Whenever a liberal complains to you about gerrymandering, your reply needs to be, “What about Illinois?”

By John Ruberry

A month ago I wrote about Illinois General Assembly Democrats, behind closed doors, redrawing legislative maps. The Dems, thanks to their gerrymandering after the 2010 Census, already enjoy supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly.

There was hope, a quite naive one to be sure, that because Illinois’ Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, firmly promised, many times, that he would veto any partisan remap proposal, that fair maps could eventually emerge.

Shortly before Election Day in 2018, again as I noted last month, Pritzker had this to say to an NRP reporter, “I will not sign a bill that is gerrymandered, I have been for independent maps for a long time now.”

Well Pritzker isn’t for independent maps anymore even though, as the Wall Street Journal (paid subscription required) reported just two weeks ago, the Chicago billionaire promised to veto “an unfair map.”

Pritzker lied. On Friday he signed into law a hyperpartisan gerrymandered map. And going a step further, for the first time in five decades Illinois’ Supreme Court districts were redrawn. Do I have to tell you which party the new court districts will favor?

From the Wall Street Journal editorial board:

Illinois Democrats hold a statehouse supermajority, every statewide office and a state Supreme Court majority. That sounds like a monopoly on power. But with voters starting to revolt against the state’s fiscal woes and political corruption, Democrats are now working to further entrench their power.

Late last week Democrats jammed through new state legislative maps that combine 14 Republicans in the Illinois House into seven districts. That means seven GOP incumbents are guaranteed to lose in party primaries. Republicans will also lose their incumbent advantage in seven districts. No Democrats were combined in the same House districts.

Illinois’s maps were already heavily gerrymandered to favor Democrats, who control 73 of the 118 seats in the House and 41 of 59 in the Senate. But Democrats are worried a GOP wave in the 2022 midterm elections could defeat Gov. J.B. Pritzker. They want to shore up their supermajority to ensure they can override a new Republican Governor.

Apologists for the Democrats explain that according to the state constitution the General Assembly needs to have new legislative districts approved by June 30. What they leave out is that if no map is passed, again according to the state constitution, an eight-person bipartisan committee is appointed to redraw maps. Republicans would likely end up in a stronger position in such a scenario because don’t believe it’s possible to create an even more unfair map.

What’s worse about these new legislative districts is because of the COVID-19 epidemic, not all of the US Census numbers have been released. Illinois Democrats based their new state House and Senate districts on projections from American Community Survey, not hard numbers. 

When confronted about gerrymandering by Fox Chicago’s Mike Flannery on this weekend’s Flannery Fired Up, Boss Michael Madigan’s slippery successor as state House Speaker, Chris Welch, explained to the host that Oklahoma, a red state, also based their remapping on ACS data. 

True–only that Welch neglected to mention that Oklahoma is committed to redraw its maps once the final Census numbers are in.

Illinois, because of population loss, will have one less congressional seat after the 2022 midterm elections. Federal guidelines on congressional districts are quite strict–so the new congressional maps have not been released as the Illinois Democrats await those hard numbers to crunch and torture. But speculation is that these maps will also punish the GOP. 

One-party Democratic rule has destroyed Illinois. I’ve noted these facts many times at Da Tech Guy. Illinois’ public-worker pension plans are among the worst-funded in the nation. The average percentage in state budgets dedicated to pensions is four percent. In Illinois, because its promises to these liberal public-sector unions were not properly funded, it is 25 percent. The state’s repupation for corruption is well known–in my lifetime four governors, three Democrats and one Republican, have served time in federal prison. Federal authorites have been investigating the inner circle of Boss Madigan for several years. And for the first time in history Illinois lost population between Censuses. 

Every state will be redrawing their maps. Former president Barack Obama and his first attorney general, Eric Holder founded a group, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, that opposes Republican gerrymandering. Look for the two of them to holler and scream when they declare new red state remaps to be unfair. Of course Obama and Holder will be mum on gerrymandering in blue states, such as what occurs every ten years in Obama’s home state. 

What do you do if a liberal moans to you about those red state district maps that they say are gerrymandered? I have a three word reply for you. 

“What about Illinois?”

John Ruberry regularly blogs from Illinois at Marathon Pundit.

Update: (DTG) Welcome Liberty Daily readers. Take a peek around. See Jake Tapper’s Dilemma, read about Russia and the Arctic and find out what happens when people discover what everyone already knows.

Oh and don’t forget this month’s Indulgence Calendar or the latest podcast.

The Tapper Media Trap

I am the Editor

Cardinal Richelieu: [whispered to the King] I am the state, Your Majesty. Let us say it now, privately, so that we never have need to discuss it in public. I am France, Louis. I am the state. These men have set themselves above me, and it is I, Louis, and not you who sit in judgment. I render that judgment now.

The Three Musketeers 1948

One might wonder why Jake Tapper of CNN would put him self out there with a virtue signaling claim to the NYT that was so easily disproved by the people he was trying to appear superior to.

The first thought of course is given he was talking to the NYT he presumed that the audience there would never see the evidence to expose the lie since they live in a media bubble that will not report or acknowledge this evidence and to some degree this is likely correct but there is another factor to play here.

Fifteen, Ten or even Five years ago Jake Tapper was in a position where just about any media network would jump at him if available and he would be able to command a solid seven figure salary and bring in ratings and a reputation constant with such a pay.

Now however the law of diminishing returns is in play. CNN in general and Mr. Tapper in particular are now speaking to a dwindling audience which is more and more resembling a cult seeking affirmation rather that people seeking information.

Furthermore his employers whose corporates masters are dependent on the market that China provides and are thus requiring a narrative that supports such a message are not likely to be shy about enforcing that orthodoxly.

It’s easy to say: “I’m not going to sell myself.” But I don’t know what he has out for loans, or college debts for his kids or his mortgage situation or anything else and the bottom line is that there are plenty of people in his diminishing industry who would happily take over his seat at a tenth of the price he is currently commanding.

And if he finds himself off too far off the reservation it’s not just the CNN gig, it’s the prospect of book deals, or speaking engagements or all the other things that supplement his income that could suddenly vanish. Cure Henry Hill:

Henry Hill: And that’s the hardest part. Today everything is different; there’s no action… have to wait around like everyone else. Can’t even get decent food – right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce, and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I’m an average nobody… get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.

Good Fellas 1990

That’s the thing that I suspect restrains Jake Tapper in particular and prominent members of the media in general fear. Foot wrong and the same media companies that made them can toss them back into the mass of the people to live their lives as normal people. Without perks, without reputation, having to rebuild a living an an audience on one’s own merit.

This above all else is why the left has done all it can to create a post Judeo-Christian culture. Courage is one of the greatest virtues and fruits that comes from faith because when faced with such a situation we realize we are not alone.