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Democrats should challenge legality of GOP district maps

Published: Thu, September 29, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

When 25 grassroots organiza- tions in the state charge that Republicans have used their majority in the General Assembly to ensure election victories for the next decade through the creation of favorable congressional and legislative districts, the people of Ohio have a right to an impartial ruling. Hence, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the districts created by the GOP is in order.

Democrats who stand to be the minority party in General Assembly and occupy only four of the 16 congressional seats for the foreseeable future should force the GOP-controlled House and Senate and the Republican-dominated apportionment board to defend their actions in court. The Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting, a coalition of 25 groups, would be a natural ally seeing as how it has strongly criticized the new congressional and state legislative district maps.

According to the group’s analysis of what the Republicans have done, 11 of the 16 congressional districts would be solidly in the GOP column, four would be strongly Democratic, and one would be competitive. As for the state legislature, 51 of the 99 House districts would be solidly Republican, 10 would lean Republican, 18 would be Democratic and 20 would be competitive. In the Senate, Republicans would control 17 of the 33 seats and four others would be GOP leaning. Democrats would have the rest.

Republicans insist that the maps meet all state and federal constitutional requirements and they note the Democratic Party’s winning the House in 2008 is proof that appearances of overwhelming majorities with regard to districts don’t always translate into election day victories.

But the 2008 Democratic win was a fluke, evidenced by the Republicans taking back the House this year. The Senate has been in GOP hands since 1984.

Commenting on the new map of legislative districts, Jim Slagle, manager of the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Republicans will have a virtual lock on the General Assembly.

“They made it as close to a lock as they could,” Slagle said. “You’d need a real major, major shift” to Democrats beyond what was seen in 2008 when Barack Obama was on the ballot as the Democratic nominee for president.

Republicans may well be on solid ground in contending that what they have produced is constitutional, but given the clear partisan nature of the exercise, we believe a challenge is in order.

Competitive races

Our position is bolstered by the fact that there are congressional and legislative district maps drawn by individuals around the country that would result in many more competitive races.

It is noteworthy that Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, a member of the apportionment board, has renewed his call for a bipartisan entity to create the legislative districts. The current apportionment panel, which approved the new map Wednesday, is made up of five Republicans and one Democrat.

Husted had tried to push through legislation to create the bipartisan panel while he was speaker of the House, but the measure never made it out of the General Assembly.


1taliwacker(54 comments)posted 3 years ago

boo hooo.. you guys need a tissue???

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2walter_sobchak(1914 comments)posted 3 years ago

We have been down this road before and there will never be a system that will please both sides. This is the politics of the issue and it can never be totally removed from the system. In fact, the gerrymandering has been done in the Cleveland area to assure that the black citizens will be assured of a black representative from their area. Imagine the uproar if we did away with that district! So, my advice to the democrats is to run candidates that can win statewide elections so you can have more seats at the table.

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3piak(508 comments)posted 3 years ago

Tammany Hall. In "New Yawk" City. Run by some guy named "Boss" Tweed.
Democratic Party organization. Somewhere in the 1880's or so.

He said "To the victors, belong the spoils". Or something like that. Anyway, the meaning was clear. Quoting Barak Hussein Obama, "We won, didn't we" is pretty much the modern version of this.

But we know the Democrats would have redistricted the state in a more fairer way. Certainly. It would only be coincidence after their redistricting plan went into effect that the entire state went Democrat in all 88 counties. Yeh, sure.

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4m8ke_the_call(105 comments)posted 3 years ago

its nice to see the vindy doesnt let their democrat buddies down.

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5NachoCheese(163 comments)posted 3 years ago

Oh BOO HOO! You can't win at the ballot box, so you cry and complain about everything that doesn't go your way. Your entitlement mentality is pathetic, and is quite symbolic of what has gotten us into the mess this state has become to begin with. The TRUTH of the matter is that voters are smarter than your partisan little whining, and it would seem that, over time, no matter how you slice it, voters just don't find the value in the liberal demoncrat approach. Just because you wish something does not make it so. Deal with it!

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6Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years ago

You voted the tea party in and they can do what ever they like and will
Please remember this the next time you vote

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