Newspapers around the state reacted to the redistricting compromise agreed to by House Democrats yesterday. Common themes included relief at the end of a “long, messy process” (Columbus Dispatch) marred by “political wrangling and voter confusion” (Toledo Blade).
“The pact… consolidates what would have been two primaries into one on March 6. Holding one primary will save taxpayers an estimated $15 million” notes Aaron Marshall of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
On a local level, several constituencies saw improvements over the previous redistricting map. “The city of Toledo will be represented by two members of the U.S. House instead of three,” says the Blade, while the Dayton Daily News observes that “A major change in the new map from one passed in September was putting all of Montgomery County in one congressional district.”
Read the full articles:
“State will have one primary March 6,” Columbus Dispatch
“Redrawn map puts Toledo in 2 districts instead of 3,” Toledo Blade
“Ohio lawmakers reach deal on congressional redistricting and single primary election,” Cleveland Plain Dealer
“State, with 16 new U.S. House districts, will have 1 primary next year,” Dayton Daily News
See also articles here and here.
Assistant Minority Whip Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) released the following statement on the compromise to reunite the primaries and end the redistricting standoff. The compromised redistricting plan makes some improvements to congressional districts, takes the first steps towards necessary long-term reform and saves taxpayers from footing a more than $15 million bill for two primaries.
“After months of tough negotiations, I’m glad that we were finally able to get to a resolution on the impasse created by majority Republicans hyper-partisan redistricting process. We were able to include the creation of a task force to take real steps towards redistricting reform, and to reunite Ohio’s 2012 primaries,” said Rep. Phillips. “The map is slightly better than the one originally proposed by majority Republicans, but still splits many communities. Last week’s report, indicating the secret meetings in the ‘bunker’ with Republican operatives and donors, make it plain that their goal was not to create fair districts that represent the people of Ohio, but to protect their political cronies.”
“At the end of the day, I felt that it was my responsibility to protect Ohio taxpayers by finding a way to clean up the mess caused by this flawed process,” Rep. Phillips emphasized. “Redistricting has been badly mismanaged, and I urge the Inspector General and the Legislative Inspector General to investigate these abuses of the process. In the meantime, in order to reduce confusion for the voters, take steps towards reform, and save scarce resources, we came to a compromise yesterday.”
Published December 15, 2011
Minority Leader Armond Budish (D-08-Beachwood)
Ohio House Democratic Leader Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) released the following statement after the Ohio House voted to re-unite Ohio’s primaries and end the redistricting standoff:
“We have worked diligently to try and re-unite the primaries and ensure Ohioans have more of a voice across the state in picking their representatives. I am proud that today my colleagues took the difficult but necessary vote to save taxpayers $15 million, reduce voter confusion, and take the first step towards long-term reform,” Leader Budish said. “This fight has forced a meaningful debate about the process in which maps are crafted and I am hopeful that this compromise will lead to the necessary long-term reform Ohioans deserve.”
Assistant Minority Leader Matthew A. Szollosi (D-49-Toledo)
Ohio House Assistant Minority Leader Matthew A. Szollosi released the following statement on the compromise to reunite the primaries and end the redistricting standoff. The compromised redistricting plan makes some improvements to congressional districts, takes the first steps towards necessary long-term reform and saves taxpayers from footing a more than $15 million bill for two primaries.
“This fight has been about giving Ohioans a voice in the redistricting process and force a meaningful debate. We have seen this year just how badly this process is in need of change and are pleased that part of the agreement will include the first steps towards a meaningful bi-partisan reform.
“Creating two primaries was fiscally irresponsible and would have cost the state millions in precious funds at a time when funding to education, police and fire, and local government is being slashed. By reuniting the primaries, Democrats have prevented voter confusion, likely legal chaos and saved the state more than $15 million in taxpayer dollars.”
Published December 8, 2011
Monday’s edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer included an editorial blasting House Bill 136, commonly called the school voucher bill, as “a mistake,” “bad for Ohio’s public schools,” and “bad for Ohio.”
The paper, which has supported vouchers for low-income students in the past, said that Rep. Matt Huffman’s (R-Lima) proposed expansion would “gouge holes in the budgets of public schools that are already on the ropes” by transferring state and local tax dollars to private schools.
Amid concerns about the accountability, affordability, and feasibility of the proposed system, the editorial advocates that Rep. Huffman “just shelve it.”
Read the full editorial here.
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-68-Kent)
RAVENNA – State Representative Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) hosted a town hall meeting in Ravenna this week to discuss Governor John Kasich’s plans to possibly sell or lease the Ohio Turnpike to private operators, as reported on Tuesday in the Ravenna Record Courier.
Rep. Clyde and other panelists, including fellow Reps. Robert Hagan and Ronald Gerberry, advocated against privatizing one of Ohio’s strongest assets. Constituents in attendance agreed, with the Record Courier reporting that “None of the panelists or audience members argued in favor of privatizing Ohio’s toll road.”
Citing problems with Indiana’s turnpike leasing scheme, Rep. Clyde added that “This is a time when our resources go for bargain basement prices, and that is not good for turning our economy around in Ohio.”
Read the full article here.