The Toledo Blade’s weekend editorial “Ohio gerrymandering another GOP overreach” is exactly what is happening here in Ohio. The Republicans have rammed through countless extreme bills with Gov. Kasich at the helm and there is no sign of them slowing down.
The new congressional redistricting map introduced and passed through the House in less than 48 hours and the proposed GOP drawn legislative maps will likely only further the political dysfunction we see in Columbus and Washington. Blade Editor Dave Kushma wrote, “…The Republican elected officials in the Statehouse who are redrawing the districts for Ohio’s U.S. House delegation and General Assembly have made clear that their priority is making their party even more dominant. Promoting fair, competitive, and effective representation of Ohio voters for the next decade — especially in our part of the state — isn’t their concern.”
Democratic voters are being quarantined into roughly a third of the legislative districts and four congressional seats. The result being some group votes will count significantly more than others. In this broad and diverse state this kind of gerrymandering “turns the notion of proportional representation into a sick joke.”
Kushma continues writing, “On this issue and too many others, Gov. John Kasich and GOP lawmakers have adopted an “in your face — we’ve got the votes” approach that defies opponents to do anything about their overreaching.
“They identified worthwhile changes to the state’s collective-bargaining process for public employees and included them in Senate Bill 5. But then, because they could, they larded the law with union-busting provisions that have nothing to do with saving money or running government more efficiently. That generated a ballot challenge in November.
“Similarly, GOP lawmakers passed an election “reform” law this year aimed at voter fraud that doesn’t exist. The real intent of the measure is to make it harder for folks who generally don’t vote Republican to vote at all.
“And now the map flap. Although the controversy over the new congressional districts has dominated the debate in Columbus, the state Apportionment Board plans to vote this week on new legislative districts.
Read the full editorial here.