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Today is redistricting day

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018

* Press release…

WHAT: Illinois Redistricting Collaborative Members holding a press conference on the Fair Maps Amendment legislation that would establish an independent commission to run the state’s redistricting process

WHO: Senators Julie Morrison & Laura Murphy, Rep. Ryan Spain, and select representatives from the Illinois Redistricting Collaborative including Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago, Better Government Association, CHANGE Illinois, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois PIRG, League of Women Voters Illinois, Small Business Advocacy Council, Union League Club of Chicago

WHERE: Blue Room (room 010), Illinois State Capitol Building, 401 S. 2nd Street, Springfield, IL 62706.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 18, 2018. 11:00-11:30AM.

The proposal is here.

* Press release…

State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) filed legislation this week to take politics out of Illinois’ legislative map-drawing process and instead ensure a transparent, objective, and fair process for adopting legislative maps. Breen’s proposal, drafted in cooperation with nationally recognized fair map expert, Rep. Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago), would invite everyone in Illinois to submit proposed maps, which would be ranked by how few towns and counties are split to form districts, and then by compactness of districts drawn. The House and Senate would then have the option of adopting one of the top three fairest maps, or else allowing the top-ranked map to go into law. If the General Assembly does not put fair maps on the ballot in 2018, Breen’s fair maps amendment is drafted to meet the legal requirements for a potential citizen-led ballot initiative in 2020.

“There is overwhelming bipartisan support for fair maps,” said Breen. “Our legislative districts should keep towns and counties together, and be as compact as possible. Gerrymandered maps are wrong because they allow politicians to unnaturally divide communities in favor of partisan interests. While there are other Illinois fair maps proposals, this proposal is the only one with specific, objective standards written into it, to guarantee the mapping process stays entirely transparent and fair.”

Breen’s HJRCA 46 would amend the Legislative Article of the Illinois Constitution to make the Legislative Redistricting Commission the primary driver of the mapping process, instead of the General Assembly. The commission would provide tools to the public to draw and submit maps and then apply the objective scoring rubric to submitted maps, presenting the top three to the General Assembly. HJRCA 46 retains and repurposes the current constitutional participants in the mapping process—the commission, General Assembly, and Secretary of State—in order to conform with Illinois court decisions about citizen-led fair map initiatives. The amendment also adds one member to the Illinois House, from 118 to 119, both to give the body an odd number of legislators and to meet the Illinois court requirement that any citizen-led change must include a “structural” change.

The proposal is here.

* Media advisory…

MEDIA ADVISORY: House Republicans Call For Independent Redistricting Reform

WHO: Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and State Representatives Tim Butler, Norine Hammond and Nick Sauer

WHAT: A House Resolution filed today calling for an independent redistricting reform solution.

WHEN: 2:00 PM on April 18, 2018

WHERE: Capitol Blueroom

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - PJ - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 10:27 am:

    “Minority partisans file resolution asking power be removed from controlling majority” is not exactly politically compelling, Jim. Find a bipartisan group, or a least a nonpartisan one. They exist. There’s even another presser today full of them.

  2. - Try-4-Truth - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 10:32 am:

    Why should the Democrats unilaterally disarm? They should tell their Republican colleagues that if Texas adopts this, we will too.

  3. - JB13 - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 10:37 am:

    No, no, no, this is all nonsense. Gerrymandering is only an issue in other states, not Illinois. Here, supermajorities exist because everyone secretly agrees that Mike Madigan should remain not-in-control of the General Assembly until he decides he’s had enough. It’s democracy as the Founders intended it.

  4. - Worth It - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    This needs to happen everywhere and Illinois should help lead the way by setting precedent to follow. No step could be more important in the depolarization of politics in America.

  5. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 10:44 am:

    Try-4-Truth’s comment is a microcosm of why this nation is in such terrible shape: 24-7 “but what about…”ism and only in opposition partisanship. At the federal level we saw this when George W. Bush exploded executive power, which the Democrats decried until Obama got in office and exploded it even further, only to find Donald Trump in the White House.

    Gerrymandering is a sin against democracy: it seeks to minimize the power of our votes as much as possible by pre-determining as many elections as possible. We have the right to vote in partisan-blind-created districts regardless of what Texas does.

    Even worse, the anti-reform crowd commits another sin against democracy by not even allowing a vote on the question. When 85% of the voters favor a law and can’t get a true vote on it - not even in the legislature (note the last criss-cross), the system is diseased. Even worse is the Democrat majority of the Supreme Court refusing to exercise its discretion, twice, to say whether a citizens petition effort can *ever* pass Constitutional muster to force redistricting reform.

  6. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    Good overall article on how PA redid their maps.

    For any new map, it shouldn’t look like spaghetti thrown on the wall. From the WaPo article:

    “The new, court-drawn map is not only more compact than either Republican offering — but it also splits up fewer counties and municipal areas, it and more closely reflects the total partisan divide of the state.”

  7. - People Over Parties - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 10:49 am:

    ===Gerrymandering is a sin against democracy: it seeks to minimize the power of our votes as much as possible by pre-determining as many elections as possible.===

    This is also the Speaker’s greatest sin. He doesn’t earn my respect as a political operative because of it. The state has payed a price for gerrymandering.

  8. - Perrid - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 10:50 am:

    I’m all for a completely impartial map that just groups people by geography and population. Assuming this proposal actually does that with no shenanigans, I would support it, though I don’t know that this is all on the up and up.

  9. - low level - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    Any true analysis of the states which have, ahem, an “independent fair map” will find said maps in court for years after the maps are adopted. See Florida in particular.

    As for Reps. Breen, Spain and Durkin in particular , please show me your consistency on this topic by pointing out for thr public how you opposed GOP gerrymanders in Illinois in the past.

  10. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    From the same HGOP that once called campaign finance limits their top priority. Then along came Bruce …

  11. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 10:58 am:

    Only Breen would call Fortner a “national expert”
    The big question is who will claim their plan complies with the federal Voting Rights Act?
    BTW that is how IL has to do it.

  12. - low level - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 11:01 am:

    However the map is drawn is irrelevant. What matters? Good candidates. Numerous examples of this. See the numerous special election victories in supposedly “Republican” districts around the country this year especially.

    As for “sins against democracy”, please. LOL. Maybe collusion with Russia and other things we’ve seen this year meet that standard, but not legislative maps.

  13. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 11:04 am:

    OMG they have Brad McMillian avowed anti Voting Rights Act operative fronting for them.

  14. - walker - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    Classic example of tragic overreach, because this process was infected by national partisans. We have a good chance to do the right thing in Illinois, with a fair remapping of Illinois legislative districts. However, to add in US Congressional districts here, while the same partisans defend Republican gerrymanding in other states, is to diminish its chance of passing.

  15. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    @low level: Right… Madigan bucks overwhelming popular opinion and spends truckloads of money over “irrelevant” things every day.

    Anyway, since you think fair maps are irrelevant, redistricting reform shouldn’t be a problem for you.

  16. - Jim O - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    Notice the event is GOP dominate. Why? The State of IL voter roles and primary votes are DEM dominate. Shouldn’t DEMs be the majority advocating?

    One member of SCOTUS during WI arguments made comments about : Why shouldn’t the majority have majority control of redistricting just as with legislation.

    This redistricting effort is a issue created by, of and for the GOP. GOP need to change the rules (as they normally do) when their ideas do not sell to majority of informed voters.

  17. - Jim O - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 11:59 am:

    Are IL districts actually gerrymandered? I’ve seen no data that shows the current district requirements ( most race related ) are actually violated? A couple years a GOP candidate in 17th Congressional tried to say district was gerrymander and the court said Nope.

    Political party is currently NOT a requirement of ‘fair’ criteria as defined in fed voting rights requirements.

    Does anyone done a WI analysis (the process part of SCOTUS arguments) on IL state districts?

  18. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 12:04 pm:

    Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana have similar redistricting laws as Illinois. If this were a reform movement, those states should be included. Further, any Dem officeholder should not be aligned with this boondoggle. Gerrymandering can be done no matter how it’s “reformed”, except it would be designed to favor the minority. Why else would the shrinking party be pushing it? Perhaps, a certain party should review their policies.

  19. - Generic Drone - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 12:09 pm:

    We need fair, impartial maps. Just get it done. I’m tired of all the uncontested politicos.

  20. - Lt Guv - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 12:11 pm:

    No respect for the beauty of a well-crafted map.

  21. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 12:32 pm:

    === they allow politicians to unnaturally divide communities ===

    Statement made by someone with absolutely no historical appreciation of how municipal and county boundaries came to be.

    Racial covenants prohibiting homes from being sold to anyone that was not white were quite common in suburbs and legal right up until 1968. That means that as the babyboomers who bought those homes under covenant pass away, they are often passing those homes along to their children who are also white, and those suburbs remain largely white suburbs protected by a ghostly wall of racism as might as the Great Wall of China, even if it is no longer manned.

    Breen’s legislation would manifest those racist boundaries into state law, and Murphy and Morrison should be ashamed to attach their name to something so blatantly racist.

    Wheaton is 2% African American and 3% Latino.

  22. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 12:35 pm:

    The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an agreement among a group of U.S. states and the District of Columbia to award all their respective electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The compact is designed to ensure that the candidate who wins the most popular votes is elected president, and it will come into effect only when it will guarantee that outcome. As an interstate compact, the agreement would go into effect among the participating states in the compact only after they collectively represent an absolute majority of votes (currently at least 270) in the Electoral College.

    Similarly, an interstate compact could be designed to have states simultaneously implement a particular non-partisan redistricting scheme when all states adopt the measure or even when adopted by a significant subset of the states, e.g. those with more than five congressional districts. Every state in play would play by the same rules and any redistricting scheme adoption by both Democratically-controlled state legislatures and Republican-controlled state legislatures would necessarily be genuinely non-partisan.*

    Just a thought.

    – MrJM

    * If no redistricting scheme can be developed that appeals to state legislatures controlled by each of the parties, perhaps we should consider the possibility that “non-partisan redistricting” is just a pleasant-sounding political fantasy.

  23. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    “However the map is drawn is irrelevant.”

    That may be one of the most absurd, uninformed comments I’ve ever seen on CapFax. Of course it matters. That’s why partisans fight so hard over the right to control the maps. It’s why it’s Madigan’s most important/second most important vote. It’s why PA had a 13-5 GOP Congressional majority even though Democrats won more votes. Same is true in Ohio and Michigan and elsewhere.

    If you want to say this isn’t our most important reform issue, I’ll agree with you. But to suggest it doesn’t matter at all is to defy all data and logic.

  24. - Try-4-Truth - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 12:41 pm:

    ===== Try-4-Truth’s comment is a microcosm of why this nation is in such terrible shape: 24-7 “but what about…”ism and only in opposition partisanship. At the federal level we saw this when George W. Bush exploded executive power, which the Democrats decried until Obama got in office and exploded it even further, only to find Donald Trump in the White House. =====

    Ummm, no. What the Republicans are saying is “give us ‘fair’ maps, but we won’t give them back to you”. That’s silly, and that is what is really wrong with this country. So, please, stop.

  25. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 1:28 pm:

    If I’m choosing, I favor of fair maps, I do not favor term limits.

    That said,

    The premise on fair maps and the premise of these maps meeting the criteria of the demographics of citizenry by race, for example, will be the hurdle that those looking for maps to “make right” what “injustices” others, in veiled words, say.

    My hope is the competitive districts increase, but also that means both parties field candidates in these competitive districts too.

    Let’s also note that a Republican representing what could be argued a “Democratic” seat, or a Democrat representing what could be argued a “Republican” seat… a judge or legalese should not deprive that district from showing a decision made outside what should be “expected”. That’s another fear.

  26. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 1:36 pm:

    “However the map is drawn is irrelevant.” I very much disagree, but your next sentence is spot on: “I want good candidates.” Fair maps allows for contested races with good candidates. Why would the D’s put up a good candidate in a rock solid R district, or vice versa? They don’t, and voters in those districts have no choice as to who will represent them.

  27. - low level - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 1:43 pm:

    @ lake county dem. “Madigan bucks popular opinion…” LOL. Everything is to be blamed on Madigan, right?

    Noun, verb, Madigan. Check. Reformers like you are laughably clueless… just like your campaign spending “reforms” have eliminated big money in politics.

  28. - low level - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 1:53 pm:

    @ chicago cynic - thanks for the compliment. Of course it matters. The point is this: although partisan drawing of maps is a factor, good candidates of the other party win in them all the time. A good candidate ran in PA-18, and won. House Dems won every election in the 1990s (save one) despite it being a GOP map. So I fail to see what “discrimination” is occuring w partisan drawn maps. There is none. More to the point, when the RepubliCON party is for all this “fairness” in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, then get back to me.

    Its a Democratic state, we should have Democratic drawn maps. Illinois voted by what % for the Dem nominee for president?

  29. - low level - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 2:02 pm:

    (Clarifying) - HDems won majority control of the House despite it being a Repub map in the 1990s except for one cycle. Why? Hard work, better candidates and strategy.

  30. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 2:04 pm:

    And Republicans won control of the Senate for a decade under that map

  31. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 2:22 pm:

    ===And Republicans won control of the Senate for a decade under that map ===

    Which they drew.

  32. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    Right, so I guess whatever party draws the maps makes a huge difference, that is the point.

    Democrats seem to think the maps have nothing to do with it and everyone loves how Madigan runs the state and keep reelecting their representatives because they are so effective

  33. - walker - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 3:11 pm:

    LP: Sometimes when you’ve hurried past the point, it’s best to stop and review your steps.

  34. - Jim O - Wednesday, Apr 18, 18 @ 4:19 pm:

    Re Generic Drone - “I’m tired of all the uncontested politicos. ”

    Uncontested politicians can mean (1) people in district are highly satisfied with person, or (2) district has natural common views (so why should redistricting force their views to be diluted, (3) making all districts have some uniform distributions of characteristics would like have very distorted boundaries.

    Redistricting should not (as with term limits) cause a location to choose someone different nor make one party have greater funding.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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