The Ohio General Assembly is heading home for Christmas, but not before signaling one of its likely 2018 priorities: “reform” in congressional districting. True, the legislature’s first and foremost task is getting re-elected, which means slipping special-interest legislation past voters while ballyhooing motherhood and patriotism. But General Assembly members of both parties are said to now agree it’s high time for Ohio to change how it draws its (currently ridiculous) congressional districts. Today’s districts, in politically closely divided Ohio, send 12 Republicans and just four Democrats as Ohio’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives. Ohio GOP leaders say bipartisan deal close for congressional redistricting reform.
The push for reform isn’t a bipartisan, road-to-Damascus conversion to civic-mindedness. … Trouble is, when there’s bipartisan consensus at the Statehouse about something important, that can mean one of two things:
Possibility One: To try to slow the momentum of a voter-initiated reform plan, in this case a redistricting ballot issue proposed by the League of Women Voters of Ohio.
Possibility Two: To keep real power over congressional district lines inside the General Assembly, while seeming not to. The boys’ club (basically, that’s what the legislature still is) likes to decide who’s at the card game.