The Independent Map Amendment Coalition wants to know how much its opponents have spent on legal fees.
The coalition wants voters, instead of politicians, to decide how political maps are drawn, but its ballot measure is being challenged in the Illinois Supreme Court.
The coalition’s reports to the state elections board show more than three-quarters of a million dollars in expenditures in the most recent quarter.
“We’ve spent a couple hundred thousand dollars and we expect to spend close to $450,000 on legal fees,” campaign manager Dave Mellet said.
The People’s Map group, which has ties to leading state Democrats, is opposed to the Independent Map Amendment. It has nothing but zeroes reported to the elections board, however.
Mellet said that isn’t right.
“We just want to know who is opposing open and transparent redistricting in Illinois, and I think the
people in Illinois deserve to know that as well,” he said.
The Illinois State Board of Elections said it has sent a letter to the People’s Map group asking for the oddity to be cleared up.
Meanwhile, the amendment has cleared every hurdle to get on the November ballot, except for the one created by a legal challenge from The People’s Map. The case is now in front of the state Supreme Court.
Mellet said the group filed its initial brief last week and will file a response to The People’s Map by Tuesday’s deadline.
Mellet said the group’s lawyers researched the drafting of the state constitution and believe the amendment meshes with the drafters’ intent.
“They wanted to really create a process where voters can fix problems in the legislature that the legislature won’t fix for themselves because they have too much self-interest,” he said.
The amendment was shot down by a Cook County judge who said the proposal goes beyond the scope allowed by a citizen-led initiative.
Attempts to contact representatives from The People’s Map were not successful.