Marriage equality and gerrymandering in Illinois

At the Oak Park library, July 17, 2013 — from Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters — one down the middle for the state rep:

The Democratic (honorary) committeewoman asked Lilly how “marriage equality” was coming along, setting her up with a softball she could hit out of the park for this Oak Park audience.

Lilly connected, proclaiming, hand on chest, “It’s my heart that it will pass, now that it’s really got momentum. Our great state” will do this. It did pass a few months later and became one of the jewels in the Democrat crown.

Then hardball about election and reelection:

A CPA shifted tone considerably, urging Sen. Harmon to “do something about corruption in our very corrupt state.” He specified “gerrymandering” and complained, “The way it’s set up, candidates know they will win,” continuing at length in this vein.

“Each of us is vulnerable in a primary,” Harmon said. When an opponent surfaces, he might have added. Lilly, appointed in 2010, had run unopposed in primary and general elections in 2012 and would do so again in 2014. Harmon had run unopposed in the general every year but one since he was elected in 2002.

Some non-close calls:

Harmon was to be opposed in the 2014 primary, by a Galewood man with public-employee-union background, whom he defeated handily. He was unopposed in the general, though briefly threatened by a last-minute Republican opponent who thought better of it after a week and withdrew for “personal reasons.”

A candidate needs money to answer nominating-petition challenges, which led to the withdrawal for lack of funds of a credible candidate seeking to oppose Congressman Danny Davis in 2014, for instance.

Illinois Blues is available in paperbackepub and Amazon Kindle formats.