Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » We need something better
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
We need something better

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008

* This is yet another good reason to hold a constitutional convention. The completely bungled legislative redistricting language in the current document…

The framers of the 1970 Illinois Constitution thought they had devised a way to force bipartisanship on the contentious issue of redrawing legislative district maps every 10 years. If the governor and General Assembly couldn’t agree on a map, the job would fall to an eight-member commission of four Democrats and four Republicans.

Except it never worked out that way. In the 1981, 1991 and 2001 remap efforts, both parties decided to play “chicken” instead of working out a deal. They allowed a drawing to determine which side would draw the maps.

* As the editorial notes, there is a constitutional amendment in the hopper right now to address this issue…

The amendment, sponsored by James Brosnahan, D-Evergreen Park, would do away with the lottery as a tiebreaker. If the legislature is unable to reach a compromise, the job would go to a special master or masters appointed by the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and a justice from the other political party.

But why allow the incuments to draw their maps in the first place? Even if this does encourage bipartisan compromise, that means even more incumbent protections. The maps should be drawn by computer, like Iowa does, and we wouldn’t have goofy-looking districts intended to keep people in power.

Look at Iowa’s maps. Now, look at Illinois‘.

* More Con-Con stuff…

* Con Con Considerations: Party Affiliation

* Income tax vote expected

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - What planet is he from again? - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 9:52 am:

    The computer idea sure sounds good, although knowing this state, they’d argue about whether Reps or Dems wrote the software or ran the computer.

  2. - Levois - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 9:56 am:

    What is it with this obsession of bipartisanship only between Democrats and Republicans? Granted that there are only two parties at the table in this state at this moment since there aren’t too many independents in thie GA. Still if there is to be a constitutional rewrite perhaps we need to drop this idea of only including Republicans and Democrats in this process. I know easier said than done.

  3. - South Side Mike - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 10:11 am:

    I always thought the same thing for the City of Chicago wards, too. The spoils of election should not include the ability to protect your own job. Program the computers so they don’t give a darn about race, party affiliation, age, etc., and have them spit out 3 or 4 versions. Allow legislators only enough leeway to choose among the 3 or 4 versions.

    So let’s review, a computer program is simpler, faster, probably cheaper, and produces more competitive races than the current model. That pretty much guarantees that it will never pass in Illinois.

  4. - the Patriot - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 10:28 am:

    Our constitution worked for more then 30 years and as recently as the 90’s very well. It even worked with some very unsavory characters in Springfield. The problem isn’t the law, its the politicians. When you screw up, you lose your job. Only in IL could we let someone screw up this bad, then think about giving them authority to change the rules.

  5. - Old lawyer - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 10:32 am:

    And please don’t forget merit selection of judges, which was passed by the last Constitutional Convention as a separate proposal, but rejected by the voters. (It passed Cook County, but lost downstate, I think.) Appointing judges from a group picked by a panel wouldn’t eliminate all politics, but it has helped remove the bottom of the barrel in other states.

  6. - Levois - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 10:45 am:

    Hey how about the Missouri plan for judges?

  7. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 11:07 am:

    Oh right, let the slimy pols we all love to critique choose our judges? I don’t think that’s a great idea. The current system of electing them is not perfect, but I would argue it is no worse than we would get with “merit” selection. Plus, the really egregious ones do tend to get tossed off during their retention election.

  8. - Amuzing Myself - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 11:09 am:

    Wow. Look at that Iowa map. Actually compact and contiguous. What a concept!

  9. - Metro East News Guy - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 11:19 am:

    Does anyone in the Statehouse have a dictionary to define compact and contiguous? Bill Haine was state’s attorney in Madison county when the county map was redrawn by Dems…later struck down by a Dem judge. (But strangely he was unopposed for Evelyn Bowles seat..hmmm)
    One of the county board members summed up what all politicians think: he said, ‘my only priority is to make sure I get re-elected.’
    How can the Supreme Court justify Illinois’ congressional map as COMPACT and CONTIGUOUS… while it may meet the strict definition, ask any Con-Con delegate if this is what they had in mind.

  10. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 11:19 am:

    Gerrymandering in the 21st Century is allowing politicians to choose voters instead of allowing voters to choose politicians.

    It is blantantly undemocratic and morally wrong. It should be outlawed. Just as we saw electoral changes occur due to Supreme Court decisions, we need to have the Court outlaw gerrymandering.

    Politicians + computers = congressional fiefdoms + congressional gridlock.

  11. - Enemy of the State - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 11:30 am:

    I agree with the Patriot. It will not matter how the rules are rewritten if the players are the same. It is almost incomprehensible that it is easier to write a new constituition than it is to amend the current document.

  12. - Abe - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 11:41 am:

    The computerized map seems like a great idea.
    A lot might be done if we just agreed not to break up precincts and respect Township and County boundaries.
    Now that all three branches are controlled by one party you cannot expect any positive change though. (It would be the same if all three were Republican instead of Democrat.)
    This state needs a real statesmen. I haven’t seen one win office in a long time.

  13. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 11:54 am:

    The Iowa model would do more to reinvigorate the political process with real competition for the GA than anything else out there.

    Would that fly for a Congressional map? I don’t think Iowa has a Supreme Court “superdistrict” issue for minority representation as does Illinois.

  14. - Squideshi - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 12:04 pm:

    If the framers were attempting to force BIpartisanship, they were being undemocratic. BIpartisanship precludes MULTIpartisanship. There are THREE legally established, major political parties in the State of Illinois. Even better would be a NONpartisan redistricting.

    “If the governor and General Assembly couldn’t agree on a map, the job would fall to an eight-member commission of four Democrats and four Republicans.”

    I would call that a due process violation. What right does the state have in assigning this special privilege to two specifically named political parties, rather than ALL political parties within a certain class? If it is going to be political parties that control the redistricting process, then at the very least, all established parties should be involved in that.

    “If the legislature is unable to reach a compromise, the job would go to a special master or masters appointed by the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and a justice from the other political party.”

    The OTHER political party? What in the world does that mean? The Green Party? As I wrote previously, there are THREE legally established, major political parties in the State of Illinois.

  15. - Long-time Lurker - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 12:39 pm:

    Has anyone used a computer program like Iowa’s to map out Illinois? Just curious to see how it would compare to the actual map we’re currently using.

  16. - Amuzing Myself - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 1:19 pm:

    I think term limits on the the “four tops” (not service in the GA generally) would do more to get the people back involved in their state government than anything else. Getting a reasonable map should certainly be easier after a decade or two of fresh leadership and regular turnover. JMHO.

  17. - TrailRunner - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 5:52 pm:

    The war on the Middle Class continues. Hopefully the income tax bill will fail. Three percent for everyone seems fair to me. Some property tax relief would be nice also…but I fear the only way to get that is going to be to move to another state. Blago and Co. keep finding more ways to shake us down instead of looking for ways to live within our means.

  18. - Snidely Whiplash - Tuesday, Apr 29, 08 @ 7:26 pm:

    Agreed. We really do need to stop gerrymandering to protect incumbents. Southwest side Chicago wards moves ever-westward. County Board districts are just plain laughable. State house & senate districts, as well. But, why stop at the legislative level?

  19. Pingback Partisan Discourse » Five random thoughts - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 10:20 am:

    […] Another hat tip to Rich, for a comparison of Illinois and Iowa’s legislative maps and an interesting discussion on redistricting. Amazing how much better computers can draw than legislators. […]

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Taking a sick day
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...









* McCann launches conservative bid; weirdness beg.....
* Lt. gov. to tour Continental Tire in Mt. Vernon.....
* Chicago World Record Set For Living Organ Donors..
* At the intersection of Illinois and the world -.....
* Rich Miller/Capitol Fax | It just keeps getting.....

* The Latest: Sheriff: Suspect's firearms card was revoked
* Aurora native to present premiere of short film
* The Latest: Shooting suspect wanted to meet with Trump
* Church elders renew probe of founder's alleged misconduct
* Chicago sues 2 suburban towns millions owed for water
* 1868 Olympic champ to give Eureka commencement address
* Michigan center accused of honoring patients' racist demands
* July trial for Illinois man charged in sister-in-law's death
* Lake County courts to switch to online filing system in May
* EXCHANGE: Teens taught to plant, tend their own flowerpots

* Statehouse bills would increase drivers' awareness of bike safety
* Proposal would let more voters try to cut property taxes
* Illinois Lottery sells tickets for instant games after top prizes are gone
* Government consolidation efforts gain traction in General Assembly
* Bill: Put therapists, not armed security, in Illinois schools
* Report: Improvements to veterans home could cost $265M
* Rauner's point person on Legionnaires' outbreak makes $20K monthly
* Presidential library publishes digital archive of papers from Lincoln's first 33 years
* McCann to run for governor as Conservative Party candidate
* Duckworth, daughter make Senate history

* Chicago's largest privately held companies
* Yes, we need the United Way
* Techie Neal Sales-Griffin takes aim at Emanuel
* Corrections
* The 0.3%: Million-dollar earners in Illinois

* 2 men shot in Lawndale
* Javy Baez still steams over DJ LeMahieu flap after Cubs’ victory
* Shooter killed man in 2015 for selling weed on his ‘territory’: prosecutors
* Kris Bryant appears to avoid concussion in Cubs’ bruising 9-7 win over Rockies
* Adam L. Jahns: Whom the Bears should draft with their first-round pick Thursday
* Man critically injured in Uptown stabbing, 1 person being questioned
* Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown on running for mayor: ‘People trust me’
* Billionaire Kimbal Musk on CPS learning gardens: ‘Real food is a human right’
* Man fought gunman: He ‘was going to have to work to kill me’
* Junkyard fire spreads to field, building in Harvey

* Cubs hold on for wild win over Rockies after Kris Bryant beaning
* Cubs working with Yu Darvish to solve his 5th-inning struggles
* 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' opens on Broadway, the J.K. Rowling magic now passed between generations
* Hawk Harrelson sees chance for Cubs-White Sox World Series down the road
* Suspect in Tennessee Waffle House shooting still at large and possibly armed, police say
* Cubs' Kris Bryant 'apparently fine' after scary beaning incident
* 1 questioned after man stabbed, critically injured in Uptown
* Dorothy Brown brushes aside federal probe, announces run for Chicago mayor
* In travel ban case, Supreme Court considers 'the president' vs. 'this president'
* Fill in the blank: Bears writers address four topics before NFL draft

» At South Side Cemetery, A Gathering For Confederate Descendants – And Protesters
» Official: Pop Tax Repeal Could Mean Late Tax Bills, Budget Headaches
» Casino Sale Raises Questions About A Windfall - Or A Conflict - For Pritzker
» Eliminating Golden Parachutes in Illinois; Children’s Author M.J. Mouton; Illinois Budget
» Obamacare Protection Measure Fails in Illinois House
» State Week: McCann Makes Three; Blagojevich Makes Appeal; Preckwinkle Makes History
» WBEZ’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: April 20, 2018
» From Columbine To Parkland: Art And Activism
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: Is there a Newspaper War in Chicago?
» The Week in Review: Dorothy Brown Enters Mayoral Race

* George Will: Gorsuch strikes blow against administrative state
* Statehouse bills would increase drivers' awareness of bike safety
* Proposal would let more voters try to cut property taxes
* Illinois Lottery sells tickets for instant games after top prizes are gone
* Government consolidation efforts gain traction in General Assembly
* Statehouse Insider: Governor's race could set records beyond spending
* Guest View: Doing nothing on transportation funding is no longer an option
* Our View: Let the people vote on fair maps
* United Way: Dedicated volunteers affect lives every day
* Guest View: A nation at risk

* Two taken to hospital after car flips into ditch in Belleville
* Random Acts of Kindness: Shopper's courtesy leads to bouquet of tulips
* Crash reported near Oakwood
* He told police he witnessed a robbery, but surveillance video showed otherwise
* Church gifts the Decatur community with the 'Give Back'
* 'A supportive community': Event raises awareness of medical cannabis use
* After tragedy, Central Illinois mothers bring heart initiative to life
* Nashville police search for Waffle House shooting suspect
* At least four dead after shooting at Tennessee Waffle House
* UI Baseball vs Grand Canyon

* Scouting report: White Sox vs. Seattle Mariners
* White Sox downplay Moncada controversy
* Aurora library apologizes for display criticized as Islamophobic
* Girls soccer: St. Charles North tops WW South for Pepsi title
* Lake Zurich approves new TIF near Kmart

* Pritzker, other Illinois Democrats in DC: ...
* Congressman visits MBX in Libertyville
* Congressman visits MBX in Libertyville
* Vietnam veterans honored at Great Lakes
* Vietnam veterans honored at Great Lakes
* This RSS feed URL is deprecated
* Rep. Randy Hultgren recognizes Loyola men'...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren visits McHenry's Pi...
* Are Illinois Congressmen safe in wake of D...
* It's official: If you prepaid your propert...

* Booker, Durbin, Krishnamoorthi Introduce H......
* Durbin, Duckworth demand accounting of All......
* Area US senators' votes on Trump nominatio......
* What's the Deal With Chuck Schumer's Pot B......
* Durbin, Duckworth press Allegiant for flig......

* Few mothers could do what Tammy Duckworth ......
* What Tammy Duckworth really just taught us...
* Tammy Duckworth becomes first senator to v......
* Four stories that mattered this week, expl......
* 4 stories that mattered this week, explained...

* 5 Technology Tools in the Higher Education Classroom
* Deep Learning Models That Predict Conflicts In Online Communities
* Why Is Online Learning Seeing a Surge in Popularity?
* Why an iTunes Model for Online Learning Is Bad for Educators
* Microsoft launches new online training courses for aspiring AI engineers
* Are campus innovation centers serving all students?
* Digital Learning Strategies for Rural America: A Scan of Policy and Practice in K-12 Education
* With FCC approval, all systems are go for Starlink global internet
* Dried scallops the key ingredient in chef C.J. Jacobson's 'Mediterranean XO sauce' [VIDEO]
* Weed Week: Get in the mood for 4/20 with these photos by Chicagoans dedicated to legal weed

* IEMA Highlights Role of Volunteers in Disasters
* Governor Rauner activates State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield
* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties

* Amazon India starts pre-sales push for OnePlus 6
* ​What's the most popular Linux of them all?
* Commerce Department to accept evidence from ZTE in “informal procedures”
* Deal: 3 years of SelectTV is now only $29
* US investigating AT&T and Verizon over eSIM, GSMA pauses its involvement
* A regulation straitjacket is no less than Facebook and everyone else deserves
* SanDisk Ultra 400GB microSD review

* Lopez strong; bullpen, bats falter against Astros
* Lopez strong; bullpen, bats falter against Astros
* Lopez strong; bullpen, bats falter against Astros
* Stros sweep, with 7-1 win
* South Side Sox Roster Ranking: Round 17
* South Side Sox Prospect Vote: Round 17
* Gonzalez focused, eyeing rebound vs. Mariners

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller