John Milem, who the Washington State Redistricting Commission honored for his volunteer work on redrawing the state’s political lines but who remained unsatisfied with results, died Saturday, according to his hometown newspaper, The (Vancouver) Columbian.
Shortly after the redistricting commission finished its once-a-decade work last year, Milem filed a petition with the state Supreme Court to overturn the commission’s maps, arguing they violated redistricting law. He also contended that the redistricting commission engaged in illegal meetings, an assertion that appeared to be borne out by News Tribune columnist Peter Callaghan’s review of numerous public records.
The court didn’t get a chance to rule on any of the charges. Milem dropped the case in October after learning that a rare form of cancer, ocular melanoma, had spread to his liver and that he had only months to live.