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Ohio Passes Redistricting Reform; Smart Candidates Should Fight Gerrymandering, Not Weed-Whackers

Pot didn’t win in Ohio last night, but redistricting did.

64% of Ohio voters rejected a ballot measure that would have legalized marijuana. 71% of Ohio voters approved an initiative that adds members to the board in charge of redistricting to guarantee better bipartisan balance in drawing the state legislative map.

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on a procedural matter that could keep alive a lawsuit against the gerrymandering wrought by Democrats in Maryland. Late-blooming law student and proud Democrat Stephen Shapiro explains why he’s suing to stop his majority party from rigging the election map:

Small segments of voters should not be tied by ribbons with very different voters from distant parts of the state — just because those voters have a history of supporting candidates inconsistent with the majority in the legislature. The poor quality of representation afforded by such districts cannot be justified by the desire of the legislature to so firmly determine the make-up of our House delegation.

…As a litigant and a proud Common Cause member, what’s most exciting about all this is that the impetus for change is coming from citizens who’ve seen a problem and have resolved to tackle it. America was founded on the principle that power should flow from “we the people.” That’s what our Constitution says. The growing redistricting reform movement is evidence that that idea remains relevant today [Stephen Shapiro, “Md. Case Pushes Boundaries of Redistricting Reform,” Baltimore Sun, 2015.11.03].

At stake in redistricting process is the basic, constitutional issue of fair representation for every voter. Who votes where, and for whom, is an issue on which everything else we do as a democracy flows. Every citizen has a direct stake in that issue. Placed side-by-side with a measure to legalize pot, redistricting reform won nearly twice as many votes in Ohio last night.

South Dakotans will get to vote next year on an initiative to stop gerrymandering and put redistricting in the hands of an independent commission. South Dakotans will also get to vote on an initiative to legalize medical marijuana. (Cannabis backers couldn’t find enough grass-rooters to put mere decriminalization on the ballot.) I know South Dakota and Ohio are different states, but Democrats and other candidates, if you’re looking for an issue to coattail to victory next November, last night’s results in Ohio suggest you’ll inspire more voters by backing redistricting than you will by pushing pot.


  1. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-04 11:44

    The monopoly issue did confound the results. But so did “Buddy,” the “kitschy, ironic” mascot the pot backers used, thinking it would bring out the youth vote. Ohio puts another chink in that theory. Don’t gamble a campaign on pot or irony.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-04 13:51

    South Dakota Farmers Union just submitted their anti-gerrymandering petition with over 40,000 signatures.

    Jerry, did the Ohio Legislature and the backers if Issue 2 lie as deliberately and baldfacedly to voters as the payday lenders are doing to South Dakotans right now?

  3. Lynn 2015-11-04 15:39

    Bernie Sanders rendered himself unelectable for President with that statement and position.

  4. larry kurtz 2015-11-04 15:49

    Lynn rendered itself.

  5. larry kurtz 2015-11-04 15:55

    Lynn rendered itself no longer credible by believing Bernie Sanders has ever been electable for President of the United States.

  6. bearcreekbat 2015-11-04 16:44

    The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that here in the USA, “In 2013, there were 19.8 million current [marijuana] users—about 7.5 percent of people aged 12 or older—up from 14.5 million (5.8 percent) in 2007.”

    It is rather odd that some people believe we should retain 85 year old laws that have not stopped or even decreased marijuana use. And how anyone could advocate that we should lock up almost 20 million of our friends, neighbors and relatives in jails for “crime” of possessing and using marijuana is beyond me.

    You go Bernie!

  7. Lynn 2015-11-04 16:53

    I’ve sat in a few courtroom proceedings and not once were any of them sent to jail for marijuana possession in small amounts. They had to pay a hefty fine and seek drug counseling but no jail time. With the Pot porn Memes over at SDAP they make it sound like someone was sentenced to 20 years hard labor for being caught with a joint.

  8. Lynn 2015-11-04 16:56

    If they are caught dealing than lock them up.

  9. bearcreekbat 2015-11-04 17:17

    Our friends, neighbors and relatives who get arrested for possessing a joint in SD are taken to jail, booked, and sit until a judge sets bail. If they can pay bail they are released until the case is concluded. If they can’t make bail, they sit until the case is concluded. But, they all go to jail, some for longer than others.

    The most serious misdemeanor in SD is a Class 1. Under SDCL 22-42-6, possession of one joint is a Class 1 misdemeanor. People convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor face up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. Is that about the right amount of fine plus jail time?

  10. larry kurtz 2015-11-04 17:17

    Anyone who home brews beer or makes wine may share all they want as long as it isn’t sold. Prairie Berry, the other vintners and Crow Peak Brewing have to collect taxes on sales.

  11. Lynn 2015-11-04 17:31

    I’ve already covered this over and over and over and over and over in previous posts. Back to phone calls. :)

  12. bearcreekbat 2015-11-04 17:38

    Actually I recall that you have continually ignored, ignored, ignored Bob’s question to you (as well as my questions to you). Perhaps one of us has a fading memory? Go ahead, drop a dime.

  13. jerry 2015-11-04 18:15

    Cory, it seems they did do that to muddy the waters much like here with the payday fiasco. The secretary of state there is a real pain in the rear rightwing knucklehead, so of course it was allowed. The attorney corporal for the State of South Dakota will allow all of those things because, well because he sees a profit in it for himself and his handlers.

    In the meantime, here is what those poor folks down in Colorado are doing. Building schools now in Colorado with the money that will not come from taxpayers. How in the world? Meanwhile, in the completely corrupted South Dakota, I get to read Lynn. Fun times.

  14. larry kurtz 2015-11-04 19:16

    South Dakota: Land of Infinite Vomiturition.

  15. Porter Lansing 2015-11-05 02:54


  16. larry kurtz 2015-11-05 20:23

    teevee is the most insidious gateway drug.

  17. leslie 2015-11-05 20:36

    true dat.

    cah-any news on how Weiland’s petition?

  18. grudznick 2015-11-05 20:56

    Mr. Weiland got 60,000 signatures on his petition.

  19. leslie 2015-11-05 23:20

    fu grudz, wutz yer deal, yutz!? why anyone bothers w/u here is a mystery

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-06 09:13

    Sorry, leslie, no news yet from Camp Weiland on the open primary and anti-corruption petitions. Now that the 18-percent fakers have left town, the Weiland petitioners may have a clear shot at signers.

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