chicago is bad for them, and visa-versa.

    When downstaters vote against funding Chicago’s public schools, they’re voting against their own self-interest.

  115. - LevivotedforJudy - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:41 am:

    I am from SW Illinois, but live in Chicago, like a lot of people in the Windy City. A lot of people I have met here are from places like Akron, the Michigan UP, Madison, etc… The morals are still typical Midwestern. That small thinking is why I did move to Chicago 20 years ago. Hate to say this, but if you take Chicago out of IL, it becomes Alabama. I don’t want to live in Alabama.

  116. - D.P. Gumby - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:43 am:

    The editorial makes as much sense as most of the t-bagger illogic. Counties are artificial lines and have no meaning–eliminate them all and have two Illinois counties: Cook and Downstate and they each won one. There is everyone happy! This makes as much sense and all the TV maps on election night trying to show how “red” the country was based on who won congressional seats. Suddenly every “blue” vote was gone no matter how narrow the red victory and geographically expansive the house district. But, in reality, it’s meaningless. One commentator noted that in the 10 or 12 rematches from the last election where the victor was the loser last time, the victor had about the same number of votes winning this time as they did losing the last time…meaning that who turned out has as much to do w/ the results as any so called “tsunami”.

  117. - steve schnorf - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:44 am:

    silly people–state constitutional amendments can very easily be unconstitutional under our federal constitution. On the other hand, the electoral college, established in the federal constitution, per se cannot be unconstitutional.

  118. - VanillaMan - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:45 am:

    While we may have similar problems what we saw Tuesday was that within Illinois half the voters believe differently on the solutions for those problems.

  119. - dan l - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:48 am:

    The sheer stupidity of Nieva’s idea has just occurred to me:

    You need to understand that the folks in the south are very untrusting of the voting process in Chicago.

    So, in order to correct imagined unfairness in the system, we should make the system unfair to the majority of the people in state.

  120. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:53 am:

    == I do find it odd, though, that the dislike and vitriol spouted against downstate by many here doesn’t prove the overall point. IF we are such backwoods, ignorant, “tax eating” hayseeds, then why on Earth would Chicago want us thrown in the same category as them? ==

    By and large, I don’t think Chicagoans spend a fraction of the time obsessing about Downstate Illinois that Downstaters spend obsessing about Chicago.

    In Chicago, they obsess about how big of a slice of the pie the 8th, 10th, 11th and 13th wards are getting.

    Which only goes to prove that we’re not so different.

    But I think if you spend a fraction of the time I have travelling the city and the state talking to voters over the last 14 years, you’ll come to the same conclusion: we’re all pretty much the same.

    Parents in Jackson County, LaSalle County, Lake County, Schaumburg and Chicago’s Southside all want a quality education for their kids, and they want them to have a better life than they had.

    Folks want to earn a fair days pay for a fair days work, and they don’t want their employer to pull a fast one with their retirement or a promised pay raise.

    They want insurance companies, home improvement contractors and car salesmen to stand behind their promises, and when they don’t, they expect the government to step in.

    They want to be safe in their homes. They expect everyone to get a fair trial. They don’t believe elections or legislation should be decided based on who has the most money.

  121. - steve schnorf - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 11:59 am:

    Registration is about 50%, turnout is about 50%, so roughly a quarter of the state’s voters make the decisions. Brady and Quin each got the votes of about 1/8 of the citizens 18 and over’s votes in Tuesday elections. Maybe that’s more of the problem than SI’s curious explanation.

    More than half of the people in NE Illinois preferred Governor Quin. More than half downstate preferred Senator Brady. The election was close, and one candidate won and the other lost, which is actually quite common in elections.

    End of Civics 101.

  122. - Way Way Down Here - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 12:03 pm:

    I’ve heard this “let’s succeed” silliness for all of the twenty years I’ve lived way way down here. Fear causes it. Resentment too. We are painfully aware we don’t have the population density to make much of a difference at the polls. We have watched employer after employer shutter plants and move away. Coal may be coming back, but not like before. It’s grim. So you need a target, it’s human nature, and Chicago is a big one.

    BTW: Lay off Alabama, I’m heading there tomorrow for a Levon Helms concert!

  123. - Way Way Down Here - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 12:05 pm:

    That’s Levon Helm—sticky keys.

  124. - Skeeter - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 12:14 pm:

    When you say 6 in 10 voters in Chicago are illegal, you ARE a racist (or possibly stupid — but I’m going with racist, based on the language comment). But you are not a country bumpkin. There are some pretty intelligent country bumkins.
    And what’s keeping you from moving across the river? Are you some sort of illegal alien or something?

  125. - Robo - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 12:14 pm:

    The die is cast for the next 12 years. Get used to it and move on.

    Levivotedforjudy–you live in Chicago, not Alabama.

    YDD–Duped by the GOP? No SI Dems resentful of Chicago’s dominance?

  126. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 12:15 pm:

    Nieva, you’ve lost your LA privileges.

  127. - Deep South - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 12:15 pm:

    ===Hate to say this, but if you take Chicago out of IL, it becomes Alabama.===

    With a Gulf Coast shore line and very little, if any snow? If that’s the case, I say bye, bye Chicago!

  128. - VanillaMan - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 12:17 pm:

    Governments are like hamburger. You can have up to 200 different animals of varying fitness in each pound of hamburger.

    You can keep from dying by either reducing the number of animals or increasing the number of animals.

    If you believe in reducing the number of animals you run the risk of having a diseased animal becoming too highly concentrated within it. If you believe in increasing the number of animals then if a diseased animal end up in the mix they are too small a concentration within it.

    Conservatives believe that hundreds of small governments will dilute the diseased one. You will always have diseased ones though. But never enough to kill.

    Liberals believe in constantly eliminating any diseaed ones and regulating the rest to prevent more diseases. Problem is you set up non governmental bodies that remove power in order to make the regulations work. This also ends up costing a great deal more.With each new case the non governmental bodies grow in power and complexity and costs.

    Half of Illinois believe in safety in numbers. They live among small governments on a daily basis. The other half believe in watchful regulations of a few big governments. They live in Chicago.

    Both sides can create workable solutions within their preferred bias. It is at the state level where this creates gridlock. After years of big government corruption half of Illinois want their preferred bias to reach solutions instead of the current bias.

    No one is stupid except for those calling one side or another names because they cannot imagine being open minded enough to consider the others world.

  129. - the Other Anonymous - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 12:21 pm:

    The only way to make an “electoral college” scheme for gubernatorial elections constitutional is to give each county a weighted vote based on their population. What the Southern needs to realize is that this scheme automatically gives the Chicago metro area a veto power over the Governor. You cannot come up with a majority of the state’s 12.4 million residents by county without including one of threeChicago metro counties (Cook, Lake, or Will).

    So how exactly does this scheme give a greater voice to Central, Southern, or Northwestern Illinois? Doesn’t it guarantee that the Chicago area gets more attention, since you can’t win without them?

  130. - Skeeter - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 12:24 pm:

    “Deep South - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 12:15 pm:

    ===Hate to say this, but if you take Chicago out of IL, it becomes Alabama.===

    With a Gulf Coast shore line and very little, if any snow? If that’s the case, I say bye, bye Chicago!”

    But isn’t that shoreline covered in oil because the GOP would not regulate oil drilling?

    But we’ve gotten off track.

  131. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 12:24 pm:

    Brady came to Kendall County three times. Once before the primary where he was skewered and got 6% of the vote. Once for their Lincoln Day dinner (where he had to rearrange the schedule so he could leave for another event) and then the last time where he flew in to the Kendall GOP Pig Roast. Not once did he come out for another non-party event. How’s that supposed to resonate with voters? This from a traditional Republican bastion that was the fast growing county in the country. He worked south of I-80 since 2006, why was he there at the end of the campaign when he should have been exclusively up north? That’s why he lost.

  132. - Robo - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 12:28 pm:

    VanillaMan–That ignores the fact that one of the herds controls the pasture.

    The fact that the controlling herd always reminds them that they allow them to graze leads to the resentment.

    Now sassage is another thing entirely…

  133. - BigTwich - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 12:58 pm:

    All herds are equal, but the SI wants some herds are more equal than others.

  134. - Anonymous ZZZ - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 1:01 pm:

    lawyerlady - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 9:37 am:
    =Brady campaigned almost exclusively in the suburbs and city for the last several months of the campaign. He spent almost all of his money on ads that ran up there. He was hardly present downstate. So while the campaign may have made mistakes, not spending enough time up in the northeast corner of the state wasn’t one of them.=

    Okay, I guess I wasn’t aware that he was up here that much. I didn’t seem to hear or see too much about it. However, I still think his campaign did a lousy job of reaching out via mail and phone calls. I got phone calls over the last month from other Republican candidates who had NO shot of winning their races (Republican for Cook County Board President, the Republican who ran against Sarah Feigenholtz for State Rep., etc), but nothing from the Brady folks.

  135. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 1:02 pm:

    ==If you really want to segregate it then it’s 3 areas: Chicago, outside of Chicago to Interstate 70, and south of 70.==
    It’s not that simple. It depends where you live. Here’s my shot:
    City of Chicago
    Suburban Chicago
    Larger Cities (SPI, Peoria-Blmg-Normal, Rockford, Champaign-Urbana, Quad Cities)
    Metro East (easy access to STL makes it different)
    Smaller Cities (Decatur, Kankakee, Galesburg)
    County Seats (towns about 10,000 with a Wal-Mart)
    Small Town (towns about 5,000 with a Dollar General)
    Confederate Flag Flying Rural Areas

    It depends on where you live what you worry about.

  136. - ah AH - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 1:11 pm:


    some of these comments are quite sharp. It’s too bad that society has gotten polarized. When you step back and look at the big picture, whenever you change something–good or bad, someone always gets hurt. That is an unfortunate consequence of a society that decides issues through it’s electorate.

    It has always been my view that, even though this would be statistically impossible, having a balanced system of half of one party and the other half with the other party. This would either force compromise or nothing in the society would get done. The drawback would be–Nothing would get done. hehehe

    The way the system is set up one person one vote is exactly the way it should be. Each person has a say that is counted. If he/she doesn’t vote, he/she must keep their mouth CLOSED–period.

  137. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 1:15 pm:

    While we’re talking about dividing things, check out St. Clair County results. It’s a microcosm of the state as a whole:
    37,463-31,505 for Brady (51.5%-43.3%) in areas not covered by ESL Election Board.
    7,516-172 for Quinn (95.2%-2.4%) ESL Election Board

    There’s talk a St. Clair judge granted a TRO allowing ESL to play in a football playoff game last Thursday just to keep people calm until after the election. ESL was kicked out of the playoffs yesterday.

  138. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 1:17 pm:

    To those who complain that Chicagoans are being unduly harsh in their response to this silly editorial, I would ask you this question: What if Chicago wanted to take away your individual voting rights? You wouldn’t react a wee bit harshly? Seriously?

    The reaction, while visceral, is perfectly understandable.

    I was born in Kankakee. I grew up in rural Iroquois County, which is about as solidly Republican and wholly isolationist and definitively anti-Chicago as you will ever find. I live in Springfield, which has no collective love for the city on the lake.

    But, for the life of me, I can never get over the ridiculous notion that Chicago is the enemy. As another poster pointed out, Chicago and Downstate lawmekers have worked together in bipartisan manner for decades on behalf of common goals to solve shared problems, often with suburban money. Yet, when was the last time you saw the Southern Illinoisan complain that the suburbs were working against their interests?

  139. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 1:27 pm:

    “The Southern Illioisan today announced that the wheel is bad, fire is overrated, and the thought of our flat planet is insead ’round’ and ‘revolving’ around the sun, are not in line with Illinois, and these items are a conspiracy by Chicago.”

  140. - another progunner - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 2:50 pm:

    There’s a difference between a legislator and a governor, BigTwich and MrJM (and Rich, for that matter). The court ruling you speak of deals with legislators and legislative districts. Governors are Executive Branch, like the President, not Legislative Branch. If one argument for the Electoral College is that it helps protect smaller (in population) states from larger, how is that different from the argument that a similar system in Illinois would be designed to protect smaller (in population) counties from larger?

    Again, I’m not arguing for the idea, but your “unconstitutional” arguments do not automatically pass muster based on the proposed concept. Granted, I did not see any details, but if the idea is the same as that which determines who will be POTUS, then it stands to reason that it could very well be crafted to be constitutional.

    It’s clearly not going to happen, but if it did, THEN it would be up to the courts, including, perhaps, SCOTUS, to determine its constitutionality. You have yet to convince me it would not pass that test.

  141. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 2:53 pm:

    progrunner, did you not see Esteban’s comment?

  142. - lawyerlady - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 3:19 pm:

    Rich, downstaters don’t want to take away Chicagoans right to vote; in fact, most of us think this idea is idiotic. The editorial board of the Southern Illinoians doesn’t speak for us. That’s like saying the Trib speaks for all of Chicago.

  143. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 3:31 pm:

    lawyerlady, I never said that was the case, just pointing out why the reaction was so visceral.

  144. - Honest Abe - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 3:52 pm:

    I agree with Miller — for decades, Illinois continued to labor under the state constitution of 1870, which favored Downstate interests at the expense of Chicago. Chicago and Cook County were far smaller when this constitution was adopted and ratified, so it was fair enough initially. In succeeding decades, Chicago’s population expanded greatly, but it was denied home rule powers and, frequently, redistricting was skewed in favor of Downstate Illinois.

    Brady could have won if he turned out more votes outside of Cook County or if he matched Kirk’s totals in Lake County.

  145. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 3:53 pm:

    ==editorial board members are obviously smoking some very wacky weed==
    or pandering to their base

  146. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Nov 5, 10 @ 4:36 pm:

    Here’s another wacky newspaper from southern Illinois “enlightening” us about why Chicago is bad for Illinois:

  147. - Scooter - Saturday, Nov 6, 10 @ 10:27 am:

    Totally unconstitutional!
    NYC once had a system like that, declared unconstitutional.

    From Wikipedia-
    The New York City Board of Estimate was a governmental body in New York City, responsible for budget and land-use decisions. Under the charter of the newly amalgamated City of Greater New York (passed 1897, effective 1898) the Board of Estimate and Apportionment was composed of eight ex officio members: the Mayor of New York City, the New York City Comptroller and the President of the New York City Council, each of whom was elected citywide and had two votes, and the five Borough presidents, each having one vote. The La Guardia Reform Charter of 1938 simplified its name and enhanced its powers.

    In 1989, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Board of Estimate of City of New York v. Morris declared the New York City Board of Estimate unconstitutional on the grounds that the city’s most populous borough (Brooklyn) had no greater effective representation on the board than the city’s least populous borough (Staten Island), this arrangement being a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause pursuant to the high court’s 1964 “one man, one vote” decision (Reynolds v. Sims).

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