Thursday, September 1, 2016

Quinn plan partisan on his own behalf, if not necessarily a political party

It shouldn’t be a shock that former Gov. Pat Quinn came forth with his own plan to revamp the way boundaries are set for legislative districts.
QUINN: He wants to beat Rauner at something
After all, it was the man who defeated him in the last gubernatorial election who was behind the effort that recently was rejected by the Illinois Supreme Court. I have no doubt that Quinn would love it if Rauner were to fail on this issue, whereas a plan that would carry his name were to ultimately succeed.

ALMOST AS THOUGH this issue could be the do-over of the 2014 election cycle that saw the “Mighty” Quinn fall short of Rauner and all his anti-organized labor rhetoric.

I’m sure in his mind that would be the revenge his ego seeks for an electoral defeat.

Which means I don’t think there’s necessarily a high-minded principle at work behind Quinn’s desire to alter the way in which legislative districts are drawn for the Illinois General Assembly.

Just as there wasn’t any high-minded principle at work behind Rauner’s continued interest – he wants a Legislature consisting of people inclined to rubber-stamp his goals and desires.

THE LAST THING he wants is the openly defiant Legislature we now have that not only votes against him, but is strong enough in opposition to override anything he tries to veto!

I suspect Quinn would love to be able to take credit for any reform plan to redistricting that becomes law, just as he now is able to take credit for the 1980s initiative that altered the size of the General Assembly itself.

Cutting the Illinois House of Representatives down from 177 members to 118 is a legitimate legacy for Quinn – and certainly a greater accomplishment than most people who get into government service can make.
RAUNER: I doubt he's given up on issue
And realize I make that statement knowing full well that some people view the “cutback” initiative as a major blow to the Legislature – and one for which Quinn deserves nothing but blame.

QUINN HAS ENOUGH of an ego that I’m sure he is hurt by the fact he had a five-year stint as governor that basically saw his very own Democratic Party allies in the Legislature reject anything he tried to do on so many issues.

Not just his attempt to extend the income tax increase he had pushed for a few years earlier – which if it had gone into effect would have eliminated many of the financial problems our state has faced in recent years.

Honestly, I expect we’re going to hear from Pat Quinn until the day he passes on to another realm of existence. Even then, he’ll probably become the ultimate political gadfly of the heavens – irritating the lord God himself with his efforts to make it a better place for all.

Insofar as Quinn’s redistricting initiative, I’m not sure how much it would really change things. Because it is based on creating an 11-member panel picked by the Illinois Supreme Court itself to handle redistricting.

THE PANEL WOULD have a six-member majority from one political party, but it would take seven people to approve an actual map of political districts for the Legislature. Which sounds like it would force people from differing political parties to work together to create boundaries.

However, let’s not forget that the current state Constitution includes that provision for a random pick of a tie-breaker for the redistricting commission, which was supposed to scare political people into working together out of fear that an all-or-nothing situation would give them nothing.

It failed to take into account the greed of political people who like the idea of their opposition being the ones who get “nothing.” The human factor may well be the biggest problem with redistricting.

For the maps we get determining who our legislators (and Congress people) are will only be as sound as the people who pick them. Just as we usually get the quality of government that we elect; making its flaws our own fault!


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