CHICAGO - House Speaker Mike Madigan doesn't want the re-map referendum on the November ballot, which means the folks pushing for a non-partisan, independent system of drawing Illinois' district maps face an uphill battle.
The effort is nothing but Republican revenge, Madigan said Tuesday after he was re-elected to the fourth term as Illinois Democrat Party head.
“Over the last 50 years, five maps,” Madigan said. “Republicans have done one out of five. They’re angry, and this is part of their Republican politics. That’s all there is.”
That's absurd, Michael Kolenc, "Yes for Independent Maps" campaign manager said in a press release.
"It is no surprise that the status quo is upset that a bipartisan campaign has successfully worked over the last two and a half years to put in place an independent, transparent and fair redistricting system, Kolenc said. "Speaker Madigan’s claim that we are just 'Republican party politics' is absurd and has no basis in reality. He insults Democrats, Republicans and Independents across the state with his campaign rhetoric and tries to distract from the problem of our broken redistricting system."
Madigan also implied that the proposal would hurt minorities because Republicans are racist.
“Put the Republicans in charge of something, and there’s going to be an adverse effect on minorities. Look at what happened on the immigration question. Look at what happened to the support for the Obama library in Chicago."
Another ridiculous claim, Kolenc said.
"The Speaker should take a few minutes to read the proposal. He will see that it actually strengthens minority voting rights over the current back-room system, despite his protests," Kolenc said.
Last week, the left-wing Daily Kos reviewed Illinois' 2011 remapping situation, and concluded that Illinois Democrats led by Party Chairman Mike Madigan gerrymandered the congressional districts to strengthen Democrat control, writing:
"Democrats here hit jackpot when unpopular governor Pat Quinn nonetheless won reelection in the 2010 wave thanks to a too extreme opponent and thus gave them the trifecta to gerrymander the state. They passed a strong and effective, but not incredibly aggressive congressional gerrymander that aimed for 12 solid Democratic seats, 5 solid Republican seats, and 1 swing district.
Districts 1, 2, 4, and 7 are the majority minority ones, but it's very difficult to unpack them any further. For one, the 5th and 9th to the north are already quite heavily Democratic while the 3rd to is held by Blue Dog Dan Lipinski. His ties to state house speaker Mike Madigan caused Democrats to actually move his district to the right in 2011 to insulate him from a liberal primary challenger and there would have been no desire by them to add more liberal minorities to his district. Thus even without any VRA requirement there just aren't many ways to unpack those parts of Chicago due to geography nor is there the political will to slice the Chicago suburbs into even more bacon strips combining disparate communities. So that's both Democratic-drawn states where the lack of required majority-minority districts might have increased the size of their caucus, but in both states that doesn't seem to come to fruition for reasons unrelated to the VRA."