* Chuck Sweeny…
If anyone doubted House Speaker Michael Madigan’s total control of the state of Illinois, Thursday’s state Supreme Court decision throwing the Independent Map amendment off the Nov. 8 ballot should erase that doubt.
In a party-line vote, the Democratic-controlled court ruled 4-3 against the amendment, which would have removed control of the legislative district mapping process from politicians and given it to an 11-member independent commission that would draw a fair map that wouldn’t favor the Republicans or the Democrats.
This is exactly why the Independent Maps folks should’ve more closely followed the road map they were handed two years ago by Judge Mikva. The legal and political odds were already heavily against them. Why draw outside those very narrow lines when the Supremes will undoubtedly force you to stay within them?
I still don’t get it, but the Republicans now have a great issue for November and it’s the fault of Democrats for not putting their own redistricting idea on the ballot. Have fun, boys and girls.
But the elite said no. And their kangaroo court said no. So where do we go from here?
Nowhere, that’s where. We’re stuck. We’ve been fixed by Doctor Mike.
The only thing we can do is elect different people, and the way the legislative map has been fixed by Madigan, that’s virtually impossible. The districts have been drawn to give Democrats a comfortable majority, and the Republicans who are left don’t complain much because the Democrats made sure the Republicans got nice, safe districts in which to languish for the rest of their natural lives. As long as they remain out of the way and don’t make noise, it’s just fine with Mike and his Minions.
The districts aren’t all completely safe for Democrats. As we’ve discussed before, the Republican Rauner won 15 of the 39 Senate districts currently represented by Democrats. And four years earlier, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady won almost as many.
* That’s why the governor’s current campaign spending is so important…
Of the $5.59 million the House Republican Organization has received (and begun sending to candidates) since June 30, all but $38,500 has come from the Illinois Republican Party. And of the $15.2 million the party has received since March 31, $15 million came from Rauner’s campaign committee, of which one Bruce Rauner overwhelmingly is the largest donor. In other words, the governor is the House Republicans’ bank.
And keep in mind that some of those GOP campaigns started their bigtime spending a whole lot earlier than June 30th.
The House Republican Organization, the campaign arm of the minority House GOP caucus, has dropped more than $420,000 in cable TV ads for a dozen candidates either running against Democratic targets or trying to keep office, reports show.
Top on the list is $157,590 for ads on behalf of Republican Rod Drobinski of Wauconda, who is challenging Democratic Rep. Sam Yingling of Grayslake.
Another $64,140 was spent on Republican Rep. Sheri Jesiel of Winthrop Harbor, who is being challenged by Democrat Nick Ciko of Lindenhurst.
The Republican State Senate Campaign Committee also is spending $172,875 on cable ads, including $71,430 on behalf of Republican Seth Lewis of Bartlett, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Tom Cullerton of Villa Park.
* I came up with an idea to perhaps solve this remap problem over the weekend, but I think I’ll save that for a column.