Morrison complicit in denying voters chance at fair maps in November, Republican challenger says
Illinois state Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) is complicit with the Democratic machine led by the House's powerful Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), recently denying Illinois voters a chance at fair maps in November, her Republican opponent said in a recent social media post.
"The Daily Herald says my opponent, Senator Julie Morrison, is 'a lot of talk for the voters, but no action on their behalf' when it comes to clipping Mike Madigan's power to redraw political maps," Barrett Davie, who is running for Morrison's District 29 seat, said in a May 8 Facebook post. "Truth is, Madigan's Springfield works just fine for Senator Morrison. The rest of us -- not so much. The Herald calls us to 'get involved and demand action.' Let's do that together!"
Morrison was first elected to represent the 29th District, which is within Lake and Cook counties, in 2012.
The editorial Davie referred to in The Daily Herald does not mention Morrison by name. The editorial does discuss the continued "snub" voters have received from incumbent Springfield legislators who aren't passing legislation for fair maps in Illinois, and, by default, continue to support the present gerrymandered system.
"In some red states, the exact opposite happens: Republicans hold enough power to gerrymander maps for GOP interests," The Daily Herald's editorial said. "It is wrong no matter which party is drawing the maps."
Illinois voters found out for certain on May 7, the day before The Daily Herald's editorial came out, that they won't get to vote this year to end gerrymandering in the state. That day, the deadline passed to get a constitutional amendment for fair maps on the ballot in November's General Election, despite what the Chicago Tribune calls "unambiguous voter support."
In April, Morrison and Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Naperville), with members of the League of Women Voters Illinois, publicly called for fair maps in Illinois, but The Daily Herald's editorial doubted the sincerity of enough -- or certain -- legislators in Springfield. "Guess what? Nothing happened," the editorial said.
"All these sponsors and co-sponsors, but the legislation never got called for a vote."
The Daily Herald's editorial observed that Democratic gerrymandering in Illinois could backfire as state residents continue to vote with their feet. "Here's what's likely to happen regarding fair elections in Illinois unless the people of the state get enraged enough to stop it," The Daily Herald editorial said.
"If the polls hold true, Democrat J.B. Pritzker is going to get elected governor in November. Democrats will continue to control both houses of the Illinois General Assembly. And then after the 2020 election, Democrats will draw another set of gerrymandered legislative and Congressional maps designed to solidify the party's power. Because of a population exodus, Illinois will lose one, perhaps even two seats in Congress and the new maps will ensure those departing seats are Republican."
Davie's recent Facebook post is not the first time he challenged Morrison on her apparent coziness with Madigan. Earlier this month, the Lake County Gazette published a story in which Davie questioned Morrison's support of Madigan despite sexual harassment complaints on his watch.
"Your state senator, Julie Morrison, supported Mike Madigan's re-election to lead her party this week," Davie was quoted in the article, which referred to an earlier Facebook post. "This is unfortunate because, regardless of political party, Mr. Madigan is desperately out of touch with our community's core values."