Monday, March 16, 2009

What We Should Have Been Blogging About Last Week, Part I

Last week while the whole mess was going down, State Sen. Kevin Coughlin, who deserves a "nick"name of some sort that I haven't determined yet, flew under the radar to propose apportionment board reform. (H/T WMD)

Coughlin Set to Propose Apportionment Board Reform

COLUMBUS-State Senator Kevin Coughlin (R-Cuyahoga Falls) will introduce legislation next week that seeks to bring more balance and fairness to the state's method for redrawing legislative districts.
The resolution, jointly sponsored by Senator Gary Cates (R-West Chester), would amend the Ohio Constitution to change the membership of the apportionment board to the Governor, the Auditor of State, the Secretary of State, the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, the House Minority Leader, the Ohio Senate President and the Minority Leader of the Senate.
Currently, the membership on the board includes the Governor, Auditor, Secretary of State, a person chosen by the Speaker of the House and the Senate President, who is a member of the Speaker's political party, and a person chosen by legislative leaders in the minority party. The board meets every 10 years to redraw districts after U.S. Census figures are released.
Coughlin's resolution would increase membership on the apportionment board to seven and require that five or more members agree to the district lines.
"This is a practical solution to the ongoing debate about redistricting in Ohio," said Coughlin. "This critical decision should be made by those who were elected by the people as part of a fair and balanced process."
Sen. Coughlin will detail the proposal next week be available to answer questions.

Let’s review. The GOP controlled Ohio’s governor’s mansion from 1990 until 2006. The GOP completely controlled all facets of our state government from 1994 to 2006. And they did absolutely nothing during that time to reform redistricting. Why? Because they liked how the process gave them complete control to draw the lines. Now, however, faced with the prospect of Democratic control of the apportionment board, all of a sudden reforming the apportionment board is a priority.

I can’t believe we let these guys get off the hook last week.

No comments: