United States House Speaker John Boehner and political advisors close to him played a key role in determining how redistricting lines were drawn according to emails in the Ohio Redistricting Transparency Report.
Tom Whatman, Executive Director of Team Boehner, and Adam Kincaid, Redistricting Coordinator for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), played key roles in directing Ohio state house Republicans on how exactly they should exactly draft redistricting maps.
In January of this year Tom Whatman was named Executive Director of Team Boehner, a PAC to work in tandem with the NRCC and the Republican National Committee to elected Republicans to Congress.
During the weekend prior to HB 319 being introduced Senator Keith Faber and Senator Chris Widener requested modifications be made to the map. In an email on Sunday, September 11th, from Senate President Tom Niehaus to Ray DiRossi and Tom Whatman, President Niehaus made it clear that he would only put forth a map that Speaker Boehner would support.
“Sorry about the last minute ‘tweaks’ from Faber and Widener. Part of this process is letting them see how few options you had.
I am still committed to ending up with a map that Speaker Boehner fully supports, with or without votes from two members of leadership…”
The next morning, responding to final versions of the maps he had received from Mr. DiRossi, President Niehaus responded,
“Did Whatman sing off?”
The control of Washington D.C. Republicans didn’t end there either. Multiple emails were released yesterday showing the influence Mr. Kincaid from the RNCC had on the redistricting process here in Ohio.
In a series of emails from Washington D.C. between September 2nd and 3rd, Mr. Kincaid sent multiple versions of congressional redistricting maps to Mr. Whatman, Mr. DiRossi and Heather Mann. In one exchange Mr. Whatman responded,
“Adam: all looks good on the surface. Key is whether we can improve CD1 and CD14 at block level while keeping concepts intact.”
All this is in addition to our post yesterday showing how Mr. Whatman was responsible for requesting, and receiving, that Timken be placed in Representative Jim Renacci’s new district in an eight minute time period.
These documents prove that Republican lawmakers, again and again, used the redistricting process as a political tool at the expense of Ohioans. Ohioans were denied the right of a fair and balanced redistricting process. Instead, they received new legislative maps that were made behind closed doors at the behest of outside interests without any input from the public. As I stated last night, Republicans’ actions during the redistricting process go further than just being dirt politics, they are downright criminal.
As we have been telling our readers the last couple of days please sign the petition to repeal House Bill 319 and the rigged redistricting maps before it is too late.