Saturday, August 27, 2011

Let the elections begin, no matter what the GOP partisans have to say about it

Let’s be honest. Democratic political partisans got a break Friday from a federal judge, when she ruled that Congressional candidates can start in a couple of weeks with collecting the signatures of support they need to gather in order to run for office.

The reason that this “issue” is an issue is because of the fact that there is a lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court. Filed by Republican partisans, that lawsuit claims the congressional boundaries that will be used for elections in the 2010s are flawed and should be thrown out.

BY GOP LOGIC, how can candidates gather signatures of support if they don’t know exactly what their congressional districts will be? Who is representing whom?

Of course, that line of logic only works if you are determined to buy into the idea that the boundaries drawn for Congress and the state Legislature by the Democrat-dominated state government are flawed and will cease to exist.

Because Democratic officials will argue that we have all known exactly what the boundaries will be ever since late May when the General Assembly approved them – with Gov. Pat Quinn giving his approval to those boundaries back in June.

I don’t blame Republican partisans for a lawsuit. I’m realistic enough that Democratic officials, if the process had gone against them this time around, also would be trying to use the courts to undo what was done.

BUT IT’S STARTING to look like Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Ill., is the most logical Republican on the issue of reapportionment. The congressman who lives near Urbana is the one Republican official who didn’t join in this lawsuit, and has said he thinks his colleagues would be best off if they just moved on, accepted the political boundaries and tried to concoct partisan strategies that best boosted the party’s chances of winning elections.

After all, there are no guarantees of Democratic victories in the upcoming decade. Take the 1990s when Republicans gained control of the process and drew maps to benefit themselves.

Michael Madigan remained House speaker for eight of the 10 years of that decade – with 1995-96 being the lone era of Republican control that is now viewed as such an aberration that it almost seems like the concept of “Illinois House Speaker Lee Daniels, R-Elmhurst” never happened.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow reinforces that idea by saying that candidates should go ahead and get their signatures of support now. Her ruling says that even if the boundaries change and somebody winds up signing a nominating petition for someone who doesn’t wind up representing their district, the signature will still be valid.

PURE POLITICAL CHAOS? Having to figure out who might have been valid, had it not been for a last minute change?

Or does it merely accept as reality the fact that the Republican lawsuit challenging the political boundaries is destined to fail, and that the boundaries we have now ARE the boundaries that will exist until 2022?

What it really represents is the fact that Republican partisans suffered a serious blow when their party nominated for Illinois governor last year a man who had so little appeal to the part of the state where two-thirds of its residents actually live.

Because if a Republican had managed to win the 2010 election cycle for governor, the reality of reapportionment this year would have been that a Democrat-controlled Legislature would have passed maps for Congress and the General Assembly that a “Gov. Kirk Dillard” would then have vetoed.

WHICH MEANS WE’D likely be preparing for the idea of a stalled bipartisan commission that would have to have the never-popular lottery pick chosen to break the deadlock.

A random pick from a hat or a glass bowl or some other object with an Abraham Lincoln connection would have decided this issue – and caused the loser to move forward with their own token lawsuit challenging the issue.

If you get the impression that I’m disgusted with the legal brawls taking place, you’d be correct.

Anybody with sense knew going into the process that an entirely Democrat-led state government would create boundaries that would reflect the spread of Chicago’s influence throughout the state – instead of trying to pen it in to as small a geographic site as possible.

THE ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION creates a process to be followed. And whether one likes the outcome or not, that process was followed to the letter.

Which is why unless a federal judicial panel with loyalties to a former Republican president decides to make this a partisan matter, we’re all going to have to accept our boundaries and move on.

Because the people who are using assorted Internet sites to post anonymous comments that denounce Lefkow as a Democratic lackey (meaning they want their lackeys to control the process) are coming across as nothing more than those few, whiny L.A. Angels (and Cubs) baseball fans who insist that White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski "cheated" when he took first base after striking out in that American League playoff game from '05.


EDITOR'S NOTE: For those people who persist in thinking this ruling is flawed, I'd argue that they ought to look at the Sangamon County judge's ruling Friday that backed up the non-payment of regional school superintendents. That ruling seemed more determined to ignore the issue and avoid taking a stance on the officials who haven't been paid since June, but are  now expected to take on even more duties.


Anonymous said...

How can any nearly sane person, which of course leaves out democrat partisans, think that these new gerrymandered boundaries are fair? Let the courts decide nipplehead.

Anonymous said...

If you don't approve my last comment maybe this will work. The courts should be allowed to decide if these boundaries are valid. They would appear to any sane individual who is not too partisan to be the result of gerrymandering.