Cleveland.com Editorial Board Slams DeWine and LaRose for Supporting Gerrymandered Maps, ‘Abrogating Their Duty to Ohioans’

Columbus, OH — In case you missed it, the Cleveland.com Editorial Board yesterday took Mike DeWine and Frank LaRose to task for failing to stand up and do the jobs they were elected to do as they caved to their own party and passed gerrymandered maps that are a slap in the face to Ohioans who voted for reform. The Cleveland.com editorial points out that both DeWine and LaRose had the power to rise above politics and help produce a map with bipartisan support, but both chose to look out for their own interests instead.

“It is hard to reconcile with their oaths of office the governor and secretary of state’s almost blasé attitudes — voting for flawed maps despite expressed qualms. In taking office, they both solemnly swore to ‘support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Ohio’ and to ‘faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all of the duties incumbent upon me.’ Their actions last week were not a faithful and impartial discharge of their duties,” writes the Cleveland.com Editorial Board.

Both LaRose and DeWine are scared of primary challengers and know they are hemorrhaging support within their own party. So instead of showing any sort of courage and doing the right thing, they backed down once again to extreme members of their party (read: the Republican legislature) at the expense of the rule of law.

Read more from Cleveland.com HERE and below:

  • What were Gov. Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Frank LaRose thinking in voting for what they both acknowledged were deeply flawed — and in DeWine’s case, possibly unconstitutional — gerrymanders of state legislative districts?

  • By its 5-2 party-line vote late Wednesday — just within the constitutional deadline — the Republican majority on the Ohio Redistricting Commission, including DeWine and LaRose, created four-year Ohio Senate and Ohio House maps that flout voters’ intent to prevent overtly partisan gerrymandering.

  • Given their reservations, DeWine and LaRose could have instead sided with the commission’s two Democrats, state Sen. Vernon Sykes and House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes, a father-daughter duo from Akron, to insist on fairer maps.

  • They didn’t.

  • Among other problems, the maps grotesquely slice and dice the majority Black city of Cleveland, raising concerns that the maps violate federal law by diluting Black voting power. Further, in carving up Cleveland and other communities, the maps also fail to adhere to the voter-approved Ohio constitutional reforms requiring keeping communities intact and not using the process to advance partisan aims instead of reflecting voting patterns of the past decade.

  • When they had the power to influence the redistricting process to a fairer, more constitutional outcome, DeWine and LaRose both whiffed.

  • Kicking this down the road to uncertain judicial review was irresponsible and wrong.

  • Last week, our editorial board urged DeWine to exercise his authority to guide the Redistricting Commission to a fairer outcome. Instead, to his discredit, the governor has been strangely disengaged from this critical process.

  • If both DeWine and LaRose had sided with the Democrats, the commission’s 5-2 partisan vote of Wednesday night might have flipped to a 4-3 bipartisan vote on improved maps — and made it more likely the maps would pass muster constitutionally while meeting voters’ expressed desire for fairer districts.

  • If both DeWine and LaRose had sided with the Democrats, the commission’s 5-2 partisan vote of Wednesday night might have flipped to a 4-3 bipartisan vote on improved maps — and made it more likely the maps would pass muster constitutionally while meeting voters’ expressed desire for fairer districts.

  • In taking office, they both solemnly swore to “support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Ohio” and to “faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all of the duties incumbent upon me.”

  • Their actions last week were not a faithful and impartial discharge of their duties.

  • The Ohio Constitution provides the governor with supreme executive power. It does not say he should subsume himself to his party, or to its chief legislative leaders, Huffman and Cupp.

  • It says he should lead. What DeWine, and LaRose, did in signing off last week on maps they knew were wrong was the opposite of leadership.

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