image: geico neanderthal - stone age politics

Ohio Redistricting Still in the Stone Age

Why is Common Cause continuing to fight for redistricting reform? Well, part of the reason can be found in yesterday’s expose article in Roll Call: Emails Reveal Role of Boehner Aide, NRCC in Ohio Redistricting (Shira Toeplitz, Roll Call, 12/12/11)

The article depicts an all-too familiar story of partisan excess, the overpowering influence of money, and the willingness of politicians to do whatever it takes to please well-heeled donors. In short, it’s a true story of politicians choosing who they will or won’t represent and the rest of us with little or no say at all. From documents obtained by the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting, a key partner in our Ohio-based redistricting reform coalition, we see the underbelly and behind-the-scenes partisan deal-making that went on recently during Ohio’s redistricting process.

And, spoiler-alert, it ain’t pretty.

Secret GOP gatherings in a hotel room they rented between July and October of this year they nicknamed “the bunker,” to draw maps and took great pains taken to please their own well-heeled supporters and donors.  In one case, the GOP mapmakers drew boundary lines so they could move a manufacturing company’s HQ into fellow GOP House Member Jim Renacci’s district. Cozy since this same company donated $120,000 to Renacci’s election campaign.

Sweetheart deals, don’t they just warm your heart too?

And, shocking to no one except maybe the Geico Neanderthal guy who lives under a rock, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is shown to have called the shots throughout the process. Money may not “buy you love” sang the Beatles, but it sure seems in Ohio to be able to buy you a cash-friendly map for the next decade. All this done literally behind closed (hotel room) doors.

So much for open, honest, accountable and transparent governing, right?

Read Emails Reveal Role of Boehner Aide, NRCC in Ohio Redistricting (Shira Toeplitz, Roll Call, 12/12/11) »


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About Greg Rabidoux

Greg Rabidoux is the fair districts campaign director a Common Cause. He has a PH.D and JD in politics and law, has taught and practiced law, and was a candidate for US Congress. He is the author of Hollywood Politicos, Then and Now. Follow him on Twitter @GregRabidoux.

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