Sunday, January 20, 2008

Crazy Political Rantings: Fixing Illinois

The Crazy Politico offers his proposal for solving the problem of transit in the suburbs and for increasing representation in the General Assembly.

Instead, a "spread the weath" formula needs to be developed. While the 2020 groups contention that faster rail would make folks more likely to use it has merit, so does the idea that a non-Chicagocentric system for the RTA would help. Making it easier to get from Points A and B, without going through Chicago, or close to it would help. Metropolis 2020 ignores the fact that a lot of the traffic on Chicago freeways isn't going to Chicago, it's going somewhere less well served by our current transit structure.

One of the downsides to the current transit structure is that is makes it nearly impossible for the collar counties to develop their own transit systems, the money they have for it is already tied up in the bloated RTA, CTA, Pace, Metra system leaving little for regional transport outside of Chicago.

Chicago Metropolis 2020 points out that the number of trucks jamming the roads is part of the problem. Easing truck congestion is much easier than anyone will admit, because it doesn't fit in the "Chicago First" mold. Rockford has an excellent airport that is tossed occasional bones in cargo transit, but is basically locked out of becoming a major regional hub by O'Hare contracts. The same is true of major brand airlines trying to fly from Rockford. Anything that takes away from idea of O'Hare as the epicenter of Northern Illinois transit is looked on as bad, and whispers of punishment from the O'Hare folks shut down the idea quickly.

DeKalb and Rockford both have the rail, road and air transport facilities to reduce the congestion in the O'Hare area, and Chicago area as a whole, but have been, through state and regional actions, hampered in developing them to their full potential. Both area also closer to other states time and distance wise than Chicago, and could be used to attract business from them, growing Illinois, but the same groups that want to grow Illinois by making Chicago better ignore methods that would grow Illinois anywhere but Chicago.

So, how does this get fixed? Well this year Illinois has the chance to vote on holding a Constitutitional Convention to rewrite or Amend the State Constitution. Changing Article IV of the State Constitution to change the makeup of the state legislature would be a good start. Currently the makeup is completely population based, with 59 districts, each providing one Senator and 2 Assembly members. Because over 65% of the states population is located in Cook County and it's "collar counties" both houses of our the legislature are disproportionately representative of that area, making everything else in the state second rate as far as the legislature is concerned.

A good change would be to make the Legislature more like the Federal Government. The Assembly could be made slightly bigger, by coming up with 70-75 districts based on population, with 2 members from each. However, the Senate could be based on Counties instead of population, with 1 Senator from each of the 102 counties. By giving equal voice to all of the counties in one branch of the legislature we'd be able to mitigate some of the Chicago First mentality, and maybe, just maybe, grow the whole state from different angles, instead of hoping growth radiates from an overgrown and overburdened epicenter.


Dave Nader,  4:12 PM  

Big oil and global warming are the biggest problems in Illinois.
Special Interest lobbyist Larry Suffredin is supporting Maryann Spyropolous because of her big oil money.

Dan,  9:00 PM  

First of all, her name is Mariyana Spyropoulos not all the other spellings. She is related to Alexi but so what.
The bigger subtext is that if she is elected than you could see some real change and a new President.
Debra Shore is the best candidate for President of the MWRD. She is a true environmentalist and not a corrupt hack like Terry O'Brien.
She was the top vote getter and deserves the job.

The votes should go for:
Mariyana Spyropoulos
Dean Maragos
Diane Jones

Larry Suffredin was endorsed by the Sun Times and all the attacks on his lobbying are just sour grapes by those not in the lead.
With Suffredin as State's Attorney and Debra Shore as the President of the MWRD you would go a long way to reforming Cook County.
Forest Claypool beating Todd Stroger is next cycle.

Patricia,  9:25 PM  

Just imagine how crazy Illinois will be and how much fixing it would need after a term or two of the highest bidder lobbyist for big tobacco, oil and gaming LARRY SUFFREDINO!!!
He might even pardon Convict con artist Cramer.
A lobbyist for the top prosecutors spot--I love it!!!!
Larry Suffredino is the rotund, weasly, lobbyist.
How about a drink, a cigarrette, and a game of poker for the defense--the prosecutor is bought.

Brian Daly,  11:14 PM  

To fix Illinois:
Send Rod to jail
Send Long Monk to jail or back to Cali

Extreme Wisdom 1:05 AM  

Any Reason for a Const. Convetion is good enough for me.

Illinois will never be improved absent a convention.

Cal Skinner 12:43 PM  

Guess the author of the post hasn't read up on the one-man, one-vote court decisions.

Crazy Politico 4:31 PM  

Cal, as the author of the original post, I'm wondering how you could explain "one man, one vote" would being affected by electing MORE State Senators and MORE State Representatives to the legislature. If anything, my idea would make our state government more representative of each of the men (and women) in our state.

steve schnorf 6:18 PM  

Politico, I think you must mean that Cook and the collars are "proportionately" represented. Do the math.

Crazy Politico 7:38 PM  

Steve, the problem is that unlike our federal government, that proportional representation is present in both chambers of the legislature. That makes it too easy for Chicago and the collars to end up with a disproportionate share of the revenue from the state.

While the federal system ends up spending a lot of pork on deal making the Illinois system just basically hands the state budget to Cook and the collars and gives the table scraps to the rest of the state.

My actual thought on the best fix would be for the 95 non-collar counties to seceed from the state and form their own. Suddenly the folks in Cook and the collars would find out how much their "needs" actually cost.

fedup dem 10:23 PM  

I hate to burst your bubble, but the US Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional your cockamany scheme to have one State Senator per county, regardless of population. That idea was thrown into the garbage can of illegal ideas four than four decades ago.

In the future, don't waste our time talking about an idea than won't last ten seconds in a federal court!

Crazy Politico 5:06 AM  

Fed Up Dem and Steve, while you are right, the Warren Court did rule that, using your logic, I should be able to own slaves, as a Supreme Court once ruled them property.

If you look at the logic of the 1960's Warren court rulings against "gross rural over represenation" you can see that they could just as easily be applied to today's gross urban overrepresentation.

Add to that the "States Rights" arguement (over how to form their government) that the Warren Court never thought mattered, and you have a precident that is ripe for overturning.

Granted, it won't happen, at least not starting at a state level like a legislature, but I'll bet that over the next decade that ruling will start to be nullified by courts that realized just how out of bounds it is.

Bill,  8:15 AM  

You have helped make the case for not having a constitutional convention. It would cause the whackos to come out of the woodwork.

Extreme Wisdom 11:37 AM  


The whackos came out of the woodwork long ago, they are now bankrupting the state.

I find it fascinating that the Supreme Court would invalidate the ideas raised by Politico. In case no one noticed (including the Supreme Court) the model is exactly congruent to the US House and the Senate.

The founding fathers understood exactly what power the large population centers would have, and designed the Senate accordingly.

If Politico's idea violates "one man one vote" then so does the US Constitution.

Those founding "whackos" Bill!!

I guess the prospect of the citizens taking back control from the corrupt political class scares you.

Why, some one might change the little piggies pension kleptocracy.

Let's make sure that doesn't happen, right Bill.

Who's the "whacko?"

BTW, anyone who thinks Big Oil and Global Warming are the biggest problems in Illinois shouldn't be taken seriously.

It was a joke, right?

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