July 06, 2001 11:00 pm

If we all lived in the past, we would either have 20-20 hindsight or always see things (or people) for what they were.

The case in point is the House leadership (including our own House Speaker Mark Simmons, R-Elgin), who cant seem to get beyond the idea that the current secretary of state is a Democrat.

The House shut down for a week over the issue of redistricting. The House Democrats walked out of the chamber and refused to come back to work until a plan by Republicans to circumvent the governors office was dropped.

The Republicans have a plan that doesnt have bipartisan support and they were warned that the governor would veto such a plan, which he did. Turning to another tool, a resolution, the Republicans hoped to get their plan past the governor, since a resolution doesnt require his signature. But the Democrats stayed away from Salem until the time to approve the resolution had gone by.

Even though few if any of the Republican members of the House knew Secretary of State Bill Bradbury when he was in the Legislature, they decided that if the redistricting issue ended up in his hands, he would automatically redraw the lines to suit the desires of Democrats. That wont happen.

Bradbury has publicly said that he will not do so. Instead, he has said that he will create a plan that is void of partisanship and will draw boundaries based on information from computer printouts and census numbers.

That still hasnt had a settling effect on the House Republican leadership. Bradbury has scheduled a series of meetings around the state for public input on redistricting. He said he would not consult any legislators in re-drawing the districts.

ANYONE who has met Bradbury realizes that hes a man of his word. If he says he will try and do this task without being partisan, he should be given the chance to do so since the House leaders on both sides couldnt come to a bipartisan resolution.

Bradbury has a lot at stake. He has aspirations to run for higher office. If he sways from what he has said, he can be held accountable


Plus his predecessor, former Secretary of State Phil Keisling, had to carry out the redistricting plan 10 years ago.

Keisling is a Democrat and both sides of the aisle applauded the results of his efforts.

Trust is a difficult thing to keep in play when it comes to politics, but we have a chance to see if someone can be trusted in Salem.