Last weekend the PD’s Brent Larkin wrote one of the most distorted and factually inaccurate hit jobs on the Voters First redistricting proposal I’ve seen yet. It absolutely amazed me that this heap of dung made it to print. And while the Dispatch is also editorializing its own bizarrely erroneous view of Voters First (aka Issue 2), they did print a great piece by Jim Siegel yesterday that corrects Larkin’s big mistakes.
Larkin’s biggest problem comes from the fact that he’s listening to the Republican talking points on the issue instead of actually doing ten minutes of research or calling someone on the pro-Issue 2 side for comment, specifically regarding the source of the plan.
According to Larkin: “labor cooked up [a redistricting plan] that would undermine the independence of Ohio’s elected judiciary… and they conned the League of Women Voters into providing them with a cover of legitimacy.”
In Larkin’s make believe world of Republican talking points, a bunch of union thugs got together in a smokey back room at some union hall and came up with a secret plan to overhaul Ohio’s redistricting process. Then they some how conned a bunch of non-partisan good government groups like the League of Women Voters into supporting them.
This is the foundation of Larkin’s resentment toward the proposal. And he has the whole thing backwards.
The Dispatch’s Jim Siegel sets the record straight. According to Siegel “The plan grew out of the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting, a coalition of nonprofits including Ohio Citizen Action and the League of Women Voters of Ohio” and later they brought in the help of “legal experts such as Dan Tokaji, an Ohio State University law professor” to help finish the proposal last fall.
Representatives from both the Republican and Democratic party were approached about helping with the effort but “neither party wanted to be involved with the process.” The same thing is true of the unions.
Just ask “Joan Lawrence, a Republican who served 18 years in the Ohio House and consistently pushed for redistricting reform.” Joan is a support of Issue 2 and clearly articulates the relationship between labor and the Voters First team: “The unions aren’t using us. We’re using them.”
Larkin’s entire piece mindlessly supports the GOP talking point that Issue 2/Voters First came from big labor when, in fact, they refused to be part of the process until recently. It seems the REAL partisan con job here is the one Republicans played on Larkin and are attempting to play on Ohioans.