September 2, 2011. Chicago. That was the message delivered to seven Illinois Democratic US Congressmen yesterday. As reported in yesterday's Chicago Sun Times, "Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office doesn't think it has the lawyers or skills needed to defend the state's new Democrat-drawn Congressional map on its own." Therefore, Illinois taxpayers will have to underwrite the hiring of outside legal teams.
The Attorney General's office sent letters to the Congressional Democrats asking the delegation to raise $500,000 of its own money to pay the bills. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) was one of the first to send his $10,000 donation to the legal fund for the Party.
The lawsuit is in response to Illinois' Congressional redistricting map. Illinois Republicans, along with the League of Women Voters, sued the Illinois Board of Elections for allowing an unfair and dysfunctional district map. While the map was drawn by Democratic Party bosses Michael Madigan (Illinois House Speaker) and John Cullerton (Illinois Senate President) for the benefit of the Party, the taxpayers are the ones being sued.
In a reminder of just how embarrassingly dysfunctional the state of Illinois is, consider the following:
- Rahm Emanuel runs for Chicago Mayor from Washington DC. Michael Madigan's good friend and lawyer, Mike Kasper, defends Emanuel. Emanuel and Kasper win.
- Mike Madigan and John Cullerton redraw Illinois' Congressional districts to eliminate as many Republican seats as possible. Accused of Gerrymandering, Illinois Republicans and the League of Women voters sue the Illinois Board of Elections for allowing a political party to steal the redistricting process and abuse it for their own gain.
- US House Speaker comes to Illinois to help state Republicans raise money to pay for the lawsuit against the Board of Elections. Illinois House Speaker Madigan attends the GOP fundraiser and helps raise money to sue himself and his own Party. Read this column from last week titeled, 'IL Dem Chair Caught Fundraising for GOP' for more details.
- Mike Kasper's wife, Laura Liu, announces her intention to run for a Judgeship. Backed by her close friends - the Madigan family, Emanuel's attorneys, the plaintiff's attorney Burt Odelson, and even the case's Judge, Mark Ballard - all immediately donate various amounts of money to Liu.
- Laura Liu, Mike Kasper's wife, raises $144,000 in just the first reporting period, more than any other judicial candidate in the state.
- Michael Madigan's daughter, Lisa Madigan, just happens to be the Illinois Attorney General and charged with defending her dad's actions in court at the taxpayers' expense. Announcing that her office isn't qualified or experienced enough to handle a simple redistricting challenge, Lisa Madigan hires her dad's lawyer to represent the Illinois Democratic Party, the very same Mike Kasper.
This chain of events isn't anything unusual for the state of Illinois. For that reason, the details didn't even warrant a mention on the local news. But in the other 49 states, it's indicative of why Illinois continues to be the laughing stock of the nation.
By Mark Wachtler, Chicago Independent Examiner
Source: Chicago Independent Examiner