Speaker Madigan has decided to assist the Bush campaign's exploitation of the 9/11 national tragedy.
Ruthless hardball Republican operatives scheduled their massive political rally a week and a half before September 11th a few miles from a mass grave in order to help re-elect George Bush.
It's appalling. They are exploiting a national tragedy and the deaths of thousands of innocent people.
And now Speaker Madigan is accommodating them.
The trouble with scheduling a national convention in September is that about a dozen states require the presidential candidate of a party to be certified (formally nominated by the party) in August. Illinois is one of them.
The Bush campaign still scheduled their New York City convention in September -- knowing it violates state laws -- because they expected the states to change their laws for the Bush campaign's benefit.
Today in Springfield, the Illinois House Elections and Campaign Reform did just that.
Lou Lang (D-Skokie) introduced the amendment. All the Democrats voted for it. So did the Republicans (which is to be expected). It was by a voice vote, because no one cared enough to vote against it.
I testified against the bill.
The bill is here.
The bill is likely going to the House floor any minute.
Democrats got a few rinky-dink concessions, but mostly the election administrators got some clean-up language that they wanted.
All the Democrats on the committee voted for the bill because Speaker Madigan wants this to happen.
That's the only reason. And in my opinion, that's not a very good reason.
And at the same time, Speaker Madigan wants to keep the state's congressional map which is a 10-9 Republican delegation!
Senate President Jones with Senator John Cullerton introduced a shell bill to redraw the map. That bill is here.
Speaker Madigan should be pushing for a better Democratic map instead of helping the Bush campaign.
The only good news is that the bill is actually an amendment to a Senate bill (SB 82), so if it passes the House floor tonight, it has to go to the Senate. And I don't think the Senate will accept the House amendment's so this bill will likely die. The Senate is likely to adjourn for good tonight, and there isn't time to go through the Senate committee process to accept any House amendments to a Senate bill.
But you never know.
And Speaker Madigan should get his prioirities straight. For someone so politically savvy, it absolutely befuddles me why Madigan refuses to advance the Democratic Party.