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*** UPDATED x1 - ILGOP slams Quinn *** On this point, I agree with Pat Quinn

Monday, Aug 29, 2016

* From a press release…

In the aftermath of Thursday’s Illinois Supreme Court ruling against the Independent Map redistricting plan, former Governor Pat Quinn will offer a plan Tuesday which would be “fair and constitutional”.

“Voters deserve the chance to be heard on remap reform. Half a million voters signed petitions urging the question be put on the ballot but the language was fatally flawed,” Quinn said. “It’s back to the drawing board.”

Twice since 2014, courts have rejected proposals to reform Illinois’ partisan and archaic reapportionment process due to poorly-worded amendments.

“Unlike Independent Map’s plan, our language is simple, clean, and pristine,” Quinn said. As the only person in Illinois history to successfully amend the Constitution by referendum, Quinn will propose a redistricting referendum amendment which he is confident will pass constitutional muster.

In 1980, Quinn’s Cutback Amendment to cut the size of the Illinois Legislature by a third was approved by the Supreme Court, the only time such a reform has been accomplished using the power of referendum in Illinois history.

“Having won before the Supreme Court on the interpretation of Article IV, Section 3, I know the Justices’ legal concerns,” Quinn said.

Quinn plans to reach out to the Independent Map organizers to offer a new and improved version. The voters would be able to vote in a 2018 referendum on a redistricting reform amendment. If adopted by the voters, the plan would be in effect for the 2021 redistricting.

    WHEN: Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 10:30 a.m.

    WHERE: James R. Thompson Center
    15th Floor - Blue Room

* Part of the reason for the two-time failure of the Independent Maps plan was its overly complicated, Rube Goldberg processes for achieving its end result. It was just too easy to nitpick those plans to death.

If Quinn is truly pushing language that is “simple, clean, and pristine,” it might have a better shot. By simply dictating the desired outcome, rather than laying out the actual process in excruciating detail, it would avoid numerous Supreme Court pitfalls.

I get why the remap reformers tried it the other way. They simply don’t trust the General Assembly to come up with their desired outcome. But their way has failed twice in a row. It’s time for a different approach.

* On the other hand, Quinn signed the last remap into law, so he’s not exactly trustworthy on this particular stage. Still, it’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with.

*** UPDATE ***  From the Illinois Republican Party…

“Pat Quinn is the very reason Illinois doesn’t already have fair maps. In 2011, Quinn signed into law the gerrymandered district lines we have today. Instead of standing up for reform when he was in charge of the state, Quinn worked with Mike Madigan to rig the political system in their favor. We don’t need Pat Quinn to fix Pat Quinn’s map.” – Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Steven Yaffe

In 2011, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law today’s gerrymandered district maps.

Instead of standing up to Mike Madigan and demanding redistricting reform when he had the chance, Quinn offered no resistance and worked with Madigan to rig the system.

In fact, members of Quinn’s own party blamed him in 2010 for killing a redistricting reform proposal that was likely to pass in the legislature.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

35 Comments
  1. - Gus - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 6:01 pm:

    Still shaking my head why independent map put up the last amendment after the 2014 ruling. What a debacle. A lot of good money wasted. Maybe I should not use “good”. I’m just tried of hearing about it and who is to blame. Might be a good thing that no one can tell how the district lines run. I might not like my neighbors as well since the other side of road is in a different district. Such a divided country right now, not just this state.


  2. - Abu Iskandr - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 6:18 pm:

    Of all people, former Gov. Quinn should know to be wary of the Law of Unintended Consequences, since we lost Chicago Republicans and DuPage Democrats in the ILGA from his previous foray into constitutional referenda.


  3. - Not It - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 6:31 pm:

    If Quinn is doing this as a party elder and statesman, fine, but I think his motivation is something else.

    On the other hand it wipes away Madigan’s complaint that the effort is partisan, even though Independent Maps had supporters from both sides.


  4. - Keyrock - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 6:32 pm:

    Gee, I hope part of his plan is repealing the Cutback Amendment. What a debacle that has been.


  5. - Not It - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 6:34 pm:

    Just a thought here….maybe Independent Maps thought it worth the gamble completely shutting out the GA in the process, thinking if it is unconstitutional they still had two more bites at the apple to pass less than ideal (but still better than nothing) proposals.


  6. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 6:49 pm:

    Quinn needs to understand that we remember his ineffectual administration, the millions of tax dollars he gave away to buy votes and the raises he passed out to his pals. He is no reformer.


  7. - Lincoln Parker - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 6:56 pm:

    How can private citizen Quinn have a press conference in the Thompson Center Blue Room?


  8. - Macbeth - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 6:56 pm:


    Quinn needs to understand that we remember his ineffectual administration, the millions of tax dollars he gave away to buy votes and the raises he passed out to his pals. He is no reformer.

    Whatever. Sour grapes.

    If Quinn can come up with something viable — something that works — that’s a point — many points for Quinn.

    And — this is important — zero for Rauner. And for me, that’s a big deal.


  9. - CardinalsNation1 - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 7:09 pm:

    And what does ILSCOTUS multi loser have to offer this project? We’ve heard “it’s constitutional” from him before.


  10. - illini - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 7:10 pm:

    Say and think what you will about Pat Quinn - I have known him casually for probably 30 years.

    I only hope that those commenters on this site will give his suggestions a fair and reasoned hearing before denouncing it out of hand.

    I have no idea what will be proposed, but this is a serious problem, and needs to be given appropriate and thoughtful consideration before automatically being dismissed.


  11. - CardinalsNation1 - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 7:14 pm:

    What I will give PQ is what I believe to be a serious intent to better the state. What is lacking is his methodology and understanding of the state constitution, as shown in several high profile cases in which he assured us that something was constitutional.

    I agree the issue is serious, just don’t agree PQ is the man to advise on constitutionality.


  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 7:14 pm:

    ===If Quinn can come up with something viable — something that works — that’s a point===

    Agreed, although I wish he would’ve waited until after my Crain’s column appears on Sunday since I successfully pitched this very idea (among others) to them earlier this afternoon.

    Such is life.


  13. - Hottot - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 7:23 pm:

    Quinn us trying to build popularity for another run for governor. He’ll be on the ballot in the Democratic primary.


  14. - Regular democrat - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 7:23 pm:

    Quinn wad in Englewood today pandering for free tv time at the barber shop. He should have neeb doing that in 2014 . He starting to look desperste


  15. - Hottot - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 7:24 pm:

    Is


  16. - Juvenal - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 8:32 pm:

    * I think it is time we also admit that there are probably quite a few suburban Republican legislators who are not all that anxious to see redistricting “reformed.”

    The downstaters will be okay, but most ok the suburbanites are gonna lose their positions. And while there has been much focus on House Democratic leadership, Durkin and Radogno will not survive redistricting reform as envisioned by Fair Maps. Their caucuses are gonna make a hard right turn to Trumpsville.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 8:45 pm:

    He simplicity leads to the success.

    While complexity allows for the reforns to claim a moral high ground, the high ground on process isn’t passing constitutional muster.

    When simplicity of process becomes the petition, then I’ll know the real idea if this reform being possible is on the table.


  18. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 9:04 pm:

    He will probably propose three member districts.


  19. - Odysseus - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 9:36 pm:

    The redistricting reform that I want to see requires counties to be kept entirely within one district if possible. The flip side of that requirement is that any county large enough to contain an entire district must be filled with whole districts to the maximal extent possible. (it may have only one district which contains any part of that county and any other.)


  20. - JoeMaddon - Monday, Aug 29, 16 @ 9:59 pm:

    **How can private citizen Quinn have a press conference in the Thompson Center Blue Room?**

    Lots of private organizations/private citizens have press conferences in the blue room at both the Thomson Center and the State Capitol building.


  21. - Just Anon - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 7:31 am:

    An excerpt from Quinn’s proposed language has been leaked!

    Article XV - Law of Land

    The will of the people shall be the law of the land, like the mighty Mississippi River flowing through the state. The Governor was put on earth to resolve pension issues, and shall work on it night and day and shall ensure that everybody is in and nobody is out…


  22. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 7:46 am:

    ===requires counties to be kept entirely within one district===

    Kinda arbitrary, that one.


  23. - Dee Lay - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 8:03 am:

    This will be fun to see if the Rauner’s Map folks actually back a better version of their plan that might actually pass muster with the supremes.

    If they balk, well, you know….


  24. - LibertyvilleNick - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 8:27 am:

    Where was all of this when he was Gov? Oh, wait, then it benefited him.


  25. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 8:32 am:

    Call me a skeptic, but Quinn didn’t do anything about independent or fair maps while he was the second most powerful man in Illinois except sign the legislation creating rigged elections. Of course, maybe he is trying to redeem himself from the sham that was his governorship and which I would welcome any voice trying to create fair elections, I”m just skeptical.

    Maybe he’s willing to join Gill as well and work toward equal ballot access for independents and third parties.


  26. - Huh? - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 8:52 am:

    “The will of the people shall be the law of the land, like the mighty Mississippi River flowing through the state.”

    Too bad the Mississippi River doesn’t flow through Illinois.


  27. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 9:05 am:

    – Too bad the Mississippi River doesn’t flow through Illinois. –

    In a couple small chunks near Cairo and Kaskaskia, it actually does.


  28. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 9:13 am:

    Ody — take a look at the map of Naperville.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 9:24 am:

    To the Update.

    If/When Rauner wins re-elect, I’ll look foward to his map, and what map Rauner finally signs…

    … unless Rauner holds the map hostage to destroy Prevailing Wage and Collective Bargaining.

    Boy, that’d be… interesting. Rauner, holding up a fair map for the destruction of Labor?


  30. - DuPage - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 10:03 am:

    Quinn and Squeezy also said the pension reform bill was constitutional. It wasn’t.


  31. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 10:18 am:

    In terms of the law of unintended consequences, Quinn’s successful advocacy of the Cutback Amendment backfired magnificently. It was claimed that reducing the number of Representatives in the General Assembly by one third would save taxpayers money. It did not. The survivors simply increased their salaries and expense accounts. The elimination of three member House Districts and bullet voting largely eliminated the Republican Party in Chicago (ditto for the Democrats elsewhere in the state). The Four Tops became more powerful and the individual members were made weaker. Some of the best and the brightest were the ones who were cut.

    Yes, Quinn put his amendment across, but we are still paying a price for it.


  32. - walker - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:52 am:

    Does the ILGOP actually see Quinn as a threat? Is that why they all of a sudden won’t even consider a remap reform proposal that might stand a better chance?


  33. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 12:17 pm:

    -Does the ILGOP actually see Quinn as a threat?-

    Perhaps if he were to announce his political retirement he might get a better reception. Then it would be clear he was doing this for altruistic reasons rather than pumping up his visibility for another run against one of the ILGOP’s candidates. Fat chance of that.


  34. - David Starrett - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 12:49 pm:

    What Quinn won’t admit (at least publicly) is that the redistricting process is as partisan as it is precisely because his “Cutback Amendment” eliminated multi-member districts and cumulative voting. The result was to virtually eviscerate independent legislators in both political parties. These were the moderating forces requiring the creation of bi-partisan consensus maps.


  35. - Johnyy Justice - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 2:02 pm:

    PQ is this only guy in the history of Illinois who ever got a constitutional amendment on the ballot through the initiative petition process, so you gotta give they guy a little slack!


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