The lawyer trying to get citizen-initiated constitutional amendments knocked off the November ballot is two for two. It so happens Michael Kasper, representing plaintiffs in both lawsuits trying to stop the amendments, has a long association with Mike Madigan, Illinois' Democratic Party chairman and House speaker.

How do you defend the campaigns with a straight face?

“I’m well practiced,” said Jim Bray, spokesman for Yes for Independent Maps. “Regardless of who opposes you on redistricting, you’re going to have opponents.” He points out that a change similar to his group’s proposal succeeded in California only on its third try. Bray says he is optimistic Yes for Independent Maps, seeking to remove legislative redistricting from the General Assembly and assign it to an independent commission, can succeed later.

 

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A Cook County judge today (Friday) ruled both Yes for Independent Maps and Term Limits and Reform failed to meet the requirements for constitutional amendments. The latter proposal, backed by Republican governor hopeful Bruce Rauner, would: a) limit state lawmakers to eight years in office; b) raise the threshold by which the legislature can override a veto; and c) change the size of the General Assembly.

“We are hoping that the Illinois Supreme Court, if it truly acts like a supreme court for all the people, will rule based on the law and the original intent of the law,” rather than by political fiat, said Mark Campbell, executive director of the Term Limit and Reform campaign. He says he is not surprised that any judge in Cook County would rule against the campaign.

Unlike Campbell's group, the redistricting campaign will simply try again later, rather than go to the Supreme Court.

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