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Illinois GOP Members Charge That New Map Is Unfair

Illinois’ GOP House Members released a rare joint statement Friday criticizing the new Congressional map proposed by local Democrats as overtly partisan and unfair.

The new map, which is expected to get a vote this weekend in the state Legislature, drastically alters the exurban and suburban Chicago House districts held by several GOP Members. Republicans made huge gains in Illinois last year by picking up four House seats, but the new map proposed by Democrats moves many of those suburban Members into the same districts — effectively forcing Republicans to face off with each other, move into another district or retire.

“This proposal appears to be little more than an attempt to undo the results of the elections held just six months ago and we will take whatever steps necessary to achieve a map that more fairly represents the people of Illinois — they deserve nothing less,” the 11 Illinois Republican House Members said in the joint statement.

Democrats are shut out of the redistricting process in many other important states, but they controlled the mapmaking in Illinois — making the state’s new Congressional boundaries extremely important for Democrats looking to take back the House in 2012.

The Illinois Republicans also charged that the map was drawn “without any input from Republicans or any consideration for the hours of testimony offered at public hearings this spring.”

“We are very concerned that this proposal does not fairly represent the significant growth that has occurred in the Hispanic community,” they said in the statement. “The proposed map carves up towns and communities with little regard to the values and beliefs of the people who live there.”

The statement was sent out by Rep. Judy Biggert’s office. Biggert is one of the GOP Members who would be affected the most by the proposed map because it moves her base area into the same district as Rep. Peter Roskam (R).