The Illinois Republican Party has finally come out with its own Congressional map. It’s called the Fair Congressional Map, and unlike the Democrats’ map, it’s very fair … to Republicans.
For example, the Democratic map asses out Southern Illinois Republican John Shimkus, while the Republican map eliminates the district of Chicago-area Democrat Dan Lipinski.
“The Fair Congressional Map is fair to Democrat and Republican incumbents alike. The Fair Congressional Map would respect the will of the people and the bipartisan history of the state, by electing 10 Republicans and 8 Democrats.”
A Congressional map isn’t supposed to be fair to incumbents, it’s supposed to be fair to voters. The Republican rally of 2010 was the will of the people for one particular election, in which slowing down President Obama’s big government agenda was an issue. The people may have a different will in 2012 or 2014. Also, the Republicans make it clear that they’re motivated by partisanship by using “Democrat” as an adjective. The proper word is “Democratic,” but Democrat sounds more like “bureaucrat,” or simply “rat,” so Republicans use it when they want to deliver a nasty dig to the opposition.
Another interesting feature of the Republican map: it provides for two Latino districts. One, on the Northwest Side, would elect Rep. Luis Gutierrez. The other, on the Southwest Side, looks tailored for City Clerk Susana Mendoza or Ald. Ricardo Munoz (who has already announced he’s running for Clerk of Circuit Court.) The Northwest Side district includes many of the voters the Democrats used to design a suburban seat for Tammy Duckworth.
Of course, the map is just a parlor game. The Republicans can’t pass a map in the legislature. They’re hoping to convince some 2010 Republican voters who now find themselves in Democratic districts that they’ve been gerrymandered. It also offers this lesson: if you want a really fair map, don’t ask a political party to draw it.
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