We're going to begin today with a wrapup of the week that was in the presidential campaigns, and as befitting his status as the Republican frontrunner, we're going to start with Donald Trump.
If you believe that legislative redistricting reform is the greatest and most needed political reform in Illinois government today, as I do, you also have to face the reality that communicating your belief to the voting public is a monumental challenge.
The Supreme Court has ended the most blatant forms of gerrymandering and required legislative districts at both the state and federal level to be equal in composition within each state. The Court's rulings have been labeled "one person, one-vote," and the general assumption has been that, in dividing up each house by districts, the denominator has been the total population of the state.
At a volatile time in American democracy, where candidates by the dozens curry the favor of billionaires and citizens openly question the validity of elections, the Supreme Court this week upheld an important tool in revitalizing our democracy.
It is imperative for Democrats to establish a call to action and use these next three years to mobilize resources and dedicate their efforts into recruiting a strong slate of statewide candidates for the 2018 election.
The first step to change is admitting the problem. Although we focus on the "Decided Dozen" states in this report as emblematic of what is wrong with elections in the United States, these problems extend across all 50 states.
The Magna Carta is widely regarded as the document that marked the beginning of the Anglo tradition of constitutional liberty that would eventually lead to the writing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
At the center of Evenwel v. Abbott is a math problem: How do we calculate the size of legislative districts? The answer to that question depends on how we define the principle of "one person, one vote."
The same conservatives who succeeded in getting the Supreme Court to gut the Voting Rights Act last year are now attacking the principle of one person, one vote. The purpose of both maneuvers is the same, to help Republicans win elections by diluting or suppressing Democratic votes, in particular the votes of black and brown people.
Depending on how the Supreme Court rules in the next couple weeks, partisan gerrymandering could become the only way that congressional districts are drawn.
Let's make campaign finance reform the question candidates cannot escape. Let's move from grumbling at meetings and Tweeting about fresh outrages. Instead, every citizen, journalist, researcher and pollster can repeatedly ask candidates how they plan to make the institutions they hope to serve in stronger.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has at least one non-negotiable item on his wish list for the spring legislative session: passing legislative term limits. Rich Miller of Capitol Fax explains.
In most states, the legislators themselves can creatively draw districts that yield their desired outcome -- this is akin to the politicians choosing their constituents. What type of district would be best for a representative democracy? Districts drawn by the politicians themselves, or districts drawn independently according to an objective set of criteria?
In Illinois, redistricting is handled by the very legislators who can benefit from the way the political lines are drawn. Reboot Illinois' Madeleine Doubek explains how this gerrymandering reminds her of a Mexican election she covered about 30 years ago.
When partisan dominance can defy the popular vote and lock down years of control, it's clear this is no longer just a problem for progressives -- it's a problem for our democracy as a whole. How do progressives begin to turn the tables in this climate?
In my blue state of Michigan, 51 percent of voters cast their ballots for Democratic state House candidates in 2014, and yet Republicans hold a solid majority in the chamber.