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*** UPDATED x1 *** More remap stuff

Monday, Oct 18, 2021

* New York Times

Illinois Democrats on Friday proposed a new set of highly gerrymandered congressional maps that would consolidate Democratic power in the state’s congressional delegation, most likely cutting the number of Republican seats in the state to three from five.

Only if you’re looking at presidential results…

2022 is an off-year election and President Biden’s trend ain’t the Democrats’ friend. And many (not all) congressional Dems underperformed Biden last year. Not saying that this map wouldn’t result in 14-3, but it ain’t a slam dunk when you factor in reality. A bunch of those districts could be tossups.

* Not sure why counties are always supposed to be kept together, but OK…

* Koutsky has close ties to a top Durbin person

Yet if Republicans found that map absurd, they will be even more offended by a new proposal.

Crafted by Zach Koutsky, a longtime Illinois Democratic operative, it appeared on the state Legislature’s online portal late Friday night.

The more aggressive map is even more contorted than the first — though perhaps more effective at delivering seats for Democrats. It was crafted in consultation with national Democrats, according to a source familiar with its origin.

In this proposal, Bustos’ northwest Illinois district stretches across the state’s northern border, grabbing the city of Rockford and dipping into Lake County to pick up some of the city of Waukegan. It also loops the Democratic-leaning cities downstate into two districts: one snaking from East St. Louis to Springfield to Decatur, and another that stretches from Peoria to Bloomington to Champaign.

That would leave just two deep-red seats for the state’s current Republican members. Democrats could conceivably take 15 of the 17 districts in the next election under this map.

* Wasserman, who is better at numbers than political analysis, wasn’t impressed by the effort…

* Question from Crain’s

Will the Dems’ new map survive the week?

This is not intended to be the final map. The chair of the House Redistricting Committee specifically called the proposal a “first draft” on Friday. So, no, it won’t survive. By design.

* The truth is, anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can submit a map, and several will before this is over…

* And some tweeters actually thought this obvious spoof was for real, which I thought was hilarious…

*** UPDATE *** AP

A lawsuit seeks to block new Illinois state legislative district maps, saying Black residents of East St. Louis were unconstitionally split up into multiple House districts to help white Democratic incumbents in neighboring districts win reelection.

The federal lawsuit was filed Friday on behalf of the East St. Louis Branch NAACP, the Illinois State Conference of the NAACP and the United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations. It says race played a role in the redistricting of House District 114, which is currently represented by Rep. LaToya Greenwood, who is Black. According to the lawsuit, one-fifth of the district’s Black voting-age population was moved into two nearby districts under the new legislative maps that Democrats approved and Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law last month as part of redistricting. Thousands of white voters were added to District 114, which the plaintiffs say jeopardizes the prospects of a candidate preferred by Black voters. The district has been represented by a Black legislator for decades, the lawsuit states.

…Adding… The filing is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Original Anon - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 11:33 am:

    Counties are too large and diffuse to ensure they fall in a single district. But cities and towns, outside of Chicago or Aurora, should never be split into multiple districts. My smallish city of 35,000 is dispersed into two congressional districts (same for state senate and state house).

  2. - Sir Reel - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 11:34 am:

    While the rational part of me says gerrymandering is bad, it’s part of the landscape. Both parties - both - do it. Republican outrage is only voiced when they are on the receiving end.

    The new maps for Illinois depress me. If I’m reading them right, my choice is between my current representative, Mr. Lahood, an empty suit if ever there was one, and Ms. Murphy, a nutcase. What a choice.

  3. - Original Anon - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 11:36 am:

    Isn’t this basic math for Democrats - do you want as many safe seats (Dem +10) as possible or do you want to have a chance at 14-3 or 15-2. The two goals are mutually exclusive.

  4. - Shibboleth - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 11:39 am:

    Splitting counties and snaking districts are the only way that small-medium sized cities surrounded by rural areas will get any representation. Those type of districts downstate ensure that those communities get a voice despite their geographical isolation. Terrible reason to attack the map.

  5. - Shibboleth - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 11:42 am:

    =Both parties - both - do it. Republican outrage is only voiced when they are on the receiving end.=

    Also key to note that Democrats federally support legislation to end partisan gerrymandering. Federal level Republicans not coming to the table is why Illinois Republicans will get less representation than “fair.”

    It would be idiotic and self-sabotaging of Democrats to unilaterally disarm and hand the house to a party that supports insurrection and is still trying to overturn a legitimate election.

  6. - Juice - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 11:47 am:

    Sir Reel,

    I am sure that Ms. Murphy will be an able public servant who is well intentioned.

    Ms. Miller on the other hand…

  7. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 11:50 am:

    I love that last map. Will just remind people how incredibly long our state is. Some of those districts would be 300 miles long or longer.

  8. - Sue - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 12:00 pm:

    If Pritzker were to sign this monstrosity- he will be hard pressed to say he is reneging on campaign promises as to partisan maps as the map presented is fair

  9. - GW - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 12:01 pm:

    I would like to see Kinzinger run against Duckworth.

  10. - Lake Villa Township - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 12:12 pm:

    I want a 13-4 map very badly, areas like Pontiac should not be with the south side of Chicago. That said, the IlGOP’s lack of map proposals is nothing short of laughable. Call your representatives and tell them to vote yes on the freedom to vote act which would establish a court enforceable definition of partisan gerrymandering.

  11. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 12:16 pm:

    I am altering the map.

    Pray I don’t alter it any further.

  12. - "A Horse is a Horse" - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 12:17 pm:

    I agree with GW. Kinzinger would be a formidable Republican candidate against Duckworth. Kinzinger will get a lot of moderate Dem votes.

  13. - Middle Way - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 12:24 pm:

    Couldn’t agree more with the idea of Kinzinger running against Duckworth. Two honorable people who have served our country in two important (and similar) capacities. Perhaps the focus could actually be on debating policy differences rather than performative theatrics like in the not too distant past.

  14. - muon - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 12:33 pm:

    To Rich’s question about why whole counties: Districts are built from geographic units that completely cover the state. If the number of such units are too few or include some that are larger than a district then population inequality will tend to be high. If there are large numbers of units (like census blocks), it facilitates gerrymandering since it’s easy to slice districts to suit a particular political goal.

    The sweet spot is when there are about 20-30 geographic units per district covering the state (data available upon request). That makes it likely that a plan can be made with low population deviations and no geographic splits. For many states counties fit in that range. Iowa does so well at low-deviation congressional districts since it has 99 counties for 4 CDs, and no county is larger than a CD.

    In Illinois counties wouldn’t work once one gets to Chicagoland. However, the math still applies. If there were an agreed set of non-overlapping smaller units in Chicagoland (townships, school districts, Chicago community areas) that had enough units for the minority populations then it could use an Iowa-type process for its congressional districts.

  15. - Jibba - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 12:34 pm:

    For those keeping score, Texas got an “F” too.

  16. - Graduated College Student - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    Counterargument on counties; the lines represent population arrangements more than 150 years in the past and could themselves be past examples of Gerrymandering when they were drawn up.
    Continually bemused by the obsession of some mapmakers with packing Macomb into IL-17. Western’s not that big anymore and based on my memory from when I was a student one of the school’s larger “unique” programs was its law enforcement one; I’d hardly characterized police as reliable Democrats at this point.

  17. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 12:52 pm:

    @Lake Villa Township - Huh? Under the official proposed map, Pontiac is in a rural GOP vote sink and not in with Chicago or the burbs.

    That said, why can’t Pontiac be with the South Side of Chicago?

    Pontiac gets its weather bulletins from an office in Chicago. It has an Amtrak station and I-55 linking it to Chicago. It has a large prison connecting it and a big employer to the concerns of policymakers in Chicago. You can get from Pontiac to the South Side in 90 minutes easy.

    Much more ridiculous for Freeport and Robinson to be in the same district.

  18. - Sir Reel - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 12:57 pm:

    Juice, kinda a Freudian slip. Anyone but Miller.

  19. - Lake Villa Township - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 1:14 pm:

    @thisgirlfriday my bad just east Livingston county is in Robin Kelly’s district, if the Amtrak line’s borders as a whole were taken into account maybe that’d be cool but as far as I know that’s not the case. In my opinion Chicagoland based districts should only go to lasalle county, that’s as far as the Chicago media market goes. That other district is also crazy I still don’t get why Freeport is taken out of 17.

  20. - muon - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 1:28 pm:

    Graduated College Student - the importance of the counties is not the relevance of their lines. In principle a group could propose a set of geographic units independent of counties that covered the whole state. The useful feature is that there are enough of them to allow low population deviation and few enough to dissuade gerrymanders.

    Counties do have the advantage that they are recognized by their residents as having a meaningful boundary to them based on the services they receive. One could do the same with school districts instead of counties.

  21. - SaulGoodman - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 1:35 pm:

    **If Pritzker were to sign this monstrosity- he will be hard pressed to say he is reneging on campaign promises as to partisan maps as the map presented is fair**

    LOl - we’re WELL passed that.

  22. - Sharia Capo - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 1:43 pm:

    Wow. Zach really jumped the shark this time. It looks like Wisconsin is tea-bagging our state.

  23. - Graduated College Student - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    —-Graduated College Student - the importance of the counties is not the relevance of their lines. In principle a group could propose a set of geographic units independent of counties that covered the whole state. The useful feature is that there are enough of them to allow low population deviation and few enough to dissuade gerrymanders.—-

    Except there is pretty significant population deviation even outside of Chicagoland; Median county population is ~25,000, but a fifth of the state’s counties have more than 100,000 residents. Counties are terrible units for anything more meaningful than basic counting, and should stop being used as such.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 2:11 pm:

    === I would like to see Kinzinger run against Duckworth.===

    Kinzinger would lose decisively

  25. - Downstate - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 2:16 pm:

    “It looks like Wisconsin is tea-bagging our state”

    I didn’t realize homophobic statements were still allowed on this blog.

  26. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 2:22 pm:

    - Downstate -

    You’re probably the last I’d think to want to call things out. Ya know?

    To the post,

    These maps are still evolving, I’d like to see Kinzinger and Newman go toe to toe, but that’s me and thinking about what could be in the end.

    I’m going to watch what does happen, and if the Newman/Kinzinger race can happen, I’d be very interested

  27. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 2:40 pm:

    - Downstate -

    You still think you’re the person to…

    I’d move on… Selective memory

    Whatabout isn’t a better look.

    To the post,

    That spoof of a map is hilarious to all the wonky. I laughed.

  28. - Frank talks - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 2:59 pm:

    Jesse White lost somewhere?

  29. - muon - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 3:08 pm:

    Graduated College Student - As I said one way to reduce gerrymandering is to have a predetermined set of geographic units that cover the state and provide 20-30 units per district on average. I can easily imagine that larger counties would not be whole, but would be subdivided in a way that makes sense to their residents. Smaller counties probably already are good proxies for their community of interest and are easily recognized by their residents.

  30. - Buckminster Fuller - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 4:11 pm:

    === Smaller counties probably already are good proxies for their community of interest and are easily recognized by their residents. ===

    What’s a “Community of Interest” when SIUC requires every student and staff to be vaxxed and the attitude in the rest of Jackson County is “YOLO.”

    In that sense, Koutsky’s goal of creating not one but two college campus districts is understandable. Champaign, Bloomington, Macomb and Galesburg are all college towns and “communities of interest.”

    The problem is what happens in those districts in non-presidential election years when student turnout plunges by 50 percent. Or, as happened in 1984 and 88, being a Republican suddenly becomes cool on Campus. Or some Bernie Sanders wannabe strings together a primary win with the campus vote but cannot win the general.

  31. - Odysseus - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 5:09 pm:

    “Not sure why counties are always supposed to be kept together, but OK…”

    The burden on mapmakers goes the other way. Why should counties be randomly split?

  32. - someonehastosayit - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 5:12 pm:

    Can Kinzinger win a Republican primary? For any seat?

  33. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 5:15 pm:

    === Can Kinzinger win a Republican primary? For any seat?===

    If it’s crowded and noisy enough… yep.

    But it needs to be crowded, it needs to be noisy.

    Kinzinger statewide against Duckworth? The Trumpkins backing Kinzinger in the end? Hmm.

  34. - John Lopez - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 5:20 pm:

    === Can Kinzinger win a Republican primary? For any seat? ===

    The U.S. Senate Republican nomination is Kinzinger’s if he wants it. Of current announced U.S. Senate Republican primary field, only Bobby Piton raised over $100K in 3rd quarter, but $25K of that was a loan from himself. If Kinzinger runs for U.S. House again in any district, he’ll win nomination, as his only potential threat of a primaty challenger in Catalina Lauf will likely run in a different House district.

  35. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Oct 18, 21 @ 8:32 pm:

    ==Why should counties be randomly split? ==

    It isn’t random. Downstate cities and larger towns are often quite different (race, income, education, jobs, etc.) from the rural counties that surround them.

    Cutting things up using county lines is a much more random way to split things up.

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