New state legislative boundaries proposed by Democrats would further cement the party’s dominance in Springfield by using a declining downstate population to pit House Republicans against each other in several areas.
“Make no mistake, these maps were drawn solely for the Democrats to maintain their political power in the state of Illinois,” House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs said during a news conference Monday in which he ripped the Democratic map proposal.
Democrats already hold a 73-45 advantage over Republicans in the 118-member Illinois House. Under details emerging from a proposed legislative map unveiled by Democrats on Friday evening, the new boundaries would pit Republican incumbents against each other in eight House districts. In east-central and southern Illinois, the homes of four House Republicans are packed into a single district. […]
“What we’ve seen here today is the lowest of lows for the House Democrats, which quite frankly, I did not think was possible after Mike Madigan disappeared. But as Speaker (Emanuel “Chris”) Welch said in January, it is a new day, and that new day is worse than what we witnessed under Madigan,” Durkin said.
I think this map may mess with individual Republicans more than any map I’ve seen since the Republicans won the right to draw the new map in 1991.
Back in 1990, Speaker Madigan won a veto-proof majority in the House. The backlash within the House Republican Caucus against Minority Leader Lee Daniels was fierce and a group of a little more than a dozen launched a subsequent coup attempt. The uprising was tamped down by former House Speaker and newly elected Secretary of State George Ryan and the Illinois State Medical Society. Daniels prevailed.
And then Gov. Jim Edgar vetoed the Democratic remap and the Democrats couldn’t muster enough votes in both chambers to override him and it was sent to the bipartisan commission, which, of course, deadlocked. The Republicans won the drawing for the right to create the new map and several House Republican members who had only recently fought Lee Daniels tooth and nail were suddenly at his mercy and Daniels wasn’t exactly known for being overly merciful.
As a result of the new map, most of the HGOP coup-plotters had to leave, either for the Senate or for other elected offices. One of those who stayed, Rep. Jack Kubik, had to move to a new house.
* Capitol News Illinois…
In a separate news conference Monday, Republicans blasted the proposed maps as a blatant attempt to ensure Democrats retain their supermajorities while undercounting minority populations.
“This is Gerrymandering 101,” said House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, of Western Springs. “And it’s impossible to determine whether or not minority interest will be protected.
“But we do know that when you use ACS data, we know for a fact that minorities will be underrepresented using that information.”
Frankly, I think it’s more like a 400-level course than an intro class. It’s really quite something, particularly considering that both chamber leaders are newbies.
Also, if the Republicans know for a fact that minorities are underrepresented, it would be nice if they used some of their prodigious state budget allocation to prove it.
Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, said the ACS data was inadequate to draw new maps.
“We need the decennial census data that won’t be out until August to be able to draw these maps,” said Butler. The process will go to a bipartisan commission if it continues beyond June 30.
Not mentioned in the story is what happens if that bipartisan commission fails to come to consensus.
* Daily Herald…
Suburban House Republicans could see some losses in the next election based on the proposed Illinois legislative map, which would pit some incumbent lawmakers against one another.
Six Republicans live in three of the proposed districts, potentially whittling down GOP representation and expanding Democrats’ control of the General Assembly. Another suburban Republican would be drawn into the same district as an incumbent Democrat.
“Every one of these districts is unfair,” House Minority Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs said Monday.
A Democrat snarked last night that truly fair maps don’t take into account legislators’ residences.
But, yeah, this map is definitely in partisan overdrive when it comes to clustering Republicans. Whew. I would not want to be one of them.
“We are focusing on and looking forward to good-faith discussions in our bipartisan redistricting committees this week,” [Jaclyn Driscoll, spokesperson for House Speaker Chris Welch] said.
Right. Yeah. For sure.
* Doris Turner’s district realigned in redrawn maps; Murphy, Bourne in same House district
* Redistricting proposal would change face of region, splitting Morgan representation