Ohio Politics Now: How gerrymandering played into the election …

//Ohio Politics Now: How gerrymandering played into the election …

Ohio Politics Now: How gerrymandering played into the election …

Want to know what’s happening in Ohio government and politics from Columbus to Washington,
D.C.? The Columbus Dispatch has you covered.

There was a lot of talk about a need for change in this election but did you know that none of the 16 congressional races was within 19 points, and 14 were decided by at least
30 points. 
All of the incumbents won.


Dispatch reporter Jim Siegel looks at how the congressional and legislative
races all turned out to be blowouts on Election Day.


The reason? Gerrymandered districts aren’t competitive.

“One of the sad things about our elections is, it used to be the goal was you were supposed
to debate ideas and develop the mandate for a policy agenda when you win,” Secretary of State Jon
Husted said. “We don’t have that because there’s no need for it. There’s no competition.”


Will it change? “The lack of competition will continue until Ohio changes the
process for drawing districts, Husted said. A measure approved by voters last year will change
legislative redistricting by adding new rules and a bipartisan requirement starting in 2022, when
new maps are drawn,”
Siegel writes.

“But GOP lawmakers have been unwilling to change the congressional-redistricting
process.”


What about talk of a rigged election? 
“If ‘rigged’ means that you’re
trying to determine the outcome of something before you actually have the contest, how our
legislative and congressional contests operate falls into that category,” Husted said.

***


Popular vote vs. Electoral College: “With Clinton winning nearly 1.5 million more
votes nationally than Trump but losing the electoral vote to him, the outcome of this divisive
presidential campaign has reignited debate about the future of the Electoral College,” T
he Dispatch’s Jack Torry and Siegel write.

“To critics, the Electoral College, established by the Founding Fathers in 1787, is a quaint
relic that has gone the way of the musket, wooden sailing ships and the vote being restricted to
white men.”

***


What about union support?
Dispatch Washington reporter Jessica Wehrman looks at how the GOP was able to
win over union support in this year’s election.

“Labor experts said that the election results reflect an increasingly fraught relationship
between Democrats and the union rank and file. While union leaders sticks solidly with Democratic
candidates — particularly centrists such as Hillary Clinton — members feel torn. They do not feel
that eight years of a Democratic presidency fixed what they had hoped it would fix,”
Wehrman writes.


What they said: “There was a lot of talk about how the economy has recovered and
how the jobs were better and the economy had turned around,” said Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of
labor education research at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. “If you’r
e a worker today, there are jobs out there, but to support your family, you have to work two of
those jobs.”

***


Concerns about Trump and the environment: “Recent progress on climate change has
been vital, environmentalists say. Although some say that the work is fragile at best and could be
undone by the Trump administration, others remain certain that the grass-roots nature of
environmental work will protect it from any sweeping federal changes,”
Dispatch reporter Marion Renault writes.

“Trump has pledged to defund climate-change research, roll back investments in renewable
energy, promote the U.S. fossil-fuel industry and pull out of an international agreement to rein in
global carbon emissions.”

***


A look ahead to 2018: Allies of Richard Cordray have started a twitter account for
him –
@RichCordrayOH.

“Richard Cordray won’t talk about it. More precisely, he can’t talk about it. But allies of
the former Ohio attorney general are increasing their activity on his behalf with one goal in mind:
Making him the Democratic frontrunner for governor in 2018,”

cleveland.com’s Henry J. Gomez writes.

“Cordray himself must refrain from partisan politics because of his federal job running the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But one Democratic source confirmed that the new Twitter
account is the work of his supporters. And State Rep. David Leland of the Columbus area told
cleveland.com Friday that he ‘would be happy to help’ a Cordray campaign.”

***

John Kasich for Senate?
The Enquirer Carl Weiser reports that there is an online push
to draft Ohio Gov. John Kasich to run for Senate in 2018.


Who is behind it? “Devin Bilski of Perrysburg told Cincinnati.com via Facebook
that he’s behind all three efforts. A senior at Ohio State University studying Marketing and
Political Science, Bilski said he hasn’t spoken to Kasich about the efforts. But his enthusiasm is
clearly boundless,” Weiser writes.

“Bilski told Cincinnati.com he traveled to both New Hampshire and Wisconsin for Kasich’s
campaign and volunteered for Kasich’s kick-off announcement at Ohio State in 2015.”


Reminder: Both Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and Rep. Pat Tiberi (a Kasich ally) are
looking at running against Sen. Sherrod Brown.

***


Let’s talk property taxes: “As the state legislature debates yet another
property-tax exemption for businesses, Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo has commissioned a
study to determine whether the thousands already in place locally have created economic growth or
merely shifted the tax burden to others,”
Dispatch reporter Bill Bush writes.

“The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will examine all
abatements granted from 1995 to 2015 in New Albany, Westerville, Hilliard, Gahanna, Grove City and
Upper Arlington, and a portion of the much larger number granted by the city of Columbus, under a
$49,000 contract. It will determine the outcomes the cities were trying to get, the contract says, ‘
and investigate whether these desired outcomes actually occurred.’”

***


On this day: According to the Dispatch library, on this day in 2001, “Gov. Bob
Taft signs legislation to eliminate the electric chair as an option for capital punishment in
Ohio.”

***

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***

meverhart@dispatch.com

@meverhart26

By | 2016-11-23T02:26:28+00:00 November 23rd, 2016|Ohio Politics|

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