Skip to comments.Democrats and Labor Get Redistricting Vote on Ohio Ballot
Posted on 09/07/2005 6:14:18 PM PDT by neverdem
The Ohio secretary of state announced yesterday that a series of election-related constitutional amendments had qualified for the November ballot, including one intended to strip Republican elected officials of their control over drawing legislative districts.
The amendments are sponsored by Reform Ohio Now, a coalition dominated by Democrats, unions and watchdog groups. It celebrated the announcement and said a statewide campaign to win approval in November had begun.
"It's not like we're posting yard signs yet, but we're close to that," the campaign manager of Reform Ohio Now, Scarlett Bauder, said. "Right now the time is ripe for reform."
The State Supreme Court rejected last month a Republican-backed move to disqualify the measures, but a second suit by a former Republican state senator is to be heard tomorrow in an appeals court in Columbus.
The former senator, Richard H. Finan, wants the amendments declared invalid because Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell allowed Reform Ohio Now to use out-of-state signature gatherers.
Mr. Finan has said the redistricting measure, if approved, could cost Republicans in Ohio 6 of their 12 seats in Congress and would probably inspire similar Democratic-backed efforts in other states dominated by Republicans.
A spokesman for the Ohio First Education Fund, a group founded by Mr. Finan, said Republicans were moving forward with fund-raising in case they lost the court battle.
The spokesman, David L. Hopcraft, said the campaign was drawing money from outside the state because of Ohio's significance as a swing state in presidential elections, though he did not give specific dollar amounts.
"If the issues make it to the ballot," Mr. Hopcraft said, "we will have a vigorous campaign that speaks to the ballot-box power of every Ohioan, which we think is clearly threatened under these amendments."
"These issues," he added, "are being backed by"...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Can any knowledgeable person comment on this?
With the way things are going in Ohio, the Republicans may well be swept out of office without redistricting, and they will end up welcoming this measure!
They JUST redrew my district (effective before the last election). RAT Sherrod Brown was my rep. in a GOP district. I now have GOP representation. I doubt this will pass in November.
The NYT only likes reform of redistricting in states with Republican majorities. They they gloat that a similar initiative was taken off the ballot in California by a judge. They detest that Texas was redistricted such that the artificial DemocRAT majority was swept out of office.
Ain't that the same Blackwell that the Democrats hated back last November? Maybe he was just doing his job both times.
If this initiative passes, will it take effect in 2011 or immediately.
The Ohio Republicans at risk of losing their seats are statewide elected officials who are obviously unaffected by re-districting lines, unless we annex Michigan or something. :)
The current lines were drawn by Republicans. Ohio, like the U.S., has a history of agressive Democrats and timid Republicans on so-called bipartisan commissions. Any lines they draw will benefit Dems to an unimaginable degree.
Most state reps and U.S. Congressmen in Ohio, regardless of party, are in no danger of losing their seats under the current lines. The Hackett-Schmidt race was a total fluke, since all of the other Congressmen are incumbents. The fact is that most state reps and Congressmen will get re-elected under the current lines because they can't be tied to Taft the way Schmidt could be. Also, their races (and other Congressional races) occur under the radar with Presidential and Gubernatorial races on the ballot taking the most press. As if that weren't enough, it is highly doubtful the Dims can run photogenic, articulate ex-Marines in every district against candidates who are too timid to point out their opponents' lies and distortions.
That ought to take care of your uninformed analysis of "Ohio Republicans being swept out of office" with the thought that so-called bipartisan commissions, empowered by organized labor, can shomehow keep them in office.
This measure will ensure district lines drawn to the Dims' advantage.
Other measures on the ballot will reduce the max amount individuals can give to candidates and parites to $1000, virtually eliminate corporate-sponsored and trade-association PACs, remove the Sec of State's power in enforcing election laws (that goes to another "bi-partisan commission" comprised of bulldog Dems and lapdog RINOs).
Oh, and this measure does nothing to rein in organized labor's ability to influence elections. By tying one hand behind our backs, it actually serves to stregthen their hand.
The fact that practically every newspaper in Ohio supports this should tell you something.
The fact that Soros sponsored the petition drive should tell you something, too. Remember Soros gives to 527s most of the time, not directly to candidates or PACs.
The fact that the same people who tried to register Mary Poppins to vote in Toledo last year now want to re-write our election districts and laws should tell you something, too.
Other than that, this is a great set of changes to Ohio's Constitution. The backers could definitely benefit from the thinking of people such as you.
California was re-districted by Commission in the 1990s. Back then, the Republicans briefly held a majority in the State Assembly, and had a split in the US House delegation. In 2000, the Dems did the re-districting, and they now enjoy a nearly 2/3rds advantage.
I don't know. I don't live there.
No one calls Chris Bell a racist for crying about Republicans redistricting his seat so it could put more black politicians in Congress. He lost his seat to a Democrat.
All part of the backstory for the ethics violations against Tom DeLay.
The fact is, this so-called bipartisan commission coming to Ohio is going to be controlled by Dems, regardless of who the governor, auditor, secretary of state, etc. is.
In fact, the Ohio Dems are so inept that this commission will do a better job for them than they could do for themselves if they had actually gone out and won the necessary elections (2 out of 3 of Gov, Sec of State and Auditor) to control our apportionment board.
My guess is: coordinated.
How is redistricting supposed to reform Ohio?
There are three different things on the ballot.
1. Campaign Finance Limits. Basically to replace the campaign finance bill that was passed in the General Assembly not too long ago.
2. Create a "bipartisan" commission on elections to replace the Secretary of State. I believe that Democrat SOS candidates have come out against this.
3. "Bipartisan" commission through judges on redistricting.
During a local election year like this, turn out is traditionally very weak. While Strickland and Coleman have endorsed this, the Ohio Dem leadership has not and certain officeholders have come out against portions of it. The Dem Chairman, Denny White, realizes that winning next year's elections would be better for him.
Reddistricting will take effect for the 2008 election cycle. I believe the other parts take effect immediately.
"Can any knowledgeable person comment on this? "
Yes. This is the first step in turning Ohio into a Democrat bastion in preparation for 2008. If everything remsains the same, all Hillary has to do is win this state and the election is hers.
Mehlman at the RNC had better get that GOP turnout machine reactivated in Ohio, now.
One way would have been to travel around Ohio to GOP dinners, etc., this year and personally thank all the volunteers for their good work in 2004. But Mehlman apparently was too busy trying to expand the party's black vote from 11 percent to 12 percent, and didn't have time for the party's base. A stupid mistake.