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Dems sue Kasich over new district boundaries



Published: Thu, January 5, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.

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"THESE STATE LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT LINES SHOW A BLATANT DISREGARD FOR THE OHIO CONSTITUTION.” -- Sen. Capri Cafaro, Ohio Senate minority leader

By Marc Kovac

news@vindy.com

COLUMBUS

More than 30 people, including former lawmakers, have filed suit against Gov. John Kasich and the state apportionment board, hoping to overturn legislative district lines finalized by Republicans in late September.

The group is pushing for the Ohio Supreme Court to draw new lines itself, hire someone else to complete the process or force the Republican-controlled board to draw new lines that better meet the requirements of the state constitution, Democratic leaders at the Statehouse said.

“Republicans violated the Ohio Constitution by ignoring restrictions on splitting apart communities and instead used criteria designed to maximize their political advantage and campaign cash,” Armond Budish, a Democrat from the Cleveland area and the lone member of his party who served on the apportionment board, said.

He added, “I believe the court can have the new maps prepared in relatively short order if they act quickly.”

Kasich’s office declined comment on the specifics of the filing Wednesday.

“While we are confident that the districts are constitutional, we do not comment on litigation,” Rob Nichols, the governor’s spokesman, said.

The lawsuit names Kasich, Secretary of State Jon Husted, state Auditor Dave Yost and Republican Senate President Tom Niehaus.

The reapportionment process is completed every 10 years, after new Census statistics pinpoint population changes. The new boundaries, finalized in late September, placed 12 incumbents in overlapping districts and doubled the number of majority-minority areas, where black voters represent more than half of the population.

The joint secretaries of the apportionment board said at the time the map was approved that “significant population shifts,” not partisan considerations, shaped how the new districts were drawn.

Republicans said the new maps are constitutional.

Mike Dittoe, spokesman for the Ohio House’s Republican Caucus, called the lawsuit “yet another in a series of unbelievably disappointing attempts by House and Senate Democrats to throw the 2012 elections into legal chaos. Make no mistake: This is nothing more than an attempt by the Democrats to have federal judges draw Ohio’s legislative districts.”

“The terms of the state legislative map are set forth in the Constitution of Ohio and the federal Voting Rights Act, and this map strictly complies in all regards with those requirements,” Dittoe said. “We are confident that the diligent work of the members of the apportionment board will be upheld by the courts.”

But opponents allege the process was unconstitutional, completed by Republicans behind closed doors and resulted in districts that favor GOP lawmakers.

Budish and Capri Cafaro, D-32nd, Senate minority leader, said Wednesday that “political indices and campaign contributions” were driving factors, breaking up communities of common interest and resulting in 51 counties, 108 townships, 55 cities and 41 wards unnecessarily split.

“These state legislative district lines show a blatant disregard for the Ohio Constitution,” Cafaro said.


Comments

1senod01(5 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Let the freakin dems. whine, let them throw their fits and kick their little feet. They have ran Ohio into financial ruin for years, taking as much as they could for themselves. The courts should not waste their time or the tax payers money, on the whines of these losers. The Dems.(Progressives), have cost this country so much money, it is time to turn a deaf ear to them.

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2Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Only one word comes to mine and that is RECALL

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3Iwannamove(61 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

senod01 you don't know anything let your Republicans in office and see how bad the sxxt hits the fan.

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4dd933(228 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

So, it was the Dems (Progressives) who made decisions to invade and occupy Iraq costing about $1 TRILLION...and all the while I was thinking George W. Bush was a Republican.

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5JME(801 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

If you want an example of the damage the Dems can do, just look at the Mahoning Valley.

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6commyliberal(94 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Ohio needs a nonpartisan redistricting panel to draw these districts every ten years. The reason we have so much political gridlock in Washington is because there are too many "safe" districts. The political parties try to strengthen their advantages in each district and this causes the elections to be noncompetitive.

A "safe" district causes the politician running in that district to have to appeal to the most highly partisan ideas of the polital party. We end up sending the most idiological politicians to Washington & State governments because they have to be partisan in order to get elected in those districts.

Make all the districts competative ans send the politicians who can appeal to the middle of the electorate. This political gridlock is not helping anyone.

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7southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Politics at its finest...LOL

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