Rauner Visits Happy Joe's to Talk Re-Districting
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner made an unscheduled stop in Moline today to talk to voters about redistricting. Early this afternoon, the republican, his aides, and security team arrived at Happy Joe's on River Drive to talk to voters about redistricting.
Rauner says it's a tragedy that last week's ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court denies voters a chance to change the system used to draw political boundaries. The governor told people at the restaurant to contact local state lawmakers and request that they put the question on the ballot in November.
"Now the court has said the referendum won't go, we need you in the General Assembly to do it. We need both redistricting and term limits. It's bipartisan. Both democrats and republicans support it. Even President Obama flew to the state last winter to say redistricting reform is needed in Illinois and across the country."
Rauner also says candidates are running unopposed in two-thirds of statehouse races for this election cycle. "The districts are gerrymandered to lock in incumbents and lock out any opposition so that the politicians pick their voters instead of the voters picking their politicians."
In addition, the governor says Illinois' political system must be changed in order to fix the state's pension system and reform education.
Bill Bloom, Chairman of the Rock Island County Republicans, says local state legislators say they support redistricting. "But they don't actually lift a finger to do anything about it. They didn't distribute petitions. They didn't collect signatures. They didn't get anything notarized. And republicans did all that. I think some of them are sincerely for redistricting, but they won't say anything because they're afraid of Madigan. And others are just putting lip service to it. But republicans to a man or woman support redistricting."
Governor Rauner says voters need to pressure their state senators and representatives to put a redistricting referendum on the ballot and give them a chance to vote on it.
By the way, his aides left Happy Joe's with several bags of food to eat on the road as they traveled to Chicago.