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Asked if he trusted Republicans to agree to a bipartisan map, Speaker Welch said “No”

Thursday, Jun 10, 2021

* In the wake of the Republicans filing a federal lawsuit yesterday against the Democrats’ new legislative map, let’s circle back to Mark Maxwell’s interview of House Speaker Chris Welch about the Republicans’ offer to support whatever map was produced by the bipartisan commission that would be triggered by the June 30th constitutional deadline. Some reform groups also demanded that the Democrats allow the maps to go to the commission. Democrats worried that the commission would deadlock yet again and the Republicans would have a 50-50 chance at winning the lottery to draw the new maps. Reformers were almost completely silent about that objection. Anyway

Maxwell: They have offered to allow an independent commission to draw the maps. That independent commission would hand it to, it being the map, they would hand it to the Bipartisan Commission. And Republicans have said, ‘We’ll sign that one.’ Did you not trust them to do that?

Welch: No.

Maxwell: It’s a bit of a trust deficit then.

Welch: We’re Democrats, they’re Republicans. There are key differences in us. We believe in different core values. Across this country, Republicans are making it a part of their party platform to disenfranchise voters. They believe in voter suppression. We believe in letting the people vote. We believe more participation in our democracy is important. They want less. And so do I believe that a party that wants less participation is going to do the right thing when it comes to our maps? Of course not.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

72 Comments »
  1. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:21 am:

    Their map proves Democrats want to disenfranchise Republican and independent voices in Illinois not give those voters more participation.


  2. - Chuck - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:24 am:

    This is the correct answer.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:24 am:

    Keep in mind…

    The Raunerites who want infrastructure projects in their districts… they vote no on them… then show up for ribbon cuttings.

    Welch is not wrong.

    Then there’s the “stall ball” tactic in hopes to get a 50-50 chance of drawing maps all alone… if you factor that in this too…

    … again, Welch is not wrong.


  4. - Nathan - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:25 am:

    If you don’t like partisan gerrymandering, call your US senator and congressperson and ask them to pass HR1, which outlaws partisan gerrymandering and requires all states to have an independent commission draw up the maps.
    Until all states have to do it like that, you can’t complain that the Illinois Dems are going to do it like they are.


  5. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:26 am:

    Welch speaks truth.


  6. - Geezus - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:27 am:

    While Speaker Welch is correct in several of these other assumptions, excluding Republicans from the process is not “more participation in our democracy”. Our political system is SO broken at this point that it might not be recoverable. I’m not sure I can remember a time when the two sides weren’t talking past each other.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:29 am:

    ===We believe in different core values. Across this country, Republicans are making it a part of their party platform to disenfranchise voters. They believe in voter suppression. We believe in letting the people vote. We believe more participation in our democracy is important.===

    The real … of it all… all that is true.

    Every. Word.

    Makes me wonder why I harp, nag, berate as I do… to built a bigger tent, to be more inclusive, when the party itself knows it’s best chance at winning is making sure people, especially people of color, can’t vote.

    Party of Lincoln?


  8. - Edyrdologist - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:30 am:

    Given the increasingly anti-democratic nature of the GOP nationally-exemplified by the ongoing 2020 audit in Arizona and the destruction of democracy in the legislative chambers of Wisconsin and North Carolina-Democrats would be foolish to let this party anywhere near redistricting in any state they have even a modicum of control in. It’d be nice to live in a world without gerrymandering, but until there’s concrete federal action on this front (paging Joe Manchin) Dems can’t unilaterally disarm while the GOP is increasing its stockpiles.


  9. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:32 am:

    honest and forthright.

    Welch is right.


  10. - anon2 - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:36 am:

    Even if Welch felt he could trust GOP leaders, he wouldn’t want to give away the partisan advantage when he didn’t have to. Republicans don’t have much leverage. Compromise happens when it’s necessary, not out of the goodness of a pol’s heart.


  11. - Morty - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:36 am:

    He’s right.


  12. - anon2 - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:38 am:

    Welch would rather blame the Republicans for being untrustworthy than admit he wanted to keep his power to gerrymander the maps to help his party. On the other hand, what political party gives up power when it doesn’t have to?


  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:40 am:

    ===blame the Republicans for being untrustworthy===

    *cough*

    ===Across this country, Republicans are making it a part of their party platform to disenfranchise voters. They believe in voter suppression.===

    Welch is not wrong… is he?

    Nope.


  14. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:42 am:

    ===Party of Lincoln? ===

    In 1860 the Republican Party was a party of white men. In 2021 it is still a party of white men. So at least that part is consistent.


  15. - Joe Nobody - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:43 am:

    Why have elections anymore in Illinois


  16. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:44 am:

    Unless Illinois Republicans stand up and say they disagree with disenfranchisement efforts by their party nationwide, or even the gerrymandering that occurs in Republican states, I will choose to ignore their complaints about an “unfair” process happening here in Illinois.


  17. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:44 am:

    ===excluding Republicans from the process===

    Pretty sure it was a self-exclusion. I mean, the GOP wasn’t gonna get everything they wanted, but they coulda got a little something.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:46 am:

    === In 1860 the Republican Party was a party of white men. In 2021 it is still a party of white men. So at least that part is consistent.===

    … as Democrats in 1860, who were in Union states, also white, worked to fear monger the 13th amendment, ending slavery.

    It wasn’t until the Civil Rights Act passed, the “Southern Strategy” emerged, and covert, and now overt racism dictates policy.

    Disparaging the 1860 Republicans in a tongue and cheek misses the mark


  19. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:48 am:

    ===Why have elections anymore in Illinois===

    Please, the adults are talking. Thanks.

    ===excluding Republicans from the process===

    There is a map drawn by a toddler that seemed to peak many a Republicans’ interest.

    That was the extent of their wanting to participate


  20. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:49 am:

    - but they coulda got a little something. -

    Exactly. The Illinois GOP is fundamentally lazy. Perfectly content to wail and moan, eschewing any real effort.


  21. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:49 am:

    Welch is good at building a narrative “GOP Bad”, not sure that will actually help in getting to a workable Map.


  22. - Daisy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:51 am:

    Where is the website link to the Republican bipartisan alternative map proposal? Does it even exist? If not, why the heck not?


  23. - anon2 - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:51 am:

    == Welch is not wrong… is he? ==
    It’s possible that both propositions are correct: Republicans aren’t trustworthy, and Welch wouldn’t give up power even if they were.


  24. - Daisy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:53 am:

    ==Disparaging the 1860 Republicans in a tongue and cheek misses the mark ==

    There’s no doubt that Abraham Lincoln would be a Democrat today.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:54 am:

    ===… and Welch wouldn’t give up power even if they were.===

    The first is based on a factual observation.

    The second is based on partisan speculation.

    With respect.


  26. - Now What? - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:55 am:

    Welch is absolutely right, and we have the receipts to prove it. Not sure how much longer the ILGOP, much like the National GOP, can fool the people into thinking they are the party of the aggrieved, or at least, the party of victims. Time and time again: map drawing, infrastructure, COVID, the GOP wants to sign the office gift card without contributing anything to the office gift.


  27. - anon2 - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:56 am:

    Sen. McConchie doesn’t have a long track record in leadership, but Leader Durkin does. What is Durkin’s track record on keeping his word to Democrats? Does he have a reputation as a strong partisan who is nonetheless a man of his word?


  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:57 am:

    === Their map proves Democrats want to disenfranchise Republican and independent voices in Illinois not give those voters more participation.===

    How is it stopping “participation”?

    It’s not like these maps make it illegal to give water to people in line, it makes voting harder in absentee or in person, or limits any early voting.

    I know you’re upset, - Lucky Pierre -, but… even if the Raunerites got the map, could try draw 60 seats where a Chris Miller can win?


  29. - Phenomynous - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:57 am:

    Pretty sure the GOP’s line of thinking here is that you can’t draw a map without updated census numbers. Been a pretty consistent message and I’m not quite sure why people keep asking about an alternative map proposal.

    The alternative is let an independent commission draw the map using census numbers when they become available. This is the same request of every community group that testified in the 40 redistricting committee hearings that were held and the same avenue that is provided for under the Illinois Constitution.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:58 am:

    === What is Durkin’s track record on keeping his word to Democrats?===

    I mean, Leader Durkin was a committee chairman for Speaker Madigan, so you may be right, lol


  31. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:59 am:

    === This is the same request of every community group that testified in the 40 redistricting committee hearings that were held and the same avenue that is provided for under the Illinois Constitution.===

    If that’s true, why not go to state court about the maps, why go to federal court?


  32. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===What is Durkin’s track record===

    When stuff like this happens, pressure from the national party is gonna be intense.


  33. - Not a Superstar - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:01 pm:

    Time was when Durkin et al. would hammer out a deal because something is better than nothing. Not so any more. Welcome to the GOP in 2021.


  34. - Mi-nuke-a - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:09 pm:

    It is crazy that part of our democratic process involves moving votes into different buckets to fix election results…

    Gerrymandering is THE pre-eminent conspiracy of the last 100 years…and we keep talking about it like business as usual…


  35. - Phenomynous - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:09 pm:

    why go to federal court?

    Can’t say for certain, but looking at the filing it looks like it hinges on the “one person, one vote” principle attributed to the US Constitution. I mentioned the IL Constitution because there is another avenue that would have satisfied the IL Constitution outside of legislators drawing their own map and allowed for the use of 2020 census numbers.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:10 pm:

    === because there is another avenue that would have satisfied the IL Constitution===

    If the current avenue doesn’t satisfy the Illinois constitution, why not file in state court?


  37. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:14 pm:

    === fix election results…===

    Oh boy.

    There are drawn Dem districts that have Republicans. There are Republican drawn districts that have Democrats.

    Underwood and Casten come to mind as two examples

    Democracy is still the freedom to vote and make choices.

    I can’t help it if a party decides not to have it make any district worth challenging


  38. - Phenomynous - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:15 pm:

    I just said “can’t say for certain”. Read the court filing. They are claiming violation of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, not a violation of the IL Constitution.


  39. - Disappointed Female Suburban - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:16 pm:

    Welch is just like Pritzker.

    Read my lips, today, not yesterday.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:18 pm:

    === not a violation of the IL Constitution.===

    Or

    ===This is the same request of every community group that testified in the 40 redistricting committee hearings that were held and the same avenue that is provided for under the Illinois Constitution.===

    Something can’t be “a lil unconstitutional”


  41. - City Zen - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:18 pm:

    “Across this country…”

    You’re a State Rep, Chris, not a US Rep.


  42. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:19 pm:

    ===blame the Republicans for being untrustworthy===

    You mean the party that censures folks like Kinzinger, Cheney, and Romney for acknowledging reality?

    ===The alternative is let an independent commission draw the map using census numbers when they become available.===

    It’s a great soundbite, but per the state constitution, “Not later than August 10, the Commission shall file with the Secretary of State a redistricting plan approved by at least five members.” after which a name must be drawn to give one party a majority on the Commission and a final map must be delivered by October 5. (all per the Constitution)

    The Census Bureau has stated that the the final numbers will be delivered by September 30. An independent commission simply would not be able to draw maps, hold hearings, revise maps, and submit them in five days. On top of that, the constitutionally mandated Commission would be partisan (due to the mandated name drawing) long before the census numbers are even available.


  43. - Liandro - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:20 pm:

    —How is it stopping “participation”?—

    I’ll bite. It stops participation by stacking the system against certain types of voters. It is systemically diluting the power and influence of those who disagree with the current powers-that-be.

    It’s corrupt no matter who you do it to. Thankfully it’s illegal when done on racial basis. Unfortunately it’s your standard corrupt-but-not-quite-illegal when done based on your partisan/ideological beliefs.

    But as to whether it systemically corrupts the democratic process–is that really even a question?


  44. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:21 pm:

    === not a US Rep.===

    Redistricting is a national issue, with both national parties putting pressure on those drawing maps.

    Ignoring that is not grasping the overall arguments.


  45. - The Failing New York Times - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:21 pm:

    Also, I believe IL Republicans may have forgotten that their conservative majority court already ruled in 2019 that federal courts don’t have a role in deciding partisan gerrymandering claims. So…again, pass the For the People Act if you want to outlaw partisan gerrymandering.


  46. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:25 pm:

    ===Gerrymandering is THE pre-eminent conspiracy of the last 100 years…and we keep talking about it like business as usual… ===

    It’s been going on since at least 1812, when it was named after a Massachusetts Gov. 1812 would be the second redistricting based on the decennial census. So, it is, historically, business as usual in the U.S.


  47. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:26 pm:

    It’s not like these maps make it illegal to give water to people in line, it makes voting harder in absentee or in person, or limits any early voting.

    Actually it is illegal to approach a voter in line to vote in Illinois

    § 17-29.  (a) No judge of election, pollwatcher, or other person shall, at any primary or election, do any electioneering or soliciting of votes or engage in any political discussion within any polling place, within 100 feet of any polling place, or, at the option of a church or private school, on any of the property of that church or private school that is a polling place;  no person shall interrupt, hinder or oppose any voter while approaching within those areas for the purpose of voting.  Judges of election shall enforce the provisions of this Section.

    https://codes.findlaw.com/il/chapter-10-elections/il-st-sect-10-5-17-29.html


  48. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:35 pm:

    Welch doesn’t have to trust the republicans - there are proposed fair maps they could have used (with whatever slight adjustments if necessary for to comply with the VRA) rather than the one they concocted. Democrats could allow the voters, who consistently and overwhelmingly say in polls they want fair maps, to decide this issue. They refuse. The Dems also could have compromised and drawn partisan congressional districts on the “no unilateral disarming” argument is stronger and had nonpartisan state district.

    In 2020 the Virginia Democratic party made similar arguments, asking voters to reject a fair map constitutional amendment much like what has been proposed here. It lost 65% - 35%, while 55% of the state voted for Biden, so clearly a lot of Democrats think pols manipulating their votes is a bad thing regardless of whether it’s done by Republicans more often elsewhere.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:39 pm:

    ===Actually it is illegal to approach a voter in line to vote in Illinois===

    Huh… lemme check out your cite, as you rarely read the whole thing;

    ===within 100 feet of any polling place===

    So those long lines, beyond 100 feet, we can give water it seems, in places like Georgia, the act itself is illegal.

    But you already knew that.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:43 pm:

    === It stops participation by stacking the system against certain types of voters. It is systemically diluting the power and influence of those who disagree with the current powers-that-be.===

    That’s a choice to not vote, not systematically being either taken off the rolls, making the process to vote more difficult, or making the literal act of voting more strenuous by location, sheer lack of locations, or refusing to have drop boxes in centralized locations.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===Unfortunately it’s your standard corrupt-but-not-quite-illegal when done based on your partisan/ideological beliefs.===

    Define corrupt?

    Illegal remains illegal, isn’t corrupt an indicator you think it’s illegal?


  52. - low level - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:48 pm:

    The Speaker is 100% correct and on point.


  53. - Manchester - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:51 pm:

    Kudos to Speaker Welch for speaking the truth.


  54. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:08 pm:

    As long as the giver is doing nothing or wearing something to identify themself as working for a party or a candidate, giving someone a bottle of water really shouldn’t be considered a political statement.


  55. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:18 pm:

    The GOP, state and National, are not a party of serious people. How can one work with unserious people on serious matters? They deny reality and want to troll more than govern. Example number 14,786,355 is Bailey’s response to the budget that we saw yesterday.


  56. - Ste_with_a_v_en - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:18 pm:

    Wouldn’t anyone be mad that Illinois committed ten of millions to help promote an accurate count and then use 2019 ACS numbers in lieu of waiting for the rest to be released?


  57. - Arock - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:27 pm:

    Welch - ” Republicans are making it a part of their party platform to disenfranchise voters.” Don’t disagree with that statement but you are doing the same thing to voters with gerrymandering. Both parties are working to shut down the voice of those that they disagree with and that is no way to represent the people.


  58. - Joe Cool - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:32 pm:

    “disenfranchise voters”

    You mean with voter id laws? Interesting that today’s G7 meeting features 7 nations, six of which require voter id. Should we boycott those nations as well?


  59. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:33 pm:

    === Should we boycott those nations as well?===

    Are you voting in those nations?


  60. - Blake - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:33 pm:

    Speaker Welch, the ultimate way out for everyone’s vote to be impactful is proportional representation. If we’ll have districts, a clear set of predefined standards before the 2031 redistricting would be helpful since we don’t know which party will be advantaged in 2031.


  61. - Minnowka - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:40 pm:

    ===Gerrymandering is THE pre-eminent conspiracy of the last 100 years…and we keep talking about it like business as usual… ===

    ===It’s been going on since at least 1812, when it was named after a Massachusetts Gov. 1812 would be the second redistricting based on the decennial census. So, it is, historically, business as usual in the U.S.===

    Things have been far from static since 1812…numerous federal acts/laws have had adverse impacts on the aspirational “contiguous and compact” end-goal…especially since the 1960s/70s.

    And then there is modern technology…the use of advanced data analysis and AI projections can efficiently construct the grossly imbalanced and geometrically interesting districts we see today.

    Also, there’s some pretty big conspiracies in-between there which trump this one…one around about 1861-1865.


  62. - Original Rambler - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:44 pm:

    I’m unfamiliar with Welch and have not developed an opinion about him as a legislator or Speaker but I’m impressed by his response. Really sums up his position in a clear, concise and convincing manner.


  63. - Original Rambler - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:47 pm:

    LP your citation sets forth three actions that are prohibited. It also references not interrupting, hindering, or opposing. “Approach” is not any of these.


  64. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    === Nope, but===

    That’ll do.

    Thanks


  65. - low level - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 2:09 pm:

    Joe Cool - you didn’t do your homework.

    UK does not have voter ID. A bill has been introduced by Boris Johnson’s government but nothing has been passed.

    https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9187/


  66. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 2:11 pm:

    “I was cheated” - Every cheater who ever lived.


  67. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 2:11 pm:

    === Interesting that today’s G7 meeting features 7 nations, six of which require voter id===

    How easy/difficult is it to get the required ID in those countries? Because that is where the objection to voter ID laws has its roots. The Republicans putting up those bills typically include IDs older white males are likely to have while excluding IDs people of color may have. The “free” IDs cited as acceptable are often difficult to obtain based on location or paperwork requirements.


  68. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 2:21 pm:

    People, stop feeding the one-off Facebook trolls. Thanks.


  69. - low level - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 2:33 pm:

    “ the ultimate way out for everyone’s vote to be impactful is proportional representation. ”

    PR would be nice, but it doesn’t protect minority voting rights and mandated with the VRA. It accounts for partisan representation but that’s it.


  70. - low level - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 2:34 pm:

    *”as mandated by VRA, not “and mandated”. Sorry.


  71. - Norseman - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 3:42 pm:

    === … not sure that will actually help in getting to a workable Map. ===

    He’s got the map he wanted and needed. If they want or have to revise when the data is released, I don’t expect it will be hard to create a new one that meets his needs.


  72. - 4 percent - Friday, Jun 11, 21 @ 12:03 am:

    Who has a better track record on trust… hmm

    Pritzker - I’ll veto any map not passed by an independent commission. Lied.

    Pritzker - Let’s cut a deal on infrastructure and the try to roll back the deal and go back on his word

    Welch - I support independent maps. Lied.

    Sounds like the trust issue is on the Dem side.


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