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Candidate question: Independent maps

Monday, Mar 5, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I sent all candidates in both parties this question the other day…

This requires only a simple yes or no response: Will you pledge as governor to veto any state legislative redistricting map proposal that is in any way drafted or created by legislators, political party leaders and/or their staffs or allies? The exception, of course, would be the final official draft by LRB.

I’ve heard plenty of candidates talk about how they favor an independent map-making process, but I wondered how far they would go - particularly JB Pritzker.

* Posted in the order they were received. Rep. Jeanne Ives’ campaign…

She is willing to veto a political partisan map. However, that could be overridden.

The problem is what if there is no other amendment? What if all you have? If there is no other option, do we just used the same map?

A better question is, if your party is able to draw the map will you start with a computer-generated model with the intention of getting a fair map.

Additionally, Ives has already challenged her national party on this issue. She is one-of 17 state legislators that signed on to the amicus brief of the Democrat-challenge in Wisconsin that has reached the Supreme Court.

* Tio Hardiman…


* Bob Daiber…

Yes, I pledge to veto redistricting maps that are drawn in a political favor. I advocate for the development of fair maps. It is time for a governor to take a strong stance to end gerrymandering and support a nonpartisan commission tasked with drawing fair legislative maps.

* Gov. Bruce Rauner…


* JB Pritzker…

Yes, I will pledge to veto. We should amend the constitution to create an independent commission to draw legislative maps, but in the meantime, I would urge Democrats and Republicans to agree to an independent commission to handle creating a new legislative map. That designated body should reflect the gender, racial, and geographic diversity of the state and look to preserve the Voting Rights Act decisions to ensure racial and language minorities are fully represented in the electoral process.

* Sen. Daniel Biss wouldn’t pledge to veto a non-independent map…

“Under the current constitution, legislators, their staffs, and political allies are involved in the redistricting process — regardless of whether a governor vetoes the initial redistricting proposal. While the post-veto process might appear to some as though it more closely aligns with an independent commission to draw the maps, in reality, it’s a small group of political appointees selected by legislative leaders. We must do better. Instead of pledging to veto — which is self-defeating and shows how inexperienced candidates would back themselves into a corner because they are unable to advance an agenda constructively — as governor, I would advocate for a true independent redistricting process.”

* And neither would Chris Kennedy…

Our campaign is proud to have Ra Joy, a prominent independent maps advocate, on our ticket. With that in mind, no, it would be irresponsible to take an absolute pledge like this because it fails to take into account the situation which may exist at a time of passage. The vagueness of the pledge’s wording is a problem. An “ally” of a member or staff could encompass thousands of people, many of whom are the type of talented good government advocates who we should be welcoming rather than shunning.


  1. - JB13 - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 2:35 pm:

    Just like his pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class, this plegde will make me feel so much better when soon-to-be Gov.Pritzker proclaims his hands are tied by the state constitution, and signs whatever map Speaker Madigan hands to him.

  2. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 2:36 pm:

    ===The vagueness of the pledge’s wording is a problem. An “ally”===

    No coincidence that Mike Kasper does work for Kennedy’s campaign? Hmm.

  3. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 2:37 pm:

    ===proclaims his hands are tied by the state constitution===

    There is no such constitutional provision.

  4. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 2:37 pm:

    Ives and Biss have a similar problem in that both want to talk about how smart they are which gets in the way of talking about how bold they are.

    Ives has a bunch of other problems, too.

  5. - jim - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 2:40 pm:

    daiber’s response is totally at odds with what he said in his response to the “Fair Maps” questionaire, not that it matters much.

  6. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    ==No coincidence that Mike Kasper does work for Kennedy’s campaign?==

    …he does? That seems like a significant fly in the ointment of Kennedy’s narrative.

  7. - lake county democrat - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 2:46 pm:

    What Arsenal said. And yeah, Pritzker would come up with something to break that pledge, maybe “there’s no way to know with absolute confidence that an “ally” was not involved in an “independent commission” map, so better to have it be 100% allies.”

  8. - Norseman - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    Biss’ response is the only intellectually honest answer.

  9. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    ===the only intellectually honest answer===

    You can advocate all you want for independent maps. Quinn did it, too. For a very long time. Then he signed Madigan’s bill.

    That’s why I asked the question.

  10. - Wizzard of Ozzie - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 3:05 pm:

    The idea that Mike Kasper is influencing Kennedy’s policy on redistricting is a little silly. If Kasper was influencing Kennedy, then Kennedy wouldn’t be so vocal against the Speaker.

    I’m going to guess they asked their running mate before giving this position… you know, the guy who ran the effort for redistricting reform.

  11. - Norseman - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    === You can advocate all you want for independent maps. Quinn did it, too. For a very long time. Then he signed Madigan’s bill. ===

    So he vetoes the bill simply because his advocacy failed. The commission gets formed and a partisan map is adopted by the party that gets lucky with the draw out of Lincoln’s hat.

    Not a good solution for even the most well intentioned reformer.

  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 3:30 pm:

    ===Not a good solution for even the most well intentioned reformer===

    Sometimes, you just gotta play hardball. The Dems would never let it get that far.

  13. - Anon0091 - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    JB is serious about this. I don’t think people get that.

  14. - Belle - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 3:44 pm:

    I can understand why Biss can’t pledge but who has Kennedy talked with?
    This matters to me since I live in the 2nd Ward, on the border of the 1st which has to win the prize for the most gerry-mandered location on earth—borders run thru alleys.

  15. - SaulGoodman - Monday, Mar 5, 18 @ 5:01 pm:

    **I can understand why Biss can’t pledge but who has Kennedy talked with?**

    As someone else said - Biss seems to be the only person who actually knows and understands the process laid out in the Constitution.

  16. - TheJackalFromMontCo - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 4:05 pm:

    So, Rich, did you take the time to send Libertarian nominee Kash Jackson the same question as an attempt to be truly fair and balanced?

    Politics in Illinois isn’t all about Democrats and Republicans…you want an informed public? Then you include Jackson and current Constitution Party nominee Randy Stufflebeam in your distribution of questions.

    It’s only fair to all voters in order to be informed.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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