Here we go again, Ohio.
After being swept out of every statewide office, and losing the Ohio House last November, Ohio Democrats don't think that that election has any consequences.
First, of course, they and their union allies spent over a million dollars to pay people to collect signatures and force a referendum to repeal Senate Bill 5, which contains reasonable reforms to government employee collective bargaining laws. That is now Issue 2 on the November 2011 ballot.
Next, they started a drive to collect signatures to repeal House Bill 194, which enacts common sense election reforms. It would eliminate the current loophole allowing someone to register to vote, and actually cast their vote on the same day, thus reducing the propensity for fraud. It also reduces the early voting period to 21 days. Somehow wanting you to believe that three weeks is not enough time to cast a ballot, Ohio Democrats call the bill "voter supression" and have again enlisted labor unions to finance and organize a petition drive. They have until September 30 to submit the required number of signatures.
Now, they are threatening another petition drive. This time, they are unhappy with the new Congressional districts drawn up by Republicans. It hasn't even been voted on yet, let alone signed, but Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern is already weighing legal action or even another referendum drive. They are shocked and appalled that Republicans drew districts favorable to Republicans.
You may remember Redfern from when he referred to the majority of Ohioans who oppose Obamacare as "these f***ers". Here are some things to remember when you consider Redfern's newest source of outrage.
As a result of almost zero population growth over the past decade, Ohio loses 2 seats in Congress. The proposed bill eliminates one current Democrat district, and one current Republican district. The lost seats were split between the two parties.
The results of that split means that Ohio's Congressional delegation would be 12 Republicans to 4 Democrats, because we currently have 13 Republicans to 5 Democrats. That current 13-5 ratio isn't the result of an evil Republican plot. It was the will of the voters from last November's elections.
Last year, when Ohio's governor and secretary of state were both Democrats, they would have had the majority on the Ohio Apportionment Board. Maybe thats why they were completely uninterested when bipartisan groups and then-Senator Jon Husted, a Republican, were urging a change to Ohio law to create a more non-partisan redistricting process. The Democrats also controlled the Ohio House at the time, and could have introduced legislation to do so. Husted would have provided the GOP vote the Democrats would've needed to pass the reform in the Ohio Senate. But Democrats thought they were going to keep control of the governorship and the secretary of state's office, and thus have control of drawing the new districts. So they declined to act on the proposal. Husted reminded Democrats of this yesterday.
Finally, even Ohio Democrats admit that if they were in control, they would have done the same thing. On whether Democrats would have drawn districts favorable to their own party, Democrat Rep. Ron Gerberry replied "We would too if we were in control."
Very revealing. They would have done the same thing, had they had control. But when their opponents do it, they hold press conferences, threaten legal action and throw an all out hissy fit. Incredible.
And therein lies the problem with Ohio Democrats. They aren't in control. Ohians were unhappy with them, and voted them out of office in large numbers last year. But they refuse to accept the results of the election. Voted out of office and not liking the results, they now just go to their union pals to get huge sums of out of state money to finance hundreds of paid circulators to go around and get signatures to repeal laws they don't like.
That's an abuse of Ohio's referendum system. But Ohio Democrats don't seem to care. They demand to have things their way, even when the voters have demanded otherwise.