* Better Government Association president David Greising in Crain’s…
At the end of the redistricting process, Pritzker will be the one politician in the state who actually could prevent a gerry-Madiganed map from becoming Illinois law. Sometime in 2021, Pritzker alone will have the power to refuse to sign the bill proposing the new electoral districts. […]
Pritzker so far has talked a good game. He has promised to veto an “unfair” map. But what exactly does the governor mean by this pledge? In his eyes, what are the characteristics of a “fair” map? And what specific shortcomings might prevent him from approving one drawn by the state Legislature?
So far, Pritzker has refused to say. And his spokeswoman declines to provide any comment in response to my request for further information.
A “gerry-Madiganed map”? Clever, but Senate President John Cullerton might take umbrage at that. He loves him some map-making.
Also, as I’ve pointed out several times before, I asked all candidates last year if they would veto a map drawn by the General Assembly. Pritzker said he would. The definitions are in my question and Pritzker added some more details in his response. Click here to read it for yourself.
* What I haven’t pointed out since the primary is Chris Kennedy’s response…
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.
Kennedy’s campaign devised that response in consultation with running mate Ra Joy, who ran Change Illinois, a good government group that pushed hard for remap reform. I talked to Ra after Kennedy submitted his response, and he was adamant about not making any veto pledges.
* Daniel Biss, also a noted reformer, refused to sign on to a veto pledge as well…
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.
At the time I created the candidate question, I thought for sure that the often-cautious Pritzker would refuse to take a solid stand and Kennedy and Biss would most certainly sign on to the veto pledge. In my own mind, I was deliberately setting a trap for Pritzker. Boy, was I ever wrong.
We’ll see how this all shakes out.
And it’s the job of reformers to complain. I get that. But I also think it’s important to note that not everybody agrees on what is and what isn’t a proper reform.
* Meanwhile, on another topic, Chris Mooney does a pretty good job of outlining both sides of this argument…
University of Illinois Chicago politics professor Chris Mooney said he doesn’t expect the appointment process to change.
“It advantages those who are inside and if they’re the only ones paying attention, who has the incentive to change? No one,” Mooney said. “And there are reasonable counter-arguments to make.”
One reason to keep the appointment process in place is the high cost of special elections, Mooney said.
“You want to run a special election for a state representative district that’s going to serve out a year when nobody really knows who these people are anyway? That would be a hard sell,” Mooney said.