Dillard says letter not contrary to statements on Senate remap
Updated: April 2, 2012 8:13AM
State Sen. Kirk Dillard , R-24th of Hinsdale, said a letter he sent in July 2011 to York Township Republican precinct committeemen does not contradict his statements that it was a rhetorical question when he was asked by the Democratic Senate president if he was OK with representing Elmhurst when legislative districts were redrawn last year.
Dillard’s opponent in the March 20 Republican primary, state Rep. Chris Nybo, R-41st of Elmhurst, said he “got squeezed in a redistricting quandary” and chose to run against Dillard because he had a special deal done for him by Senate President John Cullerton.
After Dillard was quoted in a Feb. 23 Doings story, saying he had no input on the drafting of his district and that being asked if he was OK with representing Elmhurst was nothing more than a rhetorical question, Nybo shared the letter Dillard sent out last July.
The first paragraph of the letter reads: “When the Senate president asked if I wanted to represent York Township in the new legislative map, I answered an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’ To paraphrase Sarah Palin, I can see York Township from my house — I am a Downers Grove Township GOP Precinct Committeeman (former chair) living on its border and my York Township roots run deep.”
“Dillard called his question from Cullerton rhetorical? That’s not what his letter sent out last July says,” Nybo wrote in an email to The Doings. “Kirk either told you an untruth, or he told one to us last July.”
New legislative maps were drawn following the 2010 Census. The new boundaries cut off the western part of the district, which used to include Naperville, moved the northern boundary to include Elmhurst and extended the district east into Western Springs.
During the remapping process, the Democratic majority fended off charges of secrecy and back-room dealing, specifically after reports Democratic legislators were allowed to view proposed maps before they were made public, but Republicans were not.
“There have been numerous hearings, obviously, citizens providing their input. But the actual drawing of the map was done behind closed doors, and those doors were accessible to a select few, it appears,” Patty Schuh, spokeswoman for Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, R-41st of Lemont, said when the maps were released May 19, 2011.
Dillard said he had no choice about representing Elmhurst, but that he is happy to do so.
“I think my letter is consistent with what I said; that I was asked in a rhetorical question. But I am happy to represent Elmhurst,” he said.
“Nybo twists things over and over with everything he does. He should use his energies to put people to work; he needs to focus on job creation, but he does nothing but politics all the time.”