By Bertram de Souza (Contact)
Published October 24, 2011
The $15 million price tag for the political stunt pulled last week by the Republicans in the Ohio House and Senate will simply harden the resolve of Democrats to let the voters of Ohio decide if the GOP-drawn congressional district map is fair and should be implemented.
The stunt involves splitting the 2012 primaries, with state, local and U.S. Senate races to be held in March, and U.S. House and presidential contests to be held June 12. The two-primary plan will cost $15 million statewide and cause undue problems for county boards of elections.
With the Ohio Supreme Court ruling that Democrats could put the redistricting map up for a vote, the drive to secure the petition signatures for a referendum vote in the November 2012 election will be launched soon.
The map the Republicans have drawn is so tilted in the GOP's favor that it has triggered widespread criticism from non-partisan organizations such as the League of Women Voters of Ohio.
With local governments facing financial challenges brought on, in large part, by the cuts in the Local Government Fund imposed by the Republicans controlled General Assembly and Republican Gov. John Kasich, spending $15 million on two primaries is a colossal waste of money.
Republicans should stop playing their political games and work with the Democrats and independent organizations to develop a fair congressional district map.