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Question of the day

Thursday, Feb 13, 2020

* From today’s redistricting press release

The [Fair Maps] commission members would be carefully selected to represent everyone who lives in Illinois, instead of placing power over district boundaries in the hands of politicians who have a vested interest in protecting their own careers.

* From HJRCA41

No later than March 1 of the year that follows the federal decennial census, the Chief Justice and the most senior Supreme Court Justice who is not elected from the same political party as the Chief Justice shall select 17 commissioners to form an Independent Redistricting Commission. The commissioners shall reflect the ethnic, gender, and racial demographics of Illinois to reflect the demographic data provided by the decennial census, each commissioner shall be a voter who has been continuously affiliated in Illinois with the same political party or unaffiliated with a political party and who has not changed political party affiliation for 5 or more years immediately preceding the date of his or her appointment. Fourteen of the commissioners shall represent, in equal number, the two political parties whose gubernatorial candidates received the greatest number of votes in the last gubernatorial election and 3 of the commissioners must represent neither of those parties. No more than one commissioner shall be from the same Congressional District. If the total number of Congressional Districts equal less than 17, then at-large commissioners will be appointed to fill vacancies, and no more than 2 commissioners shall be from the same Congressional District. The 2 Justices responsible for selecting the 17 commissioners shall consider party identification and all campaign contributions in determining a potential commissioner’s eligibility.

(d) A person is ineligible to serve on the Commission if within the previous 5 calendar years the person or his or her spouse or immediate family member, including his or her parents, children, step-children, or siblings, is or has been:

    (1) appointed or elected to a position with the State, federal, or local government;

    (2) a candidate for State, federal or local office;

    (3) a paid consultant or employee of a State, federal, or local elected official or political candidate, of a 1federal, State, or local political candidate’s campaign, or of a political action committee or any other electioneering entity;

    (4) a State, federal, or local lobbyist as defined by law;

    (5) an individual with an ownership interest in an entity with a State, federal, or local government contract; or

    (6) appointed or elected to serve a State, federal, or local political party.

* The Question: Your thoughts on the selection process and ineligible list? Make sure to explain. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

26 Comments
  1. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 2:26 pm:

    Eighteen percent of the commissioners cannot have been members of either the Republican or Democratic parties within the last five years?

    That seems very odd.

    – MrJM


  2. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 2:29 pm:

    Lobbying is enshrined in and protected by the First Amendment. This aggression shall not stand man.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 2:31 pm:

    There’s probably 7 or 9 folks in the whole state that would qualify… so there’s that


  4. - Been There - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 2:39 pm:

    I agree with OW. Except for some lawyers who want to boost their resumes who would even want to do this and be qualified except for those that are excluded.


  5. - Groucho - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 2:47 pm:

    Despite all the rhetoric, I don’t see Illinois Dems wanting to tinker with the current system too much.


  6. - JS Mill - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 2:53 pm:

    I am with OW, who actually will qualify?

    And for some reason I don’t trust this concept and I cannot articulate why. Maybe I need to adjust my tinfoil hat with this cold weather.


  7. - Wow - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 2:57 pm:

    No need to comment. DOA


  8. - Huh? - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 2:58 pm:

    I think OW has over estimated the number of people who would be eligible for the commission by a factor of 3.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 3:09 pm:

    Maybe I’m all wet on this.

    They’re trying to get people who qualify…

    They’re looking for the *unqualified* to be the only ones *qualified*?

    “Yeah, I don’t understand any of this”

    “Perfect. You’re appointed.”


  10. - Rasselas - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 3:12 pm:

    Absurd. If you own a small stationery company that won the bid to supply toner cartridges to the village of Oak Lawn, to make an example up, which represents about .25% of your total revenues, you can’t serve? Just crazy.


  11. - JIbba - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 3:15 pm:

    Politically interested outsiders like me will be eligible. Maybe not sufficiently kbnowledgable, though. However, how will they be chosen? I like the idea when it is me, but really hate the idea of a bunch of LaRouchies or other underground group getting in and mucking about. Or the Eastern bloc. Good luck getting that right mix.


  12. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 3:28 pm:

    What does “ownership interest” mean? The amendment doesn’t say. If I own 100 shares of Boeing, which has government contracts, I can’t be on this commission?

    And, to the Dem sponsor and especially the co-sponsor (the later from a very liberal district not the former’s swing, targeted district): why do you want to unilaterally disarm Illinois while red states continue to draw districts that elect people who enact policies that are opposite to everything you supposedly stand for?


  13. - The Edge - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 3:29 pm:

    Why does there have to be an equal number from each party? If one party wins 65% of the gubernatorial vote it seems they should have a larger percentage of the commissioners. IDK but why does the fair map seem to have to take into account punishing the representative political party.


  14. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 3:35 pm:

    So they mostly need to be affiliated with a party, but not so affiliated that they actually did anything. Got it?


  15. - Soccermom - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 3:49 pm:

    Rasselas — not just the owner of that company, but that owner’s spouse, parents, kids, and siblings.


  16. - read the law - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 4:00 pm:

    This is crazy if you break it all down. Here are only a few of the provisions. I could do this for nearly every single line of this horribly drafted amendment.

    == No later than March 1 of the year that follows the federal decennial census, the Chief Justice and the most senior Supreme Court Justice who is not elected from the same political party as the Chief Justice shall select 17 commissioners to form an Independent Redistricting Commission.== For 2021, that means Justices Ann Burke and Rita Garman make the appointments. Unilaterally, two members of a branch of government will select 17 people to draw maps for another branch of government. The same two people who will be called on to review and judge any constitutional challenge to a legislative map. Judicial ethics would dictate these 2 would have to recuse themselves from consideration of the map. Then you’d need 4 of 5 justices to overturn any map or it remains law.

    == each commissioner shall be a voter who has been continuously affiliated in Illinois with the same political party or unaffiliated with a political party and who has not changed political party affiliation for 5 or more years immediately preceding the date of his or her appointment. == Illinois doesn’t have party registration, which means the 5 year requirement and party/non-party affiliation will be based on ballots cast. It’s actually a 6 year requirement since you can’t change parties in between elections and most municpals don’t have party primaries (again, IL doesn’t have party registration). If you do the math, it establishes a minimum age of 24 assuming an 18 year old has voted in every election. Because if you fail to vote in a primary or a general, you’re basically disqualified since you can’t meet the 5 year requirement.

    == The 2 Justices responsible for selecting the 17 commissioners shall consider party identification and all campaign contributions in determining a potential commissioner’s eligibility. == What does it mean to consider contributions? Is it a bar? You can’t be vague like this in a constitutional amendment.


  17. - Publius - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 4:03 pm:

    Maybe we should leave it up to the people and have them select people to serve on the Redistricting commission… oh wait they are ready do that. So to suggest other means basically is saying we don’t trust those we elect to run our government , well my rep is good those others are bad


  18. - Bigtwich - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 4:15 pm:

    Courts do not generally react well to having Judges assigned non judicial duties.


  19. - A Guy - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 4:22 pm:

    This is the language you get when tasked with writing language to ensure failure.


  20. - bogey golfer - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 4:47 pm:

    So if my spouse is an election judge (Item 6, above), would I be ineligible to serve?


  21. - heyseed - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 5:06 pm:

    Does “appointed” include government employees, full time or part time?


  22. - Downstate Illinois - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 9:41 pm:

    So an unpaid trustee to the local library board appointed by a non-partisan city council would be ineligible to serve. It makes more sense to keep off party officials, lawmakers, state employees and contractors and maybe local elected officials who warn on a major party ticket.


  23. - muon - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 11:14 pm:

    Why not just follow the lead of Iowa? Let the legislature create neutral criteria, then require a neutral entity to draft a map based on the criteria (Iowa uses their equivalent to the LRB). Then let the legislature vote on the map without amendment. The pen is out of the legislature’s hand, but not final approval.


  24. - Anon - Friday, Feb 14, 20 @ 12:42 am:

    So if my stepson had a paid canvassing job thirty years ago, I am ineligible? Sounds reasonable.


  25. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Feb 14, 20 @ 8:33 am:

    @muon: there is no such thing as neutral criteria. Map-making requires balancing competing claims on equality, and those are value judgements. All value judgements are political judgements.

    For example, the proposed law says the commission must be geographically diverse, but nothing says it can’t be composed almost completely of millionaires.

    It requires gender, ethnic and racial diversity, but nothing requires that the GOP members appointed to the committee include any women or minorities.

    For heaven’s sake, the LGBTQ+ community has worked hard to elect lawmakers from their community, but there is no requirement in the statute that the appointees from both parties include their communities.


  26. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Feb 14, 20 @ 9:34 am:

    That’s an unusually strong list of ineligibles to the point where basically any person that has attempted to be meaningfully involved in the political process in the State of Illinois — or any other state for that matter — would be ineligible.

    Or simply being related to or married to a person that wanted to be meaningfully engaged in their community.

    I understand that there is a five year provision, but that doesn’t actually convey quality. That just means someone that did all of those things that’s — retired –.

    It’s not a promise of quality. It’s not a promise of non-bias. It simply excludes the people who are presently active or related or married to someone that is presently active in any meaningful way.

    In my experience in Illinois, going older doesn’t mean getting cleaner, so limiting this to either a pool of retirees from “public life” and a group of folks that have only just voted doesn’t strike me as a group of folks that would necessarily take this seriously.

    This is astro-turf. This is artificial and by 2030 folks can have been positioned to get around this.

    Make a list of qualifications — not a list of disqualifications that are easily worked around.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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