GOP Gerrymandering is Costing Ohioans Millions
April 20, 2022
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Columbus, OH — In case you missed it, the Cincinnati Enquirer outlined the high price of GOP gerrymandering today, as Ohioans pay tens of millions of dollars because Republicans refuse to do their jobs and pass fair maps. Jessie Balmert lists the ways Ohioans are paying the price, from $20 million for two primaries to wasted money on mapmakers whose maps were never used to the cost of defending gerrymandered maps in court to $9 million allocated to the May 3rd primary – all because Republicans refuse to do their jobs.
“Between paying mapmakers for maps never used, defending ultimately unconstitutional maps in court and sending money to election officials for overtime, Ohio’s leaders have spent millions,” writes Jessie Balmert of the Enquirer.
“The cost of Republican corruption is too high and hard-working Ohioans have suffered enough under Republican rule. The redistricting process is just the latest example of GOP corruption that is costing Ohioans billions. It’s clear Ohio can’t afford four more years of Mike DeWine and his Republican buddies controlling state government,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairwoman Elizabeth Walters.
Read more about how you’re footing the bill for redistricting here and below:
- Ohio’s redistricting mess comes at a cost, and taxpayers like you are footing that bill.
- Between paying mapmakers for maps never used, defending ultimately unconstitutional maps in court and sending money to election officials for overtime, Ohio’s leaders have spent millions.
- That doesn’t include the bill for holding a second primary for state legislative races, likely in early August. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose estimated the cost could be between $20 million to $25 million.
- Add to that $9.2 million that Ohio lawmakers allocated to help run the May 3 primary. Most of that money went toward speeding up the process of uploading legislative maps that ultimately weren’t used, said Aaron Ockerman, executive director of the Ohio Association of Election Officials.
- In the latest round of drawing state House and Senate maps, the Ohio Redistricting Commission hired two experts to craft legislative plans. The GOP-controlled commission ultimately didn’t use those maps.
- But the hired mapmakers will still be paid. University of Florida professor Michael McDonald billed just over $40,000 for travel and mapmaking. National Demographics Corp.’s Douglas Johnson spent nearly $49,300. Both made $450 an hour and were permitted to bill up to $49,000 apiece.
- The Ohio Redistricting Commission has billed another nearly $61,000 for computers, mapmaking software, staff’s travel expenses and advertising completed maps, according to Legislative Service Commission records.
- Meanwhile, the legal bill is mounting. As of early April, attorneys had billed nearly $962,000 on lawsuits over Ohio’s maps, according to Ohio Attorney General’s Office records.
Redistricting is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Republicans costing you money. This is exactly why Ohio Democrats are crisscrossing Ohio this month outlining the Costs of Republican Corruption.
Ohioans are paying BILLIONS of dollars for GOP corruption at Mike DeWine’s statehouse, including:
- $287,000 every single day for subsidies that bail out an out-of-state coal plant and are tied to the largest public corruption scandal in state history. The subsidies are estimated to cost Ohioans up to $1.8 billion by 2030.
- $9 billion for special interest tax giveaways that mostly benefit for-profit corporations.
- $1.85 billion in tax breaks for the wealthy and well-connected, including wealthy GOP lawmakers who leave working Ohioans behind.
- $118 million in improper Medicaid payments made to ineligible dead or incarcerated individuals.
- $20 million promised in tax credits to Lordstown Motors, a company currently under investigation by the DOJ and SEC and that employs DeWine’s grandson as its lobbyist.
- $17.5 million settlement for a man who was paralyzed after being tackled by state prison guards.
- $763,000 and counting to litigate the GOP-gerrymandered maps in court.
- $39,000 for Mike DeWine’s private airplane travel to taxpayer-funded photo ops in 2019.
At a time when Ohio families are worried about their ability to make ends meet, the last thing they should be spending their hard-earned money on is the corruption running rampant at Mike DeWine’s statehouse. Ohio Democrats are ready to offer a better way forward.