Rep. Spain Calls out Madigan Playbook on Drawing “Politicians Map”

Statement from Rep. Ryan Spain:

“You may remember an infamous Illinois political leader, Mike Madigan.

That’s a blast from the past! But the Madigan playbook still lives on here in the state of Illinois. And even though Mike Madigan was removed from power by his own caucus back in January, they didn’t part ways with the Madigan playbook.

And we’ve seen this play out time and time again, this is the ‘Madigan Fair Map Fake Out’. There’s a few steps to how this works. And I’d like to go through them. They’re pretty simple actually.

STEP ONE is to block reform. This phase of the Madigan playbook takes place years ago when Madigan not once, but twice, blocked citizen-led redistricting reform proposals in 2014 and 2016. The powerful Speaker called in his top enforcers to ensure that these citizen-backed reforms did not become law, setting the stage for our mapmaking process.

Now, in 2021- remember, it was Madigan’s handpicked justice on the Supreme Court, who delivered the majority opinion to block fair maps and independent redistricting reform in 2016. He also has blocked me and other members of the legislature from moving forward with our own efforts to change the State Constitution in the Illinois General Assembly step to draw the maps behind locked doors.

Once you’ve blocked all of the citizen and good government reforms, the next step (STEP TWO) is to dust off that old map making room. Make sure you clear out all the old furniture and install expensive new locks on the doors, so you can begin drawing the maps in secret. This phase begins regardless if data is even available to draw the maps. Because ultimately, it doesn’t matter to Democrats that we actually use real data to draw maps. In fact, as we saw from the maps dropped on Friday, the only thing that seems to matter are the home addresses of incumbent politicians so that Democrats can be protected. And Republicans can be punished.

They invite all Democratic members to enter the secret room and give them a chance to pick their voters. Because that’s what this is about- finding a way around the democratic process. They can’t tell us what type of data is being used or what they’re doing in that room. The map is made. After all, to maximize political advantage. It is a rigged process that we’ve seen time and time again.

STEP THREE is the process that we’re about to enter now- limit opportunities for debate. As you go about the process of building this map, you have to promise that you will value transparency and public input, and that you will allow the public early access to maps so that you can have a full opportunity to review and make comments. But as we’ve seen before, and as we’re seeing now, this is an easy promise to break.

As we saw last week, the best chance for success is to drop a map late in the evening on Friday night, and hope that the general public is not paying attention. And next, we will see democrats limit debate and give the public as little notice as possible about the hearings that will take place tomorrow and Wednesday.

STEP FOUR is the final and last step, which will be to pass this map at the 11th hour at the end of May. So, once you’ve allowed less than one week of public comment period, you can now pass the maps at the 11th hour. We’ll probably see these maps pass late in the middle of the night, with all sorts of other bad policies and previous actions that we’ve seen the General Assembly use to avoid controversy and public review. This is what we see happen again and again. And we know that Democrats will blame the swift passage on the deadlines that are approaching at the end of June to pass a map by the legislature.

But the end of June is not the deadline for when a map must be passed at all. It’s when Democrats would lose total unilateral control over the process. And for the Madigan playbook to work, they must maintain unilateral control of every aspect of this process, or the process won’t work and the public will be allowed to participate.

If you’re sick about hearing the Mike Madigan Playbook, I am too! I’m really sick of it! And I thought that things would be better when new leadership and a new speaker was elected in the Illinois House of Representatives. But unfortunately, it’s not.

This is the same playbook being executed again and again, to make sure that voters do not have the opportunity to be involved with how their government is designed and how it should work.

In 2016 remember, we had nearly 600,000 Illinois voters sign a petition demanding that we would consider redistricting reform throughout the state. This measure was thrown out by Madigan’s favorite judge on the Supreme Court- Tom Kilbride. After Commonwealth Edison Executive brought the suit to the Supreme Court. This was John Hooker- who is now one of the four individuals involved with ongoing activities with the Justice Department and the corruption case revolving regarding “Public Official A”- Mike Madigan. So, the culture of corruption continues.

But I want everyone to know, this is many, many, many years in the making. Not just a Friday night news dump, but a carefully orchestrated campaign to make sure that all voters in the state of Illinois are denied the opportunity to be involved in building a better government and solving problems.”

The full Press Conference can be viewed at:

The House and Senate Redistricting Committees will be holding public hearings on the Democrats’ proposed maps Tuesday and Wednesday this week:

  • Tuesday, May 25 at 4 p.m. | Joint House and Senate Hearing
  • Tuesday, May 25 at 6 p.m. | House Hearing
  • Wednesday, May 26 at 4 p.m. | Joint House and Senate Hearing
  • Wednesday, May 26 at 6 p.m. | Senate Hearing

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