It’s Groundhog Day for the people of Illinois. Once again, we lose because of one person: House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Sixty-four percent of Illinois voters supported the creation of an independent commission to draw legislative district boundaries in a recent Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll.
This year, nearly 600,000 people signed Independent Maps’ petition that would place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would change the way legislative maps are drawn so that people—not politicians—draw legislative district maps.
Likewise, I have sponsored proposals in the legislature to change the process, taking the map drawing power out of the hands of a ruling party.
Despite widespread support of establishing a fair and balanced approach to drawing legislative district boundaries every 10 years, something President Obama even supports, all of that doesn’t seem to matter to Speaker Madigan and the people he controls. He fights against it. What a man will do to keep his reign of power.
Is it any surprise then the Illinois Supreme Court ruled 4-3 with all four democrats voting to throw out that proposed referendum? Is it any surprise the attorney who fought to get it off the ballot is a longtime ally of Madigan?
Justice Robert Thomas, in his dissenting opinion, couldn’t have said it better, “The Illinois Constitution is meant to prevent tyranny, not to enshrine it.”
The power grip Madigan has on this state is so suffocating, none of us can breathe anymore.
The Democrat-majority in Illinois has clearly manipulated and drawn the boundaries of legislative districts for their advantage. Just look at the make-up of the Illinois General Assembly. The people of Illinois are not allowed to choose their elected officials. Instead, elected officials, especially through the hands of Speaker Madigan, are choosing them.
Map reform is just one piece – albeit a big piece – in turning the state around. Drawing maps in a fair way and solving issues in a bipartisan way is what needs to happen in Springfield. But when you have one man who has ruled for 30 years, retaining that power is all he cares about.
Judge Thomas stressed in his opinion that “a muzzle has been placed on the people of this state.” That muzzle continues to get tighter.
- State Senator Dale Righter (55th Senate District)