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Pritzker says his threat to veto unfair maps will take care of the problem

Thursday, Jan 30, 2020

* The governor was asked today about the fact that he didn’t mention remap reform in his State of the State speech. As we’ve discussed, several Republicans and reformers were upset at the omission. His reply

Well, as you know the remap process occurs, we have a census that’s taking place. And I want to remind everybody here, students, everybody in the room and everybody you know, that that census is taking place and that you need to take part in it, needed to encourage your neighbors and your friends and everybody else to take part in it. It’s very important for the state for the future of the state, for making sure that we get the proper number of congressional districts and the proper federal funding that comes from the number of people who are counted in the census, lots of undercounted people 10 years ago, we don’t want that to happen again. So that’s my first entreaty to all of you.

I, you know, ran a campaign in which I talked a lot about making sure that we had a fair mapping process, that we ended up with a fair map. And and I really believe that I think we should have compact contiguous districts as best we can.

Not to get into the weeds of it. As you know, when you start on a map, you start with the Supreme Court’s rulings around civil rights, you have to draw those districts first. And then you have to draw everything else around them. So it starts out a little bit gerrymandered by the Supreme Court. And appropriately so, if you ask me, but then, you know, we can have compact contiguous districts.

So look, I am going to veto any unfair map that gets presented to me. And yeah, and I believe that we’ll be able to take care of it that way. Thank you.

Discuss.

…Adding… This is the question I asked all gubernatorial candidates in March of 2018

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.

Pretty darned specific.

Pritzker’s response

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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

28 Comments
  1. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 3:53 pm:

    Is he for real or is this snark?


  2. - Shytown - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 3:53 pm:

    “So look, I am going to veto any unfair map that gets presented to me. And yeah, and I believe that we’ll be able to take care of it that way. Thank you.”

    Mic. Drop.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 3:54 pm:

    === Not to get into the weeds of it. As you know, when you start on a map, you start with the Supreme Court’s rulings around civil rights, you have to draw those districts first. And then you have to draw everything else around them. So it starts out a little bit gerrymandered by the Supreme Court. And appropriately so, if you ask me, but then, you know, we can have compact contiguous districts.===

    If you don’t fully comprehend the total honesty here to the challenges of drawing any map… then you are a lost cause and too partisan to grasp what’s really going on.

    Yikes that’s top shelf.

    That’s how you answer. That’s being prepared, that’s calling out the phonies hoping for daylight.

    Well done.


  4. - Birdseed - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 3:55 pm:

    Thinking Big Again


  5. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 3:57 pm:

    Well that’s great for now, but what about, you know, when he’s no longer Governor?


  6. - Conway All Day - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 3:57 pm:

    I, you know, will veto the first map.

    Then, you know, the legislature will override me. And, you know, I will be able to say I tried to do something.


  7. - Tawk - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 3:58 pm:

    By executive order — or even as a private citizen — he can put together a commission that draws a map or multiple maps for consideration. He’s leaving far too much daylight here for the speaker.


  8. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 4:06 pm:

    ===Then, you know, the legislature will override me===

    That’s a dangerous game. If he sustains the veto it gets truly messy for the Dems.


  9. - SpfdNewb - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 4:07 pm:

    I’ll give the Gov. credit, this is the simplest way I have ever heard someone discuss legislative district mapping.

    -Well that’s great for now, but what about, you know, when he’s no longer Governor?-

    Good point, but the census results will be known by December 2020, the legislature has 2021 to draw a new map and send it to the Gov’s desk, and Pritzker’s term expires in 2022.


  10. - fs - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 4:18 pm:

    “Don’t worry, hens, I’ll make sure your house is secure.”

    - Fox


  11. - Boog Alou - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 4:23 pm:

    ==Then, you know, the legislature will override me==

    Maybe, but I don’t think many Tier One targets will be rushing to vote a second time for a map that their own Governor just called unfair.


  12. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 4:25 pm:

    Sounds like backsliding to me. Who gets to decide what’s a fair map? The legislative leaders can draw and map and the Governor would say, “no this is fair so I’m not going to veto it.” I mean, I’m kind of for it, but he is clearly loosening his position from before the primary.


  13. - Tominchicago - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 4:36 pm:

    Tawk - unless he funds the commission’s work himself, he’s going to need an appropriation from the GA to pay for the commissions work and even then, there is nothing that requires the GA to adopt any of the commission’s maps.


  14. - F.S. - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 4:40 pm:

    There have been a couple of metrics developed to determined whether a map has been excessively gerrymandered. One is the “Efficiency Gap,” which grew out of a federal court case in Wisconsin. Pritzker could demand legislators employ one of those filters, which could credibly allow him to call the map fair. And, BTW, a “fair map” in Illinois should naturally elect a healthy majority of Democrats. In fact, when the current Illinois map was run through the “Efficiency Gap” metric used in the Wisconsin case, it was determined to not be excessively gerrymandered.


  15. - walker - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 4:41 pm:

    What we need is an agreed Resolution on what metrics and standards are to be applied to any proposed map, in judging whether it meets our constitutional and “political fairness” requirements. There have been such metrics proposed and argued in court cases on compactness, contiguousness, political bias, and civil rights — some are very clear, and others necessarily pretty fuzzy. The Supremes have not fully accepted any of them, and generally pushed mapping standards back on the state legislators. If we are good enough on our criteria for Illinois maps, we can again lead the nation in establishing such standards, and the issue of who draws the map can be somewhat mitigated. Incidentally, some of the independent commission drawn maps do not appear to meet the highest political bias standards, for various reasons.

    I refuse to accept the widely-held belief that politicians, by definition, cannot do the right thing. In the end, perception will become reality.

    As an aside, today’s argument at the ethics hearing that all corrupt acts (like bribery) begin with a corrupt mapping process, is quite an amazing stretch.


  16. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 4:46 pm:

    Governor Pritzker should force the issue to appoint that independent commission. Then he sppoint Mike Fortner and Susan Garrett as the co-chairs. Then get out of their way.


  17. - TominChicago - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 4:52 pm:

    I am still at a loss to understand why Democrats should unilaterally disarm when you have states like Wisconsin and NC that have actively sought to weaponize gerrymandering to minimize the political power of African Americans and maximize the vote share of white republicans. I am fine with fair maps if everyone plays.


  18. - Davesurance.com - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 5:02 pm:

    Well I’ll be damned…

    https://imgur.com/a/RdOhh21


  19. - walker - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 5:10 pm:

    See Davesurance cite above at 5:02.

    Shown are three of the most accepted political bias metrics that have been applied by independent third parties in judging maps. Quite surprising findings.


  20. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 5:17 pm:

    =Then, you know, the legislature will override me.=

    Yeah, that’s a good look.

    =I am still at a loss to understand why Democrats should unilaterally disarm when you have states like Wisconsin and NC that have actively sought to weaponize gerrymandering to minimize the political power of African Americans and maximize the vote share of white republicans.=

    How about we do the right thing in our state and use that as an opportunity to call out those that don’t. Telling Republican voters that they’re going to be disenfranchised in IL because of NC only adds to the divisiveness. And hopefully the courts rectify this problem in the long term.


  21. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 5:20 pm:

    ===Quite surprising findings.===

    I believe the concern in Illinois is specifically regarding state legislative districts, however — yes — Democrats have historically for many decades now favored fair redistricting processes.

    This is in part because Democrats actually have an overwhelming tendency to at least try to govern in a fashion that resembles the values they say they have.

    That’s how you get to the GOP being the thing that it is today where proponents now sound more disconnected from reality than the proverbial uncle at Thanksgiving.

    ===should unilaterally disarm===

    One might think that the 51st Staters would be largely in favor of a congressional map that condenses much of their area into one or two US House districts. It would be just like electing their own representative while urban areas down state can enjoy electing a representative that prioritizes issues that matter to them.

    ===Mike Fortner===

    I don’t think we should be throwing folks that are on the record suggesting people don’t have the right to organize unions onto commissions intended to arrive at something that protect people’s rights.


  22. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 5:24 pm:

    Bruce Rauner promised to win back majority control of both the Senate and the House on the current map. What JB will do in 2022 with the Durkin-Brady map seems like an issue that is not quite ripe for discussion. The fact that Rauner and the Republicans honestly believe they can not only pick up seats, but win back the majority on the current map suggests the current process is much, much fairer than they have admitted.


  23. - Captain Obvious - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 5:52 pm:

    MM: Here is the map.
    JayBob: Looks perfectly fair. Where do I sign?


  24. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 6:14 pm:

    @Captian Obvious- waaaay back when the GOP controlled the map, how did they draw it? I am pretty sure they wouldn’t say one word about it id they were in the majority.

    So when Pritzker says he will support a fair map their is no reason to doubt him. He does what he says he is going to do and his ability to support the party will keep many in line.


  25. - Bigtwich - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 6:24 pm:

    Davesurance, it looks like Illinois has one of the fairest maps around.


  26. - Captain Obvious - Thursday, Jan 30, 20 @ 6:55 pm:

    Thanks for lecture. Doesn’t change reality.


  27. - JS Mill - Friday, Jan 31, 20 @ 8:10 am:

    =Thanks for lecture. Doesn’t change reality.=

    What reality? The poor me, life is unfair unless you do as I want even though my party can hardly win an election reality?

    “Continuous whining” is the new GOP slogan.


  28. - 588-2300 - Friday, Jan 31, 20 @ 8:44 am:

    Promises a constitutional amendment and an independent commission, then argues that a hollow veto threat demonstrates his commitment to the issue. It’s like a fat guy who promises to eat better and go to the gym, then pops open a Diet Coke and complains how no one recognizes the sacrifices he’s made.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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