By: Mark Glennon*
Who helped kill the widely popular constitutional amendment to take politics out of how legislative maps are drawn? The assumption all along seems to have been that House Speaker Michael Madigan had just picked up the phone to one of his lawyers to make it happen. The Illinois Supreme Court killed it in August, though supporters had collected over 500,000 signatures to put it on the ballot next month.
Turns out Madigan got some help. Tom Kacich at The News Gazette reported the facts earlier this week, though his article has been overlooked. The opposition was funded by a group called The People’s Map. Kacich wrote:
[U]ntil last week no one knew who was putting up the money to pay Chicago elections lawyer and expert Michael Kasper for his work….
Donors to The People’s Map included mostly Democratic-connected law firms and five labor unions: the Service Employees International Union, the Illinois Education Association, the state AFL-CIO, the Illinois Pipe Trades PAC and the Construction and General Laborers Council of Chicago.
Among the law firms that anted up for the successful legal effort was the Mattoon personal injury firm Tapella & Eberspacher. It and a host of law firms, most based in Chicago, each chipped in $1,000.
Surprise, surprise. They know the value of ensuring that their politicians continue to choose who will vote for them.
High five to Mr. Kacich for his work.
*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints. Opinions expressed are his own.