So how will the governor define ‘fair maps’ now?

https://ift.tt/2Re9Pi7

And since a constitutional amendment didn’t happen—darn the luck—it looks like we’re just going to have to do those maps the old-fashioned way after all. It’s now up to the Legislature to craft a proposal for redistricting. But the governor is still going to be absolutely, positively sure that, at the end of the process, the new map is fair. Honest.

This flimflammery is the sort of thing we’d expect from an unscrupulous used-car salesman selling us the undercoating we didn’t want, not a governor who billed himself as a change-maker in Springfield. We’re now left to wonder what "fair" will really mean when the next inevitably jury-rigged map lands on Pritzker’s desk.

And make no mistake: Redistricting isn’t an arcane matter. These maps determine every Illinoisan’s representation in government, turning up the volume on some voices while diminishing others. And as Crain’s contributing columnist Madeleine Doubek put it: "Gerrymandering fuels political polarization as lawmakers with safe seats worry only about primary challengers and pleasing their political patrons. It steals our voices and our choices at the ballot box as fewer people run when they know the game is rigged."

Of course, Pritzker has lots of company. Republicans used to draw biased Illinois maps, and they still do in other states. The entire issue cries out for a national standard. But, in the meantime, the governor can and should fulfill the spirit if not the letter of his promise to Illinois voters. Despite the attempts to obfuscate the issue, there’s actually nothing that bars Pritzker or his counterparts in the General Assembly from passing and signing a bill to establish an independent, nonpartisan public commission to draw the next map, constitutional amendment or no.

With this unfortunate switcheroo, the governor left himself open to broadsides from the opposition, including this one, which is on point:

"The people of Illinois fundamentally do not trust our leadership in Springfield to spend their money wisely, do the right thing or to reform our system. Absolutely nothing fuels that fire more than politicians who say one thing to get elected and then do another once in power," Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy said in a press statement. "A man is nothing without his word. Pritzker still has the chance to keep his."

via Crain’s Chicago Business

May 1, 2021 at 11:55AM

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